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. ;-)
You can find out more about Jennifer at her site.
You can win a copy of Venom by Jennifer Estep.
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