Monday, July 26, 2010

Author Interview: MaryJanice Davidson & Giveaway Sneak Peek

If you have been following this blog you know how much I love MaryJanice Davidson's work. Her Undead/Queen Betsy series is one of my favorites and one of the first vampire series I ever read. So, you can imagine my delight and excitement when she agreed to be interviewed for the blog. There were lots of squeeing and jumping up and down involved, but I digress. 

You can read all about my love for the hilarious Queen Betsy books here and my review of the latest installment, the 9th book in the series that came out July 6th, 2010, called Undead and Unfinished here.

Undead and Unfinished (Queen Betsy, Book 9)
MJD and Anthony Alongi (her husband) also write the Jennifer Scales series, and the 5th book is coming out tomorrow, July 27th. It's called Rise of the Poison Moon, check it out:

Rise of the Poison Moon (Jennifer Scales)

MJD and Anthony are very generous and are offering two signed copies of Rise of the Poison Moon (Jennifer Scales Book 5) for an international giveaway that I'll be hosting starting tomorrow, the day of the release. Two lucky winners will walk away with a signed copy of the book. Isn't that wonderful?

So, make sure to come back tomorrow to check out my post about the release and to enter the contest. It will be international and involves 2 signed copies of the book.

I also have to thank MaryJanice profusely for agreeing to do this interview even though she was on the road promoting Undead and Unfinished. A shout out to her assistant Tracy who is fantastic. Thanks MJD and Tracy, you both rock and I'm very grateful.

I'll stop gushing and give you what you've been waiting for (Warning: Please don't drink and read, you might snort something out of your nose. MJD is a very funny lady). Here is the interview:

1) What was your inspiration for writing The Undead series?
I kept finding the same vampire romance novel over and over again. It was usually a male protagonist, some 400 year old Scottish Lord (in the books, they're usually lords or some kind of big-wig), who was comfortable skulking in alleys, determined to stay away from his loved ones, and bitching about how terrible it was to be eternally rich, young, and hung. I wanted to know where the REAL vampires were:  the plumbers, the cooks, the U of M grads. I wanted someone who would keep in touch with friends and family. Who wouldn't be caught dead, so to speak, sleeping in a coffin. So Betsy came out of that. 

2) One of the things that strikes me the most about the Undead Series is the humor. I'm not one to usually laugh out loud, I'm more of a chuckler. However your books always make me crack up, loudly I might add, attracting some strange stares from people nearby. How do you manage to keep it so fresh and funny after 9 books?
Rampant, continual immaturity. It's difficult for me to take anything seriously in life, never mind in fiction.

3) Did Betsy's story came to you already completely outlined, or did it changed and took unexpected turns while you were writing it? Was it always planned as a series?
It's so cute you think there was a plan! Only the first chapter of UNDEAD AND UNWED came to me outlined. The rest I wrote so there'd be more to the book than chapter one. I had no idea I was inventing a new romance sub-genre, be starting book 1 of at least an 11 book series, and setting on the road to financial independence. So you can imagine my surprise when I look around and see where I am today!

4) How many more books you plan to write about Betsy and the whole gang?
I'm contracted for two more, and I'm hoping Berkley will offer another contract for an additional 3. Cross your fingers!

5) How would you describe the Undead series for people who have been living under a rock and don't know about it yet?
Sex in the City meets The Stand?  ;-)

6) I'm a big fan of the vampire genre, ever since I was a little girl and read The Little Vampire by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. Have you always been interested in vampires? 
Not vampires specifically, but I've always been interested in the paranormal. Very few of my books are about ordinary people who have ordinary jobs and experiences. I've always liked to throw a werewolf or ghost or fairy in the mix.

7) What's your favorite supernatural being?
I have no idea...I like them pretty equally across the board.

8) Betsy is very obsessed with shoes, do you share her obsession? (I would guess so from your picture) ;)
Nope! I'm a Payless girl. Beverly Feldman, an American shoe designer, sent me the shoes you see in the pictures. For free! Her assistant is a fan, and lent Beverly the books. I nearly passed out when I realized what was in the UPS box!

9) Are there any hints that you can share with us about where you plan on taking Betsy, Sinclair and the rest of the gang in next book, Undead and Undermined?
Back to hell, for certain. And a morgue in Chicago. And (sorry about the 80's movie reference), back to the future. Most of UNDERMINED will be spent with Betsy and the gang trying to head off the future.

