An exclusive interview with Chinese-Filipino author, Rin Chupeco — It’s no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of their work. I’ve said this time and time again, but it bears repeating: The Bone Witch trilogy changed my life. And since 2018, I’ve read all of Rin Chupeco’s books, except for their horror novels — which I intend to change by the end of Wikathon. But I digress.
I’ve admired Rin Chupeco’s versatility as an author for a long time, and I am genuinely so thrilled that they’re finally branching out to adult literature! For today, we’ll delve deeper into their upcoming adult fantasy debut, Silver Under Nightfall. How exciting!
(Last Updated: August 18, 2022)
More on Rin Chupeco’s Adult Debut
It offers such a refreshing take on vampiric lore, and I can’t wait for other readers to immerse themselves in this cinematic world.
Without giving too much away, what can readers look forward to in Silver Under Nightfall?
- Murder mystery turned sweeping conspiracy with deadly consequences 💀
- Steamy polyamorous relationship between two vampires and their hunter 🏹
- Grumpy loner shouldering the weight of his father’s legacy + his own controversial heritage 🥴
- The exquisite pain of love, loyalty, and compassion freely given but never returned 💔
- Pages and pages filled with action, angst, and longing 👀
by Rin Chupeco
Remy Pendergast is many things: the only son of the Duke of Valenbonne (though his father might wish otherwise), an elite bounty hunter of rogue vampires, and an outcast among his fellow Reapers. His mother was the subject of gossip even before she eloped with a vampire, giving rise to the rumors that Remy is half-vampire himself. Though the kingdom of Aluria barely tolerates him, Remy’s father has been shaping him into a weapon to fight for the kingdom at any cost.
When a terrifying new breed of vampire is sighted outside of the city, Remy prepares to investigate alone. But then he encounters the shockingly warmhearted vampire heiress Xiaodan Song and her infuriatingly arrogant fiancé, vampire lord Zidan Malekh, who may hold the key to defeating the creatures—though he knows associating with them won’t do his reputation any favors. When he’s offered a spot alongside them to find the truth about the mutating virus Rot that’s plaguing the kingdom, Remy faces a choice.
It’s one he’s certain he’ll regret.
But as the three face dangerous hardships during their journey, Remy develops fond and complicated feelings for the couple. He begins to question what he holds true about vampires, as well as the story behind his own family legacy. As the Rot continues to spread across the kingdom, Remy must decide where his loyalties lie: with his father and the kingdom he’s been trained all his life to defend or the vampires who might just be the death of him.
Author Interview with Rin Chupeco
What is your pastry and beverage combination of choice?
SHEALEA: Hi, Rin! Thank you for participating in this year’s Wikathon event and (virtually) sitting down with us for an interview!
It’s been a long while since I last had you here on the blog, so let’s warm up with some light and potentially quirky opening questions: Let’s imagine that we’re doing this interview in a beautiful café. What pastry and beverage combination would you order from the menu?
RIN CHUPECO: I’ve been getting very fond of iced fruit tea as of late, so that’s my usual go-to for beverages. I’m not usually one for sweets, but my one weakness is chocolate mousse, and that’s what I usually tend to order whenever I’m in any fancy dessert place!
Are there any media that you’ve been avidly consuming lately? Can you share a few titles with us?
RIN CHUPECO: It’s not quite media, but lately I’ve been going back into video games for a bit just as a way to destress. Most of my free time has been mainly at night, as I’m usually rushing everywhere during the day for either errands or emergencies. I’m usually too frazzled at that point to read, so I go for something more visual to help me relax.
Recently, I’ve fallen in love with the Final Fantasy XIV series. It’s an online multiplayer game with a fantastic story, and what little free time I have, I’ve managed to spend in the world of Eorzea and a great community of players, stabbing my way through boss primals as a dragoon. (As per my usual curse, my favorite character dies, though…)
With multiple books coming out this year, how have you managed to juggle everything?
SHEALEA: From YA horror to adult fantasy, you have multiple books coming out this year! That’s genuinely so wild to me. How have you managed to successfully juggle everything?
RIN CHUPECO: Painfully. Some of the books that are out were either supposed to have been published the year before (like An Unreliable Magic) and some were supposed to be published next year but [were] moved up the schedule this year because a better date was freed up and people in-house wanted to push it more (like Silver Under Nightfall). So the result looks like I’ve written a ton of books in only a couple of months, but the reality was that I’d managed to churn one out every four or five (though admittedly that’s still pretty fast)!
I still have books I’ve finished a year ago that I can’t even announce yet, mostly because of their ties to certain franchises or because the higher-ups haven’t given the signal to yet.
How did the story for Silver Under Nightfall first start?
SHEALEA: For the next portion of this interview, I’d like to focus on your upcoming adult fantasy debut, Silver Under Nightfall, which will finally hit the shelves in September 2022. Can you tell us how the story first started?
RIN CHUPECO: That’s mainly because of my mom for the most part. She told me that I should write a vampire story of my own so I could bank off the success of Twilight, since “everyone likes vampires”. I can understand Twilight’s popularity, but it’s not really the kind of story I would write. I decided to put my own vampire spin on one anyway, which turned out to be part dark Regency universe and part murder mystery.
This has been brewing in my head for many years now – I’ve written a few short scenes as early as 2014, and not coincidentally this was around the time I started playing a lot of the Castlevania series again, like Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood and the reboot, Lord of Shadows. A lot of people I’ve talked to about this in the past mentioned that it sounded like a New Adult vampire book (and therefore not commercially viable for a traditionally published market, as it’s more of a mainstay within the indie vampire fiction route), and while I enjoy my share of NA, I also knew this wasn’t that. But I had to finish the novel to prove it wasn’t, and given my other pending deadlines, that took a while.
Ironically, I don’t actually want my mom reading this book, because it turned out fairly explicit and no one wants their Catholic parent to read their smutty filth about a polyamorous throuple, even if they really enjoyed writing said smutty filth. I can safely say that this was not the vampire book that she asked for, but one that probably no one would be surprised to learn that I’d written.
Aside from being your first adult book release, what makes Silver Under Nightfall different from your previous works?
RIN CHUPECO: There’s an odd freedom here that I’m not usually allowed to write about with a lot of YA fiction. There’s a lot of experiences you don’t get to write about with YA because it necessitates the protagonist to be older and be going through things that teens aren’t expected to know yet, like using drinking as a crutch for something else, or confronting older people or parents when you’re finally of an age to do so.
Remy at times comes off as an asshole and that’s deliberate just as an aspect of his personality, and it’s not usually something I can get away with in YA without someone chewing my ear off for protagonists not being perfect or a role model, especially those presented as femme. Remy in particular is a twenty-three year old with a lot of issues stemming from what is expected of him versus what he wants to be, and I don’t have to provide reasons why he acts the way he does – he just is.
SHEALEA: Jumping from YA to adult literature is no easy feat. How did you adapt, especially in terms of writing? Relatedly, were there any unexpected challenges?
RIN CHUPECO: Beyond what I’ve already mentioned, there’s not a lot of difference. My writing tends to go a lot crasser with adult because in terms of character voice I usually use my own by default, and of course it tends to get more explicit. But the most important thing for both is never to talk down to your audience, so as long as I’m reasonably sure I do that, everything else tends to be similar!
What was it like to write romance involving a polyamorous throuple?
SHEALEA: Admittedly, I haven’t read many books with polyamorous relationships. Nonetheless, I adored the dynamic between Armiger Remy, Lady Xiaodan, and Lord Zidan! Can you tell us more about them as a throuple? And what was it like to write a romance where three people – alive and undead – fall for each other?
RIN CHUPECO: Thank you! Writing about a throuple is no more different than writing about a couple, I’ve found – the main difference is that there are three opinions to juggle, where two opinions in a regular relationship is hard enough. The challenge has mainly been to write about their dynamics – making sure that three wildly different people involved with each other can still find many things in common to make it work, and to make sure no one is overstepping any boundaries, both of which I feel is the cornerstone of a relationship’s success.
My go-to description of this book when people ask is usually “Two vampires find a vampire hunter in the trash and take them in”, so that’s more or less their relationship.
Fuck, Marry, Kill: Remy, Xiaodan, and Zidan
SHEALEA: Speaking of threes, it’s only right that we play the classic game of Fuck, Marry, Kill with Remy, Xiaodan, and Zidan. What’s your call?
- Fuck: Xiaodan, because she is actually the kinkiest and most adventurous of the three, honestly.
- Marry: Zidan, the ideal husband.
- Kill: Remy, because we are too much alike in brashness and will probably wind up being total asses to each other anyway.
SHEALEA: Okay, I’d fuck Zidan because he has around 900 years of sexual experience under his belt, which would greatly benefit me (let’s be honest 🔥). I’d marry Xiaodan because my ideal life partner is someone who constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone but is also really devoted and caring. And while I love Remy’s rough edges, I am at peace with the decision to kill him off.
