Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Chris Mooney Interview - Blood World

Photo Content from Chris Mooney

Hailed as “one of the best thriller writers working today” by Lee Child and “a wonderful writer” by Michael Connelly, Chris Mooney is the international bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently, The Snow Girls. His fourth book, The Missing, the first in the Darby McCormick series, was a main selection of the International Book of the Month Club and an instant bestseller in over thirteen countries. The Mystery Writer’s Association nominated Chris’s third book, Remembering Sarah, for an Edgar Award for Best Novel. Foreign rights to his novels have been sold to twenty-eight territories. He has sold nearly two million copies of his books.

Chris teaches writing courses at Harvard and the Harvard Extension School, and lives in the Boston area with his wife and son. His new novel, Blood World, will be released in August of 2020.


What inspired you to pen your first novel?
When I was around eleven or twelve, I saw a movie trailer for The Shining – and it scared the crap out of me. I’d never seen anything like it. I begged my parents to take me to see it – the movie was rated R – and they ended up seeing it first, and my mother said to me, “There’s no way in hell you’re seeing that movie.” I had a feeling that might happen, so I did some research and found out it was based on a book. I got my hands on a copy of The Shining, and I couldn’t put it down – I read whole book late into the night. The feeling I had when I finished – you know the feeling I’m talking about, where when you’re reading you’re so absorbed in the story and you simply can’t put it down – that’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and to write those types of books – the ones that grab you by the throat and make the real world and all of its problems disappear because you’re so absorbed in the story.

Tell us your latest news.
At the moment, it’s all about promoting Blood World. There’s this huge trend going on – especially in Silicon Valley – where people are trying to find the fountain of youth. I was reading a lot about people who undergo blood transfusions from donors who are much, much younger and healthier. They believe this new, fresh blood will make them feel better, maybe even prolong their lives. So, I took that idea one step further: what if that actually could happen today, right now, in modern society? What if there was this blood that could not only cure illness but erase wrinkles, firm up muscles and give you unlimited energy? What if you could look not only ten years younger but feel stronger and more powerful, and eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and not gain a single pound? Then it became, well, how far are you willing to go to get your hands on that type of blood?

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
In terms of storytelling styles, Stephen King, Thomas Harris and James Lee Burke have been major influences. There’s also James Patterson, Gregg Hurwitz, Michael Connelly and John Connolly. I try to read everything I can get my hands on, really.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Reader response, no question. I have readers all around the world, and I love hearing about how one of my books got them through tough times or took them away from their daily life for just a few hours. I love hearing from my readers, getting to know them, interacting with them. I love being known as the type of writer that, once you pick up one of my books, you won’t be able to put it down.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want to create that rare feeling we get when we read a great book or see an awesome TV series – that feeling where you get so wrapped up in the story and the characters that you say, “I’m going to read just another chapter or watch for just five more minutes. When you pick up Blood World, I want the world around you to disappear. I want you to miss your bus stop and I want your three-hour plane ride or drive to feel like ten minutes because you’re so invested in the story and the characters. I want you to go to bed at a night and say, “I’m only going to read one chapter,” and you end up reading five or ten more because you can’t put it down.

In your new book, BLOOD WORLD, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Blood World is a crime novel/thriller set, maybe, five years from now, where scientists have discovered that certain people called “carriers” have a gene that keeps their blood – and body – in optimum condition, whether that be fighting off disease or keeping them looking young and healthy. When scientists give non-carriers a transfusion of carrier blood mixed with a certain drug cocktail, the blood not only cures disease, it reverses aging, smooths out your skin, and gives you a ton of energy and the sex life of your dreams. When my book opens up, we’re in Los Angeles, where carriers are being abducted in record numbers from their homes, schools, on the streets, and imprisoned in these secretive blood farms. Their blood is sold to the rich and powerful. My guy, Sebastian, has the best blood on the market. It’s called Pandora, and it’s in high demand. LAPD badly wants to find out the person or group behind it. My other main character, Ellie Batista, is a young policewoman who goes undercover because she’s the only one who has a possible lead on Pandora. It’s a straight-up, page-turning crime thriller.

  • 1. Once you start, you won’t be able to put it down.
  • 2. You will get hooked on the first chapter.
  • 3. The first chapter contains a scene so shocking my agent begged me not to send it to my editor.
  • 4. I sent the chapter to my editor, who loved it – and wanted more.
  • 5. It’s based on real science (with a slight fictional twist). Yes, there are people (crazy rich people) who believe that getting blood transfusions with “young blood” will help them live longer, sleep better – look better.
  • 6. You will fall in love with Ellie, the undercover cop.
  • 7. You will end up really, really liking the main bad guy, Sebastian.
  • 8. There’s another bad guy who is the worst villain I’ve ever created – and I’ve written a lot of villains, so that’s saying something.
  • 9. This is a book for fans of Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, and Lee Child.
  • 10. It’s a standalone book. You don’t have to read any other book I wrote, but when you finish Blood World, you’ll want to read one of my others. You can see the list at chrismooneybooks.com.
What part of Ellie did you enjoy writing the most?
I love writing strong female characters. I keep going back to them, whether it be Ellie or my series character, Darby McCormick. Maybe it’s because I’m married to a woman who has a very strong sense of self; who is very intelligent and committed to getting things done. I have a lot of people like that in my life, which is great, and I’m always amazed at how these people find a way to solve the most complicated problems. Ellie is like that. She’s tough mentally and physically. You can’t break her.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
What a great question. I have a character I’ve written about over the years, this guy named Malcolm Fletcher who is not only the FBI’s top criminal profiler but also the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitive. I would love to put him and Hannibal Lecter in a room together since they’re a lot alike – although, I should say, Fletcher isn’t a cannibal.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know? 
There are 79 episodes of the original Star Trek TV show. Also, they did a pilot called “The Cage” that never made it to the air. When the show was recast with William Shatner as the captain, the footage from “The Cage” was later used for the episodes “The Menagerie, Part 1 and 2.” I’m a Star Trek geek. Also a Star Wars geek, a Stephen King geek – it’s a long list.

