Interview And Giveaway With Author Jennifer Estep

We are pleased to welcome USA Today bestselling author, Jennifer Estep back to Fiction Vixen today.

 

FV: Hi Jennifer, welcome back to Fiction Vixen! You’ve been our guest several times now but this is the first time we’ve chatted. For those who may not know about you, give us a little background on yourself.

JE: Thanks for having me here again on the blog. I appreciate it! ;-)

My name is Jennifer Estep, and I’m a USA Today bestselling author. I write the Mythos Acad­emy young adult urban fan­tasy series for Kens­ing­ton. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old 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 is shipped off to Mythos Acad­emy, a school for the descen­dants of ancient war­riors like Spar­tans, Valkyries, Ama­zons, and more.

Touch of Frost, the first book, came out on July 26. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is also available now.

I also write the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series for Pocket Books. 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.

Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tan­gled Threads. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for free short stories, excerpts, and more.

 

FV: Touch of Frost, was released on July 26. Did you have any pre-release jitters, especially since this is the first book in a series as well as your first foray into this genre?

JE: I always have jitters whenever a new book comes out. You always hope that people like your current book just as much – or even more – than they did the last book. Plus, you hope that the current book makes readers look forward to the next book in the series.

I would say I’ve had a few more jitters this time around since Touch of Frost is not only the start of a new series, but my first young adult book as well. I’m curious what folks think of my take on YA. The response to my Elemental Assassin adult series has been so wonderful, and I hope that folks like Touch of Frost and the Mythos Academy series just as much. I also hope that folks have as much fun reading the book as I did writing it. Fingers crossed, anyway.

 

FV: Did you do anything special to celebrate the occasion?

JE: Whenever I have a new book out, I always try to go to the bookstore, look at, and take a picture of my book on the shelf. It’s just a little ritual that I try to do for all my books. I’ll also usually treat myself to a book, DVD, chocolate bar, or something like that – just a little something nice to mark the occasion that the book is finally out for folks to read and hopefully enjoy.

 

FV: In Touch of Frost, Gwen, a seventeen year old gypsy is a bit of an outcast at Mythos Academy. She doesn’t quite fit in socially or economically, and she feels her magic is different from that of the student body. Will she continue in this frame of mind or will we see her fitting in more down the line?

JE: Gwen doesn’t think that she’s as rich, beautiful, deadly, or powerful as the other warrior whiz kids, as she calls them, but Gwen’s stronger, tougher, and more of a warrior than she realizes. I think she’s always going to feel like a little bit of an outcast because she didn’t grow up in the warrior world like all the other kids did.

But you’ll definitely see Gwen grow in her magic, her fighting skills, and her confidence as the series goes along. She’s going to have to get tougher, given the bad guys that I have in mind for her to fight.

 

FV: Gwen’s gypsy gift is psychometry— the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. I would be more likely to consider this a curse since she must avoid touching people, but one of my favorite things about Gwen is that although her gift hinders her in some ways she still seems to consider it a gift and enjoys using it. What made you decide that psychometry was the gift she would have and why she would embrace, rather than shun her gift?

JE: I like to see characters embrace their magic and use it to fight the good fight and defeat the bad guys. So that’s why I decided to have Gwen like her Gypsy gift, as she calls it. The psychometry magic is part of who Gwen is, and it’s definitely shaped her personality in that she likes finding out other people’s secrets – something that sometimes gets her into trouble. Gwen knows that she’s nosy, but she also likes using her magic to find out the truth too.

As for why I picked psychometry magic, sometimes, an idea for a story comes to me first, and sometimes, I think of a title and go from there. One day the title Touch of Frost just sort of popped into my head. I thought it was a cool title, so I started thinking about what kind of magic and heroine I could create to go with it, and I started thinking about psychometry, or what I call touch magic in the books. That was sort of the beginning of Gwen and the book.

 

FV: There is a good bit of romance and sexual tension in Touch of Frost, but it’s not over the top. I’m really excited to see where things will go for Logan and Gwen. I also really liked the secondary romance between the “pretty-in-pink” Valkyrie Daphne, and the goofy band nerd Carson. Will we see these romances growing more in future books or will you keep the focus more on the action, magic and mystery?

JE: You’ll definitely see Gwen and Logan’s relationship grow and change, along with Daphne and Carson’s as the series goes along. I’m also thinking about introducing some other secondary romances, although these four characters are really my core group. I like books with a little bit of everything in them – action, magic, mystery, and romance – and I enjoy putting all those elements together in my books.

 

FV: I noticed that in both romances you paired a nerdy type with a cool kid. Any particular reason for that?

JE: Well, there’s the old saying that opposites attract. I like seeing different kinds of people become friends, fall in love, and more. Plus, I think that we can all be nerdy and cool in our own ways. We all have things that we’re good at or passionate about. Some folks might think those things are nerdy, while others might think that they’re cool. You just have to be happy with yourself.

 

FV: Were you the nerd or the cool kid in school?

JE: Definitely the nerd. LOL. I don’t think I’ve ever been cool in my entire life.