10) Is there any plans to make the Undead novels into movies? If not, would you like to see Betsy in the big screen? Is there any actress you see as her?
Jenna Elfman (Dharma), for sure. My agent is shopping the movie rights around Hollywood as we speak. I've actually turned down a couple of offers, because I felt the terms were too strict. Germany bought the TV rights, so it's looking like a strong possibility that The Betsy Show will be shooting soon.

11) What can you share with us about your new book Me, Myself and Why that is coming out on September 28th, 2010?
It's about an FBI agent with multiple personality disorder. It's an entire division of the FBI, actually: BOFFO (Bureau of False Flag Ops), and everyone in the division is cracked. They've got paranoids, kleptomaniacs, agoraphobes, bi-polars, claustrophobes, depressives...everything. My editor calls the various psychoses their super powers, since they catch bad guys because of their problems, not in spite of. I can't wait for it to be's the longest book I've ever written by over a hundred pages!

12) You are such a prolific writer and have so many wonderful series out, how do you manage to be so creative and write so much?
I'm lucky in that I have to write. It's not something I need to make time for, or's like having breakfast. You sort of have to, so it's not a question of how often you'll have breakfast. The only question is, what you're *having* for breakfast.

13) You are on the road promoting Undead and Unfinished, how has the response been so far?
Incredible! I got to meet tons of readers, which was a joy and an honor. Some readers might be badly shaken by the epilogue from UNFINISHED, but nobody ever told me so to my face <g>.

14) Do you have any plans to write new stories, besides the series you already have going on and the new book Me, Myself and Why?
Yes, I'm soon starting on my super hero with OCD story, and hope to write more Alaskan Royal books. I'd also love to do a zombie novel.

15) What advice would you give to wanna-be writers?
Stick with it. I had nothing but rejection slips throughout my 20's. If I had quit at, say, age 29, I'd still be slogging through SDJs.

16) What book are you currently reading?
DIVORCED, BEHEADED, AND SURVIVED...the best feminist interpretation of King Henry VIII's 6 wives.

17) What's your favorite book?
I have 3:  IT, by Stephen King, SMALL SACRIFICES by Ann Rule, and GONE WITH THE WIND. Which reminds me, I haven't re-read that one in over a year...better get on the stick...

18) Who's your favorite fictional character?
It's impossible to pick just one! I like Scarlett, Lucas Davenport (from the Prey series), Burke (Andrew Vachss), and Suzanne Maretto (TO DIE FOR).

19) If you could have dinner with any other author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Carl Hiaason!  He's funnier on his worst day than I am on my best.

20) Do you have a favorite character among your own?
I like Betsy and Cadence (from MMY) the best so far.  

21) Which book (besides your own, of course) would you have liked to have written?
Oh my God, where to begin? Uh...GUILTY PLEASURES, GWTW, TO DIE FOR, and anything by David Sedaris.

22) What's your favorite book genre?
I'm all over the place...very eclectic. I don't have a favorite.

23) If you could marry any literary character who would it be?
Rhett Butler! Or Richard from the Anita Blake series.

24) Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
Yes! Thank you for making UNFINISHED a's number 15 on the NYT list! 

Isn't she hilarious? I can't wait for a Queen Betsy movie. It would be beyond awesome.

Thanks again MaryJanice! I had a lot of fun with this interview and I hope you readers do too. Let me know by leaving a comment, ok?

And don't forget to come back tomorrow to enter the giveaway!

The Undead Series:

Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy, Book 1)Undead and Unemployed (Queen Betsy, Book 2)Undead and Unappreciated (Queen Betsy, Book 3) (Berkley Sensation)Undead and Unreturnable (Queen Betsy, Book 4) (Berkley Sensation)Undead and Unpopular (Queen Betsy, Book 5)Undead and Uneasy (Queen Betsy, Book 6)Undead and Unworthy (Queen Betsy, Book 7)Undead and Unwelcome (Queen Betsy, Book 8)Undead and Unfinished (Queen Betsy, Book 9)

The Jennifer Scales series:

Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace (Jennifer Scales, Book 1)Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light (Jennifer Scales, Book 2)The Silver Moon Elm (Jennifer Scales, Book 3)Seraph of Sorrow (Jennifer Scales, Book 4)Rise of the Poison Moon (Jennifer Scales)

Me, Myself and Why:

Me, Myself and Why?


  1. OMG I LOVED this interview!!!

    and I CANNOT beloieve there will ba another alaskan royal family book! I LOVED those!!

    a super hero with OCD is awesome! YAY!

    MJD rocks!!

  2. I have a Award for you Here I just love your blog!


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