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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Jess Haines

Author Jess Haines is new on the Paranormal Urban Fantasy scene and her debut book Hunted by the Others came out last year. However that wasn't the only release Jess had last year. She also had a novella published in an anthology with some big name writers a few months ago! Now the sequel Taken by the Others is out and I have already seen the cover for book three. Have you checked out this author? She seems to be making a lot of noise ;)

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)
UNDER THE FANG (an anthology of vampire short stories, not for the faint of heart/weak of stomach)
TURNCOAT (Butcher)
1984 (Orwell)
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 :)


Contest Time

Win a copy of Taken by the Others by Jess Haines!

How To Enter

Did you make any New Years Resolutions?

No answer = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

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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.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com links/Banners below and around the site!

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The contest will stay open until Sunday 9th of January 2011 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.


Sharon S. said...

I don't do resolutions! . Why put that kind of pressure on myself. I have Hunted by Others as the next book in my kindle cue and can't wait to try it. I have heard so many great things about this series :)

Sharon S. said...


forgot to add my extra entry. I posted it on my FB page

Barbara E. said...

My resolution for the new year is to do my very best at my new job. I'm so grateful to have landed it after being unemployed for 6 months. I also plan on keeping up with my exercise and healthy eating, so it's not really a resolution, just a plan.

Anonymous said...

Hi :)
That was an excellent interview. I enjoyed Jess' answers & I liked the covers & links you added.
I resolve to not procrastinate when I get around to it.
All the best,

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

My only resolution is to read less blogs and more books!

I follow on GFC.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Vickie said...

I don't do resolutions for the year, historically I don't do well with them, so why start one?

What I am shooting for, on a day to day basis, is take better care of myself.

Meredith said...

Sure! The usual--lose weight, do well in school, find a new job, read more.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Mervi said...

I haven't done resolutions for years. Even when I did, I always forgot them by the end of january, so there isn't much of a point. ;)

Great interview! :)

Tammy said...

I downloaded Hunted By The Others on my Kindle 12/31. % started reading it a couple of hours ago and I *love* it! It combines my favourite genres: mystery, paranormal & humour. I can't wait to read book two!

My resolution this year is to raise awareness about the huge adult illiteracy rate. I also want to get involved with RIF - Reading Is Fundamental. Our children spend too much time watching tv or playing video games. We need to get them back to reading!

debbie said...

Yes, lose weight, and try to get more organized, by getting rid of clutter.

Katie said...

I have the same resolution every year: To be better to myself. To be more positive about myself and stop being negative.

Happy New Year!

E.J. Stevens said...

Wonderful interview! No resolutions for me this year. :)
Thanks for the giveaway!
From the Shadows

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for the fabulous interview! I made several resolutions.
1.To read more during the year (instead of holeing up in my room for like a month during the x-mas season and summer)
2.To get out more during the winter than I have in the past...usually its pretty much hibernating time from the end of January until the end of March
3.To spend more of my time working on my projects, not working on work
4. To stay physically active :)

Thanks for the contest!

Anonymous said...

My resolution would be to lose weight. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

Melanie S. said...

I've no resolutions for the new year - I mean I always say I will eat more vegetable and make sport, but I don't want that pressure on me... so I will see what 2011 will bring me *g*

Hunted by the Others is on my TBR and I can't wait to give it a try!

booksforalleternity at gmail dot com

Bethany C. said...

I see I'm not alone here in not making resolutions. I think putting off something you think you need to change about yourself is kind of lazy. If I see a need to change something about me, I'll do it now...or maybe tomorrow...
(I downloaded the book last night just in time!)


Holz Smolz said...

Ah! New years resolutions, I always end up breaking mine but that doesn't stop me from trying:) Mine is to stop biting my nails lol, oh and to start my own blog!

I downloaded Hunted by Others and am soo excited to start reading! *squeals*

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Marsh_92/status/21962141342900224


justpeachy36 said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

I'm not a resolution maker. I always feel like that's a death sentence for whatever I want to do. However, I do set goals, but not in January, just as I need to, to get things accomplished.

I just got the first book in this series and I'd love to win this one... great giveaway.


Julie S said...

This year I resolve to focus on myself more - improve my health and well being!


Kimberly B. said...

This is the first year in awhile I didn't do resolutions. Instead, I just focused on spending the first of the year as I wanted to spend the rest of it-writing!
This series sounds great! Thanks for the terrific giveaway!

throuthehaze said...

I've made the typical lose weight resolution.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

StyleVamp said...

