Friday, May 01, 2009

Freebie Friday with Lucienne Diver

Happy Friday, everyone! Today is a special Freebie Friday post. We're celebrating the launch day of Lucienne Diver's new YA novel, VAMPED.

Happy launch day, Lucienne!

Lucienne is a GCC sister who recently joined the Knight Agency (my agency!), trading in her New York City high rise for a lake view in Florida. "Through various play-dates and in various coffee bars, on the backs of envelopes, carry-out bags and anything else within reach, including, sometimes, her checkbook, she's penned the serio-comic tale of what happens when a young fashionista goes from chic to eek."

Check out this excerpt and the description of the book:

From “Valley Vamp Rules for Surviving Your Senior Prom” by VAMPED heroine Gina Covello:

    Rule #1: Do not get so loaded at the after prom party that you accidentally-on-purpose end up in the broom closet with the surprise hottie of the evening, say the class chess champ who’s somewhere lost his bottle-cap lenses and undergone an extreme makeover, especially if that makeover has anything to do with becoming one of the undead.

Gina Covello has a problem. Waking up a dead is just the beginning. There's very little she can't put up with for the sake of eternal youth and beauty. Blood-sucking and pointy stick phobias seem a small price to pay. But she draws the line when local vampire vixen Mellisande gets designs on her hot new boyfriend with his prophecied powers and hatches a plot to turn all of Gina’s fellow students into an undead army to be used to overthrow the vampire council.

Hey, if anyone's going to create an undead entourage, it should be Gina! Now she must unselfishly save her classmates from fashion disaster and her own fanged fate.

NYT bestseller Rachel Caine calls VAMPED "a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos", Rosemary Clement-Moore says Gina is "a heroine worth reading about", Marley Gibson agrees VAMPED is "fun and frothy" and Marianne Mancusi calls VAMPED "feisty, fashionable and fun." I know you want to read VAMPED. I do! I love the thought of fashionista Gina struggling with being undead, and not being able to see herself in the mirror to properly apply her lip gloss! Stay tuned for your chance to win after the interview:

What inspired you to write Vamped?

Gina, my heroine from Vamped, just started talking in my head one day. That’s how it happens. I could either let the man in the white coats come to take me away (ho ho)* or I could write her out of my mind. Well, I gave her a story and she wanted a novel. I gave her a novel and she wanted a series. So I gave her two books (REVAMPED comes out in 2010) and now she wants a movie. (Oh, she really, really, really wants a movie if she can think of anyone glam enough to play her, since, sadly, vamps don’t show up on film she can’t take the leading role herself!) * is it pathetic that I know this reference? Backwards, too! Bonus points below if anyone knows what we're talking about.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Well…kinda. Gina was originally based on the big-haired girl from high school who used to torment my sister. But when I realized giving her a short story hadn’t exorcised her from my system, she had to grow and change, because I needed to love her as much as I wanted to throttle her. Gina definitely grows over the course of the book and of the series as well. In fact, she’s become so beloved in our home that when my husband bought a hot new sports car (red with T-tops), he named it after her because we all knew she’d love it. Yes, sometimes we talk about her as if she’s real.

What excites you?
Sparklies. Compiments. Dragonflies. Sunflowers. My husband. (Oh, not in that order, of course!)

What turns you off?
Death and taxes. Liver and onions. Bigotry and bias.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
I’m sort of honest to a fault. I’m really trying to think of a whopper, be edgy and all that, talk about the time I snuck out of the house and constructed a whole world-in-jeopardy plot to get out of punishment, but…nope, it’s just not coming to me.

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
September 11th. I hate to change tone so drastically, but nothing in my life looms larger. I was already at our upper west side office in New York when my son’s sitter called to say, “We’ve been bombed. We’re at war.” That was her first thought. And then she burst into tears. I was terrified. I didn’t know what had happened, but I quickly found out and left to get home to my family. To make a long, painful story short, it took my husband six hours to pick up our son and get home. It should have taken forty-five minutes. All the while I was unable to reach him or call my son’s sitter back because all the phone lines and cell signals were tied up. I’ve never been so scared in my life. Hope never to be again. Oy. I can't imagine how awful that must have been! (((hugs!)))

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
All the people I can think of I’d be too intimidated to have relax around. Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse) is the first to come to mind, but I fully expect I’d babble like an idiot or grovel at his feet or something equally embarrassing. You know, I’d probably bring back my grandfather or great grandfather because they were such awesome people I’d love my son to get to know them better.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
When I was young (about six or seven years old), I wanted to be a cryptozoologist–be the person to actually find the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot and all that. I think when I grew up that interest in exploration and discovery led to my major in anthropology. My second major was English/writing. (I had enough credits for a minor in theatre as well, but there was a limit to how much they’d put on your diploma .)

What's your favorite quote?

“I’m sorry, I already know an awful lot of people, and until one of them dies I can’t possibly meet anyone else.” Audrey Hepburn to Cary Grant in Charade. I ask you, how do you say such a thing to Cary Grant with a straight face? I love Charade! And now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all morning...

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

Dark. No contest! Yes! High Five!

And now, the moment you've been waiting for! Leave a comment below, wishing Lucienne a happy launch day, and you will be entered to win a signed copy of VAMPED!

P.S. Don't forget the bonus post below for your chance to win a signed copy of DEATH BY DENIM.