Monday, January 17, 2011

Author Ellen Schreiber's attraction to writing paranormal

Once in a Full MoonBefore Ellen Schreiber took pen to paper, she was an actress. Schreiber attended a local university majoring in theatre and spent a summer in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. When Schreiber returned from London, she relocated to Chicago where she graduated from the Second City Training Center and performed improv, Shakespeare, comedies and dramas. On a plane to Los Angeles, Schreiber had to decide her fate-- “to move to LA or not to move to LA” that was the question. But it was when her brother handed her a young adult book to read during the flight, that Schreiber thought, "I can do this!" Although Schreiber did not move to LA, she wrote a young adult novel titled, Johnny Lightning and when Katherine Tegen joined HarperCollins and was accepting 'unsolicited manuscripts,' Schreiber seized the opportunity. HarperCollins published Schreiber's Teenage Mermaid and also bought Vampire Kisses and Comedy Girl. After Vampire Kisses was published, Katherine asked Schreiber for a sequel, and there begins the evolution of the series. Schreiber's latest release is Once in a Full Moon...

About the book: Celeste is part of the popular crowd at Legend’s Run High, but she never feels like she belongs. Her world is changed when Brandon, an enigmatic new student from the wrong side of town, saves her from an unusual and dangerous encounter with wolves and is injured in the process. Celeste finds herself growing more and more enamored with Brandon until one night they kiss under a full moon and everything changes.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Schreiber about her attraction to writing paranormal and the evolution of the series...

Before you took pen to paper, you were an actress. How do you think your acting career influenced your writing?
Love Bites (Vampire Kisses, Book 7)I think it taught me to see through the characters eyes--exploring their motivations. I also did a lot of improv--where you have to create a scene on your feet. I think that helped a lot in writing dialogue and creating conflict.

What attracted you to writing paranormal?
It’s funny because I’d never imagined that I would write paranormal. But it just happens that way. I guess I loved mermaids and then when I wrote Raven--and wanted her to be obsessed with vampires and explore them (vampires) in a romantic way. I never stopped. I like the idea of fantasy and people who are extraordinary--but have to deal with being an outsider at the same time.

Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, Vol. 1How did you deal with the evolution of the Vampire Kisses Series?
I didn’t intend on it being a series when I originally wrote it--and now I’m contracted for the tenth book and sixth manga. I just tend to write what would happen next and the characters usually tell me what they want to say or do. Were some novels easier than others? Only because of deadlines. Sometimes I have to write them very quickly. I like when I have more time--yet I like when I’m under deadline because I work constantly.

Did you feel any pressure because of the popularity of the series?
The readers begin to identify with the characters so they want certain things. I keep writing what the characters drive me to--and that seems to keep things fresh and real.

What is your favorite book of the series?
I tend to like the one I’m writing the best.

What have you learned from writing in a variety of formats (novels/ manga)?
That it is the story and the characters that matter most. Of course, in a manga, the artwork is very important. But I love writing both and seeing both come to life in their different forms.

To learn more about Ellen Schreiber, please visit her official website.