How did you go about exploring Remy’s complicated relationship with the kingdom of Aluria?
SHEALEA: While the romance delivered exquisite tension (thanks for that, by the way), what struck me most was Remy’s steadfast loyalty to the kingdom of Aluria and his unwavering compassion towards its people, despite being openly vilified by them at every turn. His relationship with Aluria is complicated, especially amidst slanderous media publications and corrupt officials. How did you go about exploring these complexities within the story?
Maybe it’s the Filipino in me, but I definitely drew parallels between Remy’s feelings towards Aluria and my own personal struggles with the current state of the Philippines. Haha!
RIN CHUPECO: You have it right regarding the parallels – Remy’s relationship with Aluria is not all that different to my own relationship to the Philippines. I’m Chinese-Filipino, and was constantly being told growing up that I wasn’t an actual Filipino – that I’m loyal to China and should be blamed for everything the Chinese government is doing, or that I must be exceedingly rich and therefore “kidnappable” for ransom (often said half-jokingly). Remy’s ongoing struggle when it comes to figuring out where he belongs is taken from a lot of my own experiences, so it was very easy to write – and also very difficult.
What was the inspiration behind Breaker?
SHEALEA: There are so many thrilling action scenes in Silver Under Nightfall, and I’m very interested in knowing more about the Pendergasts’ weapon of choice. What was the inspiration behind Breaker? How did you incorporate such an unorthodox weapon into the fight scenes?
RIN CHUPECO: I am a masochist and decided to make things harder for myself. I wanted to make a weirdly unique weapon – something that could fend off both melee and ranged attacks, while at the same time, something that can go on the offensive using both as well. I apparently decided that the best way to do that was to jam together different kinds of weapons into a very large one, which turned out to be basically a scythe on steroids.
It was fun trying to figure out what attack would merit what kind of defense using Breaker and vice versa for the fight scenes, but it was not so very fun when my editor asked me to sketch it out, because then I had to worry about making it more realistic to handle.
Given your diverse portfolio as an author, do you have any plans on writing a middle-grade novel someday?
RIN CHUPECO: Funnily enough, I happen to be writing an MG horror at the moment, for a certain franchise that I cannot name as of yet. But I am excited to be a part of this, as this helped boost my love for ghost stories growing up as a kid! But for the most part I tend to let whatever story’s in my hand at the moment dictate whether it’s adult, YA, or MG, and then write accordingly!
Any hints about your upcoming projects?
SHEALEA: Circling back to some of your answers in this interview, you’ve hinted at a number of secret upcoming projects. I don’t want to get you in trouble with the higher-ups, but can I somehow convince you to give an extra hint in the form of emojis? 👀
Finally, what would you like readers to know before diving into Silver Under Nightfall?
RIN CHUPECO: It’ll be out on September 13, is seriously one of the novels that I actually enjoyed writing all throughout, and in tone is exceedingly self-indulgent and irrelevant, which makes it a book more closely in keeping with who I am out of all the books I’ve written so far!
Sunflower Spotted: Rin Chupeco
Rin Chupeco is a nonbinary Chinese-Filipino writer born and raised in the Philippines. They are the author of several speculative young adult series, including The Bone Witch, The Girl from the Well, The Never-Tilting World, Wicked as You Wish, and the upcoming adult vampire fantasy series Silver Under Nightfall.
Formerly a 9-to-5 grunt, they now write fiction full-time and live with their partner and two children in Manila. Find them and their upcoming works at rinchupeco.com.
Sunflower Spotted is a guest feature where authors, content creators, and creatives are invited to the blog to talk about their work, their personal advocacy, and their lived experiences. Mainly consisting of interviews and spotlights, this series hopes to uplift voices and foster fascinating conversations.
Author Interview Lineup for Wikathon
Check out the rest of the author features here. Or you may refer to the full lineup below:
By the way, the other Wikathon hosts are conducting more interviews on their respective platforms. WIth that, please make sure to follow Kate, Klauds, Spens, Ena, and Zia as well! It’s truly a great time to be a Filipino reader. ☺
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🌻 Have you read any books from Rin Chupeco’s extensive portfolio? Any favorites?
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🌻 What are your thoughts on this exclusive author interview with Rin Chupeco? Did anything intrigue you? (Perhaps the answers to the FMK question. 👀)