 

FV: You wrote a funny guest post here at Fiction Vixen about your experience with a spitting llama. How would Gwen respond if confronted with an overly aggressive, mythological spitting llama? Would her cute Spartan need to step in or would she handle it?

JE: *Snickers* Gwen would probably glare at it at first and try to shoo it away. If the llama persisted, Gwen would then probably stomp her feet and yell at it, all the while trying to avoid getting spit on. If the llama still didn’t go away (and you know that it wouldn’t do anything but just stand there and grin at her), Gwen might brandish a sword or a staff at it. But since she hasn’t had the lifelong warrior training that the other Mythos Academy students have had, I don’t know how well that would work for her. I think the llama would just keep grinning at her until Gwen got fed up and left.

I think Logan would probably stand by with an amused look on his face and watch Gwen try to deal with the llama – unless she was in real danger, then he’d step in and help her.

 

FV: Would you consider writing in a mythological, overly aggressive llama into the series? I kid, I kid. (I’m not)

JE: Well, I do have mythological monsters in the books – including Nemean prowlers, which are big, panther-like creatures with burning red eyes. I could probably sneak a llama in there somewhere. LOL. Maybe the llama could be really mean and nasty in that it spits acid or something like that. *Scribbling down note to research mythological llamas*

 

FV: You write three series, each in a different genre. The Elemental Assassin series: Urban Fantasy, the Bigtime series: Paranormal Romance, and now Mythos Academy: Young Adult. If you had to pick…like your life depended on it, which genre is your favorite to write?

JE: I really like writing urban fantasy. I write first-person books, so it’s a genre that works well with that. Plus, I enjoy coming up with my heroine’s magic and figuring out how her power can grow and change over the course of several books. I would consider the Mythos Academy books to be urban fantasies too – just for young adults.

 

FV: I’m excited about this new YA series and you already know I’m a super-fan of Gin and your Elemental Assassin series. At some point I’ll be digging into the Bigtime paranormal romance series.  Do you have any other projects coming up we can look forward to?

JE: Thanks! I appreciate that.

Kiss of Frost, the second book in the Mythos Academy series, will hit shelves on Nov. 29. Dark Frost, the third book, will be out in 2012.

Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book in my Elemental Assassin series, will be released on Sept. 27. I’m also working on the next two books in that series. By a Thread, the sixth book, will be out in February 2012, while the seventh book (untitled at this point) is tentatively scheduled to be published in the fall of 2012.

 

FV: Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting today.

JE: Thanks for taking the time to feature me and my books. Happy reading, everyone! ;-)

 

Jennifer would like to giveaway a copy of Touch of Frost to one lucky reader. To enter, tell Jennifer what type of mythological creature you’d like to read about. (psst, there might be a cookie in it for you if you say overly aggressive, mythological, spitting llama.)

Giveaway is open until August 9, winner announced soon after. Open to US and Canada only please.

Comments

  1. Sherie says

    As a huge Harry Potter fan, I know tons about mythological creatures. Ok maybe not so much but I have always loved unicorns. There are tons of books about Dragons, why not a pretty unicorn instead.

  2. says

    Hmm I don’t know about the llama….. I love the Furies, and the demi-gods (think Percy Jackson).
    I know I can’t wait to read this!!

  3. says

    Sherie — One of the things I liked the best about the HP books was the world building. Rowling really transported you to Hogwarts and made everything there come alive.

    Natasha — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

  4. Patsy Hagen says

    I like books about shifters. What I would really like to read about is dragons. I rarely see them in the books I read.

  5. Julie Witt says

    Oh my gods! This is so weird! I was totally going to say an overly aggressive, mythological, spitting llama! Isn’t that a total coincidence!? Well, either that or more fairies and sprites – either or :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  6. Connie says

    Wow, I would love a mythological spitting llama and if Jennifer Estep puts that in her Mythos Academy, I would LOL. But love it.

  7. says

    Estella — I think Diana Peterfreund does a YA series about girls who are unicorn hunters.

    Patsy — Have you read Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison? That one features lots of shapeshifters, including the hero, who’s a dragon.

    Julie — That is weird. LOL.

    Connie — I may have to create my own monster llama. LOL.

  8. Victoria Zumbrum says

    I would love to read about unicorns or pegasus. I love them. I even have a tatoo of a pegasus on my back. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  9. elaing8 says

    Not mythological but I have an overly aggressive, spitting llama down the road from me.I just found out there was a llama farm there.And the one is really mean looking.
    A creature I’d like to read about are dragons.i know they are starting to become more popular..but you can’t have too many dragon shifter stories :)

  10. Amy says

    Thanks for the post and giveaway! Can’t wait to read Touch of Frost.
    I would love to read about genies. I haven’t seen many genie characters in paranormal books. Would love to see more of them.

    angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

  11. says

    I’m still hoping for a story about a giant-insect shifter. Or maybe a llama shifter? What would happen to a selkie if instead of a seal, he turns into a seahorse? Or is that too anime-ish (“Fruits Basket”)?

  12. says

    Escape by Fiction — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Victoria — I think Robin McKinley has a book out called Pegasus. I think it’s a YA.

    Elaing8 — I think dragons are getting more and more popular too.

