23 September 2010

Guest Author + Giveaway: Jennifer Estep

First, I want to thank Jennifer Estep for being today in the blog. Her next release, Venom, goes out the 28th and you can read my review of the book here.
Also, check out the end of the post for an international giveaway of Venom.

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Arantza for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Arantza!

Some of you might know me as the author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals - Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

The first two books in the series are Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies. Venom, the third book, is coming out on Sept. 28. Tangled Threads, the fourth book, will be published in May 2011, while the fifth book (untitled) will be released in October 2011.

I’ve also sold a young adult urban fantasy series called Mythos Academy. The first book is called Touch of Frost and will be out in August 2011. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendents of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more.

So today I thought I would talk a little bit about where I get the ideas for my books. It’s always a popular question with readers. The truth? I get my ideas from just about everywhere.

Books, movies, TV shows, real life, my own overactive imagination. News stories, sound bites, songs, the way someone talks or walks or laughs. They all can spark an idea. For example, many times when I’m watching a TV show or movie, I’ll put myself in the place of one of the characters - or imagine what would happen if a completely new character was introduced. How would the other characters react? How would the relationships change? How would the hero defeat the bad guy - or not?

I call this kind of brainstorming the “what if” game. What if this happened? What if that happened? How would the rest of the story play out? I think “what if” is one of the most inspiring thoughts that a writer can have. To write a book, I think you have to wonder “what if …”

So where did I get the idea for my Elemental Assassin series? Well, I’ve always loved reading about assassin characters, especially in fantasy books. But I started noticing that a lot of the assassins that I would come across in books were, well, whiny. And angsty. And extremely conflicted about being an assassin. It always seemed to me like there was a simple solution to this problem - to just quit being an assassin. But of course, the characters that I read about didn’t seem to consider this - they just kept on being whiny and angsty and conflicted.

So one day, I thought “what if …” there was an assassin who wasn’t so whiny and angsty? What if there was a heroine who was okay with all the bloody, violent things she had to do to survive? What if there was a heroine who was actually one of the good guys in her own dark and twisted way? With that idea, Gin Blanco and the city of Ashland were born.

I’m three books into the Elemental Assassin series now, with two more on the way, and the ideas for several more rattling around in my brain. So I think it was a pretty cool “what if” moment to have. ;-)

What about you guys? Where do you get your inspirations from? What are some of your favorite urban fantasy and paranormal romance books right now?

You can find out more about Jennifer at her site.


Giveaway:

You can win a copy of Venom by Jennifer Estep.
All you have to do is answer Jennifer's question and fill out the form.
Following is optional.
Open Internationally.
Ends September 30th.

Extra entries:

+4 Old follower
+2 New follower
+1 Tweet
+1 Facebook fan
+1 NetworkedBlogs follower
+1 Twitter follower
+1 Any other way you spread the word (Max. 4)

71 comments:

van_pham said...

My favorite Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance books right now are:
-Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews
-Elemental assassin series (each book just gets better and better)
-Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay
- Night Huntress novels by Jeanenie Frost

Jessica said...

My favorites at this moment:
Dresden Files (such an exciting end of the last book!)

The series by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Kim Harrison. And, of course, Kresley Cole :)

Barbara E. said...

Hi Jennifer,
Of course I love the Elemental Assassin series. I can't wait to read Venom.
Some of my other favorite UF/PR books/series are Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress, Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse, Kelly Gay's Charlie Madigan, Ann Aguirre's Corine Solomon, Nicole Peeler's Tempest and Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate. And the list just goes on and on, there are so many great books out there.

jenniferestep said...

Van -- Thanks! I'm glad you are anjoying the series so far. I like the Night Huntress series too. Bones is just too cool.

Jessica -- I really like Kresley Cole's series. I wish we didn't have to wait until February for the next book.

Barbara -- Cool. Glad you are enjoying the books. I keep hearing such good things about the Parosol series. I definitely need to add those to my TBR pile.

debbie said...

Actually, I really liked spider's bite, I have web of lies ordered.
Janet Evanovich has just started a new series in this genre that I would like to read,too.
debbie

jenniferestep said...

Debbie -- I'll have to check out the new Evanovich series. I've read and enjoyed her Stephanie Plum books.

Cathie said...

I have only read one urban fantasy so I don't have any I'm reading now or that are my favorites. Your series really seems a bit more interesting than most because it's actually unique.

lovemybabysquid@yahoo.com

JenM said...

I'm reading Web of Lies right now and definitely looking forward to Venom. I love Gin! You are right, there's nothing worse than a whiny assassin.

There are so many great series out right now. It's an embarrassment of riches. Of course, I love the BDB, both of Patricia Briggs' series, and everything Ilona Andrews writes. In addition I love Lilith Saint Crow, Gail Carriger, and Richelle Mead's Storm Queen series. I could go on, but that's probably enough.

jen at delux dot com

Beverly said...

Thanks for hosting!

jenniferestep said...

Cathie -- Thanks! I appreciate that. You really should check out urban fantasy. There are tons of great books out there -- you're bound to find some that you like.

Jen -- Thanks! I appreciate that. Have you tried Saintcrow's Dante Valentine series? I really liked the first two books in that one. I need to finish out the series.

Beverly -- Thanks for stopping by

jmspettoli said...

I usually get my inspiration from whatever life throws at me: it could be a song I hear on the radio, a movie I watch, random people on the street, you name it!

Right now I'm really enjoying the Daemonica series by Larissa Ione.

Thanks Jennifer, you're awesome!

Cherry said...

I sometimes do the "what if" game when watching movies or reading a book but it usually involves my favourite characte sweeping the bad guys into oblivion with mighty powers. No, I do not have much imagination :)

Cherry Mischievous

Pamk said...

I love urban fantasies. some of my favorite are
Jennifer Estep Elemental Assassins
Ilona Andrews all of hers
Karen Chance both of them
Patricia Briggs
Jeannine Frost
Stacia Kane
Shiloh Walker
and there are probably many more I am forgetting. But if its good i will read it lol

Jasmine1485 said...

Most of my favourite series are paranormal in some way. I love to read Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Laurell K Hamilton, Ilona Andrews.. I just finished reading the Dark Guardian series and enjoyed that too.

misskallie2000 said...

I am planning to go into the paranormal books but have not read any todate. I have read great reviews on yours and do have on my wish list.
Thanks for stopping by to chat.

Sarah said...

My favorite Urban Fantasy series right now... are

1. Elemental Assassin Series by Jennifer Estep :)
2. Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane
3. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
4. Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs
5. Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill

Ladytink_534 said...

I get my inspirations from nature and some of my favorite books. My favorite paranormal romance books right this very second are Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series which I just started reading.

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mervi said...

My favorite urban fantasy series are

Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
October Daye by Seanan McGuire
Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

That was such a cool interview! :)

I have to say that my favorite UF series has been the Dante Valentine Series by Lilith Saintcrow, but now I'm also loving the Guardian Series by Nalini Singh and the Morgan Kinsley series by Jenna Black. :)

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