I’m very excited to welcome Jennifer Estep and her llama drama to Fiction Vixen today. You know we love the llama here.
Greetings and salutations! I want to say thanks to Sophia for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Sophia!
Sophia talks about llamas a lot here on her blog, so today I’d thought I’d share a llama story of my own.
I used to be a features writer for a daily newspaper. Basically, I got to go talk to people art exhibits and concerts and charity drives and things like that – generally, the lighter side of life. One day, the features editor assigned me to go out and talk to these people who raised llamas and used them in a ministry. This was several years ago, but I believe they took the llamas to nursing homes to brighten the residents’ day, used them in petting zoos, and things like that.
It sounded like a cute story, so the photographer and I go out to the field where the llamas are kept. The llamas seem nice enough, running around in the distance, and I’m sitting there interviewing one of the owners when a llama sidles over to me – and then spits in my hair.
Yes, you read that right. Here I am, trying to be a professional journalist, with llama spit in my hair and the llama who put it there standing around and grinning at me. Needless to say, it wasn’t one of my favorite assignments, and I haven’t much cared for llamas ever since. LOL.
And it wasn’t just the spitting llama. For a while, it seemed like I was the unofficial pet reporter at the newspaper. I got assigned all the stories involving animals – and they all just seemed to go wrong. Like the time I had to talk to some folks who raised rabbits for an Easter story – during a particularly rainy, muddy day. Or another time when I went out to a petting zoo, and it decided to rain buckets that day too. There’s nothing like wading through an inch of mud in your good work clothes and shoes and then having to go back to the office sopping wet and work the rest of the day.
So there you have it. My llama story and not-so-glamorous life as a former journalist. Believe me when I tell you that writing books is much better – and not nearly as messy.
What about you guys? Have you had any run-ins with animals? Ever had a llama spit in your hair? Share in the comments.
Jennifer writes 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, and Venom. Tangled Threads, the fourth book, was published on April 26, while Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released in October.
Jennifer also writes 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.
The first book, Touch of Frost, will be out in August, while the second book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves in December. First Frost, a prequel e-short story to the series, will be out in July. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more.
Jennifer would like to give away a copy of Tangled Threads to one lucky commenter! To enter answer Jennifer’s question from above:
“What about you guys? Have you had any run-ins with animals? Ever had a llama spit in your hair? Share in the comments.”
Open until May 16, winner announced soon after. US and Canada only.