Monday, January 9, 2012

Interview: Kristen Painter + The House of Comarré Series

Today I'm extremely excited to welcome author Kristen Painter to the blog to answer a few questions for me about her wonderful House of Comarré urban fantasy series! I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books (reviews for books one and two can be found here and here, with my review for Bad Blood going up on January 20th), and love the dark nature of the world as well as its inhabitants. I'm partial to a tortured and damaged hero, so Malkolm pushed all the right buttons for me and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

How did the idea for Chrysabelle’s gold filigree tattoos come about?

I had an idea – kind of a fleeting vision if you will - of her when I was in college. This woman in a white dress that dipped low enough in the back to reveal a small gold tattoo. And I knew that there was significance to that tattoo. It meant she was both desired and somehow dangerous. But I never knew what to do with that idea of her until Blood Rights was born.

If Chrysabelle could ask Malkolm one question about his past with the guarantee he would answer truthfully, what would she most like to know?

I’m not sure she’d ask him about his past. I think she’d like to know if he’s truly capable of loving her, but I also think the reason she doubts that is because she doubts her own ability. Those two…so many issues!

What aspect of the world you’ve created fascinates you most or gives you the most difficulty when writing?

I’d have to say the general mythology of the comarré. I love that there is so much of it as yet unmined, but at the same time, I want to be careful in how much and what I reveal so that I don’t tangle a storyline into something that can’t be undone or solved.

Mal and Chrysabelle have a very complicated and often tense relationship comprised of mutual need and desire–a combination that makes these books all the more addicting. Is there another literary couple that really stands out in your mind as a pairing you’ll always remember?

There are two:

Othello and Desdemona – I’m a huge Shakespeare fan and these two are about as tragic a love story as there is. Talk about your big misunderstanding! I’d pick them over Romeo and Juliet any day.

Cloak and Dagger – Also a huge comic book geek and this series is one of my all time favorites. In fact, Mal and Chrysabelle are in part an homage to these two who so greatly entertained me when I was a teenager. Google them. You’ll see what I mean. Cloak is everything dark, Dagger is everything light and there is a great deal of push/pull between them. Awesome stuff.

What might Malkolm say has been the biggest change in his life since Chrysabelle found her way into it?

Feeling human again. In more ways than one.

When looking at the three already released installments, is there anything about the characters or events that surprised you? Something that changed in the transition from your mind to the page?

Lots of stuff! But that’s the fun of the process. I love those discoveries and surprises. There’s a big secret about Maris in the first book that I didn’t know until the scene started to take place, but once I figured it out I was like, of course!

Does the fact that the word “blood” is in each of the book titles make it easier or harder to come up with them?

Probably harder. I like the titles to actually mean something for each story, so finding titles that fit and incorporate the word blood hasn’t always been easy. Not terribly difficult, but getting just the right one takes a little doing sometimes.

The first three books released a month apart (which works out brilliantly for us as readers); can you share with us any of the reasoning behind this marketing method and why it was chosen as opposed to the more typical 6 month or one year apart release dates?

I didn’t have anything to do with that – that was strictly up to my fabulous editor at Orbit Books. I do understand that it helps build an author and considering I was basically a debut author coming out in a tough genre (how many times have you heard people say they’re over the vampire thing?), I think it was such a smart way to get people into the series.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Kristen! More information on her and the House of Comarré books can be found here:


BLOOD RIGHTS: House of Comarre Book One (from Goodreads):

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.


  1. This reminds me...I need to pick up the next book in the series!

  2. O... I'm so in love with Mrs. Painter - Yes Yes You might read it here- but it's true !:))
    I just adore the Blood Rights series and I'm still so damn happy we decided in May at BEA to go to her signing!
    I just devoured the next two books this weekend and .. now.. well the waiting sucks :)
    But it will be worth the wait - the world in Blood Rights is phenomenal and I love the character , some more than others- But Mal and Chrysabelle are fantastic!! Thanks Jenny and Kristen for this wonderful Interview!

  3. I haven't read this series but now I must! This couple sounds captivating. And how cool that her characters surprise her. Love the covers too!

  4. Oohhhhh, YAY! I'm a HUGE Shakespeare fan too! <3 But the crazy thing is that, even though I've re-read all of his other plays, I never picked Othello up yet! That's definitely changing right now! ;)

    Awesome interview, Kristen! I just got my hands on a copy of the first book in the series and now I'm even more excited to read it! :) I'm just completely in love with the covers and the whole comarré thing is so cool!

    P.S. Jenny, I'm all for tortured and damaged heroes too LOL! x)

  5. Just a tiny bit jealous you have already read this-----just saying! :::turning head away:::: LOL :)

  6. This one is new to me. It sounds really interesting. I haven't read much Urban Fantasy, I'll have to check this one out. Great interview!

  7. Natalie - You do! You need to meet Creek:)

    Danny - ME TOO! Waiting does suck, and her world is complex enough that I know I'm going to have to reread them before book 4 comes out:) Glad you enjoyed the interview!

    Alyssa - It's great, I really enjoy it:) I'm a little in love with Mal and all his tortured-ness.

