Saturday, January 21, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Kristen Painter

Hello, book lovers! Today is a very special day for The Nocturnal Library. Gothic urban fantasy author Kristen Painter has graciously agreed to stop by and answer a few questions for us. Kristen’s House of Comarré novels (Blood Rights, Flesh and Blood and Bad Blood) were published in 2011 by Orbit. We’re pretty sure all of you have noticed these books - the fabulous covers make them a little hard to miss.

Blood Rights (House of Comarré, #1) Flesh and Blood (House of Comarré, #2) Bad Blood (House of Comarré, #3)

The story is set in Corvinestri, Romania and Paradise City, New Florida in 2062. We asked Kristen about her worldbuilding, characters and future installments, and she kindly answered to it all. So without further ado:

1. Why did you decide to set your story in the future?

Setting the House of Comarré series in the future served two purposes. One, it gave me some artistic license to change the way the world worked and was shaped. Two, I wanted to show how little the world had actually changed in 50+ years due to war, strife and other human machinations.

2. Comarré, varcolai, wysper, nothos, shadeux, cypher fae, remnants... the mythology in your books is fascinating and complex. How did you come up with it and what kind of research did you do for your world-building?

What research I did involved old texts, original myths and basic origin stories. The rest of it comes from my overactive imagination. My dreams tend to have some pretty good source material.

3. Chrysabelle and Mal have had a strange, reluctantly symbiotic relationship from the very beginning, and later that relationship turned into an even more reluctant mutual fondness. We were somewhat surprised that you brought a third person into the equation. Did you always intend to write a love triangle or did Creek just sort of show up along the way?

To be honest, I kind of hate the term “love triangle” and never really thought it would be applied to these books. Creek was never meant to be anything more to Mal and Chrysabelle than an obstacle in their relationship. He’s definitely got his own path to travel. As for Chrysabelle, I think it’s just natural that anyone in her situation of newly attained freedom is going to question things and want to “experiment” a little. If you’d only had vanilla ice cream your whole life because you weren’t allowed any other flavor, then someone showed you a toppings bar, would you only choose one topping? It’s human nature to try hot fudge and rainbow sprinkles. ;o)

4. Do you have a favorite among your characters? Is there someone you particularly enjoy writing about?

That’s such a tough question! But if I’m true to my gut and go with my first answer, I’d have to say Mal. Poor, tortured Mal. He’s such a mess, how can I not love him? I think I tend to root for the underdog anyway.

5. Your covers were done by the amazing Spanish artist, Nekro. They are all stunning and they certainly attract attention, but I’ve also noticed that he always puts a lot of thought into the actual content. Do you feel that these covers accurately represent your books and is there a downside to having such a memorable cover art (with male audience, for example)?

Atmospherically, these covers are great. They definitely say gothic to me and you get a good general sense of who Chrysabelle is. Ultimately, a cover is there to make you pick up a book and I know from the many letters I’ve received that these covers accomplished that.

6. Can you tell us more about the rest of the series - how many books will there be and the release schedule for them.

Two more books are on the way! The fourth book, OUT FOR BLOOD, will be released this fall and LAST BLOOD, which will close out the series, will be out spring 2013. There will also be a short connected story this spring. Watch my website, FB page or Orbit Books site for more info on that.

7. What do you usually read and is there a title you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of comic books and graphic novels because I’m under deadline and I can read one of those quickly and not feel like I should be working instead. I don’t know how to only recommend just one title, but if you’re curious about comics or graphic novels, I say just grab one and dive in. X-Men is always good because most people know them from the movies

8. Which writers inspire you?

Any writer who tells the kind of story that draws me in and makes it impossible to put the book down.

A personal, silly side question by Lisa: I’ve noticed in a lot of books lately (mostly paranormal YA but some UF too) this habit of having at least one Italian vampire. Since I am Italian (but not a vampire!), do you know why that is and why did you choose to have one?

Well, I’m Italian (on both sides of my family) and since my dad’s name is also Dominic, I guess that character was a little shout out to him. My dad’s told me several times not to kill him off. Hah! I do think the Italian heritage is a rich one and coming from that background, writing about it just seemed like a natural thing to do. Also, the headquarters of one of my vampire families is in Italy, so how could I not have Italian vampires?

