Book Nerd Interview
Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusadeseries co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest beingViolet 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.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian and a writer.
What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?
The three books that impacted me the most were: Snow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard, The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey, and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Three more different books couldn’t exist. Snow Dog is about a dog learning to live in the wild who later finds friendship with a man. The Lone Star Ranger is about an outlaw who goes undercover inside a crime gang as a Texas Ranger in the old west, and Dracula is about a group of people struggling to save a young woman from the vampire who has marked her as his own. They all taught me something wonderful about point-of-view and helped inspire me to become a writer.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
It’s okay to fail, but if you want to succeed you have to pick yourself up and try again.
Have you ever used contemporary events or stories in your work?
I have certainly used historical events in my stories, but I tend not to use too many contemporary events because you run the risk of dating the book too much.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Keep writing! Finish your first book, short story, poem, etc. and move on to the second. The key is to keep writing (not revising). You learn incredibly fast by doing complete projects one after another.
For those who are unfamiliar with your series; Kiss Trilogy, how would you introduce it?
It’s an epic tale of a war between good and evil with humans and vampires on both sides of the battle. More than that, though, it’s an intensely personal story of redemption for a vampire who was cursed during the time of the Crusades and a time of revelation for the human woman who is falling in love with him.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
This book series is a labor of love for me. In high school I read Dracula and loved it. The struggle between good and evil is very real and very heartbreaking as seen through the eyes of several different people. In college I began to read a lot more vampire fiction and I quickly became frustrated that there were no solid Christian characters represented in that fiction. Really, there’s a lack of Christian characters in most horror novels and films. It puzzled me because I had read and loved everything Frank Peretti wrote, particularly This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness which dealt with angels and demons and had its fair share of horror. I loved his novel Monster and its portrayal of a real Bigfoot and genetically manipulated creatures. The Bible is filled with tales of miracles, angels and demons and the supernatural in a real and present way. I wondered why when Christian characters were depicted in horror films or novels it was usually in a derogatory way such as people who had lost their faith. I decided I wanted to write a Christian vampire novel. It took years to make this series a reality, but it was worth it.
If you could introduce Raphael to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Van Helsing from Dracula. I’d love to see Raphael try to convince Van Helsing that he’s actually one of the good guys!
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Susan?
She loves food that has a lot of garlic in it.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I just wrapped up work on Kiss of Death, the second in the Kiss trilogy. Raphael’s sire, Gabriel, is the one featured on the cover for this second book! I’m also finishing up Beside Still Waters, the fourth in my Psalm 23 Mysteries.
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
John Carter!! I read the Tarzan books when I was a kid but I had never read any of the John Carter of Mars books. Clearly that was an oversight. The movie was great fun.
What scares you?
My own vivid imagination. I scare myself silly when writing scary scenes in books.
If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be?
I would want to be a werewolf. I dressed up as one for a couple different Halloweens when I was a kid. The great thing about being a werewolf is it only causes problems one day a month. Plus I’m a huge animal lover and I had a hybrid wolf when I was younger so that definitely has an impact on my choice.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
“Is Pepsi okay instead?”
I usually say “yes”, even though it’s really not. I’m a Coca Cola fan and can’t stand Pepsi. However, I often need the caffeine and so I choke it down.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There are just so many to choose from! Booklist named I Shall Not Want (#2 in my Psalm 23 Mysteries) as a Top 10 Inspirational Book of the Year when it came out. The day I first hit the NYT list was huge. Also there have been so many encounters with fans that have been incredibly special. One of the greatest moments was when a mom wrote to thank me for writing the Sweet Seasons series (The Summer of Cotton Candy, etc.) She said her daughter had been reading it and laughing and she asked her what was going on in the story. They ended up reading it together and discussing it for weeks. What made this so incredible was that she and her daughter had barely spoken to each other for two years. My books helped them find common ground again to rebuild their relationship. I nearly cried when I read that.
Where can readers stalk you?
Centuries ago, Raphael was a blasphemous knight who fought in the Crusades purely for his own mercenary benefit, and to satisfy his taste for killing. Now, condemned for his evil passions and hypocrisy, he wanders the earth a vampire, cursed with first-hand knowledge of the supernatural world he once denied existed. The powerful relic he still possesses from his days as a Crusader has been stolen by a rival vampire who has recruited an army of soulless underlings to aid him in spreading evil. At the time he learns this, Raphael has been hunting this vampire for nearly a century, and it seems the final battle is destined to take place in Prague.
For help in this quest, Raphael must enlist the aid of two humans, David and Susan, who suddenly find themselves immersed in a world they never imagined, entangled with supernatural forces they can't control. Susan, in particular, finds herself conflicted as she struggles with her inexplicable attraction to Raphael. In the end, both Susan and Raphael will be called upon to exercise courage and faith, and in the process, the question What would happen if a vampire truly accepted God? is answered.
Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie brings a new refreshing twist in the flooded vampire genre. The story follows vampire Raphael who seeks salvation for his sins. This unique plot naturally pulls the reader in and it just gets more difficult to put the book down as each page is turned. It is quite an exciting read about a vampire that is laced into Christian fiction. The characters are fun and full of personalities. The plot is truly gripping and when the end nears, you will wish that it didn’t.
The character development is brilliant. The flashback of Raphael’s past clearly shows why he was cursed to be a vampire. Debbie’s account of how people turn into vampires is quite different and unique from most vampire tales. The meeting of Raphael and Susan is truly remarkable. It was as if they were meant to find and help each other. The barred feel of the magnetism between them kept my interests high. Debbie’s writing style is brilliant, unparalleled, and on point. It feels like you are there with the characters.
Debbie’s concept of how a person becomes a vampire is truly fascinating. The flow of the writing and how the plot plays from beginning to end is brilliantly crafted. Very fascinating blend of romance, adventure, paranormal, and history. It kept my mind bursting with imagination with its authority and mystery. This very fast-paced, full-of-action, adventure is captivating. I never wanted the book to end but I was devastated when the last page appeared. Nevertheless, with such a huge cliffhanger, it only means a sequel is nearing.
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