di Alexia Bianchini.
1) Hi Colleen, can you talk to us about you?
I live in the Midwest United States with my husband, three children, and three dogs. I have always loved to read and to write stories, ever since I was young. Some of my favorite past times are cooking (and eating!), reading, traveling, swimming and spending time with my family.
2) When did you discover the pleasure of reading and what is your favourite book?
I have always loved books. When I was younger, I read the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and then I read all of the Nancy Drew books, and whatever mysteries I could get my hands on. I love to read historical fiction and historical romance, which is why I love to write those kinds of books. I also like a good ghost story if it isn’t too scary. My favorite book is usually the book I’ve just finished writing!
3) Who are your favourite writers?
My favorite books are by J. D. Robb and Elizabeth Peters (who is also known as Barbara Michaels).
4) I read that you started to write late. Why?
I was writing stories when I was young, and I continued to write when I was in college and even when I started to work. I finished my first book about fifteen years ago, but I had to write eight more books before I found a publisher. My first book came out in 2007, but I had been writing books long before then. It just took time to find a publisher who liked what I was writing!
5) You write paranormal romance. Would you like to try other genres?
I really enjoy historical romance, too, without any vampires or anything like that, and I’ve already written a few books that are just historical romance. I have also written some adventure and suspense novels, and would like to write some more of them. I like to write a variety of things because that keeps my mind always working!
6) Can you tell us about the Gardella series?
The Gardella Vampire Chronicles are set in 1820, which is commonly known as the Regency era in England. Most people know of it as the time of Jane Austen. The series is about a woman who finds out she is a vampire hunter, and has to continue her family’s legacy of hunting vampires.
7) Who is your favourite character in The Gardella series, and why?
Victoria Gardella is probably my favorite character, because the series is about her, and about how she manages to balance her life as a secret vampire hunter, while at the same time, managing all of the expectations Society (and her family) have for her. She makes mistakes, she grows, and she finds love…more than once. 😉
8 ) Why did you choose Italy as a setting for this series? Have you ever visited our country?
I chose Italy as a setting because it made sense with my vampire mythology, and because there are so many fascinating historical elements in your country. My vampire hunters originated in Rome, because of the proximity to the Catholic Church, and they have their headquarters in the Roman catacombs. I recently visited Italy for the first time last October and loved every minute of it. I met so many wonderful people, and saw such beautiful countryside and architecture—and ate a lot of good food! I’m hoping to go back very soon.
9) Can you talk to us about The Envy Chronicles and The Regency Draculia?
The Envy Chronicles are a paranormal romance series that I write with the pseudonym Joss Ware. These books take place in Las Vegas fifty years after much of the earth and civilization are destroyed, and they are romance novels about the people living during that time. It’s a very fun, but dark, series because while there are elements of our world (pop culture, some technology, knowledge, buildings, etc.), it’s also almost like a historical setting because there isn’t any infrastructure. There are five men who accidentally travel back in time and find themselves in this world, and each of them realizes he has supernatural powers as well. Then they meet up with strong, sexy women who help them find their life in this different environment.
The Regency Draculia, which I believe will be released in Italy in late 2011, is a historical vampire series that is unrelated to the Gardella series. Although the settino is almost the same time period (just slightly earlier), the mythology of the vampires is different. In the new series, there are good and bad vampires, and they are the protagonists in the books. Each book features a vampire who has a romance with a mortal or another vampire. They are sexier and more romantic than the Gardellas.
11) Do you have a favourite time for writing?
I generally write my best work at night. Maybe that’s why I write about vampires! 😉
12) How was your passion for vampires born?
I fell in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and started wondering what it would have been like for a Slayer to live in a more culturally restrictive time period…and that’s where I got the idea for the Gardellas.
13) How would you describe your work?
I think of my work as dark and sensual, but with light moments. And I feel that there is always some thought or lesson to be taken away from it; something to make the reader think.
14) What are your future plans?
I am working on a variety of projects that include another series about a different female Gardella venator, as well as a book for teens. I may also do more books in the new Regency Draculia series.