Risky Regencies

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!

Sign up for the Risky Regency newsletter at riskies@yahoo.com (put NEWSLETTER in the subject line) and learn who has been staked at Almack’s recently.

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Diane Perkins
15 years ago

Welcome, Colleen!
Riskies, I LOVED The Rest Falls Away and I can’t wait to get my hands on Rises the Night.

Rome and Venice, Colleen? And here I thought Victoria would be stuck in London. This sounds very intriguing!

15 years ago

Great interview Colleen. Sounds like it will be a great read.

15 years ago

Sexy vampires? Secret societies? Lord Byron? Sign me up! *jots down titles for a Barnes & Noble run*

I like to try to use the Writer’s Journey too…but it’s usually after the fact as well. πŸ™‚ *LOL*

Megan Frampton
15 years ago

I can’t wait for Rises the Night, Colleen. I love your changing locales, too, makes it even MORE unusual.


15 years ago

Hi!! πŸ™‚ Alas, I haven’t read the first, but it’s on my list along with the second. . . as is another one you have coming out really soon under a different name. πŸ˜‰ I really don’t read erotic novels, however, this one is just one of those that I really have to. πŸ™‚ I mean, really. πŸ™‚

And there is one thing in the book of POTO that isn’t in the musical that makes yours even more exciting. . . the musical Christine is with the Phantom overnight. . . in the book, I think it was a week or so she’s with Erik (it’s been a while since I’ve read it LOL). . . a lot could happen in a week. . . πŸ˜‰

Lois, who’s sorry to get off the actual topic, but heck, I’m a sucker for all things Regency and also Phantom too. πŸ˜‰

15 years ago

Congratulations on the new book. I like the idea of a secret society in a different setting than the usual historical.

Delle Jacobs
15 years ago

Terrific, Colleen! I can’t wait to get to the bookstore and get RTN. And I can tell you all, I’ve already read it, too, and can’t wait to read it again!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Big wave, Colleen! I love the idea of the underground city being used. I’ve become addicted to the TV series Cities of the Underworld. I’m soooooo gonna find a way to use the info from those shows in a future book.

15 years ago

Great interview. Fantastic question and funny as well as interesting answers.

So it will be a four book series?

Nice twist with the Rome and Venice setting

Colleen Gleason
15 years ago

Hi all!

Diane, thanks for your kind words about REST. And, yeah, I thought it would be fun to take Vicky away from Almack’s, etc.,…especially because of what she has to deal with at the end of the first book.

Crystal, thanks for coming by!

Mshellion (love that name)…the vamps aren’t really sexy, to be honest. But the guys are! And there are several!!

Megan, thanks for the shout-out from your blog! I hope you enjoy RISES.

Lois, I have no idea what you’re talking about. *widens eyes innocently* You ought to check out The Spiced Tea Party blog…someone over there is talking about the Phantom of the Opera, today as a matter of fact! πŸ˜‰

Maureen, Delle, Kalen…thanks for coming by! Kalen, I must admit I didn’t get to use as much of the underground stuff as I’d anticipated…but there’s more of it in the third book. (Hope your trip awhile back was great–to Morocco, wasn’t it?)

Dannyfd….cool that you stopped by here too! I’m actually planning five books about Victoria, but the fifth one would be in a new book contract, and we’re just not there yet as far as timing (I still have to write the fourth book…) So I hope to write five books about Victoria!h

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Morocco rocked! If anyone wants to see some pics I threw a few up on flickr.

I’ve been glomming vamp books lately (Sunshine, Dark Lover) and I can’t wait to get my hands on your new one!

15 years ago

I was fsacinated by the interview. Congrats on this wonderful and unique novel. Love the settings and the characters.

15 years ago

Rome! I’m there! And historical figures and events woven in as well. Sounds like another book to add to my TBR pile.

Deb Marlowe
15 years ago

Colleen! Where have I been that I missed this series? It sounds fabulous.

Another book I have to have! I feel for my mail lady’s arms–but not as bad as I feel for Diane’s and Kalen’s. Hee hee.

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

I just wish the mail lady would get over her fear of my dog. The FedEx guy and UPS guy have made friends and all is cool, but my dog knows the mail lady is afraid of her, which just sets her off. *sigh*

15 years ago

Hi Colleen – great interview! These books sound great, and I love the covers. This sounds like a fantastic series – how did you go about planning it? And at what point did you realize it might take five books rather than six?

