Things are going well for the writer and even though Jess popped by Amberkatze's Book Blog in 2010 as a guest not so long ago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have her back on the blog to talk about her new release and to find out more about her. So please welcome Jess back and make sure you enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of the new Jess Haines book!
*** Hunted by the Others is a FREE download on Amazon, the Sony ebookstore, etc. until January 2nd. (Today!!!). So if you read E-Books get over there NOW!!! (Kindle buyers please use the link below!) ***
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your H&W Investigations Series!?
Jess – Thanks very much for having me, Amber! Absolutely, I’d love to tell you a little about the series.
The books follow the adventures of Shiarra Waynest, a private investigator who lives in an alternate present-day New York City. Unlike most people, she’s not interested in the Others, supernaturals who have stepped out of the shadows to proclaim their existence and live side-by-side with mortals. She’s a normal gal with normal problems—more bills than income, a nosy mother who likes to involve herself in her daughter’s love life, an ex-boyfriend who won’t take “no” for an answer—with a few added complications. Her business is about to go under, and she makes a very dangerous choice in order to keep H&W Investigations’ doors open.
A mage coven offers her a lot of money if she’ll involve herself in the business of Alec Royce, New York’s most powerful vampire. He has something the magi want; a very powerful artifact. Seems there’s a possibility that Shiarra’s ex-boyfriend—who also happens to be a werewolf—might have some interest in the artifact, too. Or maybe just to get back in her pants. She’s not sure. Oh, and let us not forget the psycho supernatural hunters who want her to join them or die.
Over time, she comes to learn more about Others, and about herself. There are consequences to her actions, as well as a great deal she has to learn about herself and these creatures sharing her world.
Yeah, she’s got a lot on her plate.
Amber - Book Two, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS, is due out this week. What can we expect from the new addition?
Jess – A lot more Royce, a lot more Chaz, and a whole slew of new problems to deal with.
To give you an idea of what's coming, here’s the back cover copy:
Jess Haines draws readers deep into the mesmerizing world of the Others–werewolves, vampires, and mages who make their home among humans, and are turning Shiarra Waynest’s life upside down…
Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest’s most pressing problem was keeping her agency afloat. Now she’s dealing with two dangerous, seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia–for very different reasons.
Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing his progeny, while Royce’s interest is a lot more personal. That’s not sitting well with Shia’s werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were the bad guys, but she’s discovering unexpected shades of grey that are about to redefine her friends, her loyalties–and even her desires…
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the H&W Investigations Series!?? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Jess – Shiarra as a character has been kicking around in my head for a long time. The setting for HUNTED BY THE OTHERS and the rest of the H&W Investigations series came much later.
In 2001, I started writing a super serious high fantasy novel. Skip ahead to late 2007, and I was still writing that same book. However! I had an epiphany, and decided that I was so sucked in to making a deep and somber doorstop that I’d lost sight of the fun side of writing. I wrapped up the first draft of the fantasy novel and got rolling on HUNTED BY THE OTHERS in early 2008. Within a few months, I had a finished manuscript and started on my agent hunt while concurrently editing the first book and starting the second. The rest of the series just came to me—and hopefully you’ll get a few more H&W novels out of me!
Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? Anything interesting or is the research boring?
Jess – Reading books about vampires and Ancient Greece is never boring. *g* I’ve studied books on magic, books on language, and studied maps of various areas that come up in the three books I’ve written so far. I’ve also studied the areas and some of the significant political figures from the times/places that many of my vampires originate.
To give you an example, one of the vampires you’ll meet in TAKEN BY THE OTHERS (H&W book two) is a mute named Mouse. Her origins—which are not covered in much depth in this book—date back to the late 1700’s. I had to study a few different things to build up that character that I couldn’t really get into in TBTO; things like the origin of opera, some of the social strata of the time, and all kinds of interesting tidbits I needed to know to build up the power structure of the vampires of the time. There’s quite a bit more to Mouse’s story, but I won’t get into that here.
Amber - HUNTED BY THE OTHERS was your debut book. What was it like being in print? How did you celebrate?
