It is my privilege to share an interview with CL Bledsoe. His newest book Bloody Sexy has just released, the sequel to the excellent The Necro-Files. If you love exciting urban fantasy/paranormal with some great humor, be sure to check out his books!
Tell me a little about the characters and the conflict in The Necro-Files: Bloody Sexy.
Bloody Sexy continues the adventures of Daisy Janney, a college freshman cum accidental badass hero in the supernatural world. Her friend, the vampire John Polidori, has become fed up with the way vampires are portrayed in popular movies and books, so he’s written a tell-all autobiography about his life as a vampire. Unfortunately, he’s sharing too many secrets, and some other vampires seem to want him to shut up about the truth. While this is going on, Daisy’s friend Nathan Venator, the protector of Baltimore, is busy tracking down a rogue serial killer who might just also be a vampire. And her mom’s got a new boyfriend. And her ex, Dave, has a new girlfriend who might just be a demon. And she’s got a major marketing project due. What’s a girl to do?
Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
The Necro-Files books are set in Baltimore, which is a very funky, artsy town. I describe it in Bloody Sexy as resembling the ruins of some magnificent city, but one in which people have continued to live. So one street is all cobblestones and elegant row houses I could never even afford to set foot in, and the next is all potholes and boarded-up buildings. Baltimore has an incredibly vibrant arts scene, from literature to music to graffiti to everything else. There’s a rock opera society, and, of course, regular opera. There are literary readings all the time, and sometimes people get naked to read their stories. Art galleries are more plentiful than Starbucks. That funkiness informs the novels a great deal.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from The Necro-Files?
Daisy learns a lot about the Council of Law in Bloody Sexy, but there are more mysteries than answers right now. She’s going to solve some of those mysteries about who these people are that seem to control the supernatural world and what their goals are. She’s going to learn more about her future role in this world. And she’s going to go camping and just maybe hook up in with a rock star.
On what level must writing succeed in order to resonate with a reader?
I think the most important element of story—or any kind of writing—is the element of joy. However it comes, the joy of discovery when a mystery is solved, the joy of wordplay, the joy of characters coming to life, the writer has to feel that joy in his/her story so that the reader can share in that joy. If there’s no joy—no fun—then the piece becomes boring. You’ve got to have fun with your writing or else no one will have fun reading it.
Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I’m weird. I must be, because I write in different genres. But the truth is, so do a lot of writers. I’ve published horror novels, urban fantasy, young adult, literary fiction, and poetry. My favorite is the one I’m working on right now. I started the Necro-Files books because I love urban fantasy, and I wanted to explore the genre, but with humor as well as ass-kicking and cool supernatural elements. Sometimes, I want to write action/adventure and horror and explore that. Sometimes, I want to write poetry. It’s all about exploring interesting ideas and characters; it’s all about having fun, as a writer, so the reader has fun.
What are some of your favorite characteristics of a good heroine? Do you have one from a book or movie you particularly like?
Daisy is sort of the opposite of a heroine in certain ways. She wasn’t born with mystical powers that make her the chosen one. She didn’t find some ancient talisman that gave her special powers. She’s just a college girl who was cursed by a witch, hunted by a demon, and crushed-on by a serial killing maybe-vampire. She has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she’s also loyal, brave, and intelligent. She thinks her way out of (and, okay, into) bad situations. She’s just trying to get through life and enjoy herself a little while she can.
You write funny stories. Do you think humor makes your books more or less compelling?
I think people write off “funny” as being somehow easier to write and less affecting, but it’s a lot easier to depress someone than to make them laugh. For comedy to work, it has to have teeth. Silliness can get a laugh, sure, but the real laughs, the big laughs, come from tragedy, weirdly enough—tragedy masked as comedy. Comedy is, really, a kind of hyper-honesty. This is the stuff that we, as readers, connect to, also. We laugh as a defense. We laugh because life is absurd and what else are you going to do? In the Necro-Files books, Daisy is dealing with a lot of horrible stuff, really. She’s entering a world that’s totally different than she thought, and it can be a hostile world, literally, full of demons and evil witches and serial killers, people (and not people) doing terrible things to each other, which really isn’t hugely different from the real world. But there’s joy in everything. Comedy is Daisy’s defense, and it’s also her salvation; she isn’t just laughing at the world, she’s laughing with it.
Check out these great titles by CL Bledsoe!
The Necro-Files: $7.50/Hr. + Curses
The Necro-Files Book One
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 48,492
Page Count: 218
Release Date: 3/8/2013
Ever wonder what happens after the hero kills the monster?
Daisy Janney just wanted to go to college next year like everybody else—get out of her mom’s house, go to some parties, maybe meet some cute guys. But when she finds out she has to pay for it herself, she has no choice but to get a job. Too bad no one wants her, not even the burger joint. Way to feel like a total loser.
Desperate, she takes the only job she can find—at Calvert Funeral Home. Putting makeup on dead people might not be glamorous, but at least dead people don’t complain. Too bad no one told her they wouldn’t always stay dead. Or that they weren’t always people.
One salt-covered, burnt witch later, Daisy finds herself the recipient of an evil curse. She’s got two weeks to figure out how to break it before she’s scheduled for dismemberment by an angry demon. And she hasn’t even gotten her first paycheck yet. She turns to an old boyfriend for help, but with finals coming up, and some weird guy stalking her who looks like Johnny Cash, she’s not sure there’s enough help on the planet for her kind of trouble…
Not all vampires suck.
Daisy Janney—college student, assistant mortician, and supernatural detective—is excited about her friend John Polidori’s new book, Bloody Sexy, the autobiography of his life as a vampire. But when someone attacks Polidori at the book reading, Daisy will have to figure out who’s after him on her own. There’s a killer on the loose, and Nathan Venator, the hero of Baltimore (although he looks more like a young Johnny Cash), has got his hands full tracking him down. If that wasn’t enough, it seems like everyone’s in a relationship except Daisy, even her mom. So when Daisy agrees to go on a date with someone who just might be the killer, she begins to wonder how she’s going to juggle her classes, her investigations, and her social life—all without winding up in the funeral home at which she works.
The sunflower farm was the most boring place on earth. Until weird things started happening…
What’s the most boring place in the world? The farm. After his mother’s death, Sol is sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle, but with no cell service and only an old dinosaur of a computer, Sol’s not sure how he’s going to survive. But his boredom is interrupted by strange sounds at night, the discovery of a mysterious cave, and stuff that starts to sound an awful lot like a bedtime story his mother used to tell him when he was small…that just might be true…