A huge thanks to the lovely Ms. Painter for answering our questions. If you want to know more about her, please visit her website, and for more info about the series, check out the new House of Comarré website. You can also read our (well, Maja’s) review of Blood Rights here.

And now to the giveaway: we have decided to give away two copies of Blood Rights, book 1 of the series. The giveaway is international (anywhere The Book Depository ships), as always. The usual rules apply. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible. The giveaway will end on Sunday, January 29, 2012.

Good luck, lovelies.

Your Euro team,

Maja & Lisa

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Awesome giveaway! I just heard about this series a few days ago, so it's pretty great that you're giving the first book away in a giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Thank you so much for making it international!! This is awesome!

  3. i've heard a lot about this serie but i haven't had the opportunity to get it so thanks you for this opportunity to win it

    all the best

  4. This was a wonderful interview Maja and Lisa. Those covers are certainly gorgeous, as are all Nekro's covers.
    I can see the author's point about wanting the opportunity to try different "flavors" if you've only ever been offered one (I sure enjoyed my share of hot fudge and sprinkles before I chose just one), but when you bring that third party into the equation, it pretty much does create a "love triangle"
    I haven't read Blood Rights yet, but it sounds fantastic!

  5. Great interview ladies! I can't wait to get this one started in a few weeks. I adore the covers Nekro creates he's amazing!

  6. I have been interested in this series! Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Interesting interview! I also love the covers on this series, so unique!

  7. Nice! I really enjoyed this series! Awesome giveaway!


  8. Awesome contest and I can't wait to read this series!! The covers are amazing!!


  9. Poor dad, he wanted to be immortal through his fictional character ;o). I understand him completely.
    What an incredible giveaway. I'm absolutely in love with these books and their covers too!
    Thanks and please count me in :o).

  10. Great giveaway!

    I was thinking about ordering them soon.

  11. This is such an awesome series! I cannot wait for the next two books!

  12. This is totally right up my alley! Wonderful post and giveaway! And ps - Maja, I am loooooving The Space Between.

  13. They look awesome:)

  14. trying to figure out how to follow a blog, maybe someone can explain I have been having a hard time figuring that out *embarrassed* I'm going to try though. This series looks AWESOME I really want to read it!! the covers are also great!

  15. Great interview, I have been looking forward to reading this series for a while! I love how all three books were released within a span of a few months. It makes the wait for the next installment much more bearable:)
    Thanks for the generous giveaway!

    Oh, and I am full believer in trying the hot fudge and sprinkles:)

  16. This looks so awesome! The cover is simply gorgeous!

    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads

  17. thanks for a great interview and giveaway!!!

  18. What a lovely interview! This series has been on my TBR pile for way too long now. I really must get round to these books soon! :)

  19. Ooh, giveaway! This book has been on my to read list for quite some time... M
    Maybe it's about time to bump it up.

  20. The book does sound fascinating. Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Wow, these look amazing! Thanx for the opportunity!!!!

    Blythes & Books!

  22. Nice giveaway! I hadn't heard of these book until another friend showed me the website for the cover artists work. Then I read one of your reviews for the book and wanted to read them! Thanks :)

  23. Congrats on the awesome interview/giveaway!
    *fingers crossed* :D

  24. Wonderful covers! I love that it's pretty consistent and the colors, oh my! Thank you so much for the giveaway. :)

  25. OH MY GOSH. I think these covers have to be some of my absolute favourites -- they're just SO GORGEOUS! <3 And writers who write stories that are impossible to put down are definitely ones that inspire me too. When I'm older, I want to be that author for a bunch of other people too! :)

    Awesome interview, guys! :) And thank you so much for the amazing giveaway too -- I can't wait!! <3

  26. Beautiful covers :) I love reading interviews! And I love givaways ;)

  27. Awesome interview! I love that Kristen said she set her books in the future so she could take artistic license with settings, etc.! I think that leaves so much room for good story! I can't wait to read this series and would love to win a copy of this book!! Thanks :)

  28. I actually haven't heard of this series but I'm interested now, great interview!


  29. I haven't heard of this series either but it sounds great.

  30. Hey, great interview! I've heard of this series before, but never really had an urge to pick it up. Thanks for the giveaway!


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