I don't really do resolutions, but I do set personal and professional goals for myself. With the mind set of completing these goals for the year..whatever I don't do I carry it over (lol)

StyleVamp said...

realized I didn't add my goals..one them is to travel a little more and save $$$

Amy said...

One of my main resolutions is to do well in school and try my best. I don't make too many because I want them to be achievable.


Audra said...

No resolutions- Break'em anyway- I am just going to try to enjoy my family and work on being healthy and happy!!!!

Anonymous said...

My resolution is always the same: be happy & healthy. I'm thankfully usually happy...not always healthy. :/

wookieecookie7 at sbcglobal dot net

binabug said...

I have already started my nyr , I decided to take my time at work and not rush rush rush, I want to get the first job done completely and properly before I tackle a new one...after all, I am hardly the only employee there and should not have the pressure

Stephanie said...

I didn't make any resolutions this year.


Persephone said...

Every year I aim to be more health conscious, to be more active. I am slow in going though.

BTW---I am looking forward to Ms. Haines' new book!

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

My Resolution is to spend more time taking care of myself. I am always taking care of everyone else and it burns me out. Thanks for the great giveaway :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

littlelatina said...

pay off some debt and lose some weight

nhmoose99 said...

I keep my resolutions consistent year to year for the most part - be healthy and be happy and help others

nhmoose99 at yahoo dot com

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

My new year resolution is to try to find an agent, for I too want to be a writer and have a novel that I feel is ready for querying!

Have banner on blog: a GREAT read (in sidebar)


sablelexi said...

I didn't officially make any new years resolution because I fear I wouldn't keep it, though I did make a vow to spend more time with my blog.

jlynettes @ hotmail . com

heatwave16 said...

This past year was so stressful & busy that I didn't get to read as much as I wanted, so I am going to make an effort to set aside some 'me' time to read.

tweeted - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/22851031264133120


donnas said...

I did. I made 2. One is to exercise at least 3 times a week to help get healthy. The other is to read 50 new authors.

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/statuses/22880552835092480

bacchus76 at myself dot com

SandyG265 said...

I didn't make any resolutions.

Anonymous said...

I am not a new year's resolutions person either.

SiNn said...

honestly only thing ive resluted to do is blog and readmore post more content on my blog is all i really had planned i neve rmake them because i usually never keep them

Unknown said...

I just picked up the first in the series Hunted.....and I LOVED IT...as for resolutions...I honestly didn't have the time to think of one so no I didn't...I guess if I made one now it would be to try and keep my two kids from destroying my house LOL

Curling up by the Fire said...

I didn't really make any new year's resolutions this year.

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

Cindy McCune said...

My resolution is a tough one for me. My mom recently passed away & I kind of went into shut down mode. So I NEED to get out and make friends. It will be hard to trust people with no one to discuss my feelings with.

Nickolay said...

My New Years Resolution was to take more chances

Posted to Facebook:



Heather B said...

I don't do resolutions. i just try to do better in general

Anonymous said...

I didn't make any "new years resolutions". I do something different then everyone else. I make sorta like wishes or requests. If I tell myself I have to do something like exercise & eat better, I'm probably not going to stick with it after a few weeks. So, whatever it is that I wish or request, when the clock strikes midnight and after kisses w/hubby, I think about what is important. Each morning, when I wake up, I think about that wish/request first. Doing this sorta sets my path for my day. If you wake up concerned about all the things you have to do, those chores, run you down, making it hard to want to complete what you want. I don't feel lousy because I stopped doing something that I was making myself do.
Happy New Year's


lezanac said...

I do not make resolutions because I never keep them I do have a goal of keeping my GPA over 3.5 this year in college. Math has been kicking my butt. lezanac at yahoodotcom

clynsg said...

I stopped making resolutions years ago. I always broke them, and finally decided that it was not productive to do something that was never going to be fulfilled.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

saturdaynightfever said...

I have not made any resolutions.


Anonymous said...

I did not make any new years resolutions. You end up giving up on them anyway


Anonymous said...

I tweeted



Screw Lucy said...

TO quit smoking and so far so good.

Spav said...

My resolution is to finally finish writing my novel.

Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/23911132699828224

AEKZ2 said...

Yes, I made a resolution-- I'm trying to be more patient.


A'lina said...

My new years resolution is to work on being healthier, finish some projects I've been working on, for like, ever! (no more procrastinating! ;)) and, of course, read more books! :D

susansmoaks said...

i didn't make any resolutions this year
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I always resolve to do better in my life. I always want to do better as a person and for my family. My resolution is to improve my financial situation and to spend more time with my family but is this possible? garrettsambo@aol.com

Dawn Reid said...

My resolution for the new year is to eat better, exercise and take my vitamins.