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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Caroline Barnard-Smith

My author guest this week is Caroline Barnard-Smith.

Her new book, Jinn Nation, is a dark fantasy novel about road trip. Maybe anyone going on holiday would like to get a copy to read? Right now it is available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords but the paperback version is coming out very soon.

The Blurb :

Once, the vampire Dylan had feared nothing and no one. He'd rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.

Finding himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn - a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.

Read and excerpt of Jinn Nation

*Jinn Nation is currently for sale for the Amazon Kindle and at Smashwords for the
very special price of $0.99 / £0.95, but that's for a limited time only.

Or maybe you would prefer to win a copy? Read the interview and enter the contest 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 book Jinn Nation?

Caroline - Thank you, it's great to be here! Jinn Nation is a dark fantasy about the vampire Dylan and his relationship with a strangely compelling woman full of secrets called Christa. Christa has certain abilities - she can read minds and even control peoples' actions, turning them into zombies, basically - and Dylan finds that very alluring because he is attracted to
power (although he probably wouldn't admit that). Then there are the jinn... The jinn are a nasty race of creatures hell-bent on tearing their way through the human population. They're fierce, cruel and strong and after having magickally infused jinn stones inserted in his stomach in a fit of pique, Dylan is one of them.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Jinn Nation? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

Caroline - I suppose it was more of a long process than a single flash of inspiration. I started with Dylan, who first appeared in my debut novel, Dunraven Road. The vampires didn't come to a good end in that novel, but I found that I liked Dylan so much I couldn't bear to kill him off with the others. So Jinn Nation began life as a question - What did Dylan do next?

The ensuing road trip with Christa, crossing the United States in a stolen RV, came from a completely different place. I've always wanted to travel but I've never really had the funds and one day I thought, why don't I have my characters travel to all the places I want to see? That way, I can go with them. I'd actually planned to have them visit more places than they
did, including Dylan's home city of Budapest, but as often happens, the characters took over and told me where they were heading instead of the other way around. I wanted the road trip across America in particular to have a demonic Bonnie and Clyde feel, so I hope I've managed to accomplish that.

Amber - Is Jinn Nation a one off? Or part of a series? What else are you working on at the moment?

Caroline - Jinn Nation can be read as a one off (you don't need to have read Dunraven Road to enjoy it), but I've left it open for a sequel. I'm working on something much closer to home at the moment, set in a Devon town. I can't tell you too much because I'm still working out the details myself, but it will definitely draw on faerie mythology, which I've been interested in for years.

Amber - Why did you decide to start writing? And how long did it take to get published?

Caroline - I've been writing for as long as I can remember, sat at the dining table with my mum's old typewriter. Mum always encouraged me because she's a writer herself, albeit unpublished (so far!) I started submitting seriously to publishers when I was still at university but it took another six years and two novels before somebody wanted to print my work. I'd previously published a handful of short stories in small press magazines, but there's nothing quite like the feeling of selling an entire novel.

Amber - Why did you pick the Paranormal / Fantasy genre? Or did it pick you?

Caroline - I think it definitely picked me. Fairy tales were always my favourite stories as a child and from there I discovered J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin, real high fantasy stuff. My love of all things dark came later and as a teenager I devoured anything with vampires in it, particularly Anne Rice. It seemed inevitable that I would create my own undead heroes sooner or later.

Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?

Caroline - You're right, being an author can be exhilarating one minute and deeply frustrating the next. I've been lucky enough to have some of my short stories and one novel published by traditional publishers, but the work doesn't end there. You have to learn to market yourself and your work because often a publisher won't be able to do that for you due to limited resources. That's something I found quite hard at the beginning because I'm naturally shy, but it also meant I got to experience things I would never have done otherwise, such as approaching book sellers and talking on local radio - something which led to me having my own community radio show.

Amber - I am a proud Kindle owner! Do you own an e-reader? and how do you see ebooks? Do you think they help increase an authors audience base? Or killing the lovely paper made book?

