Interview with Colleen Gleason

A fast-paced, carnival ride of a book. Publishers Weekly

Excuse me for one moment while I give Colleen Gleason a standing ovation. The second book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, RISES THE NIGHT, is a superb sequel in a series that is unique, sexy and definitely very intense. Julie Kornhausl, Romance Readers at Heart.

I have a confession to make. I was one of Colleen’s cold readers for Rises The Night, and I hadn’t read the first book in the Gardella series, The Rest Falls Away. Yet I found it riveting and fabulous, and a book that, even though it’s part of a series, stands alone. But rush out and buy both as soon as you can! Colleen is offering a copy of Rises The Night today–post your question or comment, and you’ll be eligible to be entered in the drawing. The usual rules apply; remember, we know who you are if you assume different identities, and we will send a Venator with a sharpened stake …

Colleen, congratulations and welcome. Did you find you’d written anything in the first book, The Rest Falls Away, that created a problem in the second?

I did have a little something that needed to be clarified when I turned the second book into my editor. Somehow, I hadn’t made it clear that there were other Gardella (or “born”) Venators besides Victoria, and although Max was a Venator who’d chosen that calling, there were others from the Gardella family tree. I also had to make it clear that Victoria and her Aunt Eustacia were directly descended from the Gardella family tree, and were the only living female Venators. There are other Venators, from far-flung branches of the family tree, distantly related to Victoria and Aunt Eustacia, but they aren’t as powerful as the direct descendants.
Why did you decide to set this book in Rome?
A few reasons: first, I wanted to feature a secret society of vampire protectors–called The Tutela–and since Italy was just thriving with secret societies at that time (the Carbonari, etc.,), I thought it would make sense. Plus, that was where Byron was at the time, and I wanted Victoria to meet him. And finally….since the headquarters for the Venators is in Rome, I wanted her to go there so she could see it and the reader could thus learn more about the history of the Venators.
And then there was the fact that so many books in this time period are set in London or Bath or other English places…I thought it would be fun to take my characters to Venice and then Rome. The third book is set completely in Rome.
What specific research did you do?
I researched about secret societies in Rome–including reading through a very old book about them that is housed in the restricted section of the University of Michigan library that I often use for research. I also pored over a whole book about subterranean Rome (unfortunately, I didn’t use as much of that as I’d envisioned, but it gave me a feel for the tunnels and catacombs.)
I also did quite a bit of reading and research about Lord Byron and what he was like, where he was at that time (in Venice, actually, living with his mistress in her husband’s house….), and about John Polidori, who died under mysterious circumstances. And one thing I tried to research but had little luck doing, was how long it would take a cargo ship to get from London to Venice. Sigh. So I had to sort of not exactly tell. It was…days. Weeks. Yeah, weeks. I think.

Without giving a spoiler, there’s an important secondary character who is killed in this book. I thought it added a profound mythic quality to the book–do you use The Writer’s Journey as a guide, or any other sort of structure?
I love the Writers Journey–as you may know, I did an article for the Romance Writers of America’s journal about that very same topic; and I do workshops about it as well. Anyway, yes, I love the Writers/Hero’s Journey, but I usually use it in retrospect. I don’t necessarily think about it before I write, but I find that if I’m stuck, or nearly done with the book, I can often use it to pinpoint certain events in the book and say, “Yes, that’s an element of the Journey.” Or, “Oh, I didn’t realize she was a Threshold Guardian.” I also have the article posted on my Web site under Extras.

Do tell. Vioget or Max, and will we know in Book Three?

Am I only limited to choosing between Vioget or Max? You’re no fun!! No, you probably won’t know for sure in The Bleeding Dusk (Book Three), but you’ll have an excellent idea by the end of Book Four, which I’m getting ready to work on in a month or so. Any preferences?????


What are your future plans for the Gardellas?

I want to do five books about Victoria (I’m currently contracted for four, so if you want to to find out who she picks–go buy the books so the publisher will give me another contract!). After Victoria’s story is completed, I’ll want to move on to writing about a different Venator.

Thank you so much for having me back to the Riskies! You ladies are always so much fun and educational here. Thank you again!

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