Saturday, September 26, 2009

catherine jinks

The Reformed Vampire Support Group
by Catherine Jinks
Available Jinks

Nina Harrisson became a vampire in 1973, when she was fifteen, and she hasn't aged a day since then. But she hasn't had any fun either; she still lives with her mom, and the highlight of her sickly, couchbound life is probobly her Tuesday-night group meeting, which she spends with a miserable bunch of fellow sufferers, being lectured at. But then one of the group is mysteriously turned to ashes... and suddenly they're all under threat. That's when Nina decides to prove that every vampire on earth isn't a weak, pathetic loser. Along with her, she hunts down the culprit- and soon finds herself up against some gun-toting werewolf trackers who'll stop at nothing.

Can a bunch of feeble couch potatoes win a fight like this? Is there more to your average vampire than meets the eye?

IBT: If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?

CJ: Sherlock Holmes. Definitely.

IBT: How did you survive being a teen?

CJ: Good question. It's a real matter of survival, isn't it? I guess I did it the way I've always done it - by escaping into imaginary worlds.

IBT: I was completely fascinated by the new mythology of vampire you've created in RVSG. Why did you decide to reform them?

CJ: Oh, I've always had a problem with 'special powers'. It's so alienating for those of us who aren't strong or beautiful or magical to be reading about people who are - at least, I've always found it so. I also like to overturn stereotypes, if only because it can often be a very funny thing to do; a reviewer once described me as 'a great debunker'. So when I suddenly pictured a bunch of grungy vampires sitting around in a church hall, complaining about their miserable lives, I couldn't resist the image. I had to elaborate.

IBT: Would you be willing to write a spinoff for the werewolf community? There is an extremely fascinating backstory already brewing in RVSG.

CJ: Wow, Perla! You read my mind! I am currently writing the (only) sequel to RVSG - to be called The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group.

IBT: What are you currently reading?

CJ: An Elmore Leonard book - Riding the Rap..

IBT: How do you decide what ideas make it on the page? What were some of the ideas that didn't make it?

CJ: I do a lot of careful plotting before I write my books (the way a screenwriter does) so most of my discarded ideas are tossed aside while I'm still writing my synopsis. These abandoned ideas tend to be related to plot developments, though sometimes characters change slightly once I start my chapters, simply because I have to follow the right emotional path for them. I have to admit, however, that I decided to rewrite the first six chapters of RVSG right after I'd finished them, because I realised that they were moving at a pace that was much too leisurely. I'd started chapter one with a lot of the back story that I subsequently spread throughout the first three or four chapters; when I reviewed the result, I realised that I had to kick off with more of a bang.

IBT: What is your favourite type of hero?

CJ: A very, very intelligent one. Muscles mean nothing to me; brains are what I admire above all else.

IBT: As an author how do you respond to those who think that censorship is a necessary evil?

CJ: Well - I've been censored myself, inasmuch as bookstores have refused to stock my books unless certain things within them are changed. And I'm always self-censoring, because I write for a young audience. (In real life, four-letter words tend to be more prevalent than they are in my books!) But I can sympathise with people who are sensitive to what their kids are exposed to, because I have a 12-year-old daughter myself, and I wouldn't want HER to be watching R-rated films, or reading 'American Psycho'. So I think there has to be some kind of filter when it comes to children. Adults are different, however. The only kind of censorship I would condone with regards to adults is censorship of material that causes, or has caused, real harm to other people: certain kinds of pornography, for instance, or highly defamatory material.

IBT: I read on your forum that you intend to write a follow-up to RVSG. Is this still in the works?

CJ: As I mentioned earlier, it's going to be called The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group.


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