[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Karen! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Karen Greco] Sleep deprived writer, mother, arts promoter, animal lover.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Hell’s Belle?
[Karen Greco] Hell’s Belle is about Nina Martinez, who is a supernatural crime fighter with a secret government organization. When she returns to her hometown to help her aunt take care of the family business, secrets from her family’s past are revealed, putting her life in danger. As she comes to grips with her past, and her budding relationship with the gorgeous FBI agent Max, she fights for her survival while keeping the paranormal entities she battles firmly underground.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Karen Greco] It really started with location. Providence is an fantastic city, steeped in history and lots of terrific supernatural lore. The Biltmore Hotel in particular was a real inspiration, and it served for me like Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel (from The Shining). The Biltmore is a gorgeous Art Deco hotel that was built in the roaring 20s, and represented very posh Providence society. What would happen if it fell into decay, and ghosts and demonic entities took over? What would that feel like to humans?
I also loved the idea of looking at a small city through a sort of pre-dystopia lens. We don’t quite have a failed society, but this place is on the brink. What would that look like?
Once I started shaping those ideas, my characters began to develop. I honestly don’t remember if Nina came first as a character. I think it may have been Babe.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nina?
[Karen Greco] Fun, fearless, dangerous.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Max had a theme song, what would it be?
[Karen Greco] California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and the Papas.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nina is never without.
[Karen Greco] A stake.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Max’s bathroom?
[Karen Greco] Hair brush, hair product (i.e. gel, pomade, etc), hairdryer.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Nina’s greatest regret?
[Karen Greco] Her greatest regret is never knowing her parents.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Karen Greco] Usually images. Really great images inspire me. They don’t have to be beautiful. They can be haunting, strange, funny, or really frightening.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Karen Greco] My lap top, water, coffee, and a good idea!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Hell’s Belle?
[Karen Greco] My day job! Seriously. It gets tricky trying to fit writing into little nooks and crannies of time during the day.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Karen Greco] Chris Ward’s The Tube Riders. That book took me on a really great adventure.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Karen Greco] Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop. I learned to read with that book! And I read it endlessly. It still makes me laugh.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Karen Greco] I love hanging out with my daughter and doing stuff with her, like going to museums or movies or to the theater. She’s a little foodie, so we often try new restaurants or specialty food places. Since we live in the NYC metro area, it’s very easy to do all these sorts of things. Often all in one day!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Karen Greco] I am most active on Facebook because I feel like I can have real conversations there:
And I am on twitter:
And my (neglected) blog home is:
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Hell’s Belle by Karen Greco
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of pages: 238
Word Count: 74,722
Half-vampire, half-human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents who quietly take down rogue monsters — the human world none the wiser.
She moves back to her hometown of Providence, RI to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt. Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city’s community of witches.
But Nina’s investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date.
An urban fantasy set in a decaying Providence, Rhode Island, HELL’S BELLE is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled roller-coaster ride through a city on the cusp of becoming an urban wasteland. An energetic, expansive, and cinematic, HELL’S BELLE was called "captivating" by Kirkus Reviews.
Book Chick City gave it 5-stars, calling it "one of the best urban fantasies I have read this year!"
About the Author:
An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry.
A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL’S BELLE is her first novel.
10 Ebook copies of Hell’s Belle By Karen Greco- either mobi or ePub, winners choice