What did you do for your last birthday?
I worked. (laughs). I think it was right about the time I was approaching forty that I said, “I don’t want a party, I don’t really want to do anything, acknowledge it in any way.” Not a popular opinion, I know, but the older I get, the more depressing birthdays become. That said, my wife, who is an excellent cook, usually makes me something special, and that’s always great.

Best date you've ever had?
A good friend of mine from college asked me if I’d be willing to go on a blind date with a coworker of his. I thought about it for a moment and told myself, Nah, I’m not going to do that. But another part of me said, Why not? Who knows what will happen? I thought it would be a great idea to do something outside my comfort zone, so I said yes. And I’m glad I did. That’s how I met my wife. Best decision I ever made. We’ve been married almost twenty years.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
The problem I have is I’m usually thinking about way, way too much, which can make falling asleep very difficult. It’s hard to shut down that creative engine, so the first thing I do is to take a look back on the day and feel grateful. Then, to shut my brain down, I try to focus on something boring – like yard stuff. Planting, repairs, projects, what have you. That usually puts me to sleep quickly!

What is the craziest thing you have ever done? 
I was asked once by a friend who also happens to be Lee Child’s personal assistant if I would be an emergency stand-in for a Jack Reacher look-alike contest, at a huge conference, because some male model wasn’t going to be able to attend. I was going to have to get up in front of 2,000 people and be judged. I said yes – and fortunately, at the last minute, this male model made it, so I didn’t have to do it. Which was a good thing because about two hours before the event I was seriously wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into.

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
The same conference I mentioned above, Lee Child was the guest of honor. Dennis Lehane had written a speech for Lee but couldn’t make the conference and he asked me to read it – in front of thousands of people. I agreed, and I got the speech about an hour before the conference, and Dennis used a lot of colorful language, poked fun at me – it was a really funny speech, a lot of Boston-type humor, but I had no idea if the crowd was going to like it. And those first few lines I read – man, there was dead silence. Like you-can-hear-a-pin-drop silence. I decided to lean into it, and once people started laughing and loosening up, it went over really well. But there was a moment there when I honestly thought I was going to pass out.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer? 
When I sold my first book, a thriller called Deviant Ways, my agent told me to call my editor right away. “I want your editor to know you’re normal,” my agent said. I called, had a great conversation, and then, a few months later, I went to meet her at her office in New York. Key point: this was very early days of the Internet, where you couldn’t search for people online. My editor was there, along with another woman, the head of marketing, who, when she saw me enter the office, said, “Oh thank God, you’re normal looking.” I laughed and said, “What were you expecting?” The editor said, “Well, we all read your book, and it was very scary, so we weren’t too sure.”

Where can readers find you? 
Chrismooneybooks.com has all the latest up-to-date information. Sign up for my newsletter and you can get an exclusive prologue of Blood World that isn’t printed in the book (and, as an added bonus, incredibly embarrassing baby and childhood pictures that I share with my fans). You can also follow me on Twitter @cmooneybooks and on Facebook and Instagram @chrismooneybooks.

A drug that makes the blood of carriers a fountain of youth, a psychopath who doesn't care how many bodies he leaves in his wake, and an LAPD detective hopelessly compromised by a dark secret. Together, they're an explosive mix that's going to shatter the city of Los Angeles into a million corpuscles.

The most valuable commodity on earth is the blood of "carriers." These young people hold within them a virtual fountain of youth. Those with the right genes produce blood that, when treated with a new wonder drug, cures disease, increases power, and makes the recipient a virtual superman.

It also makes the carriers targets. Blood farms filled with kidnapped children spring up around the country, and Los Angeles is at the center of this blood-dealing world. The police are overwhelmed.

Ellie Bautista became an LAPD officer specifically to fight this evil as a member of the Blood Squad, but she has been consistently denied a transfer to the prestigious unit--until the day she and her partner are ambushed during a routine stop. The resulting events plunge her into an undercover world more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

A madman has found a way to increase the potency of the blood to levels previously unimagined. As he cuts a bloody swath through the already deadly world of blood cartels, Ellie is the only hope to stop him before the body count rises.

Praise for BLOOD WORLD

“…will keep readers on edge as they race…toward a satisfying cliff-hanger ending.” —Booklist Review

“[Mooney] maintains suspense throughout, and even engenders empathy for a bad guy.” —PW

“Violent, emotional, dark, gripping, imaginative…a wild ride for sure.” —Bookbub

“…a thrilling ride into the dark underbelly of the (fictional, thank God) Los Angeles blood trade.” —Game Vortex

You can purchase Blood World at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHRIS MOONEY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Blood World by Chris Mooney.


  1. I think everyone should throw a dinner party at least once in their lives. It makes you appreciate all the effort that goes into parties you've attended.

  2. I think everyone should have at least one child in their lives.

  3. "What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives." Go to a play.

  4. Everyone should visit the Holocaust Museum.

  5. Do something outside of your comfort zone.