Book Brahmin: Chloe Neill

photo: Dana Damewood

Chloe Neill is the author of the bestselling Devil's Isle, Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite series. Her latest book in the Chicagoland series is Dark Debt (NAL, March 3, 2015). Neill was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When not writing, she bakes, works and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Neill also maintains her sanity by spending time with her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout.

On your nightstand now:

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and anything by Lois Lenski, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. When I was older, I loved the Three Investigators books by Robert Arthur, Jr.

Your top five authors:

How about six "autobuys": J.D. Robb, Nathaniel Philbrick, Diana Gabaldon, Jo Bourne, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman.

Book you've faked reading:

I don't think I've ever faked reading a book. (What would be the point?) But I fake-read plenty of articles in graduate school.

dark debtBooks you're an evangelist for:

Three series: J.D. Robb's In Death books, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books and Jo Bourne's spy novels. Fantastic characters, fantastic writing, fantastic worlds.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I can't think of a book I've bought solely based on the cover. I'm really picky about voice, so I always try to read at least the first page or two. But I've certainly read samples (and then bought) plenty of books based on striking covers. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which is really gorgeous, was on my Christmas list this year.

Book that changed your life:

I couldn't point to one. I've read so many books, and I'm sure they've affected me in ways I'm not even aware of! The Little House on the Prairie books taught me to read, so I'll adore them forever.

Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey was the first romance novel I remember reading, and I adored the plucky heroine and big family. It fostered my love of clever romance series--and my plan to write one.

Favorite line from a book:

I'm not a favorite line kind of gal, but I do have a favorite mechanism--footnotes. I adore fiction books that use footnotes successfully, like those in Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Which character you most relate to:

Probably any character who's extra curious or who feels they don't quite fit in.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Gabaldon's Outlander. I'd love to experience Claire's and Jamie's meeting and adventures for the first time.

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