Friday, November 13, 2020

Chloe Neill Interview - The Bright and Breaking Sea

Photo Credit: Dana Damewood

Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Captain Kit Brightling, Heirs of Chicagoland, Chicagoland Vampires, Devil’s Isle, and Dark Elite novels. She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest, where she lives with her gamer husband and their bosses/dogs, Baxter and Scout. Chloe is a voracious reader and obsessive Maker of Things; the crafting rotation currently involves baking and quilting. She believes she is exceedingly witty; her husband has been known to disagree.

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency and is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Greatest thing you learned at school.
That’s an easy one – how to type! Learning to touch type on an ancient IBM typewriter set me up for college and for being a writer. My brain moves very quickly, and I need to be able to type fast to keep up, especially since I usually write two books a year.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I’ve always had creative hobbies, but didn’t start writing until after my divorce in 2005. Reading became my therapy, and when I ran out of things to read (this was pre-Kindle and self-pub!), I decided I’d try to write something. SOME GIRLS BITE (CV1) was the second manuscript I wrote. The first one was . . . not good.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There are many, but probably being treated like a peer by authors I love to read and have looked up to.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently editing SHADOWED STEEL, the third Heirs of Chicagoland novel. After that, I’ll get back to editing the second Captain Kit Brightling novel. I’ve got more than enough work for the rest of the year. :D

If you could work for anyone you choose, who would it be?
I have a dayjob, and love it. So I’d do exactly what I already do. But I wouldn’t mind more hours in the day. J 

In your newest book, THE BRIGHT AND BREAKING SEA (Captain Kit Brightling #1); can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
Kit Brightling is captain of the beautiful and speedy Diana, and a woman trusted by the queen herself. When the queen gives her a dangerous mission--rescuing a missing spy—she’s ready action, at least until she learns the queen is sending an aristocrat with her—Viscount Rian Grant. But if they’re to complete their mission and prepare for the threatening war, they’ll have to work together.

This is one my favorite scenes, in which Kit introduces Rian Grant to the Diana’s chef:

“This is Cook,” Kit said.

The man grunted.

Grant nodded. “Mr. Cook.”

“Not Mr. Cook,” he said flatly, as if repeating a phrase he’d said too many times to bother enunciating. “Just Cook. If we’re to be the mindless tools of a monarchy, we might as well give ourselves the names of those tools, aye? Might as well pretend to be the instruments of power and control.”

“Cook is of a political bent,” Kit said.

Cook snorted. “We’d all be political if we had the sense the gods gave a turnip. But not all of us are so gifted.” He shoved wood into the stove from a small basket, then tossed in shavings and flicked in a spark from the tip of a flint. When the fire was lit, he closed the door again and rose, dusted off his hands. “Nothing wrong with a day’s work, is there? With being a common man, a plebian man, working with his fingers and his muscles and his brains?”

“We’re all workers here,” Kit said.

Cook snorted, gave Grant a look. “Who’re you?”



“Colonel,” Grant said.

“Viscount,” Kit corrected, and actually saw Grant’s jaw clench.

Cook clucked his tongue. “Beau Monde, eh? More’s the pity, as you won’t be finding any aspics here. No towers of candied partridges or fricasseed whale, or whatever your kind eat.”

“Not candied partridges or fricasseed whale,” Grant said.

“Well, good then.” Cook narrowed his eyes, then waved his hand in dismissal. “Get out of my light.”

  • 1. Kit’s ship, the Diana, is based on the Pride of Baltimore II, an American topsail schooner.
  • 2. Kit is a foundling, and was raised by her adoptive mother, Hetta Brightling, at Brightling House, a home where orphaned girls and young women can be educated and trained in whatever arts they choose—including swordplay and chemistry.
  • 3. The first draft included lots of scenes from Rian’s point of view. We ended up taking those out, as they reduced the romantic tension. Better not to know exactly what he’s thinking. J
  • 4. Kit Brightling’s New London, and the world in which she lives, is loosely based on the Napoleonic war era--but with magic, more sarcasm, and female ship captains.
  • 5. Each of my books needs a symbolic food. For Kit, it’s her favorite candy, pistachio nougats. Which sound disgusting to me.
  • 6. Kit’s sister and best friend, Jane, is a brilliant scientist who’s already making money from her inventions.
  • 7. Once upon a time, a member of the Diana’s crew stole a scepter from Queen Charlotte. But he put it back; he mostly wanted to see if he could do it.
  • 8. I did an insane amount of research on sailing, sails, and tallships in preparation for the book. It’s incredibly complicated!
  • 9. The house at the Grant estate is based on Antony House in Cornwall in the UK.
  • 10. Photos of coastal Iceland are one of my biggest inspirations in writing this series. They’re so beautiful, and spark my naval imagination.
What is the first job you have had?
Softball field concession stand!

Best date you've ever had?

A catch-up dinner with an old friend who’s now my husband. He says it wasn’t a date. I say it was.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I have very vivid dreams, and it can be hard to fall asleep. But I’ve found that if I try to remember the details of what I dreamed about the night before, it puts me right to sleep.

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I have nightmares all the time. The worst ones are when I wake up still feeling sad or scared.

What event in your life would make a good movie?

That time I was a presidential campaign volunteer and didn’t recognize a very important Washington DC insider when he asked for access to a secure floor. I demanded he show me his identification. It was awkward.

Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery.

Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles' Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte's fleet. Her ship is small, but she's fast--in part because of Kit's magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for.

Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn't know him or his motives--and she's dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who's been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia.

Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall....

You can purchase The Bright and Breaking Sea at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHLOE NEILL for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill.


  1. My husband, daughter and son. Thank you

  2. "If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 people you would want with you?" Chef, plumber, general dogsbody.