Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jeaniene Frost Interview and Contest!

This past October I was introduced to a new author who has written a new paranormal series that blew my mind. That author is Jeaniene Frost who has penned an on-going series about a half-vampire, half-human woman named Cat. In Jeaniene's first book, Halfway To the Grave, Cat's sole purpose was to kill any vampire she could find and along the way she found her soul mate in that of Bones, a vampire. (Kind of ironic, don't you think?) It has been a long time since a new author has made such an impression. The sequel, One Foot in the Grave, is to be released next week and if you read my review I posted here, you know that I have become a true fan of this wonderful series and the author who has penned it.

**I also recommend you go to my Comic Con buddy's blog. Christine has just posted her own review of One Foot in the Grave. She of course was the one responsible for introducing me to Jeaniene. *G**

I wrote to Jeaniene after I finished reading One Foot in the Grave and asked if she wouldn't mind doing an interview. As you can see she said yes! :)

You are pretty active on your own blog. How has having a blog helped with your creative processes? Do you think it is important for authors to have websites and keep their readers in the loop about what is going on in their lives, whether it is personal or professional?

Jeaniene: How has having a blog helped with my creative process? *laughs* It's a great way to procrastinate, for one! I can burn hours of time blogging and reading my friend's blogs. It can be truly addictive.

But, with proper restraints, I think blogs are great for authors. I know I love getting a peek into my favorite author's activities through their blogs, and it's a quick easy way for readers to connect with authors. Websites, in today's internet world, are essential for authors. I check author websites all the time for release date info, excerpts, appearances, interviews, etc. Plus, a website can be an easy way to get a feel for an author's "style", too.

Your Night Huntress series is categorized under "Urban Fantasy Romance". Do you think being labeled under a certain genre helps sell books or limits your target audience?

Jeaniene: Both, actually. We all know romance outsells any other fiction, but as my books teeter on the edge of urban fantasy and romance (hence them being called urban fantasy romance :), having that romance label has turned off some UF readers, who don't venture into the romance aisles because they want more UF elements versus romantic ones in a book. And having as many UF elements in my novels as I do has turned off some romance readers, who wanted more emphasis on the relationship between my characters versus external plot complications.

I do respect the need for labels, so consumers can get a good idea about the product they're spending their hard-earned money on. As an author shelved primarily in romance, I know I need to deliver a HEA for my characters. And I will. There will just be some UF issues and complications that need to be dealt with first.

The writing process has always intrigued me. Are you the type who needs total quiet and writes in their PJ's, or with music playing in the background and staying up all night drink a ton of caffeine?

Jeaniene: I like quiet when I'm writing, but I use music to help get in the mood for writing. Yes, I've been caught writing in my PJ's, LOL, and there have been more than a few nights when large quantities of caffeine were imbibed so that I could make a deadline. I don't have a particular time of day that I'm more productive - though I will say that I dislike writing very early in the morning. This is probably because writing while half-asleep results in the most revisions later from my editor ;)

I have so many books in my TBR pile it is not even funny. How many books do you have pending to be read and what are some of their titles?

Jeaniene: *looks over at bookshelf* Um, I have a lot of books in my TBR pile. Here are a few of them:

TOUCH OF TWILIGHT, by Vicki Pettersson (currently reading and loving this)
MAGIC BURNS, by Ilona Andrews
UNDEAD AND UNEASY, by Mary Janice Davidson
THE BLEEDING DUSK, by Colleen Gleason
, by Jeanne Stein
BLOODSUCKING FIENDS, by Christopher Moore
ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY by Jennifer Rardin

One Foot in the Grave is the sequel to Halfway to the Grave. Did you have a sequel planned all along or was this something that came up after you finished writing Halfway to the Grave?

Jeaniene: When I first started writing, I never intended it to be more than one book. Hey, I didn't even know if I could finish one book. That was something I'd procrastinated about for twenty years, is there any wonder I didn't set a goal to do a series when I started?

But, when I was about midway through my first version of Halfway to the Grave, I knew there was no way I could get Cat and Bones's entire story out in one book. So I finished that novel, and immediately started on the second book. Then when I finished that and realized I still had more story to tell, I started on the third book. Then when I finished that and knew I still wasn't done, I was about to start on the fourth book when my husband said, "Uh, honey, shouldn't you try to sell the first book before writing several more in the series?" Yeah, good point ;). That pushed me to start querying agents. Finally, many rewrites of Halfway to the Grave later, I was signed by Rachel Vater and then sold to Erika Tsang at Harper.

Tell me something about Cat or Bones I wouldn't necessarily catch?

Jeaniene: Bones loved his mother, despite his very odd upbringing. One of the reasons he so relentlessly pursues Hennessey in Halfway to the Grave is because Hennessey preys on prostitutes. Since Bones was the son of a prostitute, Bones takes that very personally.

