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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Author Interview & Contest with Jeanne Stein

It has been a little quite lately here on Amberkatze's Book Blog. Summer came and things slowed down but the cold weather is coming back and so are the author interviews!

To get us back in the swing of things is author Jeanne Stein! I love her Anna Strong Vampire series and highly recommend them to anyone who will listen ;) The fifth book in the series, Retribution, came out a few weeks ago and of course I got my hands on a copy as soon as I could.

Here is your chance to get to know the author (again! She was a guest here before click here to take a peek!) and also try your luck in this weeks contest. Jeanne has some great prizes up for grabs so make sure you enter!


Amber - Jeanne, Welcome back to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to
have you here again!

Jeanne - Thanks for having me back.

Amber - The newest Anna Strong book is out! Can you tell us about it?

Jeanne – In Retribution, Anna faces an old foe, the black witch Belinda Burke. Belinda has cast a spell on Anna’s friend, Culebra, and when Daniel Frey tries to help, both their lives are put in danger. But Belinda is up to more than revenge. She’s discovered a way to use vampire blood in an anti-ageing cream that rejuvenates human women in a remarkable way. Unfortunately, it has side effects and the method Burke uses to extract the blood is right out of a textbook on medieval torture. This story also features a character from my story in Many Bloody Returns, the good witch Sophie.

Amber - Retribution is the fifth book in the Anna Strong series. How many more Anna books are there going to be? Can you give us any clues about what to expect in Anna's future?

Jeanne – I just finished the sixth book, Chosen, and am starting work on the seventh. In Chosen, Anna learns what it means to be the “Chosen One” and it completes the first year of Anna’s life as a vampire. It will answer old questions and introduce new ones. I hope to keep writing as many as I’m asked to.

Amber - The covers for the Anna Strong books are great! How much
influence do you have in the book printing process, like picking covers, after you hand in your story?

Jeanne – I have a great cover artist, Cliff Nielsen and a great cover designer, Judith Lagerman. Retribution was the first cover I was asked my opinion on, though, and I have to say, I think it’s my favorite. As writers, we don’t usually have much input.

Amber - Are you working on anything else? Do you have any ideas for
another series?

Jeanne – I’m working on an angel/demon story set in World War I with a co-author, Susan Smith. And a novella featuring Anna Strong that will fill in back story for some of the characters in the series.

Amber - Something I have always wondered is how authors come up with the
names for their characters. How do you pick the names you use in your
books and where did the name Anna Strong come from?

Jeanne – Names are always tricky. In fact, in writing the sixth book, Chosen, I realized a name I’d used in the fifth, Retribution, I had used again. Fortunately, I had time to change it in Retribution since it was a character with a small part in that book and a much more important character in Chosen.

As for Anna’s name—I always liked the name Hannah Storm. But since that’s the name of a well-known TV personality, I had to come up with something different. So I just played around with similar sounding names and eventually settled on Anna Strong. It fit.

Amber - There are so many online sites eg, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace
etc. to get in touch with fans. Which sites are you signed up with? Is it hard to keep up with them all? Do you think they are good?

Jeanne – I just signed up with Facebook. So befriend me, please! I have a MySpace page but I haven’t done anything with it. Facebook is easier because you can post when you want and add pictures. Social sites are time consumers, though, and it’s easy to spend too much time on then.

Amber - What is the easiest and hardest part about being an author?

Jeanne – Easiest part is the writing. Hardest part is everything else—the marketing, the travel, deadlines, all that goes into getting a book in front of an audience.

Amber - How do you relax when your not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

Jeanne – Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies?  I take kick-boxing classes and they are great stress relievers. I read and try to spend time with my husband and friends when I’m not on the road.

Amber - What was the last movie you watched? and the last Book you read?
and did you enjoy them?

Jeanne – The last movie was a 2007 movie called Surveillance…wow, wonderfully creepy. The last book is Dracula—the Undead. Dacre Stoker (yes, a member of that family) co-wrote a sequel to the original classic with Ian Holt. I got an advanced reading copy at ComicCon. Yes, I enjoyed it.

Amber - If you could be any famous person, alive or dead, who would you be? and why?

