2. Okay, enough Claire. What about Matthew, the hunky soccer star who was made a gardien of Claire's pack? Any dirt on him?
Matthew! He’s such a great guy. But you know, when your dad wants your girlfriend dead and her lupine family thinks men are just for, um, loving and leaving? That doesn’t make for the easiest relationship road. And that’s all I’ll say about that for now.
3. Claire's poor best friend Emily (did I get that name right?YES!) is continually out of the loop. Does that change in this story, or does she stay Lois-Lane clueless?
DUDE, I AM NOT GIVING YOU SPOILERS. But I will say that Claire genuinely loves Emily and she’s doing her best to keep her friend safe without abandoning their friendship.
4. In this blog, we talk a lot about world-building. How has Claire's world evolved since the first novel? Will we get to see any new corners?
You will! The other pack members have a larger role in Nocturne, so you’ll get to see more of them. Marie, Claire’s mom, and Lisbeth also have more air time. One of the things I liked most about doing a sequel was having the opportunity to explore things that weren’t in the forefront of the first novel.
Mostly, in these books, it doesn’t. The titles of the Debussy pieces (he wrote several nocturnes) work so well as wordplay. Claire de Lune means moonlight, but could be read as “Claire of the moon,” which -- you know -- PERFECT for a werewolf book, right? And Nocturne is definitely darker than Claire de Lune was. Nocturne means “of or pertaining to the night,” which was so appropriate for the story and fit with the title theme I started with Claire de Lune. There will be a lot more music in my new project, though! *ooooh teaser*
6. What surprised you most when you were working on Nocturne?
How hard it is to write a sequel! I thought -- hey, I have the world built, I have the characters, let’s GO! It turns out, it’s just as hard as writing the first book, and maybe more so. Once the world’s “rules” are in place, they can’t be changed to accommodate your imagined story. You’ve gotta abide by the logic you’ve already set up, and that can be HARD!
7. What do you want your faithful readers to take away from Claire's new adventure?
I really hope they like the story, obviously, and I hope they see Claire as a girl who’s done the best she could with the (pretty crappy) hand she’s been dealt. But readers always take away their own ideas from a book, which is something I love. It’s so cool that a dozen people will take a dozen different messages from the same story. I wouldn’t want to tamper with that!
8. Any new tips for the aspiring novelists out there? I know I've picked up a few new teenage would-be writers since I last interviewed you, and they are the sweetest kids ever. They'll pretty much eat up anything you say. (Isn't that right, guys?)
Write, write, write. Read, read, read. Develop a willingness to get up again no matter how many times you’ve been kicked and be willing to admit -- at the same time - that your writing needs to improve. And then sit back down in your chair and write some more.
9. What's this I hear about a new series starting up? Something about astrophysics? *NERD STARE*
HA! Right now, it’s a standalone and not a series, but yes. I’m working on The Gathering Dark, which is about dark matter and music and hot guys. Keira, the protagonist, is one of the most amazing girls EVER. Uh, not that I’m biased or anything. I’m super excited about it! It will be published by Simon Pulse.
You can always follow me on Twitter (@cjohnsonbooks) where I talk a lot, about everything. I don’t autofollow, but I always read and respond to @ replies.
If you enjoy randomness, I’m your girl. Also, you can check out my website -- www.christinejohnsonbooks.com -- or “like” my Facebook page, Christine Johnson (author.)
11. Your obligatory gag question: What vocal warm-ups do you recommend for novice werewolves who don't want to strain their voices on their first howls?
Hee. Um, I’d recommend they find some opera they like and sing along. It’ll ... uh ... expand their lung capacity and the vocal range of their howling. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. Right? *falls out of chair laughing*