Monthly Archives: September 2009

Van Alen Legacy Trailers!

Here’s the super cool video my friend’s company made for the book!

And here’s the super cool video my publisher made for the book!

The book comes out October 6, 2009! And I hear some stores are putting them out early. And if you buy your copy in-store at Target, you will receive a sticker with instructions on how to read a deleted chapter from the book online that is a Target exclusive promotion. The deleted chapter will be available to everyone after three months on my site!


The Blue Bloods Forum Chat!

Had a really fun chat with the readers over at The Blue Bloods message boards. Thought I’d share the questions and my answers so everyone can enjoy! Transcript has been slightly edited for better clarification.

Q: I know you can’t give us any spoilers… but I was wondering if there would be closure at the end of the book? From the green-eyed cover girl its obvious Mimi is quite intently planning her bonding ceremony/wedding to Jack… so the question is, will we found out the outcome of that or will we be left hanging?

A: Yes there will be closure! There will be new questions opened in this book, but some very old ones that people want to know will be answered!

Q: So, I personally ship Jack and Mimi and was curious as to whether you honestly like how Jack is when he’s around Mimi or when he’s around Sky? Is he more of himself with the other? Which shipping do you like better?

A: I think Jack is a very complicated person and is being pulled in a lot of different directions, he’s always wanted to be more than he is, always been drawn to the Light. He and Mimi are very dark angels, they are the angels of the Apocalypse and Lucifer’s strongest former generals. In Jack, I always saw a character who lived pretty much the same life for centuries—but then there is this new thing, this new factor in the equation—embodied in Schuyler, which he’s never encountered before. So what does he do? Would he follow his heart or do his duty? So it’s hard to answer, because I have a lot of sympathy for Jack, I never like doing what I’m supposed to do either.

But on the other hand, I also have an enormous sympathy for Mimi… so it’s hard to answer your question!  I think as a writer you just write your characters as truthfully as you can and then they choose for themselves what is right for them.

Q: Why did Lawrence have to die? He was the best.

A: I was heartbroken that Lawrence had to die—but as you will see in Van Alen Legacy, there are consequences to actions…

Q: Is there anyone who has died in the series, so far, that you really wish didn’t have to?

A: I wish they could all live forever, but I really wanted to write a series that had real impact—that there was such a thing as death and finality even in the immortal world. Because that’s what we have to deal with in our own lives. I wish I could bring them all back! But you know, you have to be truthful to the story you are telling, and life involves a lot of suffering.

Q: I was wondering if you could describe Mimi’s headdress and face painting at her after party in Masquerade. I want to dress up like her for your book signing. Also, for the release of Book 5, would you consider coming to Highland, IN or someplace near there? It’s close to Gary.

A: I always imagined Mimi in some kind of fabulous huge Native American headress with white feathers, and then super-cool face painting with black lines on her cheeks and something really fierce on her forehead—maybe look up some Native American traditional dress online? She would have to look like a warrior, so maybe a Cherokee? Weren’t they the fiercest of the tribes?

I only go where my publisher sends me, and that’s based on bookstore interest in the area, so the best way to get me to your hometown would be to bug your local bookstore to invite me. I would love to come to Indiana if they send me! I do try to go to new places for every tour to give everyone a chance to meet me. I love meeting you guys!

Q: If a blue blood’s bond dies from a Silver Blood attack, is that Blue Blood allowed to take another as their spouse?

A: Blue Bloods who have lost their bondmates are allowed to marry – but it would be just a normal human joining, not a heavenly one – kind of like a marriage of convenience, like the one that binds Charles Force and Trinity Burden. Trinity lost her soulmate in the Wars, and Charles was shunned by his vampire twin, Allegra.

Q: Does each vampire look the same in each cycle? Like does Mimi always have blonde hair and green eyes?

A: Since they’ve been around for so long, I would think that they wouldn’t necessarily look exactly the same all the time for each cycle, the spirit is not bound to genes, like in humans. But some of their essence is the same, so I always imagine that Mimi’s eyes look the same in a way, maybe if not in color, but in shape, or in some other kind of way that is recognizable as Azrael.

