I am excited to welcome the fabulous writing team of Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié. The second novel in their Crusade series, Damned, releases next week!
There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….
Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question.
Jenn, the newly appointed Hunter, aches for revenge against the Cursed One who converted her sister. And with an even more sinister power on the rise, she must overcome her personal vendettas to lead her team into battle.
Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a signed copy of Crusade and Damned to one lucky winner.
For those of my readers unfamiliar with Crusade, can you give us a brief look at the premise for the story and what readers can look forward to in Damned?
Debbie: Crusade is set in a world where vampires have come out of the coffin and taken over the world. Governments have fallen to them and only small bands of freedom fighters are left t try and save the world. In Damned our heroes find their backs pressed even harder to the wall as they struggle with who to trust and the greater implications of their actions. New allies are discovered and old ones lost.
Nancy: In the world of Crusade, the vampires declared war on the human race…and they’ve won We used the basic history and situations of World War II to pattern our story. Some humans try to make friends with the vampires in order to be spared. Our vampire hunters, who were trained at an academy at the University of Salamanca, have formed a team to fight back–much like the Resistance in World War II. The problem is, they don’t get along with each other and they don’t trust each other. The result has been some spectacular failed missions.
In Damned, as the vampires gain more and more power, the stakes are raised. With even more on the line, Jenn Leitner and her fighting partner, Antonio de la Cruz, as well as the entire team–Eriko, Holgar, Skye, and Jamie–step up their game. And so do the vampires.
Was there any particular legend or mythology that you came across that was the root of inspiration for your Cursed Ones that was used more than others or was there a wide source?
Debbie: We went a little more old school with our vampires as far as mythology goes. We then created some of our own. For example, our vampires are known as Cursed Ones and they have their own religion different from that of human religions. We also drew on many religious traditions from across the globe for this story and tales of the resistance fighters who lived through World War II.
Nancy: Our vampires are evil. Even the good one is evil. That’s all I’m sayin’.
What was your inspiration when you created your characters and the worlds they live in? How did you determine how they were going to interact with each other? Are any of your characters modeled off anyone you know?
Debbie: We wanted characters who represented many cultures and faiths to show that this was truly a global war against the darkness. We knew that we wanted a there to be love between Jenn, the leader, and Antonio, the only known good vampire. Also we liked the idea of pairing a witch up with a werewolf as fighting partners. They are very similar in some ways and completely opposite in others. The two characters who are driven by the need for some sort of revenge/justice we also paired up together as fighting partners because their focus helps drive each other. None of them are modeled off anyone we know.
Nancy: We wrote a short story titled “Passing” in which we introduced the characters. We did a bit of tweaking when we expanded that story/world into a trilogy. This is a world-wide battle against the vampires, and we wanted to show that with our characters. None of them are modeled off anyone, but as writers we collect mannerisms, appearances, etc., and synthesize what we see in real life.
By the way, “Passing” is available in e-formats on bn.com, amazon.com, and other venues including Smashwords. The addy for Smashwords is https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/64648 .
Why Jenn, Skye, Antonio, Eriko, Jamie and Holgar? What was it about these six characters that drew you to them and want to tell their story?
Debbie: Holgar, the werewolf is the most elemental creature/person of the group but we wanted to show the great bonds of loyalty and love that wolves feel through him. We also highlighted his sense of humor and it made him my favorite character .Nancy lived in Japan for three years when she was young and we wanted a chance to showcase some of that experience and that culture through Eriko.
Nancy: YoungER. LOL. As we mentioned, we wanted to show the epic nature of the war, and we wanted each character to have his or her own agenda. By the way, in Damned, we mix it up with new additions to the team…and subtractions.
You often switch POVs within Crusade and Damned, but Jenn still seems to be the main focal character. Will the other teammates get a chance in the spotlight or will they always be supporting Jenn?
Debbie: Every character is the hero of his own story. Jenn is the one we focus on the most but the other characters all get large chunks devoted to them, especially in Damned and the third book, Vanquished.
Nancy: I love what Debbie just said. I’m going with that.
Have you always had an idea as to where the series/novel is going? Do you know where it is going or is the storyline evolving as you write?