    Amy — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book. And if you like genies, you should check out Judi Fennell’s books. She writes about genies.

    Infinitieh — A llama-shifter would definitely be something different.

    Marlene — I think shifters are getting more and more popular because of all the different animal/creature shifters you can have.

  13. Margay says

    I want to learn more about the gods and goddesses themselves – Athena, Apollo and the like.

    Margay1122ATaolDOTcom

  14. Rain maiden/Jen says

    Ya you could throw in a llama but would it be a vegetarian? Maybe half llama half man?? I love the Elemental Assassin series so I will be checking out the YA series as well.

  15. says

    Margay — The two main gods in my book are Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and Loki, the Norse trickster god.

    Kayla — Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Rain Maiden Jen — No, I think it would have to be a man-eating llama to fit in with the rest of my monsters. LOL. Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the Elemental Assassin books, and I hope you like TOUCH OF FROST as well.

  16. JenM says

    There are so many mythological creatures to choose from. I like the really freaky creatures like hellhounds, gryphons, phoenixes, minotaurs, etc. but then again I like all things shifter so that’s not surprising.

    I just read First Frost and it pulled me right in. I don’t usually read much YA but I definitely want to read Touch of Frost (especially since I love the Elemental Assassin series.)
    jen at delux dot com

  17. says

    Jen — Cool. Glad you enjoyed FIRST FROST and are looking forward to TOUCH OF FROST. And you’re right — there are tons of mythological creatures out there. The variety is one of the things I like about mythology.

  18. says

    overly aggressive, mythological, spitting llama!!!

    No, really, I want to see a story about a shapeshifting unicorn. Who fights and conquers an overly aggressive, mythological, spitting llama.

    LOL!

  19. says

    I love mermaids and I’d love to read more books about them! But as you said, there are so many creatures out there to choose from!

  20. says

    Insane Hussein — That would definitely be an interesting story. LOL.

    Kailia — I heard someone say at a conference earlier this year that mermaids seem to be the next big trend in YA. So maybe there will be more mermaid books on the shelves soon. I think Tera Lynn Childs has a YA mermaid book out now.

  21. heatwave16 says

    I’d like to read more about Dragons. I don’t see too many books about dragons, and I just think it would be fun.

    heatwave96(at)hotmail.com

  22. Stephanie Eckstein says

    I’ll say spitting llama for a cookie please :). But that’s a tough call my 6 year old has recently become obsessed with Medusa she even dressed up as Medusa for Halloween, so cute. So I’m going to say Medusa is ny favorite mythological creature.

    Can’t wait to read the book Jennifer.

    eckstein99@comcast.net

Trackbacks

  1. […] The end of TV's cold detective The final episodes of a A Touch of Frost were recently shown on Chan…008" border="0" alt="FetchDVD – Australia's Fetchiest Online Store" width="468" height="60" align="center" /> The final episodes of a A Touch of Frost were recently shown on Channel 7. It was a double header culminating with Jack Frost riding off into the sunset with a lady from the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The story of this one was that a mean drug dealer from London, who was also wanted all over the country, had taken up residence in Frost’s patch Denton. Jack Frost was determined to nail him, where others had failed. The drug dealer’s crimes included arranging illegal dog fights, hence the presence of the RSPCA lady. This resulted in the son of the drug dealer killing an ex-school mate, who may have informed on them to the RSPCA. The murder was witnessed by the RSPCA lady and she was in turn intimidated by the drug dealer, as she was the key to his son’s prosecution. The end result was misery all round with Jack Frost’s (David Jason) trusty side kick George (John Lyons) being killed. This was a genuinely sad scene for anyone who had followed the series. George had always played the straight man to Frost and grounded him and he possessed the best World War II British Air Force Officer moustache on TV today. [caption id="attachment_266" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="David Jason as Jack Frost and John Lyons as George Toolan in A Touch of frost"][/caption] I was sorry to see the show come to an end, as it has always been one of my favorites. The story lines were always good, usually involving two crimes in each episode. The first a major crime like a murder, the second usually some sort of break in, or other niggling crime that provided some of the comic element to the show. I particularly remember one episode where a series of robberies were linked to a fast food delivery service. Jack Frost investigated this by ordering take away meals for himself from every local take away outlet, living on Indian, Chinese, Burgers, Fish and Chips etc. for weeks. Finally presenting his boss, the always critical Superintendent Mullett (Bruce Alexander), with the bill for all the meals, once he had solved the crime spree. The acting in the show was always top drawer too. Not only the lead and regular characters, but also the guests who came in as Jack Frost’s Sargents, the villains, or other supporting roles. I particularly remember an episode called Close Encounters, where Jim Sturgess played an autistic teenager Laurence Burrell with such good effect I found it hard to believe that he was not mentally impaired in some way. He should have got an award for that performance. This had one of the classic comedy endings when after much investigation Frost discovered that Lawrence had a drawing of the car involved in the murder that happened at the beginning of the show, including the registration number. He followed this up by tracking down the murderer to a garage, where he was threatened with a huge metal chain. All Jack had by way of defence was an old time coppers whistle. But when he blew it a veritable army of armed Police arrived at the entrance to the garage. […]