Tuesday, May 29, 2012


MEOW! My guest today is author Sarah Zettel (and her cat, BUFFY the vermin slayer!)
Here’s a bit about Sarah from her official bio:
Sarah Zettel is an award winning science fiction and fantasy author and one of the founding members of Book View Cafe.  She has written fourteen novels and a roughly equal number of short stories over the past ten years in addition to practicing tai chi, learning to fiddle, marrying a rocket scientist and raising a rapidly growing son (and cat, BUFFY the Vermin Slayer!)  She published her first short story in 1988. Her first novel, Reclamation, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1996, and in 1997 won (tied) the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Writing as C. L. Anderson, her novel Bitter Angels won the 2010 Philip K. Dick award for best paperback original novel.

ROCCO:  Hello, Sarah!  And Hello Buffy!
Sarah:  Hello, Rocco!
Buffy: (bats kitty eyelashes)  Hel-lo Rocco!
Rocco: Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you became interested in writing?
Sarah: Hello!  My name is Sarah Zettel, with me here at my right shoulder on ths saggy green couch is my cat Buffy the Vermin Slayer.  Basic stats:  I’m mostly from the Great Lakes area, married, and have one son.  I decided to become a writer at about thirteen after reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s THE TOMBS OF AUTUAN.  I’m not sure what it was about that book, but it tipped me right over the edge.  I’ve been writing ever since.
Buffy:  And that laptop hasn’t been off her lap in years.  No consideration for other people, I’m telling you.
Sarah: You’ve been fed, stay out of this.
Buffy:  But I have not yet run up and down the living room.  How can you be working before I’ve run up and down the living room?
Sarah: I’m supposed to wait on your schedule?
Buffy:  Just who do you think is in charge around here?
Rocco: Ahem – ladies – interview in progress here
Sarah:  Sorry about that folks.  Just ignore her.
Buffy: (bats eyelashes again)  Yes. So sorry, Rocco.
Rocco: Quite all right.  Now, Sarah, tell us a bit about your latest book
Sarah: LET THEM EAT STAKE is the second book in the “Vampire Chef,” mystery series.  Charlotte Caine, executive chef at the Manhattan eatery Nightlife, is hired to cater a society wedding between a gold-digging vampire and the daughter of a powerful witch clan.  As you might expect, there’s a little more tension than usual between the soon-to-be in laws.  Especially once the chef Charlotte’s replaced for the job turns up dead.
Rocco: Sounds like a book right up my alley…and the Human’s!  Okay, Sarah. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
Sarah: To be honest with you, I don’t know.  I decided young this was what I wanted to do, and I never seriously considered anything else.  Professional puppeteer maybe.  I was heavily influenced by Jim Hension and the Muppets in my youth.
Buffy:  Now!  Now!  I’m running up and down the living room!  Wheeee-haaaa….look at me, look at me!
Sarah:  Ignore her.
Rocco: We’re trying. Persistent devil, isn’t she?
Buffy:  You can’t!  You can’t!  For I will jump on your couch, and your keys!  I am the Vermin Slayer!  Uh-oh.  Nap time. (flops on couch, closes eyes)
Sarah:  Sigh.  Cats.  Whaddayagonnado?
Rocco:  (with lifted eyebrows) Getting back to the interview:  A restaurant that caters to the undead is definitely different J What inspired you?
Sarah: I so wish I could take credit for the idea, but I can’t.  The late-great editor and publisher, Marty Greenberg came up with it.  Apparently, he just walked into the office one day and said “Vampire chef, why has nobody done this?”  And all the other people in the office blinked and looked around and said.  “Vampire chef! Why has nobody done this!”  And they started looking for an author who’d be interested in the project.  I was lucky enough to be suggested for the job.
Buffy:  (lifts head groggily) Are you still typing?  Why are you still typing?
Sarah:  I thought it was nap time.
Buffy:  Nap time is over.  Typing time is over.  It is ear scratching time.  See?  I’m between you and the screen, therefore, it is ear scratching time.
Sarah:  Sigh.  ‘Scuse me.
Rocco: No problem. It’s nice you scratch your cat’s ears. (gives the HUMAN a scathing look and waits patiently while Buffy gets ears scratched)  Okay, which genre do you prefer, paranormal, Science fiction or YA?
Sarah: That’s a tough one.  I read widely, so I love a good story, no matter where it’s shelved.  I’ve got to say YA is a really exciting place to be right now.  There’s so much fantastic writing, and such a breadth of good stories on the shelves, it’s a real adventure.
Rocco: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Sarah:  Decide to become a writer.  Otherwise, I’m very boring.
Rocco: Tell us a bit about the Book View Café.
Sarah:  Book View Café is the internet’s largest professional author’s cooperative.  We are a group of 40 traditionally published authors, including bestsellers and award winners, who got together to help member authorsget our work out in ebook form.  When we started up back in 2008, our primary focus was author backlists,  but we have since branched out into original author titles, member anthologies, new collections and non-fiction.  We cover all genres: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, and YA are all included and we don’t use DRM.  You buy a book from us, you own the book.
Rocco: What one thing would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Sarah: That I’ve written a series about fine dining while actually being a very timid and fussy eater.
Rocco:  If you could travel anywhere back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Sarah: Benjamin Franklin.  Probably one of history’s most amazing people.  Blindingly intelligent, charming, witty, a scientist, inventor, writer, and diplomat.
Buffy:  But did he have a cat?  Great people have cats.  Cleopatra had cats.  Supervillians have cats.  You have a cat.  My dish is empty.  My ears are insufficiently skritched.  Pay attention.  I’m right here.  Pay attention!
Sarah:  Sigh.  ‘Scuse me.  Again.
Rocco:  It’s ok. I’ve got to agree with her.  Great people have cats.  Louisa May Alcott had cats. I think even Al Capone had a cat.  And, of course, the Human has me! (Big cat grin).  And now, a little thing I call:
Just for Fun:
Beach or Mountains?
Sarah: Mountains, no question.
Vampire or Vixen?
Sarah: Vixen.
Duke or Prince?
Sarah: Duke.  As Shakespeare tells us “Your Highness is too costly a garment to wear every day.”
Lake or Ocean?
Sarah: Lake.  Especially the big ones, which is as you might expect.
Cat or Dog????????
Buffy:  Think very, very carefully before you answer that one.
Rocco: Hey, that’s my line!
Sarah:  Oh, I am, believe me.
Your favorite:
Book: This week?  Watership Down by Richard Adams.  Unless it’s Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers.  Unless it’s Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
Movie:  The Prestige
TV show:  The Twilight Zone
Actor: Jimmy Stewart
Actress:  Mae West
Rocco: Meow, thank you Sarah and Buffy, for a great interview!  And Sarah, I noticed you never answered the cat or dog question?
Sarah:  I didn’t did I? Now, how about that!
Buffy: Chicken – hm, not a bad idea. What’s for dinner again?
Rocco: (rolls eyes)  Cats, right. I’m sure you meant to answer cats.
Dead silence from Sarah.
Buffy:  Oh, she did.  She definitely did.
Sarah:  You’re speaking for me now?
Buffy: Someone has to.
Sarah: Fine. Cats. Maybe.
Rocco: Ladies, ladies.  Thank you so much for a wonderful interview. It’s been a pleasure.
Sarah and Buffy: Our pleasure, Rocco!

