New interview with author Cristelle Comby

Author Cristelle Comby is back for a visit.
We’re chatting about her new urban fantasy mystery,
Hostile Takeover (Vale Investigation, book 1).

During her
virtual book tour, Cristelle will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
(winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for
a chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too.
Cristelle Comby
was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater
Geneva, where she still resides.
She attributes
to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She
has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
She is the
author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of
private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and
Alexandra Neve, one of his students.
Currently, she
is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles
the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious
town of Cold City, USA.
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews,
Please tell us about your newest
Hostile Takeover is the first book in a new series of
Urban Fantasy mysteries I’m working on. It’s set in the fictitious metropolis
of Cold City, USA. The main character, Bellamy Vale, is a former US Marine
turned Private Investigator. A couple years ago, desperate and at an all-time
low, Vale signed a compact with Death in exchange for a favor. Now he’s on Her
payroll and acts as Her envoy on Earth… and the only reason he’s employee of
the month is that no-one else was foolish enough to take the job.
What inspired you to write this book?
The main idea
was to set the story in a world where every mythology you’ve ever heard of
exists. Not everyone knows it, but there are hundreds of different mythologies
on our planet. Sure, we all know the big ones like Roman, Norse and Celtic, but
there are so many more. And each one’s filled with its own monsters and legends.
It’s a fascinating subject.
Excerpt from Hostile Takeover:
I ripped the yellow tape away and entered the arcade. My
nose was assaulted by a mixture of bleach and cleaning products. The cleaning
team must have worked through the night. It wouldn’t do for the neighbors to
wake up to someone lying dead on their sidewalk. No amount of bleach was going
to get rid of those bloodstains, though. And it was going to take a lot more
than soap to repair the cuts in the carpet and the claw marks on the concrete
My stomach churned at the sight. Either that or it was
protesting against all the painkillers I’d popped down. I heaved a sigh,
knowing the next step was going to make that feel like a paper cut in
comparison. Closing my eyes, I forced my breathing to slow down and emptied my
mind of everything superficial. I counted down from five to one, opened my
eyes, and looked at the scene in front of me again.
The world had narrowed down, dimmed to a tunnel of sharp,
laser-like focus, allowing me to make out the individual fibers of carpet even.
The smells had multiplied into a rich palette of chemical compounds that I
could separate and identify. Knowing I couldn’t keep my concentration up like
this for too long, I hastened to get to work, taking in all the tiniest details
of the crime scene.
From the intensity of the claw marks and the pattern left by
the blood splatter, I could map out the attack to the point of being able to
discern the moves of the victim from those of the beast. Whatever it was that
had made the attack, it had a cruel streak that would have done credit to Jack
the Ripper. It had trapped the victim in a corner, pushed him further and
further inside as it kept moving forward, claws digging into the carpet like
some low-rent Hellraiser knock-off, ready to strike when the fear hit fever
Sweat and fear permeated the air around the place where the
old man had stood, trembling and facing a voracious, tall monster. In one giant
leap, the beast was on him, claws fully extended and shredding flesh into beef
I recoiled at the thought then shook myself out of it.
Despite the cold air, I’d broken into an even colder sweat. The world was
spinning around me. I walked back to the street, desperate to get fresh air
that didn’t reek of death. I was shaking as I fought to suppress the dry
heaving of my stomach. There would be no need to revisit the scene. Everything
I’d seen of that massacre was deeply etched into my mind.
What’s the next writing project?
I’m almost
done with the second book in the series, and percolating ideas for the third.

What is your biggest challenge when
writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)

I tried to
stay true to the legends, while making it work in a contemporary setting. So I
had to update some of the Gods and monsters. I asked myself what they would
they be like today; how they would behave. It was challenging and fun at the
same time.
If your novels require research – please
talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while
you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
For this
book, a lot of the research was mythology-related. Seeing as it’s a subject I’m
passionate about, it was no chore for me.
I do all the
research beforehand, while I write the book’s outline. Outlining is a pivotal
part of my method that takes me several months. I sketch out all the major plot
points up to and including the ending.
I only start
writing when I have everything figured out; it allows me to avoid things like
writer’s block, and unfinished manuscript.
What’s your writing space like? Do you
have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us
about it.
I write on a
laptop so I’m flexible with locations. I usually write from home, but I don’t
have a fixed spot. What matters the most is that the room is quiet, so I can
loose myself within my thoughts.
What authors do you enjoy reading within
or outside of your genre?
My all-time
favorite is Jim Butcher. Other than that, it’s a mix of crimes, fantasy and
science-fiction. At the moment, I’m reading the second Repairman Jack novel, by F. Paul Wilson.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers today?
I have some
free prequel novellas that you can get on my website. There’s one for Vale Investigation that showcases Vale
and Death’s first encounter. And another one for my Neve & Egan Cases series (cozy mysteries set in modern-day
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and
Thanks for
having me.

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5 thoughts on “New interview with author Cristelle Comby

  1. Bernie Wallace says:

    What was your favorite book growing up? Congrats on your release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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