Interview with Karen Greco, author of Sin City Salvation
in Author Interviews, Fantasy, News
26 Nov 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Sin City Salvation?
Sin City Salvation is a prequel to my Hell’s Belle series. It’s set about a year before of the first book. It’s a glimpse into the backstory to Nina Martinez, who is a member of the vampire slaying team at Blood Ops, a top secret government agency that polices the supernatural. They keep the human population safe and in the dark.
Nina and her partner Frankie have been vampire slaying machines for the past several months. They finally get some downtime right before Christmas. So they hit Vegas. But just when they think they’re settling in for some R&R, the devil comes calling and he’s putting innocent humans in danger. Nina and Frankie are the only ones around who can stop him.
It’s a quick, thrilling (I hope!) read, that’s a great introduction to the series or, for fans, some awesome backstory that they can enjoy while I waiting for Book 4 in the series.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
My mom, definitely. She always encouraged me to be creative. She was an artist and writer herself. I was a huge fan of playing make believe when I was super little, which she encouraged. When I learned how to read and write, I started banging out poems and short stories on her old manual typewriter. I think I started simply because I just wanted to play with the typewriter. I ended up doing playwriting in college. Life took over and I stopped writing creatively for a long time. My day job is in media (journalism and PR) so I’ve been writing professionally for 20+ years, just a different sort of writing.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Oh boy, top 5. These are tough questions!
1. I am going to count the Harry Potter series as one. I think J.K. Rowling’s world building is tremendous and I loved how she grew the characters. It was a magical series in more ways than one.
2. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey checks a lot of boxes for me. Anti-hero, strange supernatural world that runs parallel to our own, seedy Hollywood locale, plus obscure film references. I enjoy the series but the first book is the one that I read again and again.
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This is one of those books you groaned through in high school but it remains one of my favorite books of all time. The windswept Moors, the cruel family, the forbidden love, the ghosts! Gothic romance is one of my favorite genres – writing one is on my “to do someday” list.
4. Which means that Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire has to be on here. She brought New Orleans alive for me.
5. Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic. She brought the New England locale (and finicky weather) alive, as well as the relationship between these two sisters. I thought it was a beautiful story about sisterhood, even more so than a story about witchcraft or falling in love. And, I’ll admit, I’d put the movie on in my Top 10 films list. (That said, it is so so different from the book itself!).
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I think it would have to be Nora Ephron. She is one of my favorite essayists. Sharp wit, funny, and she had an enviable career that spanned journalism in NYC to Hollywood. I’d love to hang out with her for a while. I wish I’d had the nerve to follow her career path when I was starting out.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
What’s NOT my favorite thing! I love going down the research rabbit hole, which as a writer can be so dangerous. Suddenly a whole day’s gone by and you have like 20 original words on the page! I love spending time with my characters, shaping them, making up their stories and sending them on their journey. My time spent writing is the most gratifying part of my day.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m up between 5 and 5.30, and I spend about 15 minutes with my planner/journal. I started using one a few months ago because I am juggling so many projects. It’s been amazing to kind of loosely plan my day out and it helps keep me focused on the big picture. After I sort that out, I am writing. By 6.15 I get my daughter up for school and then walk the dogs. I have about 20 minutes to read for pleasure/inspiration and then I take my daughter to school. I am back at my desk writing by 7:15. By 9:00 I am at the gym and then back to my desk between 10 & 10.30 for my day job. I squeeze in a little book marketing along with my day job throughout the day. My day job is still a lot of writing – whether I am working on an assigned story, or pitching stories for clients or myself, or writing press releases. Plus conference calls/meetings, etc. That’ll take me to 6 or so, sometimes later. I take a lot of courses, too, and squeeze those in at night, after I spend time with my family. My days are pretty long and jam-packed.
What scene in Sin City Salvation was your favorite to write?
Oh wow. My favorite, I think, was the Yule Ball. I had such fun thinking about what the Yule Ball would look like and then creating a winter-wonderland with just words…. I would love to go to the Yule Ball. Running a close second is the scene in the magic shop. There’s some ass-kicking that happens. Fight scenes still, to this day, remain some of my favorite things to write. There were also a few heart-wrenching moments – those took me by surprise.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I recently reconnected with an old middle school friend. He calls me Dori, because, like the fish in Finding Nemo, I have a terrible memory. (So much so that I didn’t remember him for a long while!) So, I think “just keep swimming” is apt. It’s what I do.
Karen Greco is the author of the new book Sin City Salvation
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