Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interview with Christine Cody and Giveaway - July 13, 2011

Please welcome Christine Cody to The Qwillery.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Christine:  I’m not terribly quirky in that area of my life, but I used to have one sort of…different…habit. I would pick out a token for each book I started, something to represent a character or the “vibe” of the story. For instance, I wrote one book that featured a glass castle, so I bought a small Swarovski crystal castle to look at for inspiration. There was another early book in which my heroine had a bit of a whimsical personality—she liked fairies and things like that, so I had a fairy figurine. That quirk went by the wayside, though.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Christine:  So many to choose from! I’ve always been an eclectic reader—by the fifth grade, I was reading everything from romances to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to John Saul and Stephen King and VC Andrews. Quite the variety, and they all influenced my writing one way or another. I loved to be creeped out (Saul and King) and VC Andrews had such a sense of gothic, warped, romantic, over-the-top drama and horror that really inspired me. Nowadays, I’d say my favorite books are THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt and THE STAND by Stephen King. I’m currently becoming very obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, though.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Christine:  Again, my eclectic personality will come into play here… I’m both, LOL. Weirdly, when I write my romances, I’m very much a plotter. Then again, I sell those books by providing detailed outlines and sample chapters, so plotting is a necessity. With the urban fantasy and supernatural stories like BLOODLANDS, I’m more of a pantster. I have a basic outline, but I tend to flesh things out more while I’m writing those. I use the “sticky note” method, which basically means that I have a closet door full of little yellow scenes that I can move around as needed.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Bloodlands series?

Christine:  I was on a classic Western movie binge and, like most writers, my mind started to go strange places. I wondered what might’ve happened if Shane had been a vampire, LOL. (I always tell people that the first BLOODLANDS book is a paranormal SHANE meets MAD MAX.) Then I started to have some fun while putting supernatural, postapocalyptic twists on all those classic Western tropes—the “drifter/gunslinger who’s looking for redemption/his humanity”; the “helpless pioneers who gain strength” from the lessons this drifter teaches them; the “cruel rancher” nearby whose property is populated with thugs. In books 2 and 3 (BLOOD RULES, IN BLOOD WE TRUST), there are many other opportunities to spin those tropes. I especially loved developing the “fallen scarlet woman” and the “mysterious woman with a tragic disease” characters. One of the original characters even becomes the “stalwart sheriff.”

TQ:  The Bloodlands series is post-apocalyptic, western, and fantasy. How difficult (or easy) was it to blend the genres?

Christine:  Very easy. That’s just how the story was. And we all know that once we have an idea that makes us want to write, everything flows from there. The tough thing about writing BLOODLANDS had more to do with paying attention to gaping plot holes, etc., because there’s a mystery that holds the first book together. I studied one particular book of Agatha Christie’s to see how she pulled off a certain “trick.” I can’t tell you right now what that trick is (You’ll know by the end of BLOODLANDS.) or which book I studied—that would be a dead giveaway—but I’ll tell everyone the title after BLOODLANDS has been out for a bit. I hate to be coy, but I hate spoilers even more, LOL.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Bloodlands (Book 1)?

Christine:  I had a lot of fun with two scenes in particular. The first is a scene that involves the “cruel rancher” showing the “settlers” just how far he’ll go to keep his men safe. (Actually, one of my favorite characters is the villain, Johnson Stamp. I tried not to make him a clichéd “bad guy,” so he’s got a lot of motivation for everything he does, no matter how terrible he seems.) The second scene involves a “high midnight” showdown near the end of the book. I have a lot of fun writing action scenes, especially if it’s set in a place that’s eerie, with postapocalyptic things like “loom trees” casting shadows in the moonlight.

TQ:  In Bloodlands (Book 1), who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Christine:  The most difficult—and most rewarding—character to write was Mariah, the heroine. She’s been traumatized in the past, so it was a challenge to avoid having her come off like major victim. She’s also a shady character, and rather prickly, really lacking in trust, and I had to pay attention to what I did with her in those respects. But she has a character arc that I loved developing over the course of the trilogy.
The easiest was a secondary character who’s called the oldster. He came out of a classic Western trope, too—the crusty, slightly loony, whiskered old guy who’d be John Wayne’s deputy in a sad, small town. He’s one of those characters who had a voice that went straight from my mind to the keyboard.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the Bloodlands world?

Christine:  My biggest source of inspiration came from the New Yorker magazine, believe it or not. They have fantastic science articles in there that served as springboards for more research on ideas like mutations. I read Thomas Friedman, who has very firm ideas about globalization and the future of our country. I read about survivalists and what they’re doing in order to function away from “civilization.” Oh, and the History Channel, too—you can apply how societies organized themselves in the past to the future. (Yes, I’m being vague there, but let’s just say there’ll be a sort of “town of the dead” making an appearance after book 1.)

TQ:  Describe Bloodlands (Book 1) in 140 characters or less.

