Shopgirl and the Vampire

Ciar Cullen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, The Shop Girl and the Vampire*.

Genre: Paranormal Historical
Buy links:
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Length: 35p, 11,000 words
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: At the cusp of the 19th century,
a penniless lass learns her dashing guardian angel is a bloodsucking devil.
*Winner, Boroughs Publishing Group @FirstSight short story contest.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Kitty Twamley, Irish
scullery turned talented artist, 24
Phillip Orleans, socialite/vampire
Boroughs Publishing


What is the most important
thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
It’s taken me about 7 years to actually know how to “write from
the heart.” I used to hear that phrase and thought I knew what it meant—with passion
and verve. It’s akin to “write what you know”. Write what you know in your heart; write your own psychological
journey onto the page, and don’t assume that no one will understand it. Be authentic.
When you write your version of “junk food,” it comes out the intellectual equivalent
of junk food. Write with abandon.
If you could change something
about your first book, what would it be?
Just about everything. I wrote every high fantasy trope into
that book: the journey, the unavailable royal, the brothers, the bad wizard’s fortress,
the heroine who feels bad about herself until the hero loves her, the campfire meal
on the journey… oy vey. Lord of the Rings “lite”. Shudder.
What do you enjoy most
about life?
I think the thing I enjoy most about life is the mysterious nature
of life itself. Hmmn, enjoy might be the wrong word. But as I get older, I find
that the trivial really falls away and you’re left with questions about yourself,
and how you fit into the Universe.
If you could choose anyone
to be your mentor who would it be?
For writing, hands down, Mark Twain. While he had some great
sadness in his life, his wit and unorthodox (for the time) way of looking at his
world were genius.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I’d tell young Ciar that she deserved good things, as we all
do, that she was entitled to look out for herself, and that she didn’t have to spend
her life trying to take care of others who would not accept responsibility for themselves.
Oh, and not to wear pale blue eye shadow. And that 118 pounds wasn’t fat. (I’d scream
that last part).
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I really like nonfiction. Books like “Devil in the White City.”
I love Victorian settings, exotic settings. For fiction, I don’t much like the Oprah
Book Club type “women’s literature.” I’m more likely to reach for something on my
“great books” list, which I’m trying to work through. 200 books that my high school
and college didn’t make me read. Thackery, etc.
Imagine you get to go
on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will
you go?
I am a low-maintenance gal. I’m opening a rucksack, throwing
in jeans and cargo pants, a swimsuit (and 100 SPF sunscreen), a hat, shorts and
tank tops, some underwear, and headed for the Amazon. Oh, pretty heavy hiking boots.
What do you like to do
when you’re bored?
My go-to hobby is knitting. Everyone I know has an afghan from
me; a few have lace shawls. I’m now making a coat of many colors!
If your life became a
movie, who would you want to play you?
I can’t picture a single moment of my life being movie-worthy,
except perhaps when I was an archaeologist, but of course, the great ones come to
mind—Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, etc.
If you were a color, what
color would you be?
“American Beauty Rose” my mom used to call it. Not in-your-face
red, but with just enough subtlety to take the edge off. But noticeable, for sure.
I share a birthday with Lucille Ball, and that pretty much sums me up!
Which statement is more
like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”
I’m a “do the world in a month” person. Fast, fast, fast. Except
for writing. Snail-like.

Please Fill in the Blanks

Ciar Cullen

I love pizza with lots of cheese.

I’m always ready for sleep.
When I’m alone, I daydream.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m very religious.
If I had a halo it would be rusty.
If I could do it over I’d become a surgeon.
I can never stray because I’m very loyal.

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