Latest News

Interview with Claudia Gray

I had the good fortune to interview Claudia Gray, author of Evernight and Stargazer. I am a huge fan of this series, and if you've yet to pick up Evernight, get your butt to a bookstore!

How did EVERNIGHT come about? What sparked the idea in your mind?

I had a very unusual high-school experience, so I knew from the beginning that I'd never be able to write about ordinary teenage life. When I asked myself what the weirdest, most extraordinary school might be, Evernight Academy was the result.

One of the things I liked most about EVERNIGHT was how you used so much traditional vampire lore. How did you manage to stay true to vampire traditions while still creating such a unique story?

Happily, there is so much vampire lore out there that you can really pick and choose what works best for your individual story. I needed my vampires to have some resistance to sunlight -- but I also wanted to give them real limitations on their movement, which was where the taboo about running water came in. The more you read about vampire legends, the more fascinating stuff you find.

I’m a complete history nerd, so I loved that you included lots of historical facts. How much research did it take to make sure everything was accurate?

I'll tell you right now, the biggest danger isn't the stuff you don't know; it's the stuff you THINK you know. That said, I had a lot of fun reading up on the histories of the older vampire characters.

Your characters are so believable as teens. Was it a challenge getting into the mind of a teen?

I'm glad they feel real to you! It wasn't that big a leap -- I think everyone always remembers at least something of what it's like to go through high school, first love, all of it.

Since EVERNIGHT is the first of a series, I imagine there was some pressure on the second book. STARGAZER definitely lived up to my expectations, but was it easier or harder to write than EVERNIGHT?

STARGAZER was harder to begin -- a lot harder -- but once I got going with it, I thought it came together much easier. I had to rewrite EVERNIGHT a few times to be happy with it, while the first draft of STARGAZER was not so different from the final version.

Did you plan for EVERNIGHT to be a four book series from the start, or was this something that developed as you were writing?

I always planned for it to be a series, but I didn't find out how many books exactly until HarperCollins made its offer. After that, I was able to shape the overall plot arc into four discrete stories.

It’s probably hard to talk about how things are going with the third book of the series, but is there anything you can tell us?

The third book is written and done; I'm working on the fourth book now. As for the third book, HOURGLASS, in many ways it's the odd one out -- we're away from Evernight Academy most of the time and the dynamics have shifted a lot for the characters. Bianca's made some very bold moves, some of which are going to work out for her, and some of which have powerful, troubling implications. And I'll warn you now -- it ends on a cliffhanger. (I'm sorry! Originally the books were going to be issued every six months instead of every year; had I known the break would be so long, I think I'd have found a different way to tell that part of the story. By the time I knew, it was really too late to go back.)

I saw from your blog on livejournal that you have two future projects: the SPELLCASTER series, and a book about Balthazar, who I have to say may be my favorite character from EVERNIGHT. Both sound intriguing, and I definitely have to admit a lot of excitement about seeing Balthazar again. Is there anything you can tell us about either of these two projects?

BALTHAZAR: This book is very much in the rough planning stages. I know that it is going to involve many flashbacks to his past, so we'll finally see where he comes from, what his relationship with Charity has been like, etc. The rough story arc for what he'll do in his book will draw from the fourth EVERNIGHT novel, AFTERLIFE.

SPELLCASTER: I'm so excited about working on this one. Essentially, it's a story about Ivy, a well-meaning young witch who's been left on her own to complete her training. She's smart enough to do it, too -- but then she moves to Fortune's Sound, a small town that holds enormous magical power but is haunted by this terrible darkness. She meets Mateo, a guy who's literally laboring under the town's curse. In other to free him -- and save the lives of everyone around her -- she's going to have to defeat a very powerful sorceress, and perhaps call on darker magic to do it.

What was the most unexpected thing about being published?

How much time promotion takes. I'm shamefully behind on my reader email right now, though when I go FT later this year, I hope to catch up!

What would be your #1 writing tip for anyone who hopes to be an author?

Read everything you can get your mitts on.

Five real fast:

Favorite song of all time?

"This Ol' Heart of Mine" by the Isley Brothers.

If you could transport yourself to any point in history, which would it be?

The early Roman Empire -- I am fascinated by that era and would want to investigate every single facet of daily life. Of course, I'd have to brush up on my Latin.

Most interesting thing you’ve ever seen?

The Roman Forum, actually!

Favorite childhood activity?

Wandering around in the backyard, telling myself stories, or playing with my pug, Isaac.

What spot on your life highway was/is the best?

I enjoyed the summer of 1987 and the six years I lived in New Orleans, but I'd have to say, "Right now."


Thank you, Claudia, for taking the time to answer my questions!
Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

Posts by Kaitlin

website twitter goodreads tumblr

  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments


  1. I'm so excited to get started on this series!! Thank you Claudia for the great interview. Awesome questions, Kaitlin!

  2. Wow, great post! Thanks so much Claudia (and Kaitlin!)

    I'm actually excited that Hourglass ends on a cliffhanger- I love 'em! :) Can't wait!

  3. Yay! Awesome interview, Kaitlin. Claudia sounds like an intriguing person. Now, off to the bookstore to pick up some vamp lit . . .

  4. I want to know what happened the summer of 1987 :)

  5. Great interview! I admit I have not read Evernight, but I am off to the bookstore this weekend to grab it!!

  6. Excellent questions, Kaitlin! Evernight sounds like a good read. Best of luck in your writing endeavors Miss Gray. ^_^

  7. Great interview! I'm so getting this now.

  8. A really interesting interview; I've got a new book on my 'Must Read' list!

  9. I love the Evernight series!! It is so amazing! Hourglass will be a cliffhanger!? How will I survive that year?

    Oh, and everyone does know her name's not really Claudia, right?

  10. Wow the Evernight series is so good. you have me in love with lucas and Balthazar. I love them both. Cant wait fdor the 3rd book 2 come out!!! I wish it wasnt a cliff hanger because i have to wait so long to read the 4th book. Cant wait till the 3rd book comes out. Thank you so much claudia!!!!

  11. for the love of god why oh why the cliffhanger and i have a year before the 4th book just kill me now but do love the book every one should read it well written good story 10 out of 10

  12. i have read all of the books and they are so so great and i soooo wish there was no cliff hangers though :(

  13. I am very happy to see this website. Really wonderful site. I love this blog. Thanks for sharing with us.


Comments are moderated on posts two weeks old or more -- please send us a tweet if yours needs approval!

Item Reviewed: Interview with Claudia Gray Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward