SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER ESTEP
Jennifer Estep is and Urban Fantasy writer extraordinaire! Known for her amazing heroes and heroines that seem to climb out a comic book and drag you into their adventures. From her popular Bigtime series to her Elemental Assassin series. She has broadened her fan base with hew new YA fantasy books. The latest being her Black Blade series.
Having just finished the first, Cold Burn of Magic I can’t wait to get my hands on the next!
Jennifer Estep: Thanks! I appreciate that. Glad you enjoyed the book.
So, I wanted to ask the author about her new series and what inspires her writing.
1) Wow, thanks for being on our site. I am a ‘Bigtime’ fan! (Ha-ha!) But it now seems you are more focused on YA books, what attracted you to write them instead of your adult Urban Fantasy?
Jennifer Estep: Actually, I’m still writing both young adult and urban fantasy books.
One of the things I like about writing YA is that I get to tell a little bit of a different story than in my adult urban fantasy books. My YA books are more coming-of-age stories about heroines who are trying to figure out their magic and what they want their place in the world to be. So writing YA is a fun challenge for me.
2) Is the writing style different, do you feel you have to tone things down when you write a YA book?
Jennifer Estep: I do tone down things in my YA books. Those books are definitely lighter on language, violence, and other things than my adult urban fantasy books.
But all of my books still have a lot of things in common, like strong heroines, lots of magic and world building, and lots of action and fight scenes. So if you like my writing voice in one of my adult series, you might like it in my YA series too.
3) What inspired you to create the Black Blade series?
Jennifer Estep: One of the things that inspired me was several vacations that I’ve taken in recent years. I always enjoy going on vacation and seeing new things. Somewhere along the way, I started thinking that it would be cool if there was a tourist town where folks could go to see real magic and monsters. So that was sort of the start of Cold Burn of Magic and my Black Blade series.
4) I noticed that many of your book feature a heroine that is orphaned or her mother has been murdered tragically. Usually most stories have the mother die in childbirth and their father raises them and dies. Do you feel by having a strong mother figure this makes your heroines stronger?
Jennifer Estep: I do think having a strong parental figure (whether it’s a mother or father or both parents) makes my heroines stronger people themselves. I also think giving my heroines a tragic backstory (like losing their parents) makes them a little more self-reliant because they don’t have someone looking out for them the way a parent should. And it also makes them a little more guarded with their emotions because they know how easily they can lose someone they love.
With my heroines, I think that kind of tough, heartbreaking loss can make for a really interesting character that folks can relate to and hopefully root for.
5) Speaking of mothers will we find out more about Lila’s mother soon and who her real father is?! Please....
Jennifer Estep: Without giving out spoilers, readers find out a little bit about Lila’s mother in Cold Burn of Magic, and there will definitely be more about her in Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in the series. Even Lila will find out some things about her mother that she didn’t know before.
6) How did you decided to create warring families with different talents. Are the Sinclairs and Draconis based on anyone? Can you tell us more about them and how Lila’s mother came to work for the Sinclairs? Or is that a secret for later?!
Jennifer Estep: When I came up with the idea of Cloudburst Falls, my tourist town, I knew that I wanted some sort of group in charge who ran things. Somewhere along the way, I thought it would be interesting if there were several groups – or mob families – who were all warring for control of the town. So I decided to create my own families in the Sinclairs and the Draconis.
You’ll find out more about Lila’s mother and her relationship with some of the other characters in Dark Heart of Magic.
7) Cool! How long would you like this series to run? Can you tell us how many books you have been asked to write so far? Will there ever be a spin off book/series?!
Jennifer Estep: As of right now, this will be a trilogy so three books total. Dark Heart of Magic, book two, was released on Oct. 27, with Bright Blaze of Magic, book three, tentatively set to be published in 2016.
As of right now, I don’t have any plans to do a spinoff series, but I’ll never say never. We’ll see what happens.
8) What makes your heroine, Lila so special to you? Why give her the talents she has?!
Jennifer Estep: I like how snarky and sassy Lila is, and how she is proud of all her thieving skills. She’s been a fun character to write. As for her magic, I tried to pick some things – like her soulsight and transference powers – that I could use in different ways and show how Lila grows in her magic and the things she can do with it as the series goes along.
9) Speaking of talents, where the heck did you come up with the various talents, many seem very unusual?
Jennifer Estep: I’m definitely a geek at heart, and I’ve always thought it would be so cool to have magic/powers/talents. So sometimes I give my characters talents that I think would be interesting to have, like Lila’s soulsight magic, which lets her know what people are really feeling just by looking at them.
10) Okay, I have to ask. What else do you have planned for your readers!? Sometimes I feel like I’m being tortured until the next book comes out!
Jennifer Estep: Thanks! I appreciate that. Glad you are enjoying my books.
Bright Blaze of Magic, Black Blade #3, is tentatively set to be published in 2016.
Bitter Bite, book 14 in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, will be out on Dec. 29.
Ohh! I can't wait :) Thank you so much for taking time out to let us interview you! I really enjoyed having you on our site. It is such an honor to have an author of your talent here!
Jennifer Estep: Thanks so much for hosting me on your site. I appreciate it. Happy reading, everyone!
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jennifer_Estep (@Jennifer_Estep)
And Check out her super cool Freebies, too!
Recent and Upcoming Books by Jennifer Estep:
BITTER BITE - Feb. 2016
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco is asking when a friend’s long-lost relative comes strolling back into Ashland under suspicious circumstances. The unexpected reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book 14 in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”
It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.
It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.
DARK HEART OF MAGIC - Oct. 2015
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES…
As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there’s no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.
Even though he’s my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot of winning what’s supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious “accidents”, it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.
As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone’s going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing’s for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else …
COLD BURN OF MAGIC -April 2015
THERE BE MONSTERS HERE…
It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call—get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her…