Q: If a Blue Blood child were to die before the transformation, would the Blue Blood in him/her be dead for good?

A: The Blue Bloods are long-lived and cannot be killed in any normal fashion, they would have to be killed with a weapon that held the black fire, that is the only way for the blood to be destroyed. But their blood would have to be saved in order to be reborn, so if the young Blue Blood was “killed”, let’s say in a car accident, and if they were able to save the blood that held the immortal spirit, then the spirit would not die. However if no one is able to save the blood, then yes, that spirit would never be called up again, and would, in a sense, be dead. But that really doesn’t happen with the Blue Bloods…they are very careful to keep the living blood protected.

Q; Where is the blood kept of those who are in the passive state, who has access to it, and can it be corrupted? And how was the blood preserved before modern technology, i.e. electricity?

A: The blood doesn’t need technology to be preserved, it is living, no matter what temperature, it’s immortal, so there’s no reason for it to be preserved. But it is guarded. And we’ll find out more in the later books about the rules that govern the cycle and how it all works! I had a chapter in Van Alen Legacy that dealt with this but I had to take it out for pacing purposes, but we’ll see it in a future book.

Q: Who’s Regis when Michael is in the passive state?

A: There is a Regent that he names to lead the Conclave when he is not in cycle.

Q: How long were Allegra and Steven married before Schuyler was born? And when is her birthday, just out of curiosity?

A: This will be answered in future books and Allegra is a Leo.

Q: I understand the whole bringing blue bloods back through implanting them into other blue bloods to carry on the line…but, I was wondering that if two Blue Bloods wanted to produce children the natural way, and not use implantation, would they have a Red Blood? Are they even capable of producing or does one parent at least need to be a Red Blood?

A: They would not be able to reproduce, so even if two Blue Bloods wanted to, they could not. Schuyler is the only one who is a new spirit, and her father is human.

Q; Also, how does being a Silver Blood affect the implantation/natural production in general?

A: Remember the Silver Bloods are Blue Bloods, except that their bodies house multiple spirits instead of just one, so they would not be able to reproduce either.

Q: Let’s say that Jack decides to be with Schuyler and he breaks his bond to Mimi, assuming that he survives whatever the consequences are, could he ever get back with Mimi in another life or would the bond be broken forever?

A: The bond would be broken forever. That’s why it’s such a serious decision!  There’s no turning back if he does it.

Q: I was wondering if you’ve ever had any dreams from one of your character’s point of view and if you’ve ever used that in your writing?

A: That hasn’t really happened, my dreams are more of writing the books, missing my deadline, sitting in front of the computer. How sad! LOL! But I think about them all the time, mostly the story and how they are reacting to the things that are happening to them.

Q: Which character would you say you can relate to the most?

A: It’s hard to say because when I envisioned the three girls, they each have a part of my personality, and they are each a product of my experiences…that said, in the first book, a lot of Schuyler’s alienation and sarcasm is mine, and then Mimi is just the easiest to write because she says all the things I wish I could say but never do. And I just love Bliss, I feel very protective of her. And she’s so surprisingly strong.

Q: If you could take the place of any of the characters, which character would that be and why?

A: They all have a pretty hard road ahead so I don’t know if I would want all that responsibility! I’d be one of the vampires who didn’t care about the Code, and would just be shopping and doing silly things. ☺

Q: If Kingsley is a Silver Blood and he is supposedly good, and Silver Bloods need Blue Blood to carry on, then how is Kingsley kept alive and tamed without sacrificing blue bloods?

A: This question will be answered in Van Alen Legacy.

Q: Being a half-blood, is Schuyler able to eventually bond and continue the lines of blue bloods? Or will her next of kin be more and more dilute?

This, I think is one of the biggest questions of the whole series, and will be answered in the final book. I’m sorry! But isn’t it fun to find out through the story instead of just me telling you?