Jess – Indescribably awesome. There was quite a bit of squealing and dancing around in glee involved. My friends and I celebrated when I got the deal by congregating at a restaurant and ordering several terrifyingly large platters of bacon-covered cheese fries. Seeing my words in print was quite an experience.
Amber - What is next? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?
Jess – I’ve got a few things on my plate! I’ve got a novella coming out sometime in 2011 for the REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY anthology, a highly unusual co-written paranormal romance novel I’ve been fooling around with, and my agent is working on negotiations for more books in the H&W Investigations series with Kensington. Keep your fingers crossed for me that you’ll see ‘em sometime soon!
* Amber - Jess also just let me know that she got another three book deal closed for the H&W series! It's now officially going to be SIX books instead of three! Well done Jess!!! *
Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? Why did you pick the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre?
Jess – I did, but I didn’t always have the chutzpa to think I could make it. It took quite a while for me to get around to seeking professional publication. As for my genre, I’ve always enjoyed reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. It was pretty much an inevitability for me to write one (or more) of those. You may see other genres out of me at some point.
Amber - What are the good times and bad times of being an author?
Jess – The good times are, of course, when you get The Call. Every time I get a request from my editor for more work or a call or email from my agent, I’m always ridiculously excited about it. Trust me, that part never gets old!
As for the bad times, sometimes juggling all of the requests I receive can be tough. It’s not bad, but it can be stressful. Rejection is never fun, either. I accumulated a handful of query rejections, but for the most part it’s been smooth sailing for me.
Amber - Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? If yes, How do you divide your time?
Jess – Actually, I juggle two jobs on top of writing. I fit writing in whenever I can; usually during breaks or before I go to bed at night. It’s always a challenge, but one of my favorite ways to spend my free time!
Amber - There are alot of online sites taking up peoples time lately. Are you on Facebook or any other sites? Do you think the sites are useful or do they just take up too much of your time?
Jess – You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and once in a while on Goodreads. I am reasonably good at balancing my time, but I do my best never to let the social networking sites get in the way of my writing (or my jobs). True, they do take up time, but they have also been greatly beneficial in giving me an opportunity to meet new friends, make new fans, and stay in touch with the latest news in the industry.
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Jess – I’ve recently developed a True Blood obsession. I’ve only seen the first couple seasons, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more. Most of the time you’ll find me watching cheesy horror movies, cheesy action movies, cheesy romance movies, etc.
As for music, I have very eclectic tastes. I listen to just about everything save for gritty rap and really whiny country music. One of my favorite songs is All The Same by Sick Puppies. You might recognize it as the background music to the Free Hugs video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4). My tastes range from Lady Gaga to Metallica to Evanescence to Enya to Bach to Shania Twain. Really, I’ll listen to almost anything.
Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?
Jess – I certainly do! As mentioned earlier, I love horror, SF, fantasy, romance, etc. I LOVE the staples of my genre – Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), Kim Harrison (The Hollows), Charlaine Harris (I’m a late-comer to Ms. Harris’ work, but I adored the first Sookie Stackhouse book), Laurell K. Hamilton (the Anita Blake series, pre-porn/ardeur) – though I have surprisingly few urban fantasy titles on my bookshelf.
Most of what I read growing up were in the high fantasy genre, like Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, etc, or science fiction, like Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, and Orson Scott Card. Let us not forget the horror staples either, like Stephen King and Peter Straub. Though this is a far from complete list, some of my favorite books are:
THE ELVENBANE (Norton/Lackey)
BLACK SUN RISING (Friedman)
UNDER THE FANG (an anthology of vampire short stories, not for the faint of heart/weak of stomach)
DEAD WITCH WALKING (Harrison)
And, of course, any Calvin & Hobbes titles.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Jess – Aw, this one is easy! I would be a dragon. I’ve always had a fascination with them. I think they’re amazing creatures, and the thought of being one is freaking awesome. Imagine it—the strength, the lifespan, flight—it’s all incredible, and the thought of having that kind of power is a heady one indeed.
Amber - Thanks for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog! Come back again sometime :)
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