Chat With an Author Giveaways YA Appreciation Month

Supernatural Summer: Chat and Giveaway with Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray is the author of the popular teen vampire Evernight series, so far comprised of two books (Evernight and Stargazer). I had the immense pleasure of reading her work for our Young Adult Appreciation Month, and I loved them both. Imagine my excitement when Claudia (actually a pen name) agreed to an interview about her books!

Please give it up for very talented new author, Claudia Gray!

The Book Smugglers: First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to chat with us about your writing. As a new fan to your Young Adult novels, we are thrilled to have you here on The Book Smugglers for our Young Adult Appreciation Month!

Claudia: Thanks so much!

The Book Smugglers: Your two young adult novels, Evernight and Stargazer, tap into the burgeoning teen vampire romance genre – but with a unique twist. What were some of your inspirations and influences in writing about vampires and love in what quite possibly is the spookiest prep school on the east coast?

Claudia: When I was a kid, I definitely romanticized the idea of boarding school — to me it seemed very exotic, and I think I imagined something very old-world and formal rather than modern reality. But then, Evernight Academy wouldn’t be that modern, would it? As for the vampires, I’ve been a vampire fan ever since I was very small. I loved the old Universal horror films of the ’30s and ’40s, Gothic fiction and DRACULA, all the way to the first few seasons of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” So I could never pick out just one influence — vampires have always been a part of my life.

The Book Smugglers: You knew it was coming: Balthazar or Lucas?

Claudia: Most readers I hear from have the same solution I personally prefer: “Lucas for Bianca; Balthazar for ME.”

The Book Smugglers: Bianca’s favorite painting is The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, which holds special meaning to her and in the context of the books. Is there any symbolic value to the painting in terms of your writing? Is it one of your favorites, too?

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Claudia: Although “The Kiss” is not my very favorite work of his, I enjoy Klimt quite a lot. I don’t know that there’s a greater symbolic statement at work, but that kind of lush, sensual, gilded, romantic feeling the painting has is the tone I hoped to create in the books.

The Book Smugglers: In Evernight, we are introduced to the world of ancient vampires and a new take on vampire lore; in Stargazer, we learn that wraiths also inhabit the supernatural sphere. Will we learn of any further creatures in Bianca’s world?

Claudia: No further creatures — but we’ll see a lot more supernatural powers that both vampires and wraiths possess, and discover ways in which those powers can work against each other, or combine to even greater effect.

The Book Smugglers: After reading the adrenaline-rush that is the conclusion to Stargazer, I gotta ask what is next for young Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about what we might expect in the next Evernight book? Do you have any other writing projects in the works?

Claudia: Right now I am finishing up the fourth book in the EVERNIGHT series, AFTERLIFE. I should be done with that by the end of the summer (though I have had it plotted out for some time now.) As for future projects, HarperCollins has asked me to write a stand-alone book about Balthazar, and also a witchcraft-based trilogy, the SPELLCASTER series.

I’m so glad you enjoyed the end of STARGAZER! (Though, I fear, the big cliffhanger comes at the end of HOURGLASS, book three.) Bianca’s immediate concerns are about staying alive — and keeping her secret — within Black Cross. Lucas is doing everything he can to help her, but Black Cross is more like a military unit than a family, and neither of them is truly free. HOURGLASS is really about the fundamental question for both Bianca and Lucas right now: If they’re not going to be a vampire and a vampire hunter, then what do they become? They definitely face their biggest crisis yet.

The Book Smugglers: *wipes drool from chin* I cannot WAIT for Hourglass! As an author, why did you decide to write young adult novels?

Claudia: Honestly? My agent suggested it. However, once I started exploring the idea, I realized that I LOVED it.

The Book Smugglers: Are you a reader of Young Adult fiction? What are some of your favorite YA titles?

Claudia: I have become a very avid YA reader. Some of my favorite reads in the last year or so include GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, STEALING HEAVEN by Elizabeth Scott, FLYGIRL by Sherri Smith and THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong.

The Book Smugglers: The blood thirsty vampires/single-minded Black Cross Hunters are coming for you! Aaaargh! You can save ONE book, ONE movie, and ONE television show. QUICK! Name them:

Claudia: Oh no! Well, the TV show is easy — I have to choose “Alias,” my all-time favorite. But only one book? Probably I’d have to pick GONE WITH THE WIND, as flawed as it is. If I can pick only one movie, that’s probably “Casablanca,” even though it leaves my poor Cary Grant to the vampire hunters. I’m sure he can fend them off with a smile and a dry martini.

The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read—hence, we have resorted to ‘smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?

Claudia: I live alone, so NO ONE CAN STOP ME. Bwah hah hah.

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of New York-based writer Amy Vincent. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. Her lifelong interests in old houses, classic movies, vintage style, and history all played a part in creating the world of Evernight.

A huge THANK YOU to Claudia for the interview! You can read more about Claudia online at her website HERE, or blog HERE.

Giveaway Details:

We are giving away one copy of Stargazer to a lucky reader! The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada, and will run until Sunday July 26 at midnight (PST). In order to enter, leave a comment here – and for the heck of it, if you have an opinion let us know if you’re a Lucas or Balthazar kind of supporter. Good Luck!

  • kim
    July 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I’d like to enter the contest!
    I have to say I’ve always been a Balty supporter. I think he’s a real “man” and Lucas is like a little boy next to him. Great interview and I can’t WAIT for Hourglass and her Spellcaster series!
    Thank you!


