Melody Johnson is the author of the Night Blood series. She graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology. While still earning her degree, she worked as an editing intern for Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. She was a copyeditor for several novels, including Cheetah by Missy Jackson; Trust No Man II by Cash; and Karma with a Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne. Book #1 of the Night Blood series, The City Beneath, is her debut novel. When she isn't writing, Melody can be found hiking the many woodsy trails in her Pennsylvania hometown or sunning and swimming at the beach. You can learn more about Melody and her work at authormelodyjohnson.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Q&A with Melody Johnson, Author of THE CITY BENEATH

What compelled you to write THE CITY BENEATH?

Traditionally, I've always written contemporary love stories, but I've read and adored the action and dark mystery of vampires my whole life. Combining the foundation of vampire classics with the edge of more contemporary work was very important to me. I wanted The City Beneath's vampires to be more animal than human, more vicious, dangerous and instinctive than other portrayals withou compromising the ancient, otherworldly intelligence that makes them so romantic. Many paranormal love stories focus on the love, innocent vs. vampire, so I wanted to write about the gritty underbelly of the city and how a strong female lead, familiar with the struggle to survive the dangers of everyday life, would stand up against the threat of vampires.

If THE CITY BENEATH were to be made into a movie, who would you have play Cassidy and Dominic?

I can think of a few actors who might fit the bill, but my favorites would be Natalie Portman and Henry Cavill.

Who is your favorite character in THE CITY BENEATH?

Although I love all my characters, I've got a particular soft spot for Officer Harroway. Although not a main character, his history with Cassidy was interesting to develop and their banter was fun to write. I definitely have a special fondness for Harroway that I look forward to further fleshing-out in future installments of the series.

Did you do a lot of vampire research for THE CITY BENEATH? How much of it is based on vampire lore and how much of it is from your imagination?

My research was based on a lifetime love of reading vampire novels and watching movies, the classics and contemporary alike. Some of the most influential works and my favorites include Dracula, Interview With A Vampire, Queen of the Damned, Underworld, True Blood, Blade, the Anita Blake Series, the Chicagoland Vampire series, the Twilight saga, the Dark-Hunter series, and most especially, the Fever series.

If you could compare THE CITY BENEATH to other books, TV shows, or movies, how would you describe it?

I would describe The City Beneath as most closely comparing to the gritty mystery in the early installments of the Anita Blake series combined with the dark, uninvited romance of the Fever Series and the breathless action of Underworld.