    Mimi - I haven't read Othello either. Shakespeare Fail. I even took an entire course on him in college and we still didn't make it to that one! Glad I'm not alone on my love for the damaged heroes!

    Felicia - Go get it and read it! Then we can talk about it together:)

    Jennifer - Blood Rights is book 1 and I LOVED that one, I highly recommend. Books 2 and 3 were good as well, I just loved everything about the first one:)

  8. Thanks for having me today, Jenny! This is a great blog!

  9. OK- Im for sure reading this series.....Ive seen so many great reviews for it and those covers are so gorgeous!! I want long white hair and her leather glove things...:D

  10. Fab interview :) I loved the questions you asked. I devoured the first two books and have the third one waiting for me. I can't wait to see how Chrysabelle & Mal's relationship evolve...they really are "complicated" lol

    ♥Isalys / Book Soulmates

  11. I'm really intrigued by this series as I've seen a good mix of reviews with some strong emotions - great thoughts from the author - looking forward to eventually reading myself - thanks Jenny!

  12. Kristen - You're welcome! I'm happy to have you on anytime:)

    Tina - Don't you love them? I love all her gold filigree tattoos, so pretty! Hope you give this series a try:)

    Isalys - Thank you! I love Chrys and Mal in the third book, so I can't wait to see what you think of it!

  13. Linds - You're welcome! I really enjoy this series, it's a nice deviation from all my YA reads:)

  14. I do like the whole closer apart too since i hate hate hate waiting ;)

  15. This is truly a unique series/concept. I love the mythology the most.

  16. Heard a lot of great things about this series. I really have to track down book 1 now. Thanks for an awesome interview, ladies!

  17. Jenny I have been seeing this series all over lately. Definitley looks like fun. I will look into it soon. Thanks for the fun post!

  18. Blodeuedd - I hate waiting too, it's no fun at all. Love those rapid fire release dates!

    Pam - Me too. And I love how it develops a little more each book and we get something new and different as things progress:)

    Rummanah - They're fun books, I really like them:)

    Heidi - Glad you enjoyed it! Hope you get a chance to pick them up, they're fabulous:)

  19. How awesome! It's amazing that the idea for Kristen's main character stuck with her since college! I love the idea of a gold filigree tattoo, too.
    Thanks for the interview! :)

  20. It's always so fun to hear that an author's own stories surprised even them. That must be a wonderful feeling.

    And Othello and Desdemona's story really broke my heart too. It's a story I'd even recommend to Malkolm, then maybe he wouldn't be so pigheaded. LOL

    Thanks for the awesome interview, ladies.

  21. I absolutely adored that they were released a month apart. It was so nice not waiting forever. Chrysabelle and Malkom are killing me! I love them, I adore them, but I really just want them to get it on. Although, I do like that you are making us angst over it. If you just gave me what I wanted it wouldn't be as much fun watching every little make out disruption, LOL! Thanks for that in book 3 by the way. Best piano scene ever!

  22. I get a LOT of comments on that hotel/piano scene. Just saying. lol

  23. Lauren - I love the gold filigree idea, though I'm not sure I could endure what Chrysabelle does to get covered in those gorgeous tattoos:)

    Missie - I just think it would be so interesting to be going along writing your story and then all of a sudden you've got something on the page that you never intended to write:)

    Jen - Me too! Plus it helped keep her world straight, there's a lot going on and the books releasing so close to one another made it easy to remember what happened. And I need to reread that piano scene I think ;-)

    Kristen - I can only imagine! I don't think we'd be the slightest bit upset should something similar happen in the next book:)

  24. Great interview! You never see gold tattoos for real. At least not that I can think of. The color of the dye must not have staying power. I love the imagery of a girl in a white dress dipped low enough to see the gold tattoo. Beautiful.

  25. I love the Othello and Desdemona comparison--as if I didn't want to read this enough already! Great interview as always, Jenny. :)

  26. What a great interview! I have the first one on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up and this has me even more intrigued. Hopefully I can read it soon!

  27. I'm so sad that Orbit never sent my copy to me, so it will take me a bit to get the 3rd. I can't wait. So, all this talk of Mal means that Creek is mine? Oh I will claim him in a second!

    Jenny... step back.. he's mine!! ;D

  28. Woah I can already tell that this is one complicated relationship in this series. She wants to know if he can ever truly love her but she doubts it herself?? Very interesting. It definitely makes me want to dive in!! I love all the questions you ask, Jenny. They always get us great info!!

  29. I haven't read Othello yet so maybe I'll check it out on Sparknotes, and the story of Cloak and Dagger sounds interesting.

    I like that the books in the series are released a month apart because then you can remember what happened. Even with series I love, sometimes I have a hard time remembering exactly what happened and hope that the author refreshes my memory a little.

  30. I absolutely loved Blood Rights! I recently found the other two books in the trilogy and I'm just waiting to start back at work so I can buy them.

  31. This is a series I need to read! I know you reviews are always good for it.

  32. Again another great interview, Jenny!I haven't started this series, but I've loved your reviews on it so I know I'll love them. They are on the list. Just gotta find the time. Wish we didn't need sleep!


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