Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PSC: Interview and giveaway with Vicki Pettersson

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I'm full-on fangirl squeeing over today's guest. Vicki Pettersson is one of my favourite authors. She's just such a talented, brilliant writer and I was completely sucked in by her Signs of the Zodiac series. She's joining us today to discuss her latest novel, THE TAKEN, which is the first book in her new Celestial Blues trilogy. It's quite a departure from the Signs of the Zodiac and Vicki's graciously agreed to join us today to tell us a bit about it. I think you'll be hooked after learning about THE TAKEN, which is available in stores now. =)

Oh, and stick around for the giveaway from the lovely folks at Harper Collins for your chance to win a copy!

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Hi, Vicki, and welcome to Tynga's Reviews! To start off, could you give us a little Rockabilly 101 and tell us how you decide to incorporate such a neat subculture into the Celestial Blues trilogy?

Sure! Rockabilly is a modern-day subculture, and way of life that sprung up around a love of the music from the fifties. It’s since grown to encompass the fashion, the cars, the furniture … even the tattooing of that era. So somebody who lives the rockabilly lifestyle looks like they stepped right out of the fifties, and my female lead in THE TAKEN exemplifies this. Her rockabilly aesthetic also makes her absolute kryptonite for my male lead, an angel who was alive, and a P.I. back in 1960. Honestly, I didn’t have a story – and no way of linking his era with hers - until the rockabilly element fell into place./p>

I read an interview where you described THE TAKEN as paranormal noir, which is just so perfect. Could you explain what that means and why it's apt for folks who haven't read the book yet?

I wanted to let people know that this was not another urban fantasy series right out of the gate. The evils threatening Kit and Grif come as much from the real world as the supernatural. So the book’s focus is more mystery-slanted, yet it still retains that great paranormal remove that I think is so useful in speaking intimately and specifically about modern-day issues.

One of the things I love about your books is that Las Vegas feels like another character. What do you love most about your city?

I love its malleability. I love that it can become whatever a person requires of it, and that’s useful for fictional purposes. Mostly, though, I love that Vegas is this bright, bold personality that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If it were a real person, it’d be a bit of a gigolo, I think. Everyone describes Vegas in female terms, but I think it more like that guy who’s always gotten by on his looks, and everyone knows it, and he knows everyone knows, but he just gives that lopsided smile and a saucy wink and continues on his way. He’s a scoundrel, but you can’t help but laugh in his presence.

THE TAKEN is told in third person and we get to peek into both Griffin and Kit's heads. Was it challenging to shift from first person with Joanna to having more of a shared narrative?

Actually, it was a joy to get to pick up some different tools from within my writer’s toolbox and play with a new narrative voice. It was also a very calculated decision. I didn’t want to risk tapping into the same voice used in the Signs of the Zodiac series, especially in regards to my female lead, Kit. Oddly, writing my male lead, Grif, came most easily to me, and I think that’s because it’s ultimately his story. It’s his overarching quest – to solve his own murder – that’s driving the trilogy.

Kit isn't the type of female lead readers might expect from you if they've read the Signs of the Zodiac series but she's still a strong, smart woman. What do you most admire about her?

One of my driving literary obsessions is to question what it means to be a woman in a man’s world, and to explore the ways a woman can navigate that world. Joanna Archer, from my first series, was very martial. Hers was a hard world, so she resolved to be the hardest thing in it. But a woman’s strength takes many different forms and unlike Joanna, Kit refuses to give in to the darkness. She fights it with optimism and belief in what’s good and right, and in the certainty that she’s deserving of a good life, a good man, a good love. While Joanna focused on the evils of the world and tried to right them, Kit focuses on what’s good, and tries to bring the world into alliance with that.

Do you have hints about what we can expect in the next to installments of the Celestial Blues? You end the book in a way that's left me desperate to read more!

Each of Kit and Grif’s adventures will feature a gritty, modern-day mystery, as well as advancement in their personal relationship. So next up is THE LOST, where Grif and Kit are propelled, by both heavenly and earthly forces, into a head-to-head battle with a drug cartel. Yet the overarching thread tying the entire trilogy together is Grif’s desperation to solve his old mystery “Who Killed Griffin Shaw?” That question will be answered in the last book.

And now for a couple event-related questions:

Do you have any personal summer camp stories you'd care to share?