Caroline - I am in love with my Kindle! From what I've seen, I'd say that ebooks can definitely increase an author's audience base, particularly if they're priced right. Readers are more likely to take a chance on an unknown author if they can download their book for just a couple of pounds/dollars. Until I got my Kindle, I was the first to argue that you couldn't replace a 'real' book, but I've changed my mind now - it's just so much cooler to be able to download any book on a whim and then carry my entire library around with me. Jinn Nation is actually the first full-length novel I've published as an ebook, so I'm looking forward to seeing where the experience will take me.

Amber - Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?

Caroline - I always listen to music when I write and Jinn Nation actually has specific scenes based on songs, or my interpretation of those songs, anyway. I was listening to a lot of Evanescence and Placebo when I wrote it; a strange mix maybe but it worked for me!

Amber - What have you been reading and watching lately? Do you have any recommendations for us?

Caroline - I've been reading the very un-paranormal Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, actually, which is brilliant. I've also just picked up The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy and that looks really interesting; you don't find many books about elves that aren't based in a high fantasy setting. As for TV, I've really enjoyed Game of Thrones although I'm ashamed to say I've yet to read the books!

Amber - Who or what has been the biggest Influence in your life?

Caroline - My literary influences range far and wide, from Emily Bronte to Stephen King, but the people who've had the biggest influence in my life have to be my mum and my husband. My mum encouraged me to write and then to submit my work to publishers, and she's always proofread all my stuff, while my husband showed me how to approach life with a different point of view, which has enormous impact on my writing. Oh, and Buffy... I've definitely been heavily influenced by the Slayer. ;)

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Caroline - A vampire, obviously! I wouldn't be a whiney, guilt-ridden vamp though; I'd embrace my strength and invulnerability and just have some fun. Actually, I'd be a lot like Dylan...

Amber - Thank you so much for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog! I
hope you will come back again ;)

Caroline - Thank you for having me. :)


Contest Time

Caroline is giving away a copy of Jinn Nation! You choose which format!

How To Enter

Where would you go on a road trip?

No idea = 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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Have you 'Liked' Amberkatze's Book Blog on Facebook?

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 and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Sunday 24th of July 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.


myrandaroyann said...

Right now, I would like to go on a road trip to see my friend in Kansas City, MO. I'd also love to go to Washington D.C., New York, etc... There are a lot of places I'd love to go! Thanks for the contest!

Unknown said...

I would love to go on a roadtrip to Niagra Falls, California or Florida or even somewhere in the mountains. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Audra said...

I would love to road trip to Tulsa Ok to see RAW wrestling---- Please enter me into the contest.

Julie S said...

We already drive from Houston to Jacksonville twice a year to visit family, so I'd like to extend that to a trip to Miami :)
Thanks for the giveaway, this author sounds promising.

Asylumgirl said...

I think after watching the premiere of the new season of Haven on SyFy that I would love to go to Maine or anywhere in New England for that matter. I think summer and fall would be the best times to visit. deidre_durance@hotmail.com

Irene Jackson said...

If this contest is international I would love to win a copy of this great lookin book. I would take a road trip through the highlands of Scotland maybe even catch sight of some hunks in kilts!



Stephanie said...

I'd like to go on a road trip to Las Vegas.


Andra Lyn said...

I'd love to go on a road trip around the east coast. So much to do and so much history there!


Aurian said...

I'm not sure I will like this book, but if I do win, I will of course give it a try!

Wow, a roadtrip through America and all those famous places would be awesome. Time for the lottery price to fall on my house!

auriansbooks at gmail dot com

subscriber, follower etc

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Would love to go on a road trip to the Grand Canyon.I would love to read this book.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I'd love to go on a road trip down to Calgary, especially during the stampede. But there's so many places I'd like to go, like L.A, New York, P.E.I, Quebec...
Thanks for the contest, the book seems great.

faefever25 at hotmail dot com

Deirdre said...

I'd love to go on a road trip around Cornwall and see the places mentioned in Arthurian legend!