Q: In Van Alen Legacy, will Jack and Sky get a chance to be together again, basically will there be romance…I know you can’t give spoilers but is there a possibility or is it really OVER?

A: There is a LOT of romance in this book, and you will find out the answer to your question when you read it. I can’t say more than that! ☺

Q; Does Jack have to verbally declare that he’s going to deny their bond, if he chooses to denounce it or could the bond be declared void another way?

A: You will see in Van Alen Legacy, I think action speak louder than words so I don’t think just saying it does anything, he actually has to DO something about it if he chooses to break it.

Q: When are Schuyler’s and Jack’s birthdays?

A: I think Jack is an Aries and Schuyler is a Virgo.

Q: What was Allegra’s role exactly on the committee? And why was Charles chosen as Regis instead of her?

A: Allegra never wanted to be Regis, it’s not her place. Charles is the archangel Michael, and he has always been the leader, Allegra had a big role in the Blue Blood community but not necessarily in their leadership, she was more a spiritual leader than someone who ran the organization.

Q: In Blue Bloods it’s stated that Schuyler is descended from two presidents, but then in Masquerade Lawrence says that Blue Bloods aren’t supposed to hold office. What’s the deal? Are the presidents on her father’s side?

A: As Cordelia said, no one really adheres to the Code anymore, so there have been a lot of Blue Bloods who have held office. It’s not something they wanted to happen, but certain Blue Bloods have done it anyway. The series is about the decline of the Blue Bloods’ world and their values, and how the Van Alens want to bring it back.

And as for your question about Sky’s dad, you’ll find out in the book I’m writing now, Misguided Angel, a little more about his background!

Q: I’m a Jack/Mimi fan. Will we ever find out how they fell in love, and also why they were made human twins in this cycle when they never were before (according to Masquerade)?

A: Hmm… I don’t know. Possibly.

Q: If Jack goes through with the bonding would his feelings for Schuyler just disappear because of the reunited connection with Mimi or would he still long for her? And if he did still want to be with her, what would be the consequences for him cheating on Mimi?

A: If he bonded to Mimi, he would completely forget about Schuyler, there would be no cheating.

The Van Alen Legacy Trailer!!!

The Van Alen Legacy Trailer is up on!!!

Go here to watch it!!!

And here’s the link full on:

Thank you to Mandi Bierly and the Shelf Life Blog at Entertainment Weekly for posting it!

Thank you to Hornet, the production company that made it, and especially my dear friend Emmy-award winning animation director Peter Sluszka for directing it!

If you have a blog or Twitter or Facebook, please link to our trailer!!


Twitter Contest, or a Twontest!

Hey all!

I am having a contest over on Twitter. It’s open to those in the NY/NJ/CT area only, or those willing to travel to NYC Sept 30th. The winner gets an invitation good for two people to the fahhhhbulous book launch party my publisher is throwing for me on September 30th in New York City. (If you are under-age, you will have to bring an adult to accompany you.) 5 runners-up will receive a spanking-new copy of The Van Alen Legacy, and that’s open to everyone. We will ship internationally!

Okay. So what are the rules? Well, it’s on Twitter, so you need to follow me there. Okay, it is no longer on Twitter, which has all these crazy rules, but I still like calling it a Twontest, so email me at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com subject line TWONTEST : Tell me in 140 characters or less, what fahhhbulous NYC place/restaurant/whatever should be featured in the newest Blue Bloods book that I am writing now MISGUIDED ANGEL. If I like it, I might include it in the book!

Contest is open now, and winners will be announced Sept 20th on Twitter.

What else is happening? Oh, the final version of the Van Alen Legacy synopsis is now up on the site. Go here to see it.