Jeanne – hmmm..interesting question, Amber. If I could go back in time, probably a World War II woman in the Army Air Corp. Not famous, but I so admire the adventurous spirit displayed by those women! Present day, maybe Mia Farrow. She’s had an interesting life.

Amber - Thank you for coming back to visit Amberkatze's Book Blog! I hope you will come back next time you have a new release!

Jeanne – Thanks again and just invite me!


Contest Time!

Jeanne is giving away some great prizes here on Amberkatze's Book Blog so make sure you read the contest rules before entering!

There will be three winners this week. Each of the winners will get to choose an Anna Strong book (any from the series released so far) which will be signed by Jeanne and to make things even more special Jeanne is going to add some book cover magnets and pens.

So if you haven't started the series yet or are missing one of the books this is your chance to get a copy! Signed! Oh and the magnets are lovely! I have a couple myself.

So to enter the contest you have to come up with a vampire character name. The name can be for a male or female, be short or long but it has to mean something! So try and post about why you are choosing the name you are entering!

No character = No entry!

The usual rules apply!

Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

I can offer more prizes if my Amazon Associates account gets more money!! So please make sure you order at Amazon.com through the links around the site and help keep the contest coming!

The contest will stay open until Wednesday 23rd of September 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.


Tynga said...

I haven't read this series yet, but it's been a my wishlist for a while! If I win I would pick the first book =)
My name suggestion, I would go with Cindy Winchester. Cindy is my name, It would be great to have a character named after me =P and I haven't read a book with a character named Cindy yet. I'm sure they are but I haven't read one.
Winchester because I am big fan of Supernatural series =P
Thanks for the contest!

Kimberly B. said...

Zenobia Cartwright. Zenobia because she could be either an eccentric Victorian or the original queen of Palmyra, and Cartwright, I don't know, it just popped into my head.

Vickie said...

It's excellent seeing Jeanne here. I am going to see her on Saturday, mapped the locale on Broadway in Denver, DH has agreed to be my driver.

Vampire name, Xavier Flay. Just has a nice ring to it....and I work with a Xavier...and I'm watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay....

Friended Jeanne on Facebook!

Anonymous said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview with Jeanne Stein & thank you Jeanne for sharing with us.
I have the idea of a vampire named Aetius. He was the last Roman General.
All the best,

Llehn said...

I would like to propose the name Lukael for my vampire. Luke means "bringer of light" which is an ironic name for a creature who has to hide in darkness all the time, thus hinting at some sort of tragic duality. The tag on to the rest of his name is meant to make him sound exotic.

Jeanne Stein said...

Some great names here! I'm jotting them down!!


Erica G said...

I like the name Zillah for a vampire. It could also be spelled Zila to make it more feminine. It means shadow. Shadow could be used in many ways. Is there something hiding in their past? Is it because they move in the darkness? Do they feel like they are always ignored? Thanks for bringing us great books and the contest.

Egreca (at) hotmail (dot) com

KayeDean said...

I like the name Mirella because it means 'worthy of admiration' and I am, lol.

Daelith said...

I've not yet read this series either but have the first book on my wish list. They sound great.

I like the name Delano for a male vampire. It's old French meaning "of the night."

Might be fun to have a female vampire named Sun...just for the irony. Though in Korean it means goodness. Still some irony there if it's an evil vampire.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and a chance to win a book. Thank you Amber for hosting it.

I'll run over to FB now an befriend you.

Jeanne Stein said...

These names are SO good. I had to come up with vampire names for the sixth book I just finished. I wish I had had some of these. But you can be sure, they'll show up in future books.


Aimee said...

I don't have a name or anything, but I wanted to say I loooove the Anna Strong series. I picked up the first one on a whim a few years back and had low expectations (I'd had some bad luck with random purchases), and I was very pleasantly surprised. Fantastic books!

Blodeuedd said...

I hear such good things about this series, would love to read it :D

A good vamp name, well Isabella cos it sounds regal (not thinking about Bella twilight here, thinking about Queen Isabella). And then something Spanish or Italian as a last name

But for something different why not Blodeuedd, it means flower face :)

Anonymous said...

