How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
When I was writing plays, I sometimes altered song titles to create my play titles. I wanted to continue that tradition. I find a lot of my writing inspiration through music, so this is kind of my small way of acknowledging that.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
That depends. Some titles are just...boom! Right there. But sometimes I have to let the ideas marinate. I usually don't have the title until I am done writing. But for book two, I am pretty sure I have the title already, and I am only about five chapters in.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want them to have fun and enjoy it. I have a sort of "larger picture" idea that spans several books, but I don't think there's any real message to take away. If someone finds something in there, great! But really I just want readers to be entertained.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some things in the book are rooted in true experience. Like the farmhouse at the end of the novel. My grandfather was raised on a farm in this particular town, so a version of his farmhouse is where Nina and Frankie end up. But his farmhouse was long gone by the time I was a kid, so the property in the novel is partially my imagination and partially based on stories he told me about it. My grandfather was a great storyteller and loved his tall tales, one of which was that there was a stream that ran through the basement of the farmhouse. I don't think it's true, but it stuck with me. And it is the reason why this house has a stream running through the cellar.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading an excellent book called Tube Riders, set in a futuristic Big Brother London. I am just getting started but so far, it's excellent.
What books are in your to read pile?
I am very excited for Kill City Blues, the new Sandman Slim installment, by Richard Kadrey. I have that one on pre-order!
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
Right now, I am working on the follow up novel to Hell's Belle. And I am chewing on an idea for a YA novel because my daughter wants me to write something she can read. I also have an idea for a second series that's still urban fantasy but way more comedic.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I am not a patient person. I think that's why I was drawn to playwriting. Dialogue is kind of quick and dirty work. Filling in the moments in between dialogue was definitely patience testing for me. I wanted to move it along, fast and furious, but had to pull back and slow myself down. It's such a test for me to work like that! But ultimately, it's rewarding.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It's hard to come up with a favorite author! I am in awe of George RR Martin. I cannot even begin to imagine how he copes with intricacies of the Game of Thrones storylines, and how they all intersect. I also love Richard Kadrey. His Sandman Slim novels really capture that seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, like by the Grauman Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. And I love his version of hell, and the politics of being Satan. Just great, clever stuff.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
Right now, not much. Since I grew up in Rhode Island, I know the locations pretty well. Of course, a lot has changed there, so I made sure to check out neighborhoods and snap some pics while I was visiting family. But I totally want an excuse to travel around Europe.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
My cover designer on Hell's Belle is Jeff Brennan. He's great. He has a background in illustration, inking comic books, and animation.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Understand your audience, and respect them. And then just keep writing.
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Hell's Belle Series Book One
Hell's Belle Series Book One
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 17, 2013
Number of pages: 238
Word Count: 74,722
Cover Artist: Jeff Brennan
Half vampire, half human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents that quietly take down rogue monsters, the human world none the wiser. She moves back to her hometown of to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt. Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city's community of witches.
But Nina's investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date.
An urban fantasy set in a decaying Providence, Rhode Island, HELL'S BELLE is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled roller-coaster ride through a city on the cusp of becoming an urban wasteland. HELL'S BELLE is an energetic, expansive, and cinematic beginning of a new series in the urban fantasy genre.
About the Author:
An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry. A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL'S BELLE is her first novel.