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
I can think of a few actors who might fit the bill, but my favorites would be Natalie Portman and
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
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.
As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven's secrets safe…
But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a night blood, a being with powers of her own, including the ability to become a vampire. As the body count escalates, Cassidy is caught in the middle of a vampire rebellion. Dominic insists she can help him stop the coming war, but wary of his intentions, Cassidy enlists the help of the charming Ian Walker, a fellow night blood. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to tap into her newfound powers and decide where to place her trust...