I like the name Vlad Wolfen. Vlad for the Impaler, of course, and Wolfen for one of my favorite movies(1981-about spirit wolves in New York).

Curling up by the Fire said...

I haven't read this series yet but I've known about it for a while. I am thinking in terms of really old vampires, ones who may have lived for 5000 years and I always thought a name like Skotwos Welt was really cool (or Skot for short). Both of these words have been around for a long time and refer to shadow and Earth.

mrsshukra said...

Wolf Vasile! Thought it would be fun for a male vampire having the name Wolf and Vasile means royal and kingly!


SiNn said...

Lazerous James ( ale obviously)

Payton Rose for agirl character loved the interview cant wait to get started on these books i havent had the pleasure readinga ny just yet

Lori T said...

Gracie Devlin...I have always loved the name Grace and I think that this is just a good combination.

Jeanne Stein said...

thsnks, Aimee, for the kind words. I'm so glad you enjoy the series.

And once, again, I'm compiling a list of all your great suggestions. Who knows? You might just see yours in a future Anna book!


Anonymous said...

love anna, and your writing
vampire names, hmm


beautiful magnets!

Pissenlit said...

Hmmm, how about Alaric Mannus?

Alaric is supposed to mean "noble ruler" or "ruler of all". There was an Alaric I in history who was king of the Visigoths from 395-410 and the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome.

Mannus is a Germanic mythological figure, son of the earth-born god Tuisto, who was supposedly the ancestor and founder of the 3 Germanic tribes, Ingvaeones, Irminones and Istvaeones.

I figure it would make a nice name for some high muckety-muck or head honcho vampire. :)

SusiSunshine said...

Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win here.
A vampire name...hmmm...I'm all for slavic names so I'll choose one of them. I like Damir(it means giving peace->a little ironic for a vampire)and Ilija(means something like my god I think).
Have a nice weekend!

Taylor Z said...

Cool interview! And i am dying for the latest book, but i have no time to get it!! urg.
Anyway, vampire name...hm...I like Blade, i know its been taken for a guy in another book i've read, but i'd like it for a girl. It would show how strong and deadly this vampire is. Set Fear in everyone's eyes just from the name!

Jeanne Stein said...

I love the creativity shown here! Maybe some of you should become writers (if you're not already!)

Backroze-- I get the magnets through Cafe Press and I think they do a wonderful job--


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the Anna Strong books,its a great series.

A vampire name,how about Buearegard Clancey

LuAnn said...

How about Elizabeth McDowell for a vampire name?

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Ina said...

Hi Jeanne!
It's great to see you here *hug*
mh... a name?
I like "Iliana" - I don't know what it means but I like the hearing...
Wish you all the best!

Donna said...

Wonderful interview! I'm so glad to see some of the questions to Anna being The Chosen will answered in the next book. This gets me all excited about the next book even more. I've really enjoyed this series and will be in line when Chosen comes out.

Don't enter me in the contest because I have all of the books, just wanted to come by and say what a great series the Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles is. :)

Mardel said...

Oh, this brings back memories. I bought the first Anna Strong book when it was in trade paperback, the cover with two eyes in a dark background. Pretty cool cover. I actually like that cover better than the newer covers (I'm obnoxious like that).

I'm not good at vampire names, I would pick something entirely "normal" like

Andrew or Andy
Desiree (de zer ray) or Delis, my mom's middle name.

Mishel said...

I really love the name Jade. I was going to name my [Future] daughter that but my sister went ahead and named her daughter that. No worries though, I love my neice and she's super fierce. Jade is a sleek and sexy name for a vampire =) As I'm sure it's been used somewhere before.

I just bout Jeanne's first book *yay* and I'm excited to read it. I would so love a chance to get the 2nd book in the series =)

Thanks so much

mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

I also posted a link to this contest on my sidebar http://creativitygone.blogspot.com

Jeanne Stein said...

More good stuff— Elaing and LuAnn, love the traditional names as well as the more exotic ones.

Ina, Iliana is cool.

Donna, thanks for stopping by and your continued support.

You know Mardel, every once in awhile someone shows up at a signing with the original ImaJinn Becoming and Blood Drive so there are still a few floating around out there.

