Lucienne Diver is the author of the novel, Vamped (May 1, 2009). You can visit Lucienne at her website here.
Kelsey, thanks so much for asking me to guest blog! I first want to say that I love your blog title! Reading certainly has kept me sane. (Well, I think so anyway. Others may beg to differ.) I don’t know how I would have survived childhood without the chance to escape into a good book and have daring adventures through the eyes of others. It’s not that my childhood was so terrible, mind you! My family was wonderful, but I grew up a very severe asthmatic, in and out of the hospital all the time. Well, let me tell you, hospitals are not terribly happening places. The nurses are nice, but they can’t exactly spend the day entertaining you and the television only gets four lousy channels, half of them news. So books were truly a godsend.
I don’t know when I first started creating stories of my own. It might have been one of the many times I was punished for fighting with my sister, forced to sit staring at the wall until I apologized. I’m remarkably stubborn and, of course, in my mind she’d started it. My punishments tended to go on for hours. (My father was equally stubborn.) With nothing else to do, my mind wandered, naturally down the paths of fiction and daring do.
I didn’t exactly sit down to write Vamped, though I’m certainly glad I did! One day my heroine, Gina Covello, began talking in my head and nothing I could do would banish her. I tried giving her a short story. She wanted more. So I gave her a novel. Nope, not enough. A series? Well, she’ll be satisfied with that…for now. Funny that I write characters who out-stubborn me. Anyway, that was how Vamped came to be. For my sanity I had to give myself over to the whims of my character. If I hadn’t, she’d have haunted me until the end of my days.
When Gina was just a glimmer in my eye, her story was called “Unlife Stye,” since she’s a teen fashionista on whom I visit true horror in the form of eternity without tanning options or any reflection with which to fix her hair and make-up. But my agent didn’t love it, and I didn’t blame her. I played around with all kinds of awful puns (Stake Your Life, Biter Babe, etc.) and finally settled on Vamped. Though, looking back, I kinda like Biter Babe. Hmm, maybe for Book 3? (Book 2, Revamped, will be out in 2010).
My agent actually came up with the great tagline used on the cover, “Eternity needs an entourage.” Oh, and that cover! Gina would be so proud. It’s fabulous! It’s funny, people compliment it all the time and I say, “Thank you!” of course, but I actually had nothing at all to do with it. My wonderful publisher, Flux, [Link:http://www.fluxnow.com/] did ask me for ideas, and I threw a bunch their way, send sample covers I would love mine to look at, like Rachel Vincent’s Rogue or Rosemary Clement-Moore’s wonderful Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil books, but in the end the cover they came up with was truly unique. I absolutely adore it! (My only thought on seeing it was that Gina would never go out in public with those nails – too stubby! Then I realized that she’d just clawed her own way out of the grave, so she’d probably cut herself some slack.)
Anyway, I hope all those reading it have as much fun as I did writing it! If so, I’d love for you to give me a shout out via my website: www.luciennediver.com. Thanks!