The Final Book in the Series - Here We Go!
In the final book of the “Heirs of Chicagoland Vampires” series by Chloe Neill, Cold Curses, It’s all magical hands on deck for vampire Elisa Sullivan and her allies as they fight to save the Windy City from a supernatural onslaught, in the newest installment of the USA Today bestselling Heirs of Chicagoland series.
Elisa, the only vampire ever born, is hoping all can remain quiet in the City of Chicago in the wake of a destructive attack by an ancient demon who broke the city’s defensive magic. Still, she and her friends, including shifter Connor Keene, know they need to be ready for anything.
Everyone is working as hard as they can to repair the city’s wards, but unwelcome creatures are slipping through and Elisa soon finds herself caught in the middle of a magical turf war with roots that go back generations. She knows she will have to take a stand, but retaliating threatens to reveal her deepest secret . . .
Author Chloe Neill was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss the final book in the “Heirs of Chicagoland Series,” Cold Curses. It is an all-or-nothing supernatural fight to save the windy city of Chicago! Neill also discusses writing, how she got her start, and what is going on in the future. So kick back, relax, and read about Neill and the incredible world of the Chicagoland Vampires world.
[BWGB] I read that you started writing fanfiction before crafting your own characters. Do you have a favorite ship? Is there a favorite story that you wrote fanfiction for?
I was an OG fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, and I wrote a weee bit of very bad fan fiction involving Acheron. But it only took me a few paragraphs to realize that as much as I enjoyed playing in the Dark Hunters world, I wanted to write a story that was really mine.
[BWGB] I read that you work as an attorney as well as an author. Has being an attorney helped you become a better writer and vice versa?
Yes—both ways. My primary skillset as an attorney is writing; I spend most of the days trying to craft persuasive messages to opponents. Being an author has given me the confidence to find my own “voice”, and constant practice has really tuned my ear to flow and awkwardness.
The best attorney writing, in my opinion, is concise and straightforward, which is much harder to write than rambling “legalese.” I try to do the same thing as an author—choose my words carefully and precisely.
[BWGB] Has your writing process changed at all since your first novel?
I don’t think so. I’ve always been an outliner, as I’m usually writing on a tight deadline and having a plan makes the process more efficient. I don’t usually write scenes in order, at least for the first one-third of the book. Once I’ve gotten some key scenes written, I’ll go back to the beginning, fill in the empty spots, and write sequentially. I think I’ve always done that.
[BWGB] How do you shift mindsets when working on multiple books simultaneously? Is it challenging to change from an adult book to one with a YA audience?
It was very challenging to write YA and adult novels simultaneously, especially when it came to cursing. Which I do a lot of.
[BWGB] Why did you choose Chicago as the setting for the original series?
I wanted a setting with landmarks that would be familiar to many, as I think that provides a helpful touchstone in paranormal novels. There weren’t many books set in Chicago when I started, and it was within a day’s drive of my midwestern home so I could make occasional scouting trips to learn more about neighborhoods and culture.
[BWGB] Can you tell us about Cold Curses? What should we come to expect?
It’s the fifth and final Heirs of Chicagoland novel, and readers should expect a few surprises—and a very satisfying ending.
[BWGB] Cold Curses is the last book in the series. How does it feel to finish it? Is it bittersweet?
Of course! I’ve been writing vampires in Chicago since 2007, so they’ve been part of my life for more than a decade. It was very bittersweet to write the final words about my favorite characters. And I’m so grateful for readers who’ve followed along with eighteen books and a slew of short stories.
[BWGB] An essential part of the Heirs series is the importance of relationships, whether that is between Parent and child, lovers, or best friends. How do you make sure that the relationships that you write always feel authentic?
I think its easiest to write authentic relationships when the characters themselves also feel authentic. I hope to write complex, multi-dimensional characters that are relatable—at least in part because their decisions make sense to us in the context of who they are. Relationships in this context are a kind of decision.
[BWGB] One of the best qualities of your storytelling is the excellent amount of snark. Elisa is a kick-ass heroine but can also throw a zinger or five at shifters getting out of line. How fun is it to tap into that type of creativity? Do you ever have to stop writing and have a good laugh?
Honestly, I’m not sure it’s “creativity” so much as “speaking in my own voice.” I’m a very sarcastic person and love being witty, so my book snark is very much an extension of that.
[BWGB] How is Elisa like her mother, Merit, star of the “Chicagoland Vampire Series,” and how is she different?
They both want to do the right thing by their friends, their families, and Chicago. Both are very cognizant of their parents’ prestige. While Merit really wanted to be a “part” of Cadogan House, Elisa has worked very hard to find her own path and distinguish herself from her parents.
[BWGB] Now that the “Heirs of Chicagoland” is finished, what’s next? Do you have any projects in the hopper you can discuss?
I’m working on a new project, and hopefully we’ll be announcing it very soon!