Mishel, I like Jade, too. Did your sis know she was beating you out on the name? Sisters can be sneaky like that. ☺


wanda f said...

Trace Michaels I dont know why I just love the name

Carmen R said...

Oh I love the Anna Strong series. Ok as far as a name I would say Gavin it means White hawk of battle. Hawks are such powerful symbols and being a hawk of battle just sounds so tough.

Dot S.(ladeetdareads.wordpress.com) said...

I just finished The Becoming and can't wait for to read the rest of the series. You had me from book one!LOL
My vamp name would be Caesar it sounds so ancient and forbidding.

Barbara E. said...

I'd pick a name that doesn't sound modern, or at least not common - like Egil or Hemming - because I think that a vampire who has lived a long time would have an unusual name. Both these names happen to be Danish, and I think a Danish vampire would be interesting - that's why there is no last name, because last names weren't too common if you go back in history far enough.

Shelbycat said...

Hmmm ... vampire name ... why does my mind go completely blank when i have to think about something? :)

My suggestion is Shelby, mostly because it's part of my nickname but also because it sounds so cute, completely the opposite of normal vampire names. I mean what's to say that someone cute can't be made into a vampire?

Jamie said...

Ok I know this is corny but I love Valkyrie. I have always thought it should be the name of something big and bad..lol. It just sounds like a vampire name to me.

Jeanne Stein said...

More good ones – Trace, Gavin, Caesar—all evoke strong, masculine images. Egil and Hemming, unusual and very Nordic. As is Valkyrie. Shelby, poetic and evocative. I agree, too, it’s unexpected which adds to the mystery.

Keep 'em coming!!


Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading! said...

I chose to go the Spanish route. My character's name would be Zurina Valiente. The origin of the name Zurina is Spanish and means white. Valiente means brave in Spanish. I thought it had a nice ring to it.

Thanks for the great interview and contest!!

Unknown said...

Succula - I think that speaks for itself, LOL:)


Unknown said...



Unknown said...

Shared on Facebook


Unknown said...



Jeanne Stein said...

I like it, Jen--and Bridget, didn't there used to be a Count Succula in something? Or did I dream it? :-)

And thanks for spreading the news. Are we friends on Facebook?


Asylumgirl said...

Creedence Dupree, I don't know just because, and it sounds kinda unisex, so it would work for either male or female.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

susansmoaks said...

my vampire name is joe smith, he can fit it and no one will suspect he's a vampire!

susan1215 said...

Battel ( bah tell) means night

Anonymous said...

Rachel Wagner. O like Rachel because it has an older medieval sound to it. Wagner for Geramnic. For some reason I'm thinking vampire stories set in Germany. I think Wolfgang would be great for a male vampire. garrettsambo@aol.com

Bridget3496 said...

I am going with Giovanni Santangelo. Because I just watched Vampire Diaries online last night and I swear between the main character and James Patterson, they both look just like a guy I use to date named Giovanni. And Santangelo because it's a great Italian last name and the last name of Lucky, my fave Jackie Collins character!

Roseann K. said...

Love to win a book! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Nakita Morozov...love the russian names. Nakita, means victorious people, unconquerable.

Deb K said...

I haven't read the series yet so I would choose the first one if I win!
{I have been wanting the books for awhile now}

Zaid would be my name because it means To increase, to become greater! And~that is what I would want to do if I were a vampire.

cman said...


lilyk said...

I would choose Scarlet Goodblood for a vampire name for the visual imagery.

Dawn Reid said...

I like Larzarius or Larz for short because it sounds so strong for a male character

Jeanne Stein said...

Great names all!! thanks for playing!


Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I love Jacobie for a Vamp Guys Name.

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4326782731

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I posted on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/posted.php?id=1259591812&share_id=135810973946&comments=1#s135810973946

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I posted on Blog http://booksaremoviesinthemind.blogspot.com/

mverno said...

baron von diaper wetter mverno@roadrunner.com

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I posted this on Stumble http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit/?url=http%3A%2F%2Famberkatze.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F09%2Fauthor-interview-contest-with-jeanne.html

Carol EL said...

Iggy Incisors is the name of my character because of his one prominate feature. jelly15301@gmail.com