Sunday, November 4, 2012

Interview With Author Crissy Calhoun

Recently I got the chance to interview author Crissy Calhoun
who has written the 'Vampire Diaries: Love You to Death 
Companion' series as well as many other books. Click 'read more' to
read the interview and make sure if you're 
a fan of the show you pick up her latest installment for season 3,
which you can purchase here

1. Everyone knows The Vampire Diaries has a very devoted fan base. Why do you think so many people are able to connect with the show the way they do?

Good question! I think the first thing that sucks people in is how straight-up entertaining the series is. It's a lot of fun to watch — it's scary, funny, fast-moving, romantic, it looks great, and is so well put together. Then the stories and characters do something a little unexpected: they resonate in a very real and human way. Their experiences in Mystic Falls are relatable, and TVD is very good at emotionally manipulating its audience — and I mean that in a good way.  

2. What has been the reaction like to your 'Love You to Death' series so far?

It's been really wonderful. Because TVD's fans are so closely connected to the show, they have been receptive to Love You to Death, which basically dives back into the episodes that we all loved so dearly and tries to shed some light on the why while providing insight into the storyworld of TVD and the making of the series. I love hearing from readers, reading reader reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, and finding out which parts of the book work best.

3. Do you have a favorite episode of The Vampire Diaries, and why is it your favorite?

Ah! Too hard to choose just one. How about some of my favorites? In season 1, I love "Let the Right One In" — everything is just so intense. Season 2, "Plan B" — an underrated gem, in my opinion. Season 3, "The End of the Affair" or "The Reckoning" — both just floored me. And this season, "Memorial" is by far my favorite so far.

4. What character on the show would you say you're able to relate to the most?
Klaus. Just kidding... it's a tough question, there isn't really one that I am think I'm similar personality-wise, or in terms of circumstances. Each character has had a moment where I'm just like, "Yes, me tooooo." And I think that's part of the beauty of TVD.

5. What has been the creative process like for creating each of the 'Love You to Death Companions'? 
Well, I start by mapping out the 'extras' that I hope to write about for each episode. Then I get to watching and making extensive notes and researching. There are always books and movies to read and watch for the episode title explanations. I spend a lot of time mapping out the episodes, so I don't keep talking about the same themes or characters episode after episode. I try to be fair about the "compelling moments" and spread them out across characters! My process involves a lot of rough, sketching things in over months, and then a furious period of writing and editing and rewriting to polish, polish, polish. 

6. How did you get your start in the writing field?
In grade 2, I won a short story award .... Actually, I work at a publishing house as an editor, and sometimes manuscripts involve a lot of rewriting. So I gained confidence as a writer by editing. I worked on a number of TV show companion guides, and got to know the form and what works and what doesn't.  Then I pitched a book on the first two seasons of Gossip Girl, and my first book, Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl, was published in September 2009

7. You must have talked with quite a few fans over the years. Do you have any particular fan interaction that stand out in your mind and if you do, why?

I just love meeting people who I've become friends with on Twitter. It is just the best. I've gone to a couple of TVD conventions, to Comic-Con, and to Fan Expo here in Toronto, and meeting the people who I chat with on Twitter or who comment on my posts, or who've read my book — it's just really cool. 

Actually there is one funny moment: at the Chicago TVD convention last spring, my friends and I grabbed seats for one of the Q&As, and then the stranger sitting next to me pulled the first Love You to Death out of her bag. I don't know why but it totally shocked me — my book out in the world! So I said, "hey, I wrote that!" and then she was the one who was surprised. There's usually a distance between a writer and a reader, so it was awesome to be sitting right next to her. 

8. What would you say has been the biggest challenge in writing the 'Love You to Death' series?
When I read pop culture books, I don't want a fluffy, phone-it-in to cash in book — I want insight and depth. I think these topics deserve just as high a level of thoughtfulness as a book on more 'serious' subjects. That's what I'm always aiming for. To give the series the consideration it gives us as viewers. So that's my driving goal. But the biggest challenge is the usual: actually getting down to it and working. It takes a lot of time, and sometimes I am just like a bratty kid. I don't wanna. 

9. Are you working on any other projects at the moment or plan to in the near future?

I also write books with writing partner, Jen Knoch — we write as Liv Spencer. And as Liv, Jen and I are working on two projects actually, one for this spring and one for the following fall. Not announced just yet, but we'll be blogging about them at fairly soon! 

And I would love to write a Love You to Death — Season 4, but it's a little early yet for a decision from my publisher on that. Depends on how Love You to Death — Season 3 fairs out there. So anyone out there thinking about posting a review on Amazon or B&N or wherever, please do! All the reviews, tweeting, 'like'-ing, etc., helps so much!   

10. Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans out there?
Just thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so proud to be a part of the TVD family and to be writing for every week. Thanks for the encouraging words and for supporting me. Love you to death! xoxo

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