If you love vampires and paranormal romance, Cole Gibsen has a new thriller for you!
Risen follows Charlie, a teen being raised by her Aunt Rachel in a remote cabin in the woods. Charlie knows that her life is a bit strange and her aunt is a bit paranoid, but until the day the vampires come to kidnap Rachel, she didn’t realize that vampires and vampire hunters actually existed. The vampire Sebastian is meant to kill Charlie, but instead he offers her mercy– for a while– and the two begin a wild adventure as they try to save Rachel and survive.
Thanks to Entangled Teen, we had an exclusive opportunity to ask Cole Gibsen a few questions about how she developed her multi-layered world of vampires, creating a not-so-obvious romance in stages, and how her own childhood affected her vision of “true monsters.” Check out our chat below!
When did you first develop you love of paranormal mythology and vampires, in particular?
I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my Vampire obsession. I mean, Angel? Spike? Yes please. *drools*
In your novel, vampires are at war with each other and have developed a sort of mob mentality. What went into creating the distinguishing factors in each clan?
It literally happened in the kitchen. Usually my best brainstorming place in the car when I’m on the Interstate. But this particular day I was making dinner and thinking about vampires (doesn’t everyone when they make dinner?). I was thinking about the different popular fictionalized vampires, from Bram Stroker to Stephenie Meyer, to Anne Rice. While I was thinking about their differences, I wondered what would happen if there was a world where they all existed together. That’s when the idea for RISEN was born.
If you had a choice, which clan would you join and why?
It’s a tough call. Each clan has really cool attributes. I mean, the Anima can turn into crows, and who doesn’t want to be able to fly?
Then there’s the Mentis. While I am totally against the capture and harvesting of humans for their blood, it would be cool to be rich, ruthless, and inhumanely beautiful. And don’t forget the fun of being able to hypnotize any poor human you come across.
And while the Corpus clan are basically walking Corpuses, they can still blend into shadows. But still, who wants to smell like rotting death all the time?
Charlie is an average girl who gets caught up in the dangerous unknown. What are her best qualities that help her through this wild predicament?
Charlie was hidden away in a cabin for her entire life before her world imploded. I wanted a character that was naive in the strange new world, but not stupid. What’s so cool about Charlie is she doesn’t crumble under adversity, she only grows stronger.
There’s also Sebastian, a super hot and unpredictable vampire. What was it like developing the romantic tension between these two?
It was tricky, because again, Charlie isn’t stupid. So it wouldn’t make sense for her to fall for one of the monsters that kidnapped her aunt. So there’s a lot of abrasive tension between them in the beginning that is gradually peeled back in layers as Charlie comes to realize maybe there’s more to Sebastian than she thought.
Risen has an underlying message of discovering “true monsters” as bloodsucking creatures contend against hateful vampire hunters. Why do you think this is such an important element paranormal stories?
On a serious note, I was the victim of childhood abuse, so I know how humans can be some of the biggest monsters around. I was at the library the other day, and there was this guy with dirty clothes and dirty hair—the kind of guy you’d avoid on the street. But he sat on the floor and played blocks with his young daughter and it was absolutely the sweetest thing ever. My abuser was a clean cut business man who wore a suit and drove a luxury car. He went to church every Sunday and everyone around him thought he was the greatest guy ever. In my writing, I think it’s important to break labels and perceptions. That’s why the monsters in my books aren’t always the “monsters.”
What are some of your favorite books featuring paranormal romance?
This is such a tough question because I have too many to list! I love them all. Mermaids, Fey, werewolves, and vampires! Paranormal romance is my favorite genre.
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Fans of Vampire Diaries and Twilight will be thirsting for this latest vampire addiction…
My aunt has been kidnapped by vampires, and it’s up to me to save her. Only…I had no idea vampires existed. None. Nada. I’m more of a reader than a fighter, and even though I’d been wishing to escape my boring existence in the middle of nowhere, I’d give anything to have it back now if it meant my aunt was safe.
Then there’s the vampire Sebastian, who seems slightly nicer than most of the bloodsuckers I’ve run into so far. Yes, he’s the hottest being I’ve ever come across, but there’s no way I can trust him. He swears he’s helping me get answers, but there’s more to his story. Now I’m a key pawn in a raging vampire war, and I need to pick the right ally.
But my chances of surviving this war are slim at best, when the side I choose might be the one that wants me dead the most.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Growing up, Cole Gibsen couldn’t decide what she loved more—dogs or books. Rather than choose, she decided to devote her life to both! Dog trainer (wrangler) by day and author by night, she’s the author of more than ten books with more on the way.