15 years ago

Hi Colleen!
Will the rest of the series play out in Italy or will Victoria find another new home?

15 years ago

I still eyeball these books in the bookstore! GAH! I must buy them. πŸ™‚ I think I keep chapters in business.

Interesting you couldn’t find travel time, there really isn’t enough of that available, Though I’ve looked mainly on the net…

But vamps and secret societies and yes as hellion says…I saw the pic of Lord Byron and was like…hello what do we have here.

How many books do you plan in this series? I’m a huge series fan! Especially the preternatural type.

15 years ago

Welcome, Colleen.
Venice and Byron and Vampires, oh my!
Just those words bring luscious reds and golds to mind. And underground passages in a canal city must have a special kind of eeriness. Looking forward to it.

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Colleen: Welcome once again to the Riskies with a second gorgeous cover!!

And I love all three of your titles! How very original! Did you have much say in their choice?

I’m so stealing your “Eustacia” for a secondary character.

Was Italy at the forefront of secret societies in the Georgian/Regency period? When did England start having similar ones?

Byron–oh lord, is that guy shameless. Living with his mistress in her husband’s house??!!

Kalen: Welcome to the dark side! πŸ™‚

Kalen: Dried lizards? Are those a crunchy appetizer? Eek! I loved photo #2771. Are those spice bottles on the side? What vivid colors!! That’s what caught my eye, because you see them even in the ordinary photographs. Did you find that to be the case everywhere you went in Morocco?

Janet: Threatening your readers? Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

15 years ago

Hi Colleen! I have the first one on my list and I’m adding this one, too. Venice and Rome..great setting. One of my favorite movies, Dangerous Beauty was set in Venice.

You’ve first book was such a success, and it sounds like this one is going to reach a lot of hands. I can’t imagine them not wanting the fifth book. Fingers crossed for you.

Colleen Gleason
15 years ago

Hi all…I’m back!

Thank you all for stopping by.

A few of you asked about the number of books. I decided that five was a good number when I realized that three wasn’t enough to tell Victoria’s story…and I think having an odd number is a better arc, for some reason, than an even number. I’m not sure why…it just feels right.

As for the underground canals in Venice…I wish my heroine had been able to explore them but, no, she was too busy trying to escape from a meeting of the secret society of vampire protectors. “:-) She does spend some time underground in Rome, though.

Thank you for the compliments on my covers. I must say, I think NAL did a fabulous job on them both, and I can’t wait to see the cover for The Bleeding Dusk, which I should get in the next month or so.

Lis asked about whether Victoria will stay in Rome…the third book is set completely in Rome, but the fourth book will bring Victoria and friends back to London. I’m not sure where the fifth book will be set–I’d like to take her to Prague or Vienna, but I’m not sure yet. I can’t get too far ahead of myself!!

Kimw, I loved Dangerous Beauty! That was a great movie!

Thanks so much for coming by–and I hope those of you who get to the books enjoy them!

Stop by my blog when you get a chance–I give away t-shirts, ARCs, and answer Reader Questions occasionally and would love to see you there!


15 years ago

Hi Colleen,
I’m wild about this series. You must have the next book in the series almost finished while one is going to press. Loved what you said about Rome’s many secret societys.
Theresa N.

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Hey, Keira. I’m not sure what the dried lizards are for. In China they’re an aphrodeisac (ground up).

Morocco tends to have two very distinct sides. It’s mostly very bland on the outside, and then there’s a burst of colour on the inside. Casablanca is called that for a reason (yes, nearly every building is white). Fez is all sort of yellow and dirty brown (except for the green roofs). Marrakesh is sort of it’s own thing. It’s much brighter than the other cities I was in. The orange and yellow buildings and the HUGE medina (old town, where the market is). When all the shops shut up at night though it gets very quiet and bland. Nothing to see.

I really loved it, though. I’d go back tomorrow (despite the 27 hours the trip took door-to-door).

15 years ago

Byron was worth meeting. Wish I could.

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Kalen: What a treat you got to go there for work. Hope they send you often.

Riskies: Sorry to go off on a tangent here on this thread. Morocco always makes me do that. And Kalen’s photos are fabulous.

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