Friday, February 11, 2011

Melissa de la Cruz Interview!

I'm very excited to welcome the wonderful Melissa de la Cruz back to Biblio File. She's stopping by as part of her blog tour for the latest Blue Bloods book, Bloody Valentine.

I'm loving this in-between books that give us further insight to the Blue Bloods story. Will we see more of them?

Probably not in the near future, right now I am concentrating on the novels, since the story is really heating up in Book Six. But who knows. I always envisioned Blue Bloods as a huge world, a big universe, so never say never.

Will we get more of Allegra's back story? The one included in Bloody Valentine just whet my appetite for more.

Oh yes, there is a lot about Allegra in Lost in Time. I'm starting to peel back all those layers and reveal the core of her story.

You included a recipe in Oliver's story and the book says we'll see more of Freya in your adult summer release, Witches of East End. Do you like to cook? Will you please share your favorite recipe with us?

I love to cook but never have time, and there are a few more spellcipes in Witches of East End. My one go-to dish that I can still make, other than Mario Batali's insane sausage and chestnut stuffing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a penne pasta with broccoli and sausage. It's a variation on the one in the Joy of Cooking. Penne, garlic, broccoli, Italian sausage, red pepper. Cook the garlic and the sausage and the broccoli in that order. Cook the penne according to the directions on the box. You can add the red pepper in the beginning or the end. Combine everything and grate Parmigiano Reggiano over the top (the king of cheeses according to Mario Batali - I still miss his show “Molto Mario”) So easy even a writer can make it. :)

So far the mythology of vampires-as-fallen-angels has been very Christian and heavily influenced by Milton. In Misguided Angel, we get to really meet Deming Chen and hear about her twin Dehua. Deming is the Angel of Mercy, whom you name after the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Dehua is the Angel of Immortality, whom you name after the Queen of the West, who's the Chinese goddess of immortality. Why did you decide to bring in other religions? Will we see more of this blending? What steps (if any) do you think authors need to take when tweaking the characters and story of a faith that isn't theirs?

I always envisioned Blue Bloods as the alternate "true" history of the world, so of course other religions, and other faiths would be part of it from the beginning. I don't really see it as blending, since for me Blue Bloods follows a literary tradition - Milton's Paradise Lost is a literary work, not a religious one. So I don't feel tied to a certain religion, Blue Bloods was influenced by myths and legends, most of which are in the Christian tradition since that's what I grew up in. But most of the angel mythology I based it on is from Muslim and Hebrew myths.

I think authors should feel free to do what they want, faith-based stories have resonance, but we should feel free to create our art without worrying about offending, I don't believe in self-censorship at all. It's art, it's not religion.

In addition to Blue Bloods and the spin-off series which will start in next spring, you have a new adult series coming out this summer. What's the difference between writing for teens and adults?

Not much when it comes to my writing. Readers can still expect a fun, romantic, epic story, with great strong heroines and heroes to fall in love with. The only difference for me is that I get to explore more adult issues: pregnancy, adultery, politics, the questions are less "who am I" or "what will I grow up to be" and "I have so much promise" and more "this is who I am, now I have to deal with it."

What's your favorite way to spend Valentine's day?

We always go out to dinner a few days before, just the two of us, I hate going to restaurants and seeing all the couples celebrating V-D day all in row. Something about it feels...robotic and depressing. On Valentine's Day now that we have a kid we usually go to a family dinner which is how I grew up, my parents always took everyone out on Valentine's Day and we all got presents, not just Mom and Pop. It was a fancy dinner and the kids had to dress up too and that was always fun. And presents are always fun of course. Presents in tiny jewelry boxes and a huge bouquet of flowers from a swanky Beverly Hills florist is a must. I'm so practical though, whenever I see flowers I think "that was a lot to spend on something that will last one week." So I'd rather just have a pretty arrangement and not a bombastic one. Especially when it all comes from the same bank account anyway. :)

What's your most horrifying Valentine's moment?

Oh god, probably the time a guy I was good friends with that I had a crush on, invited me to dinner at his apartment and I thought we were celebrating Valentine's Day and I was so excited to take our friendship to the next level but then nothing happened and then later I found out he was dating some other friend of ours and he was calling her on the phone the whole time I was there. What an ego slam! I've forgiven him though, we're still friends, and god we were young then. Now I know better, and since I met my husband fifteen years ago, every Valentine's Day has been great.

What's the funniest Candy Heart saying?

I had to do a little internet digging and found out that one of the sayings they had to discontinue was "You are Gay" (from the 1950s or something). So sad! I would have loved to buy a bunch and given them all out to my main gays. They would say "Yes. Yes I am. Thanks Mel. Happy V-D day."

What's the best Valentine's candy?

I always like champagne truffles from Teuscher.

What's the best song to slow dance to?

We danced to "Seventeen Again" by Annie Lennox at our wedding. That was our song. "And it feeeels like I'm seventeen again...." No wonder I write for teens!

Thanks for stopping by Melissa! Happy Valentine's Day!

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