Book Tour| City of Vicious Night – Claire Winn

This week has been a busy week of author interviews and today I have one more to share. Today is my stop on the tour for City of Vicious Night hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Claire Winn took time to answer my questions about this new release. Keep on reading to find out more about this book and the author.

City of Vicious Night (Requiem Dark #2) by Claire Winn
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publishing Date: May 23, 2023

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

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Author Interview

How was writing City of Vicious night different than City of Shattered Light?

Surprisingly, it was a lot easier—the writing process flowed naturally, since I already knew the characters and world so well. The publishing process was also much less painful, since I didn’t have to query the book and go on submission. My publisher offered on CoVN three days after my agent sent it in, so there wasn’t any nail-biting waiting!

I had years to kick around ideas and dream about the future of these characters and their world, so once I’d locked down the final significant edit on City of Shattered Light, I couldn’t stop myself from working on the sequel. Once I’d started, it gripped me so fully that I had to finish. This was my pandemic book, so there are some darker themes in there, but with an undercurrent of raging hope. I think the characters (and the relationships between them) feel a little deeper and more mature, because I’ve grown as a writer and a person in the years since writing the first book.


What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?

It’s absolutely hearing from readers. It always completely makes my day when a reader gushes about their favorite characters, when someone posts fanart, or when I find playlists and aesthetics that readers put together because they remind them of the story. It’s surreal to know the story is now real in other people’s minds and not just my own; everyone interprets it and finds meaning a little differently. Getting stories into readers’ hands has made the years of uncertainty and rejection letters feel worth it.


If you were a character in City of Vicious Night, what kind of character would you be?

Ha, I wish I could say I’d be someone like Morphett (nonchalant and unapologetically adorable but simultaneously infamous and feared). In reality, I’d probably be Random Clubgoer #3 or a legal services underling in a syndicate like Boneshiver.


Describe City of Vicious Night in five words or less.

Sapphic high-stakes cyberpunk underworld tournament.

Or, alternatively: Be gay, lead crime syndicate.


What is your favorite quote from City of Vicious Night?

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, as well as the bond between Riven, Ty, and Samir that’s explored more in this book.

There’s also a quote that begins with “Hello, Princess” that I won’t spoil the rest of, because it’s a great scene. ????


What do you hope readers take away from your story?

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 dystopian world that’s high-stakes and deadly but still completely queer-normative.


Could you give us 5 random facts about City of Vicious Night (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?

-The original title for City of Shattered Light was Winterdark. My publisher wanted to change it to something that sounded more YA sci-fi, and they picked the final title from a short list my agent and I sent them. I previously had titles for a potential trilogy in mind: Winterdark, Echofall, and Shatterlight, based on elements from each story (Project Echofall is still an important piece of City of Vicious Night, and Shatterlight was the original name for the Dreamers’ Nexus in this book).

-I’ve had beta readers requesting a Morphett Slade spinoff since before I even had an agent for the first book.

-That spinoff is coming this fall in the novella One Last Midnight, which contains both a Morphett story and a Kaya story—and since these books all started with Kaya (Asa’s sister), I felt it was fitting that the series end with her.

-No spoilers, but a major villain in City of Vicious Night is connected to a detail that wasn’t originally in City of Shattered Light until I was revising it with my agent.

-I started creating story ideas in my late teens because I was frustrated by the way the video game Metroid: Other M did my favorite heroine dirty. The game’s storyline pushed Samus Aran into some sexist tropes, and I wanted to create stories that reflected the heroines I wished I saw.

Tour Schedule

If this interview has you curious about City of Vicious Night, click here for the full tour schedule. Amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers have been talking about this book throughout the week.

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.

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A big thank you to Claire Winn for taking time to answer my questions. The way she describes this book in five words definitely has me wanting to pick up this series! So keep an eye out on the blog. I’m hoping to read and review soon.

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