Friday, October 29, 2010

WELCOME GUEST BLOGGER: JENNIFER ESTEP!!!!


The Guilty Indulgence Bloggers got reacquainted with Jennifer Estep at the 2010 Reader Appreciation Weekend in West Virginia last month. The event was great and she was interesting to talk with so after reading her her first Elemental Assassins novel, Spider's Bite, for our Guilty Indulgence Book Club read, we asked her a bunch of questions and her answers are below. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!

1) Why, from the very beginning of Spiders Bite, do you refer to the killer as she? (Tyra thought maybe only women were elementals at first, but that was not the case. So she thought it was odd that you always used a feminine pronoun when referring to people. Not they or them but always she????)

Nope, men can be elementals too in my world. Usually, most folks use “he” when they are talking about an unknown person. I guess it’s the feminist in me, but I just wanted to use “she” instead. That’s all. Plus, Gin figures out pretty early on that the killer is a woman, so it just made sense to use “she” throughout the book.

2) I so totally thought the killer might turn out to be Gin’s little sister for a while too….did you plan it that way?


No, I never planned for Gin’s sister to be the killer in Spider’s Bite. I always knew that Gin’s sister was going to be a straight arrow – a detective, a district attorney, or something like that. Someone who’s dedicated to upholding the law … unlike Gin. LOL. I thought having Gin’s sister be in law enforcement or something like that would make for better and bigger conflict between the two of them – and I think that it has. Hopefully, everyone will agree when they read TANGLED THREADS, the fourth book, which is coming out on April 26.

3) So every time Gin makes one of her sandwiches, I wanna have one of my own! Where do you get these creation ideas? Is there a Gin Blanco Cooks book in the future?

My mom loves to cook, which is something that she’s passed on to me. I’m totally addicted to the Food Network. Plus, I just like writing about food. It’s a lot of fun, and it seems to be something I’m pretty good at, judging from all the e-mails that I receive from readers telling me how hungry they get reading the Elemental Assassin books. LOL.
Some of the recipes are things that my mom or I have made over the years, or that my friends have made. And then some of the food mentioned – like Fletcher Lane’s secret barbecue sauce – exist only in my imagination.
It would be fun to do, but there are no plans for a Gin Blanco cookbook.


4) Are there parts of yourself in Gin?

To a degree. We both love to cook, and we both love to read. I definitely gave Gin some of my own hobbies in that regard. Plus, we’re both Southern girls who love the mountains. I only wish that I was as mentally tough as she was. And I’d definitely love to be able to kick butt like she does, but without all the bloodstains. LOL.

5) Which element would you want to have?

Well, my significant other jokingly says that I have ghoul touch – in other words, my hands are like ice cubes all the time. So I’d have to go with being an Ice elemental just because of that. LOL.

6) This series is a pretty change from your Big Time series (Karma Girl, Hot Mama, Jinxed), why the switch?

I had been wanting to write a book about a female assassin for some time, so darker and grittier definitely seemed the way to go with that kind of story. And writing a character like Gin let me create a really tough heroine, so I wanted to put her in a dangerous world with villains who would challenge her at every turn. Plus, it seems to me like folks are enjoying the darker reads right now, instead of the lighter books. And I just thought it would be fun to try to stretch myself as a writer and do something different from what I had written before. So far, folks really seem to like Gin and all her crazy adventures.

7) What inspires you to write the stories you do? Are there certain genres you enjoy writing more than others?

I like reading stories with a little bit of everything in them – magic, action, danger romance – and those are the kinds of stories that I like writing. Some of my favorite movies are The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the original Star Wars movies, and the Indiana Jones series, if that tells you anything about my tastes. I definitely like reading and watching a lot of action.

There’s not one genre that I enjoy writing more than another, but I will say that fight scenes are some of my favorite things to write. I love a good fight scene, whether it’s one of my own or one on the big screen. ;-)


8) How do you juggle work and writing? What do you credit as the "secret" to your success?

I work a full-time day job, so I write at night and on the weekends. It’s definitely tough, especially since being an author is more than just writing books. It’s also blogging, booking advertising, doing revisions, and a million other things. It’s a lot of work, but I love doing it.

I would say my secret is working ahead. I’m extremely anal in that I’m always working ahead. That way, if something unexpected was to ever come up (like a project at my day job or a death in the family), then hopefully I would be far enough ahead to put the book stuff on hold while I dealt with the crisis at hand.

9) When you have time, who do you like to read?

I love westerns, so I really like Linda Lael Miller, and I adore Lisa Kleypas’ contemporary romances. For paranormal, I like Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books. I also like to read Robin McKinley, Kristin Cashore, Suzanne Collins, Robert Parker, Donald Westlake … I could go on all day!

10) With Halloween days away…does you like scary movies?

I HATE scary movies because, well, they’re scary. LOL. I’ve never liked scary movies. When I was a kid, one of my friends told me about the movie Child’s Play – and just hearing about it creeped me out. To this day, I can’t watch that movie – or any other scary ones. They’re just not for me.

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy, though.

11) Of course, our final question is always... What is your guilty indulgence?

One of my favorite indulgences is strawberry cheesecake ice cream. And cheese fries. And dark chocolate. And macaroni and cheese. Do I have to have just one? ;-)





CONTEST ALERT!!!


If you would like to own one of Jennifer Estep's books, leave a comment. We will draw names at random for a chance to win one of her books. Entries will be accepted through 8:00am EST Saturday, October 30th. You MUST provide an email addy and be a follower so we can contact you if you win!

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