My guest today is Nancy Holzner, author of the incredible Deadtown and the newly released (and also awesome) Hellforged. If you haven’t tried this series yet you should definitely check it out!
Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for being here today.
Thanks for inviting me. I’m really happy to be here. I loved Black Wings and am looking forward to Black Night in the summer.
Thanks, Nancy Your new novel, Hellforged, is the sequel to Deadtown. What challenges did you face when writing the second book in a series?
I think one of the biggest challenges is writing the second book in such a way that new readers (those who haven’t read book 1) can follow what’s happening while existing readers (who did read the first book) don’t get bored. You need to make clear how the world works without doing all of the world-building all over again. Also, I tried to avoid getting too spoiler-y about the first book, so readers who were new to my series with Hellforged would want to read Deadtown, too.
What do you really like about your heroine, Victory Vaughn? What advice would you give her if you could?
I like that Vicky is brave, loyal, and devoted to her family. She’s a lot braver than I am, in fact. She worries but charges in anyway. I might tell her to worry less. Vicky can be kinda serious sometimes. She might learn a few things about cutting loose and having fun from Tina, her teenage zombie sidekick.
You also write nonfiction. How different/similar are your processes for writing nonfiction vs. fiction?
For nonfiction, I’m much more detailed in outlining, and I follow the outline closely. (The outline, as approved by editorial, is often an actual part of a nonfiction contract, so the publisher expects me to deliver the book I’ve outlined.) For fiction, I write a looser outline–often just hitting the main plot points. This gives me a series of goals to write toward, breaking down a big project into something more manageable, but also allows for surprises along the way as I write.
What are a few of your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
Eat and sleep. I’m also a crazed opera fanatic (there’s no other kind)
Have you read anything good lately that you would recommend?
Right now I’m reading Mozart’s Blood, a vampire novel by Louise Marley that’s unlike anything else I’ve read. It moves back and forth in time between 18th century Europe, early 20th-century San Francisco, and present-day Milan. It’s got history, vampires, werewolves, opera, beautiful writing, vividly realized characters, and a complex plot. It’s the perfect novel for someone like me!
A YA fantasy I recently enjoyed is Jackie Morse Kessler’s Hunger, about a girl with an eating disorder who becomes Famine, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Any hints about book three in the series?
Book 3 is called Bloodstone. As a serial killer stalks Boston, Vicky learns that Juliet, her missing vampire roommate, is in Goon Squad custody. Juliet has been on the run from the Old Ones, a group of ancient super-vampires who’ll stop at nothing to in their quest for power and true immortality. Expect to see more of Tina, Aunt Mab (who travels to Boston), and Maria, Vicky’s young niece who may be becoming a shapeshifter. Oh, and a werewolf bachelorette party. Bloodstone will be out in October.
Can’t wait for Bloodstone! Thanks again for joining me today, Nancy!