I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for City of Vicious Night that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
How would you describe City of Vicious Night in one sentence?
When a saboteur seeking personal vengeance against Riven and Asa begins turning other street gangs against the crew, their only hope of surviving another night in their outlaw city is to steal a crime-syndicate throne—but they soon discover a deeper conspiracy threatening their entire city.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of City of Vicious Night?
Riven is still the queen of terrible (but sometimes fun) decisions—she’s a gunslinger with a chip on her shoulder, and she operates with rage, determination, and deadly precision. After City of Shattered Light, she’s gotten better about fighting for the right reasons, but is still contending with some past traumas and determined to go out with a bang. Should not be trusted undercover at a fancy party.
Asa, an heiress-turned-smuggler and hacker extraordinaire, is building up her street smarts and strategic abilities. She’s approaching survival like any other test, but starts to realize she can’t run from her past—and that her diplomatic capabilities might be as deadly as the rest of the crew’s firepower.
Ty, the crew’s former medic, is now a captive and just trying to survive. He’s right where we left him at the end of CoSL, but things have gotten worse. If he’s going to escape and save himself—and his friends—it’s going to require some unsavory decisions. Decisions that are exacerbated by the creepy new friend whispering in his ear.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I definitely didn’t know the whole story when I first started drafting (I hadn’t even decided whether or not Kaya would survive CoSL until I was drafting the ending). Usually I start with an idea of where a character’s arc will go, but I don’t fully know a character until I’ve worked on their scenes, hammered out their voice, and delved deep into their place in the story. My drafting process is a combination of “plotting” and “pantsing.”
After I’d finished CoSL, though, I had a pretty good idea of where all the main characters would end up. I had a lot of time to sit with them during querying, revisions, and submission for CoSL, and I kept coming up with scenes and ideas for the sequel. By the time I started drafting CoVN, the scenes flowed. I knew the characters so well that the drafting process was very smooth, and I was able to bring all the characters to a place that’s consistent with my original vision for them.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
This is so hard to describe without spoilers! I adore several scenes in this book, since they’re payoff for character arcs and plot points in the first book. I will say that there’s a certain scene containing the quote “Hello, Princess” which I (and many early readers!) really love.
At one point, Ty has a flashback in which he remembers Riven saying “Someday. The three of us. We’ll steal this whole damn city.” It’s a quote that really encapsulates the trajectory of these characters’ stories, and the bond between Riven, Ty, and Samir is explored more in this book.
And there are more scenes that deepen the characters’ bonds and romances, which I won’t spoil!
What is something readers will find in City of Vicious Night that they may not realize based on the
It’s not mentioned in the synopsis (and he’s not on the cover), but Ty has his own POV chapters! If you’ve read the first book, you know he was left in a tough spot. This book explores that arc for him, which I’d planned ever since the first draft of the first book.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from City of Vicious Night?
I hope it feels like coming back home to the crew and to Requiem after the first book. I hope it gives readers an even deeper connection to the city, its neon-lit backstreets, and its bizarre history. I hope it feels cathartic to wrap up these plotlines after the characters’ struggles. And I hope it’s refreshing to escape to a glittering dystopia that’s high-stakes and deadly but still completely queer-normative.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed City of Vicious Night?
Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
Mindwalker by Kate Dylan
The Kingdom of Without by Andrea Tang
ABOUT THE BOOK
TITLE: City of Vicious Night
AUTHOR: Claire Winn
GENRE: Young Adult Science Fiction
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2023
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Rep: Queer, Sapphic
For the most hated crew on Requiem, the only way out is up.
It’s been four months since runaway heiress Asa crash-landed on the matriarchal outlaw colony Requiem, bringing a nasty AI and a host of deadly secrets with her. Now, she runs with her almost-girlfriend Riven’s smuggler crew, stealing kisses between gunfights and heists. But when a mysterious hacker sabotages their latest job, other gangs turn against them, blaming them for the destruction the rogue AI caused. Nowhere in the city is safe.
The only way to protect their crew is a series of trials for control of an underworld faction–and vying for a matriarch’s throne is a dream Riven can’t let go. But as the trials intensify, the saboteur hounds Asa and Riven’s every step, determined to kill Asa and right her father’s wrongs. When the saboteur reveals a horrific conspiracy threatening all of Requiem–one involving the crew member they thought they’d lost–the girls must decide whether to risk their own skins for a city that loathes them.
Content Warning: death, violence, body horror, references of sexual assault
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Winn spends her time immersed in other worlds—through LARP, video games, books, nerd conventions, and her own stories. Since graduating from Northwestern University, she’s worked as a legal writer and freelance editor. Aside from writing, she builds cosplay props and armor, tears up dance floors, and battles with boffer swords.