My summer camp stories are idyllic, and therefore boring. My mother was the camp nurse, so I had both autonomy and the benefit of never really leaving home. So it was the usual – performing plays on stage, hikes, bunks in a log cabin, storytelling around the campfire. I also found out that I was a crap viola player. That’s about it.

Who would enjoy summer camp more: Joanna or Kit?

Kit, for sure! She’s a girl who epitomizes sucking the marrow out of life. So while Kit would be singing around the campfire, Joanna would likely circle the perimeter, scanning the darkness for danger.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Vicki! It's been an absolutely pleasure chatting with you.

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More about THE TAKEN:

Vicki Pettersson The Taken Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets…and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s a celestial Centurion, assisting the recently, and violently, dead. Yet just because he’s an angel doesn’t mean he’s a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto to the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let this sable-haired siren with hairpin curves come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to find the truth about his own mysterious death — and wreak some vengeance for the murder of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Griffin’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, as well as the answer to the greatest mystery of his long afterlife …

Who killed Griffin Shaw?

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Vicki's Signs of the Zodiac series:
(click on the cover for my thoughts on the last three books)

Vicki Pettersson The Scent of ShadowsVicki Pettersson The Taste of NightVicki Pettersson The Touch of TwilightVicki Pettersson City of SoulsVicki Pettersson Cheat The GraveVicki Pettersson The Neon Graveyard

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giveaway

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

US only

Ends Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Vicki Pettersson Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Signs of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dustbowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think). THE TAKEN, the first in her supernatural noir trilogy, Celestial Blues, debuts June 12, 2012.

For more information, please visit: www.vickipettersson.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

40 People left their mark' :

  1. Thanks for a fabulous interview and giveaway! I love Vicki's work and I've had major book lust for this new one :)

    I love Rockabilly b/c everything about the 50's was glamorous and tongue in cheek. I loved the look of the clothes and the dancing :)

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  2. I've been looking forward to this since I first heard about it! This interview was great. Thanks for it and the giveaway! Oh, and my favorite part of Rockabilly culture would definitely have to be the fashion.

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  3. Love the rockabilly music, car's and fashion. They appear so carefree with life.

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  4. I love the dresses best! Kit's dress on the cover is lovely!

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  5. The style and definitely the attitude of those involved in that culture. Very cool!

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  6. I definitely love the clothing. The cover for The Taken has to be one of my favorites of the year!

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  7. I like the style of their clothing! I have yet to read this one, really want to, and I really dig the heroine's dress! Not that I wear dresses myself, I look too weird in them! :P

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  8. I love the whole rockabilly culture, especially women's fashion! For some reason, I keep thinking the male cover model sort of looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt from Inception.

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  9. The clothes are awesome! But other than that I really don't know much about. I think that is what intrigues me most.

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  10. Since I was born in the 50's, I fit right in. :D I like the music, the cars and the clothes are pretty cool too.

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  11. The music and attitude is pretty spunky.

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  12. I love the music and the fashion. Vicki is a new author for me. This sounds like a great read.

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  13. I love the fashion :)

    Great interview and thank you for the giveaway!

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  14. The clothing. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  15. The style of dress for both men and women, it was a very lovely time in fashion history. The dress on the cover is gorgeous! Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway!

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  16. I know there was a lot of worry, but the time seemed simpler than now. A whole different style, one that people were simpler as well, you knew where they stood and where always, well mostly, kind to each other. And the clothes of course! I think the ladies where pretty looking in the right attire, and that was the right attire. :D Thank yoU!

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  17. I think the rockabilly style is amazing. I love the clothes, the hair, and the music. It's so fun and quirky. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  18. I love the music and the style

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  19. The music and the clothes.

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  20. The fashion, both men's and women's, and the music. Being friends with rockabilly living guitar legend adds to the fun as well.

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  21. I love the whole rockabilly style (& wish I were brave enough to put an outfit together!) A local pizza place (that has since closed - durn it!) used to have burlesque nights, complete with rockabilly bands (& followers). It was SO much fun!

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  22. The clothes for men and woman. And the attitude. Thanks for the chance.

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  23. I love the whole rockabilly styles and tghe cover is gorgeous! Thanks for the giveaway!


    Question: Is this giveaway for US/Canada only or is it just for US? because it's a little confusing how one thing says US only and your blog sayas US/Canada only?

    I'm from Canada and that's why I'm wondering!

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    1. That was my mistake. It should have always been US only. I copied the format from another post and neglected to change that part. SorryM

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  24. I can't decide between the clothing and the music! :D

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