  • Fellina Grose
    July 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I am an avid follower of Book Smugglers and adored Evernight. I would love to be included for Stargazer please.

  • CupK8
    July 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I haven’t read any of these yet, but now I fear I must – because I needed another series to be hooked on, really I did. 😮

  • Jen D.
    July 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the great interview and contest!


  • Christine
    July 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Great interview! 😀

    I would love to be entered into the giveaway. Although I haven’t read the first book (yet!)… I’m adding this series to my ‘must-have’ list. I love YA fiction and although I was thinking I had my fill of vampire stories, my friendly neighborhood smugglers now have me interested in this one!

  • danielle
    July 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm


    I’m like a Red Sox fan in the middle of Times Square with these kinds of things 🙂

  • Tynga
    July 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Please sign me in I have a copy of the first book but not the second one yet =)

  • Estella
    July 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Balthazar, of course!

  • Donna S
    July 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Balthazar please. Thanks!

    Great interview, Evernight was great and I cant wait to read Stargazer.

  • Ava North
    July 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The series seems interesting.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Hi, I would love to be entered. Great Interview by the way. I also love your blog design.

  • Kimberly B.
    July 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I haven’t read either book yet, but they sound just my cup of tea! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    July 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I’m a Balthazar kind of gal. Please count me in.

  • Virginia Hendricks
    July 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Sounds like a great series I’d love to read! 🙂 How about Lucas?

  • Falling Off The Shelf
    July 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Oh these books have been on my wishlist for quite some time now. I just haven’t managed to get them yet! I’d love to win a copy.

    Your interview was great by the way, I love reading other bloggers interviews, gives me good ideas for when I do my own interviews! I’ve only done 2 so far, but they have been great fun.

    Thanks for the great interview, and giveaway!,

  • Margay
    July 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Lucas or Balthazar? Isn’t there enough to go around – why choose?


  • Gwen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I haven’t read either of them, but they sound very interested. Enter me!

    Thank you!

  • RachaelfromNJ
    July 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Awesome contest and interview! I LOVE the cover for Hourglass! Gorgeous. I’ve never read this series and would love to try it. YA is one of my favorite genres. 🙂

  • Jeff
    July 23, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    If anything can wash the taste of the Twilight saga out of my mouth, this would be it. That’s why I should win.

  • Collette
    July 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Really beautiful covers and the series sounds great. I’ve been on a YA kick lately and I’ll add this, along with Claudia’s suggestions, to my TBR list.

  • Raelena
    July 23, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    count me in please!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • JJ
    July 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    So I’ll be back in my home country where I can read all the English books I want in a couple weeks! Only 1 more month till school starts but sign me up to enter this one too!

  • Veronica Isabella Franco
    July 24, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I read Evernight b/c my friend Edna reccomended it, and enjoyed the twist of Bianca being the Vamp! I didn’t see it coming,lol. Stargazer really made me fall in love with Balthazar, though, whereas in the 1st book I was totally on Lucas’ side. Balthazar seems so much more loving. 😀

  • Wendy
    July 24, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Who is Lucas or Balthazar?? Clearly I need to read these books!

  • bridget3420
    July 24, 2009 at 5:24 am

    I’d love to enter the contest. I don’t have an opinion…

  • Courtney
    July 24, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I loved Evernight and can’t wait to read Stargazer … I am a Balthazar kinda of a girl!! I think he is so sweet!

  • Adrienne
    July 24, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I haven’t read the other books yet but love to win!

  • CrystalGB
    July 24, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Great interview. I haven’t read any of this series. I would love too.

  • Elisa
    July 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Would love to check this series out!

  • Biki
    July 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    This sounds really interesting, please enter me in the contest.

  • Angie
    July 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I would very much like to find out if I’m a Lucas or Balthazar girl! 🙂 I haven’t read this series yet and am looking forward to it. Lovely interview! I agree, Cary Grant could hold ’em off just fine. 🙂

  • Sylvie L
    July 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Both covers are amazing! 🙂 I know you can’t judge a book by the cover, and the author usually has little or no say, but I just wanted to say that they’re beautiful. They sound very interesting, and have been added to the mountain that is my “to read” pile.

  • kelseym
    July 24, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I’d love to be entered =]
    I haven’t had the chance to read any of these yet, but they sound right up my alley!

  • Rob Charron
    July 25, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for having Claudia Gray on your Blog.
    I am a Balthazar supporter.
    It was great to hear from Claudia!
    Love and best wishes from Northern Ontario

  • Brooke Reviews
    July 25, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I just recently got Evernight would be cool to have this one 😀

  • Mishel
    July 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I’d really love to start this series!

    Thanks for the giveaway and the really great interview.

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  • Mardel S
    July 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    This series is looking very interesting. Nice to know that if I buy the first book, there are two more ready to read (hate having to wait for the next in a series)

  • Sharon K
    July 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I’d love to win a copy!
    Sharon K.

  • stezton
    July 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the contest. Count me in. 🙂

  • [TSS] Big List of Book Giveaways – July 26 Edition - Ms. Bookish
    July 26, 2009 at 5:55 am

    […] by Claudia Gray, at The Book Smugglers (ends July 26 – today!, US and […]

  • Lexie
    July 26, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Hmm…I don’t know, is it cool to support both? XD

  • Thea
    July 26, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for all the entries, everyone! The contest is now closed, as are the comments.

    (And for the record, I’m a Balthazar kind of gal :mrgreen: )