Folks, if you enjoyed this interview you will also enjoy Sarah’s Vampire Chef series! And one lucky reader will have an opportunity to win the latest, LET THEM EAT STAKE!
Leave a comment below with your email address.  For extra entries, you can:
Friend moi, ROCCO, on Facebook (if you haven’t already!)
Friend the HUMAN on FB
Friend Sarah on FB
Follow moi on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
Follow Sarah on Twitter
Tweet or FB about this interview and giveaway!

Be sure to list all you’ve done in the post so we can give you the extra entries. Tweeting or FB’ing about this interview and giveaway gets you 3 – count ‘em 3 – extra entries!

Contest open to US residents only. Closes midnight, June 3, winner announced on June 4!

Get goin!

Other news: the winner of our Gina Robinson giveaway is: chrisbails. Congratulations! Look for an email from Gina regarding your prize.

Coming up…an interview with Queen Betsy Taylor, courtesy of MaryJanice Davidson, on the day of UNDEAD AND UNSTABLE’S release, June 5th!  And one lucky reader will have a  chance to win a BRAND SPANKIN' NEW HARDCOVER COPY OF UNDEAD AND UNSTABLE!  HOT OFF THE PRESS!

And June is jam packed with good stuff:
June 12 - Interview and giveaway: Kari Lee Townsend
June 19 - Interview with Chronicles of Egg author Geoff Rodkey!
June 26th - Tate Halloway in the hotseat!
And more to come in the months after, including interviews with Sara Dearly (courtesy Michelle Rowen), Rachel Vincent, our KNTR fundraiser and character interview with CASTLE (fanfic) and more in the months ahead!

Incredibly Talented Blogging Cat
PS:  Hey, Sarah I forgot – can I get Buffy’s phone number? Or email address?????


  1. Rocco, you rogue! Buffy, keep you eyes on that one!
    Vampire chef? Having been a chef, I wonder....hmmm.
    I like YA; they should possibly rename it, as AARP magazine recommended YA books to its members who may prefer their stories well-written, but on the tamer side.
    Congratulations on your success, Sarah.

  2. LOL!!!!! I just found this blog and I love it! Count me in as a new dedicated reader :)

    Thanks for a great interview w/ both Sarah and Buffy! Congrats on the new release!


  3. I have the first book in the Vampire Chef series, it was Fangtastic!

    I'm FB friends with both you, and the Human, also Twitter.

    I'd love to win a copy of this book for my home library.