Interview with Cristelle Comby, author of Hostile Takeover
07 Aug 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Hostile Takeover?
Hostile Takeover is the first book in my series, Vale Investigation. The main idea behind it is the following: What if all the mythologies you’ve ever heard of… all the gods, monsters, legends, you were told about as kid…were real. And what if each book of the series could incorporates lore from a different mythology.
The hero of the story is PI Bellamy Vale. Aside from his regular job as a gumshoe, he moonlights as Death’s envoy on Earth. The job sucks (sometimes literally), but it has great health benefits.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
From an early age, I’ve always loved writing, and it came very naturally. It’s a great way to express myself.
I’ve been influenced by everything I’ve read growing up and the many series and films I watch on TV.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite. I love the myriad of characters and eras, and how every story feeds into the next — it’s such a brilliant concept. And the writing is superb.
Any book of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher could also be on the list. If I really had to pick one, it would be Blood Rites, because Thomas Wraith is one of my favorite and he plays a large part in this story. Overall, it’s a gem of a series. It’s got great character evolution and amazing worldbuilding. And just the right kind of dry humor that I love, and… a talking skull named Bob.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: I must have read that one at least three or four times now. It’s fun and inventive, and I’m laughing every time. Marvin, the depressed Android is by my favorite part of that silly slice of universe.
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. This is so not the genre of story that I normally read. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I ended up with this short novel in my hands, but I’m really glad I did. It’s so poetic and lovely and it touches me as few books have.
Stephen King’s IT is also something I’ll never forget. That book left quite an impression when I first read it, mostly because I was way too young for it. I re-read it once or twice since, and I have to say it’s a brilliant story. I love how the action is split in two with the childhood-era and the adult-era, and you get to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Oh boy, that would be something. I don’t know what I would like to do to start with: an all-female special, or a fantasy feast?
Regardless, someone I would love to have on the show is Jim Butcher. He’s a long-time favorite of mine, and my first question would probably be “What’s taking you so long, man?”
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love giving life to new characters and seeing them evolve and mature. Sometimes, they even surprise me and turn out to be way more interesting and complex than I thought. Or more fun.
What is a typical day like for you?
I have a day job in an office, so I’m up at dawn and I go to work. I get back home in the evening and relax and maybe write a little, if I’m not too tired. But most of my writing is done on the weekends and during the holidays.
What scene in Hostile Takeover was your favorite to write?
PI Bellamy Vale has nicknamed Death, Lady McDeath. The scenes they have together are my favorites; they’re super fun to write. Lady McDeath has a peculiar behavior to say the least and a skewed perspective. She follows her own set of rules. Vale has a tendency to forget that, and he talks to her as if she was a regular person and expects her to behave as such. That never ends well for him
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I don’t like having regrets or having people think I let them down. So I just try to be the best I can be and to do what feels right. I want to always be able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning.
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