And we are really slow on the emails lately. I’m sorry – my assistants are on vacation, dang them! I can say that because they’re both related to me. 🙂

So, yeah. Van Alen comes out like, really soon, huh? Kind of freaky. I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. Don’t forget, if you buy your books from Target, you’ll get a sticker on your book with the secret password that will access a deleted chapter from the book, posted online. The deleted chapter/ short story (“The Venator’s Tale”) will be available to EVERYONE after three months. I will post it on my site after three months. But because Target has the exclusive promotion (and it was their idea for me to write extra stories or show off my deleted chapters) they have the story for that first brief period. Okay? Okay! I’m sorry if you don’t live near a Target. They ASSURE me if you buy it online from them your book will also have a sticker on it. And international readers—I do apologize that you won’t be able to order from Target since they don’t ship internationally.

Also, I’ll be visiting some fan sites.

I’ll be at the Blue Bloods message boards on Sept 20th, at 3pm PST/ 6pm EST. And at the Blue Bloods Secret on Sept 21st at 3pm PST / 6pm EST. So go join those fan sites or go there on those dates if you want to chat with me and see exclusive sneaks.

If you run a fan site and my assistants have not contacted you, please contact them at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com. I know some of them they were not able to find a contact information for the fans running them.

I’ll be posting twit-peeks on Twitter starting Sept 6th.

And we’ll debut the ROCKIN!!! trailer around that time too (we’re shooting for the 6th).

Hope those of you who are back to school are having a fun time. I always loved back to school even if I hated school. Here’s the thing, I was a nerd. I loved school, I loved the books and the classrooms, and I dunno, all that learning I guess. But I hated the social aspect of it. I just loathed it. I just remember dreading school for that reason too. So if you’re going back to school with that knot of dread in your stomach, don’t feel bad. I did too. I felt like throwing up all the time. But you know what, I toughed it out, and you know, as they say, look at the byatch now. I would never wish it on any child, that fear and dread and loathing. But do know that you will survive it and that life gets so much better after high school. And middle school. And elementary school. Really pre-school and college are the only good school-schools aren’t they? Anyway, I have digressed. Have a great back to school.

And lately there has been a lot of talk about having kids read books that they want and teaching those books in the classrooms. I do agree it’s a great idea for kids who don’t want to read, but I also think it’s a bad idea for kids who need to be challenged. I was smart and lazy in school. I was the definition of cruising. I would procrastinate and write all my papers the night before and still make all A’s on all my AP and Honors classes. (Especially once I was a senior and didn’t have to take math ever again!) School for me, at least the achievement-and-accomplishment-resume-building that lands you in the meritocracy and the Ivy League, all of that was easy for me.

This is why when you go to college, and take Logic and Rhetoric, the mandatory freshman writing class, they “shock” you with a C’s. In a room full of valedictorians, no one in the class had ever gotten C’s before. And it’s shocking to find how lazy you have become intellectually. I also think it’s more a psychological trick than anything, since at the end of the semester, we would all magically “improve” to B+s and A-‘s. Except I have to say, my L&R teacher, who said I would have gotten an “A” in the class, except he thought I was a lazy writer. I didn’t try hard enough. He said I had talent, but not diligence, and I was arrogant and clever. And so: B+! I kind of hated him for that. But it did make me wake up. I am not so lazy these days.

Anyway, what I want to say is, for you smart and lazy kids out there: you should be reading The Scarlet Letter and Old Man and the Sea and all those “boring” books that “turn off” people from reading. I did snooze through the Old Man and the Sea but I also loved Kafka’s The Trial, which we read sophomore year, and Camus’ The Stranger, and Grapes of Wrath. How can you not fall in love with Grapes of Wrath? And we read Dubliners our senior year—Dubliners by James Joyce! Some of the most beautiful writing, and when you read it in high school, when you’re still young and impressionable, it’s a wonderful thing. Don’t just read my books, read all the difficult books too. I took a class at Columbia that was basically called “In Praise of the Difficult” and the professor’s idea was that we shouldn’t just try to make everything easier, that we should read difficult texts, complicated texts, to challenge us and to make us think and if it is hard, when you finally ‘get’ it, the appreciation of it is sweeter too.