Interview 37

16 August 2018


A very warm welcome to Cristelle Comby; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Hostile Takeover, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have a book-related playlist to offer you. I like writing in silence. Actually, I only require two things to get in a good writing mood: some peace and quiet & a comfortable seat.

Can I interest you in my personal top 5 songs instead?”
Uh! Yes, please. And here they are – enjoy!

What compelled you to write Hostile Takeover?
“Not everyone knows it, but history is filled with hundreds of different mythologies, and each one is bursting with a plethora of monsters and legends. It’s a fascinating subject.

Now imagine if all these legends were real, if all these deities were alive… somewhere. That’s the idea behind the Vale Investigation series.”

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
“Most of the research I do is mythology-oriented. I already had some knowledge prior to starting to work on Vale Investigation, but I had to learn a lot more to enrich my universe. I knew there were lots of different mythologies, but I didn’t think there was that many. In Africa alone, there are about 30 different subcategories and over a hundred deities.”

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Hostile Takeover – why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
“I used to find the artist who did the cover. My job description was very short and vague. Mostly, I encouraged designers to be creative and to follow their inspiration. I was curious to see what they’d come up with. What their perception of the story would be, how it would inspired them. The designs they submitted were very varied and far exceeded my expectation. The final cover, which I adore, was done by Spanish designer Miguel A. Ereza.”

What makes your series unique?
“Most authors chose to incorporate elements from one or two mythologies and that’s it. It’s not often that a series tries to focus on a new one with each volume.”

Can you tell us something quirky about Hostile Takeover, its story and characters?
“Yes, the main character is named Bellamy Vale. I chose this particular first name, just so I could insert the joke below somewhere in the story. The part in italics is French, it translates to, “my pretty friend.” Spoken out-loud bel ami and Bellamy sound nearly identical.

“You do not get to choose, mon Bel-Ami,” she said.
Hearing her use my name like that did things to me that no human being could have ignored.
“Or have you forgotten how this works?” she added.
“I haven’t, but no amount of French-silver-tonguing will make me like it,” I retorted. It was a weak protest and we both knew it.”

Who would you recommend Hostile Takeover to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
“This series fits into two categories: “Contemporary Urban Fantasy” and “Crime & Mysteries”. If you like either genre, then go for it.

If you’re looking for twenty-shades of what’s-the-colour-of-the-year or an epic love story set in Victorian England, then this is probably not for you.”

What is in store next?
“I’m done writing the second book and will start the editing phase as soon as I’m done with the promotion of Hostile Takeover. In parallel, I’ll be outlining the third one.

You’re the first ones I say this to, but the second book in the Vale Investigation series will focus on a Middle Eastern mythology.”

And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better… Can you tell us about your hero or main influence?
“As a person, my biggest inspiration was my mum. My belief system, my values, … it all comes from her.

As a writer, it probably was Jim Butcher. He’s my all-time favourite. There’s just something about the way he writes that speaks to me. Also, he used to have a LiveJournal page where he wrote down writing tips and explained his process. A few years ago, I printed everything and put it in a binder. It’s the best how-to manual I ever had.”

Originally posted @ Books Chatter