Interview with Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan is the newcoming author of a very successful vampire series about a unique vampire species: the "Carpathians". "Dark Prince" and "Dark Desire" have been published in the USA in 1999, "Dark Gold" will be released in April 2000.
 
She is a very nice woman and was delighted to give an interview for her German fans. It was fun to make this interview with her!!!

She has also her own website at http://www.christinefeehan.com

Angela: Christine, could you introduce yourself to German readers? Who you are, your likes and dislikes, where you come from etc.

Christine Feehan: Hello everyone, my name is Christine Feehan, I live in the mountains of Northern California in the United States. I am definitely a family person, I love to spend time with my husband and children. I love the outdoors and wildlife. I am a country person rather than city although I enjoy going to the theatre occasionally. I donít like crowds, which is probably why I live in a very small town. I come from a very large family, I have ten sisters and three brothers, all from the same parents. We are quite close and love to get together for holidays with all of our children. That is a crowd right there and you can usually find me in a corner somewhere reading!

Angela: Why and how did your career as an author start? Do you had problems in the beginning? Is your writing career of influence on your private life?

Christine Feehan: I began to create stories as a child, as soon as I could pick up a pen and put together sentences. I write stories I enjoy and I write them for myself, the story is inside me and insists on being told. I donít write with the idea of being published, just of telling the story. My friends and family prompted me to send these stories to an agent. I knew her from earlier years when I had tried to get a couple of contemporary stories published. She sent them in and Leisure/LoveSpell picked them up. My career influences my life in that my children were used to my attention all the time and now I canít always give them as much attention as they had before. I went with them to all their events and I canít always attend as I used to. It has been an adjustment for all of us, but change can be a good thing and they all help me.

Angela: Why do you love vampires so much and why did you decide to write books about them? Is your work influenced by other vampire authors?

Christine Feehan: I loved vampires since the first moment I ever picked up Dracula. It was so wonderful, the
entire visual effects. Shape-shifting was such an exciting idea. I began to collect stories and movies
on vampires. Iím not into horror very much so most of them were not what I wanted so I ended up writing my own, more romantic vision. I donít think Iím influenced by other writers, but I have others that I read of course.

Angela: Where do you get your ideas for your Carpathian books from?

Christine Feehan: My ideas for my Carpathian books are strictly my imagination. Somebody in a store might turn their head a certain way, or I see a fantastic storm and the story starts unfolding. I wanted to find an answer to why a man would choose to give up his soul and become vampire. The Carpathian species was my answer to that question.

Angela: Do you have a favourite heroine/hero among the Carpathians? And how do you create them? Do you use friends, family etc. as models?

Christine Feehan: Usually, the book Iím working on at the time is my favorite. I think when you're writing a story you have to be very involved with your heroine/hero and even your villain. If you arenít, there is no real passion, no emotion in your words. The characters jump out at me, thatís how I create them, they are already there, forming personalities and eventually pushing their way to the top so I have to write their story. I think something of yourself, your family and friends creeps into each character.
Traits you love in others, I know personal beliefs certainly creep in.

Angela: How many books will the Carpathian series contain? Can you give your fans some hints what will happen with the Carpathians?

Christine Feehan: I have no idea when I will stop writing the Carpathian series. I didnít start out to write an entire series, but the stories keep pushing forward and I have to write them. I will stop when I no longer have anyone strong enough to want their story told. In one of the books, ďDark ChallengeĒ, a Carpathian male sets off to warn a woman, a singer, that she is on a hit-list of fanatical vampire hunters. He believes this woman is human. Instead, he discovers an entire band of Carpathians. The woman is an ancient, with powers of her own. I loved writing this book, finding special gifts for the women and seeing the growth of the hero as he comes to accept her as a full partner in their union.

In the coming books I have revealed more of the Carpathian history and address the problem they have with the children of their species. Each of these stories stands on their own, but taken together weaves a wonderful tale of another species.

Angela: How do you research your books and how does your typical working day look like?

Christine Feehan: I am a very visual person, I have to Ďseeí things so when I research I usually choose books. I have a library of books on wildlife and just about every other subject. I use encyclopaedias online and off and I use websites online. When I am very lucky I can visit a place I want to write about. I write every day and put in several hours writing or researching. My working day isnít typical because my children are home with me and we interact while Iím writing.

Angela: How do you stay in contact with your fans? Are they important to you?

Christine Feehan: My readers are very important to me. Writing for me is something I love. To be able to share something so close to me is an honour, a gift, so any reader who loves my work, is someone I know I would enjoy being around. We share something that ties us. I answer all of my email and private letters that people send to me. I have a website and often readers sign my guestbook. I work very hard to answer each person that signs in my book. There is a site set up by a reader for fans and I visit it often and Ďtalkí with readers and answer questions. I also try to visit the message boards if time permits me.

Angela: Do authors have close friendships with other authors or do they see them as competitors?

Christine Feehan: I certainly donít see other authors as competitors. I love to read and have done so for
years. I have favourite authors and I believe we canít have too many books. Authors develop close
friendships because they have interest in the same things. The ones I know are close knit and really work to help one another.

Angela: How did you react  you saw "Dark Prince" for the first time in a bookstore? Party? Open a bottle of Champagne?

Christine Feehan: I was walking in a shopping mall with my teenage daughter and we went into a bookstore to browse. I hadnít received my copies of ďDark PrinceĒ and wasnít certain it had been released. She saw the book and grabbed a copy on the spot, bought it and made me sign it as the first signed copy ever. I celebrated with my husband and children.

Angela: What are your favourite authors/books?

Christine Feehan: I particularly love an author named Gene Stratton Porter. The books are wonderful and I grew up reading them. I love so many different authors and types of books.

Angela: How do you handle your big family and writing? Is it sometimes difficult for you?

Christine Feehan: It can be difficult. My son and daughter do ballroom, swing, and latin dancing and they have a tough schedule. My youngest daughter is really into sports, basketball, soccer and BMX bike racing. I love to go to their events and juggling the schedules with writing can be difficult but we manage. My husband is a tremendous help to me.

Angela: What does your family say about the success of your books? I guess that they must be very proud?

Christine Feehan: Yes, my family is very supportive. They tease me quite a bit, but they all read them and help me with research.

Angela: What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in some years? Have you ever spent any thought about what you will do when the Carpathian series is finished?

Christine Feehan: I am certain I will be writing in the future. I have no idea if I will continue to be published, but I know I will write. I write all kinds of stories. I am writing a gothic paranormal romance at this time. I love it and hope to do many more. I also write contemporaries. I canít imagine ever running out of ideas.

Angela: This is my last question to you: do you think that Vampires exist? Or do you think they are only a fantasy or a nightmare?

Christine Feehan: It is interesting and fun to think that vampires might really exist as they are mentioned in nearly every society all over the world. I think there are rational explanations for these phenomenonís. No, I donít believe in vampires, but if they do exist, then I hope my Carpathians exist as well.

Thank you for asking me to do this interview with you. I enjoyed the questions very much and hope to hear from you again.

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