Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hey Hey Hey! It's Saturday! And with that comes a very special event! It's another epic author interview for THE BEST of 2012. Woot! And this one lady's book is very dear to my heart as of late.....Welcome to Fiona Paul, author of Venom. *cue applause*
Fiona Paul lives in the Midwest but travels a lot since she can't breathe if she spends too much time away from the ocean. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in psychology and spent a year teaching English in Seoul, Korea while she was deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. Answer: everything. In addition to being a teacher and writer, she's also worked as a saute cook, sporting goods manager, veterinary assistant, and registered nurse. When she's not working, you can usually find her kayaking, reading, or helping turtles cross the road. Her future goals include diving with great white sharks and writing more books, not necessarily in that order. Venom is her first novel.
Published: 10.30.12 by Philomel
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
I totally read and loved this book and if you haven't had the chance yet you should go get this book! But as much as this book is awesome, so is Fiona! I've gone one EPIC interview for you!!

You chose a very interesting time and place to place the story of Venom in. Any special connection to Italy in the 16th century?
The Renaissance was a time of glamour and exploding ideas. I found myself drawn to it when I took a class in Art History. Also, several of the story elements require this particular time period.

What is your favorite memory from the process of seeing Venom hit shelves?
It thrills me to no end when people tweet at me saying they've bought Venom at the airport or the grocery store or in some foreign country. How cool is it that something I wrote is ending up all over the place? :) And then when people tweet pix and I see Venom sitting next to bestsellers and books I love, well, it's like being Cinderella at the ball. Like, is this really happening?

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever gotten?
You are not your book. A rejection, a criticism, a slew of terrible reviews--those don't have anything to do with you as a person. It seems obvious, but it's really easy to internalize perceived failures with your book as personal shortcomings. This business will crush you if you do that.

Describe your book in 5 words.
Sultry mystery in Renaissance Venice 

Hardest part of the writing process for you?
The part after you turn in the final manuscript and suddenly start second-guessing everything and ask your editor if you can start over.  

If Cass hadn't been named Cassandra, what would her name be?
Her name was going to be Caterina--Cate for short. But brilliant (and Italian!) editrix Jill Santopolo nixed that idea immediately, as there is no long A sound in Italian. At the time, there were other books coming out that used Cat as the heroine's name so I went googling for proper Renaissance names and found Cassandra. It seemed like the best choice.

Most important thing for you in a strong Love Interest?
Humor mixed with badassery. I need for a guy to be tough and funny. That's not too much to ask, is it?

You're stranded on a desert island with one book. What is it?
Hopefully it's the US Army Survival Manual. Or else a book made entirely of bacon.

What is your favorite kind of scene to write? 
I really like action scenes and kissing scenes. These are also my favorite scenes to research ;)

You have some GORGEOUS covers? What do you think/like/dislike about them?
I love my covers :) They're so sumptuous and decadent--from their bright colors to their gorgeous model to their swirly embossed fonts. 

What is one of the first things you do to get your know your character a little more?
I try to imagine what they were like as a child, things that happened to them that became a part of who they are in the story. I do a basic character sketch of their hobbies and physical characteristics and quirks. I try to decide if I could take each of them in a fight.

Can you give us any hints at what we can expect in Belladonna? 
A trip to Florence. More Falco. More Luca. MUCH more Order of the Eternal Rose. A shocking and emotional ending. You can read the first chapter HERE!

Is there something you want readers to take away from your book?
There's a coupon for half-off appetizers at the San Domenico taverna in the back of the book. Sorry. That was a really lame joke. I prefer to read books for entertainment so I don't write intending to teach or Impart Great Wisdom (which is probably a good thing since I just had to google 'impart' to make sure I was using it right). One thing I took away from writing Venom was how glad I am to live in an era where I don't have to wear uncomfortable clothing and eat pies with whole birds baked in the center.

Candy Corn or Candy Canes?
Can the candy canes be crunched up on top of brownies or Junior Mints?

M&Ms or Skittles?

Root Beer Floats or Ice Cream Sundaes? 
Ice Cream Sundaes. Milk products and soda are not meant to mix.

Thor or Captain America?
Iron Man (humor +badassery)

Blonde or Brunette?

Plaid or Polka Dots?
All black 

And now for the million dollar question, are you Team Falco or Team Luca?
I am totally Team Maximus. I mean, he's cute, quirky, he does magic. I envision him looking like a younger Johnny Depp. You guys can fight over those other two :) 
Thanks so much for joining me Fiona!
Wasn't she awesome? Make sure you all say hi to her and send her fun tweets! She's so fun to talk too! :D And for those of you who are still hoping to read Venom, NEVER FEAR. For at this very can find Venom on the list of books you could win in the GIVEAWAY OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! XOXO,


  1. I love this interview! I loved Venom and am reading Belladonna as one of my next books. Plus, Fiona Paul ROCKS. <3 Happy reading!

  2. Thanks for doing this interview, Inky/Hannah :) It's one of my favorites to date!

    And Hi Teen Bookcase. Glad you got your paws on a copy of Belladonna already. I'm really excited about it!

  3. Team Falco! Thanks for sharing the interview!

  4. Haha great interview! I'm team Luca!


Heyo! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love to hear from my awesome-sauce blog readers. You just made my day! I try to reply to every comment I get so if you have a question check back later! Or just link me up to your blog (if you have one) and I'll visit you! Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day! <333 Inky

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