Christine:  They called it the New Badlands...until the vampire came, bringing danger to the settlers who took him. Then it became the Bloodlands.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Bloodlands series?

Christine:  There are three coming out back-to-back-to-back starting July 27.

TQ:  What's next?

Christine:  I’ll be writing quite a few of my Crystal Green books, but I also have a new Christine Cody project in the works—a paranormal epic fantasy. To be more specific, if you crossed LORD OF THE RINGS with vampires and SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND, you’d get something like this “secret project.” I’m also looking at the opportunities in self e-pubbing because there’s so much out there to explore.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Christine:  Thank you so much!

About Christine's Books

Bloodlands 1
(Ace, July 26, 2011)
It was called the New Badlands, home to the survivors of a cataclysm that altered the entire nation. Then the vampires arrived, and it was rechristened the Bloodlands. Not because of the vampire, but because of the gun-for-hire who'd decided to slay every monster in the country by any and every means necessary.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

Blood Rules
Bloodlands 2
(Ace, August 30, 2011)
After the man named Gabriel came to the Bloodlands, Mariah Lyander was forced to face her true nature, and the horrible things she had done. To redeem herself, she embarks on a quest to find a rumored cure for her were-creatures hoping to recover her own humanity-and Gabriel's love.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

In Blood We Trust
Bloodlands 3
(Ace, September 27, 2011)
They are monsters: Mariah, the reluctant rebel who has become a god to others of her kind, and Gabriel, the vampire, who loves her at his own peril.

They have returned to the Bloodlands, where their story began-to face the horrors of Mariah's past and the uncertainties of Gabriel's future- and to make a final stand, for their lives-and their love.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

About Christine

Christine Cody is the author of the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon (written as Chris Marie Green) and Bloodlands series from Ace Books. Until about eight years ago, she was an eighth-grade teacher, but she became a full-time author who has published over thirty-five books under this name as well as the pseudonym Crystal Green.

Check out Christine’s website at You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed set of all six Mass Market Paperback novels of the Vampire Babylon series (written as Chris Marie Green) from Christine. USA mailing addresses only.

Information about the Vampire Babylon series may by found by clicking here.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is your favorite western or post-apocalyptic book or movie?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans with a USA mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. The Bloodlands Series sounds great! Adding it to my list! My favorite dystopian movie actually combines a bit of a western feel to it...Serenity with Nathan Fillion by Joss Whedon - thought it was really great but of course I also loved the tv series

    I am a GFC Follower
    I tweeted the interview and giveaway:!/crazymidwestgal/status/91127162375122944


  2. Thank you, Maria!

    And, you all, I made a mistake on the Bloodlands release date--it's out the 26th, not the 27th. Sorry!

  3. My favorite western? That has to be Tombstone with Val Kilmer. Though I do kinda wanna watch that Cowboys vs. Aliens. I think it would be fun to watch.

    My husband likes thise post-aco series called Jon Shannow by David Gemmell.

    GFC Follower!/RaonaidLuckwell!/RaonaidLuckwell

    Raonaid (at) gmail dot com

  4. The Bloodlands series sounds awesome. As for westerns, I am looking forward to seeing Cowboys and Aliens. I also like the new True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma.

    Chris: I find your old habit of having a token for each story you wrote really interesting. I think I may do that too! :)


  5. My favorite Western? Silverado Post apoco book The Stand.

  6. I love Chris Marie Green's books and had no idea she also wrote as Christine Cody! I can't wait to read the Bloodlands series because it just sounds so awesome!

    My favorite posy-apolycalyptic book always has been and always will be The Stand by Stephen King. I'm reading Gone by Michael Grant right now, though, and it is pretty darn good too!

    I am a GFC follower :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com Zee

  7. I love dystopian novels :) Thank you so much for this cool giveaway! My favorite post-apolcalyptic book would be Wither: Lauren DeStefano :)
    GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  8. For books, my fave has long been The Stand, but recently I really enjoyed Ann Aguirre's Enclave.
    And as far as movies/tv shows go, I have to agree with Maria re: Serenity/Firefly!
    Bloodlands sounds interesting... guess I gotta add some more to the ol' TBR list! :)


    (+3: comment, follower, and a retweet as soon as I can get to twitter!)

  9. Great interview! I can't wait to start this series-- I'm always looking for a new one to dig into :-)
    My favorite Western movie is Bandidas!


  10. I honestly can't think of anything. But I did just re-watch an episode of Family Guy that was post-apocalyptical. They needed to form a new town around the Twinkie factory, Stewie grew tentacless...this is probably not what you were looking for.
    I'm a gfc follower.


  11. Well if we can count Jana Oliver's debut being post apocalyptic, I really enjoyed The Demon Trapper's Daughter. Not a big western fan--straight westerns that is! Definitely want to give Christine's series a try!!

