Neill's 7th in vampire series out Tuesday
“House Rules,” the seventh book in the Chicagoland Vampire series by Bellevue author Chloe Neill will be available Tuesday.
For the past four years, she has been working at a relentless pace. Since 2009 she has completed 10 books, Books 2 to 8 in the vampire books and three “Dark Elite” young adult books.
In a recent telephone interview, Neill said she had just completed writing “Biting Bad,” the eighth book featuring the reluctant vampire Merit (due out in August). The writer won't hear back from her editor for a few weeks, so for the first time in a long time, she has nothing to do.
“I'm driving my husband up a wall,” she said laughing. Even though she works full time in a downtown Omaha office, having free time when she gets home is disconcerting.
And she's not ready to quit working and turn to writing full time. She has to stay busy.
“I have a day job that I really love,” she said. “I need my day job.”
Neill was able to ride the wave of vampire popularity to a publishing contract.
“I was super lucky,” she said.
Although she had done her homework on which publisher looked like the best prospect, she still was shocked when she received a 10-book contract from Penguin in a “really blissfully short period of time.”
She said she attributes the books' and Merit's popularity with readers to the fact that she keeps her characters grounded. Even though she has created a fantasy world, her vampires “do the same stuff we do. They have a Nebraska attitude.”
She incorporates things she likes to do into her books. “I love to cook. I love to go out with friends.”
Her vampires eat lots of food, including meat, although Neill is a vegetarian. “I guess I live through my characters,” she said, again laughing.
Fans of the “Dark Elite” books will be disappointed to learn there won't be another, at least not any time soon. Neill said it was too difficult to write for both an adult audience and a teen audience at the same time.
Has she thought about trying something new or starting another adult series?
“I have a lot of ideas on paper,” she said. “But I'll wait till Merit is done before starting anything else.”
Libraries host family reading series
Families can discover new books together during the six weeks of “Prime Time Family Reading Time.” Each week a storyteller will read aloud and lead a discussion about books.
A nutritious meal will be served at each session. Transportation can be provided for families who need it if they let organizers know ahead of time.
The programs are free, but families with children ages 6 to 10 should register ahead of time by calling or visiting one of the three participating libraries. Activities will be provided for younger siblings.
» Willa Cather Library, 1905 S. 44th St., 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays, this week through March 12, 402-444-4851. This program is designed for Native American families.
» Charles B. Washington Library, 2868 Ames Ave., 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays Feb. 16 through March 23, 402-444-4849.
» South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays, March 4 through April 8, 402-444-4850. Stories will be offered in Spanish and English.
On the calendar
Writing group organization: For anyone who wants to write about family history, ancestor biography or memoir, 1:30 p.m. today, W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St.
Book discussion: I Should Have Read That in School classics group, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Bookworm, 87th and Pacific Streets.
Lunch at the Library: Twyla Han, “Poetry and the Land,” 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Bennett Martin Public Library, 14th and N Streets, Lincoln.
Poetry presentation: Brandon Thornton, “Sankofa: Learning From the Past, Giving to the Future,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, University of Nebraska at Kearney Student Union food court.
Book sale: Friends of the Omaha Public Library, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Swanson Library, 9101 West Dodge Road.
Book discussion: WWII History Study Group, “Second World War” by John Keegan, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Millard Library, 13214 Westwood Lane.
Knit Your Bit/book discussion: National program, “The Heritage Collection: WWI and WWII” by Rohn Strong, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Millard Library.
Writing workshop: WriteLife Writers' Workshop, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, PS Collective, 6056 Maple St.
Book discussion: Sherlock Holmes Book Club, “The Adventure of Abbey Grange,” 10 a.m. Saturday, the Bookworm.
Book signing: Andy Greenberg, author “Your High,” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Hy-Vee, 132nd Street and West Dodge Road.
Book discussion: Jane Austen Society of Nebraska, “Pride and Prejudice,” 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Countryside Community Church, 87th and Pacific Streets.
Book discussion: Jane Austen Tea Society, “Pride and Prejudice,” 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Millard Library.
Books and Bagels: “The Secrets of Mary Bowser” by Lois Leveen, 11 a.m. Feb. 10, the Bookworm. (Pre-register with the store.)
— Events are free and open to the public.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1067, email@example.com