Debbie: We’ve always known how it’s going to end. That doesn’t mean that things might not surprise us. Occasionally things will evolve to the point where we have to change something we had planned. I will tell you that we’ve already made changes to our original plan for Skye.
Nancy: We both love Skye a lot. But of course, we’re witchy girls. We wrote 5 novels about witches in our Wicked series. We have had some surprises already. That’s one of the best things about writing with a partner–one of you will think up something new and the other will riff off it. Sometimes we think of the same tweak or revision and that’s just freaky (and fun!)
What kind of reading experience are you hoping to create for your readers? What do you want them to come away from your books saying, thinking, and feeling?
Debbie: I always want my readers to be entertained. During this series I also want them to feel fear, despair, joy, and love. I want the readers to feel what the characters feel.
Nancy: I want to take them on a long, involved journey (actually, several) and to go through all the highs and lows that the characters go through. I want to put them in a world that’s not this world.
Does your mood ever affect the direction that your stories take?
Debbie: Not really. Usually if I’m experiencing intense emotions myself (sorrow or joy) I have a hard time writing. I tend to do my best work when I’m feeling a little more balanced.
Nancy: I organize my music playlists according to what scenes I’m working on. That helps me focus my mood on where I need to be emotionally. I used to be a ballet dancer and music affects me deeply.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading? Have you found an author that’s new to you or one that the rest of the world really needs to find? Is there a certain niche in the fantasy genre that you prefer to escape to? If so, why that one or if not, why not?
Debbie: I don’t have much time to read any more although when I do it’s usually one of Nancy’s or a book by one of my other writer friends.
Nancy: Debs, of course! I love Chris Marie Green in all her guises–I can’t want to start Bloodlands, which she is writing as Christine Cody. I also teach in an MFA program, and I’ve got some rockin’ students this semester. I love reading their work.
What was it about the fantasy genre that drew you to write in it? Was there a certain book that captured your imagination and lead you to think you could do it or did it come to your naturally?
Debbie: I love the possibility in the genre. You’re only hindered by the limits of your own imagination. I think it came pretty naturally to me. I was an only child and after I spent time playing with my toys I would often then write down the story that I had just acted out and they were always fantastical.
Nancy: It seems like it’s the real world to me, for starters. I love fantasy, horror, SF–all the speculative genres. A wise writer once told me, “It’s not write what you know. It’s write what you love.” Every aspiring author should go to his/her bookshelves and write what they’re reading.
Nancy Holder is an American writer and the author of several novels, including numerous tie-in books based on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s also written fiction related to several other science fiction and fantasy shows, including Angel and Smallville.
Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy. When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks. They live in Florida with their cat, Shrödinger.
Website: nancyholder.com / debbieviguie.com
Blog: Nancy’s blog / Debbie’s blog
Social Media: Nancy’s Facebook & Twitter / Debbie’s Facebook & Twitter
Want to purchase Nancy and Debbie’s novel?
- Wicked: Witch & Curse at Amazon or the Book Depository (omnibus)
- Wicked 2: Legacy & Spellbound at Amazon or the Book Depository (omnibus)
- Passing at Amazon (originally found in the Eternal Kiss anthology)
- Crusade at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Damned at Amazon or the Book Depository
Wolf Springs Chronicles
- Unleashed at Amazon or the Book Depository (November 2011)
Thank you Nancy and Debbie for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Contest Time! Nancy and Debbie are giving away a signed copy of Crusade and Damned. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Who are you looking forward to seeing more of – Jenn, Skye, Antonio, Eriko, Jamie and Holgar? Or if you haven’t read Crusade yet (why not?), which character are you interested in meeting? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the authors by sharing this interview, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until August 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.
The character I am looking forward to reading would have to be….
scratch here ?????????????? to reveal the answer…
It would have to be Skye, because I think there is more to her than what the other characers know :)
Great interview. I really liked Crusade. And cant wait to read Damned.
And for which I am looking forward too, right now its still early in the series so all of them.
bacchus76 at myself dot com
Thank you for this give away !!
I LOVE THIS SERIES !! the character for which I am looking forward to is Jamie !