    GFC Follower


  12. My favorite post apocalyptic book is Under the Dome by Stephen King.

    GFC follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  13. What a wonderful interview. I think this series sounds great. I think my favorite post apocalyptic movie would be Mad Max and the Thunderdome - how can you go wrong with Harrison Ford and Tina Turner. Thank you so much for this incredibly generous giveaway. I have not read these books and would love to get my grubby fingers on them :)
    GFC - Denise Zaky

  14. Go Chris!

    Love love love your books and can't wait for the new series to come out.

    Westerm movie? Tombstone. And Firefly and Serenity for that fun feel.

  15. Hi, you all!

    Thank you for visiting and commenting, stormvikki, Krystal, Bethany, Vivien,

    Raonaid, I'm excited about Cowboys and Aliens, too. At first, I thought it'd just be silly...but it actually looks pretty good.

    Linda M., thank you! And it was pretty cool to have the tokens. It was just another way to narrow down a theme or character.

    Julie, how nice of you! Yes, this is now my "paranormal romance" pen name for Penguin. Chris Marie Green is an urban fantasy girl, LOL.

    BTW, OMG, I love THE STAND, too.

    rissatoo, cool, thank you!

    Chelsea, I so appreciate that. :)

    Jessica, that'd be great--thanks so much.

    DeniseZ, thanks, I love when I discover a new series, too. I'm currently in the midst of "discovering" A Song of Ice and Fire series. Totally addicted.

    Linda Wisdom--*you're* books rock!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, you all. Good luck to everyone. :)

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. The series looks great!

    My all-time favorite western? Loved the new version of "True Grit" but my fav still has to be the oldie but still great "The Searchers" with John Wayne

  18. Thanks for hosting this giveaway. The series setting is very intriguing and so will definitely be looking forward to reading it.

    Fav. post-apocalyptic film would be Pandorum, its a stretch for the post-apocalyptic theme but it does have its own reasons for being included in the post apocalyptic genre

    I'm a recent GFC addition and my email is MihirTwu(at)Gmail(dot)com

    PS: Sorry for the double post, my earlier post was incomplete.

  19. Great interview!!! :)

    My favorite dystopian movie as of now is probably Children of Men! If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth watching...

    It's very dark and depressing, but amazing movie making when that one baby cries and all the war around it stops. I get goosebumps just remembering that scene...

    Can't wait to read Bloodlands Chris!!! :)


  20. I love 2012, which actually is as an apocalypse happens. Western? Do the ones with Will Smith or Owen Wilson count *winks*?

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  21. HI Chris! I can't wait to read this, as you know. Love that first cover, the idea for this series, and the fact that you do supernatural so well.
    Hint: You promised me copies! I'm calling in that marker.

    My tag line:
    Chris Cody rocks the western.


  22. My current favorite post-apocalyptic book is Ellen Connor's Nightfall. I'd say Silverado is my favorite western movie, although I've enjoyed quite a lot of them and have to give a shout out to Serenity/Firefly as well.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  23. My is Feed by Mira Grant.

    GFC follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail com

  24. Hi, again!

    Thanks, Sharon. I just watched The Searchers. I was surprised by the grittiness--what a great movie.

    The Reader, I appreciate it. : ) And I haven't seen that movie. One for my Netflix queue.

    Hey, Lisa! Thank you--and Children of Men really is fantastic. *Very* powerful.

    Robin, Owen Wilson can be my cowboy, so my answer is yes.

    Linda, yes! I definitely remember. I'm still waiting for author copies, but I should have them by the time the Con rolls around.... Thank you so much, mistress of the tag line!

    Barbara, don't you just love Kevin Costner, all young and fun in Silverado?

    The Girl on Fire, I've got to try that book. I've heard raves about it.

    See you soon....

  25. I love all westerns! Rio Bravo is one of my favs. John Wayne, Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson, it had it all :-) My current favorite postapocalytic book(s) are
    Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage series. I'm looking forward to reading Bloodlands!

    I'm a GFC follower
    I posted a link on FB


  26. Ohh well for Post Apocalyptic I would have to say Carrie Ryan's series as well as Rot and Ruin since they were both awesome.
    Oh My G I have never heard of this series but it has all the elements of great fiction that I love in them so now I HAVE to check it out.
    Thank you for the post, I love learning about new series and getting into them late so there are all these books to read since it has been out a while. I cannot wait to read them up.
    Thank you for the great giveaway also!

    GFC Teril

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  27. Hi, Gail and Teril--thanks for wanting to read the books!

    Gail--yes, Rio Bravo. I *love* the way that movie opens, with very few words but a lot of characterization.

    Teril, looks like you've given me more TBR books.

  28. I have many post apocalypse favorites.
    Book Dark Age Dawning Ellen Connor
    TV Jeremiah
    mini series the Stand
    movie Waterworld
    Qwillery follower

  29. The Gunslinger and the rest of the Dark Tower series


    tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/92832029682581504

    link -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  30. i think the going thing is of course the best

    gfc follower , i rt the contest

  31. well it used to be Tombstone, but now I think it might be the remake of True Grit..