Because of Cat's frigid family environment and her disastrous first relationship, she has a very hard time letting anyone - even herself - know how much certain people mean to her. It's a classic emotional defense mechanism of reject-someone-so-they-can't-reject-you-first. This may be a "duh" obvious trait of Cat's, but sometimes, certain readers think she acts in ways because she doesn't care, when in reality, she cares so much that she hides from the emotional vulnerability it causes.

Sex scenes, especially in romance, are critical to moving the story along and bring out the underlying emotions in the main couple. How important is it to you to write a key love scene, especially between Cat and Bones who are very passionate and struggle with their animalistic natures?

Jeaniene: I treat sex scenes the same way I do fight scenes: I don't want them to ever be gratuitous, I want them to evoke emotion in a reader, and I want the details to be clear so that readers can feel like they're seeing what's happening. This is TMI for some people, and not enough for others, LOL.

Seriously, I try not to let my own personal shyness/morality/boundaries dictate what happens sexually with my characters. I am NOT my characters, so their actions shouldn't be filtered through my internal censures. I sure as hell don't write a sex scene with the thought that my parents will one day read it (and they do, but I cringe and pretend they didn't see those scenes :).

I try to be as in character writing sex as I am writing any other scene, and that means sometimes, my characters will embarrass the hell out of me with what they do (Katie, you know whereof I speak *wink*). But to do anything less isn't being true to them as a writer, in my opinion. So I write sex scenes as I think they would unfold with my characters if I wasn't peeking in their bedroom door, then I wait to see if my editor censors anything for public consumption (side note: she hasn't yet).

You wake up one morning and, BAM, you are a character in a book. Would you want to be either a vampire, werewolf or shift changing seal woman known as a selkie. What would your name be and how would you spend your day/night?

Jeaniene: Oh, I'd have to say vampire. Hello, RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY! Of course, I'd want to be a vampire with sentience and choices, not just a mindless feeding machine. What can I say? I'm always looking to set my own rules ;)

Jeaniene has so kindly donated both, Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave for a contest. *G*. I welcome any questions or comments you have for Jeaniene. But to make this really interesting why don't you tell us which character you would want to be and what your name would be? Would you be a sexy vamp, a crazed werewolf or some other character all together? Whoever posts will be eligible to win both these books and you have the whole weekend to come up with something creative.

Katiebabs (KB) who wouldn't mind being the Queen of the zombies. But the zombies must be hot men who look like Richard Armitage or Gerard Butler and craze sex and not flesh. My name will be Katrina who always has perfect windblown red hair!


azteclady said...

*jumping up and down frantically* Pick me, me, pick me!!!

What do you mean I've gotten too many books this year? *standing in front of the TBR mountain* Lies, all lies, I tell you!


lisabea said...

Seriously, I try not to let my own personal shyness/morality/boundaries dictate what happens sexually with my characters. I am NOT my characters, so their actions shouldn't be filtered through my internal censures. I sure as hell don't write a sex scene with the thought that my parents will one day read it (and they do, but I cringe and pretend they didn't see those scenes :).

Excellent point.

Katie(babs)~ These are wonderful questions. Really well done, girl.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely be a sexy vampire and my name would be Cassandra.

Anonymous said...

That was a good interview, I can't wait to get the next book in the series.

Sarai said...

Well I would be the alpha female the panther pride (or is it pack?) I would have my green eyes both while shifting and while human but my hair would be black with streaks of red when in human form. My name would Claudia "Kitty Claud" (get it claws = claud" ha ha sometimes i crack myself up) and trust when my alphas around I purr real loud!

Great interview. This is a series I have been dying to get into!

Nonny said...

I'd be a vampire, and my name would be Verity. *grins*

DreamHunter Helen said...

oh, I would be one kick ass Vampire and I believe my Name would have to be Rain Knight(2 of my favorite things). Excellent interview. Have a great weekend!

Kat said...

I would be a vampire of course! (As long as you could be a good vampire and retain your memories and all that fun stuff like in your world!) I just read Ch. 1 that you posted online (in addition to your interview) and I cannot wait for book two! I've been anticating it since November... it's killing me! 4 more days, 4 more days, 4 more days! Great interview as always! Glad you stopped procrastinating and brought your work to light for us all!

Kwana said...

I'd be a sexy vamp or at least I like to think so. Great Interview!

I've also got an interview and a giveaway on my blog today. Stop on by at

Christine said...

Great interview Kate & Jeaniene! ... and thanks for the link to my review. ;)

At night I would be a sentient vampire. There's just something so intensely sexy about the whole biting thing. Especially during sex. Case in point, one particular sex scene... errr... chapter in One Foot In the Grave. Very sexy, very hot.

By day I'd be a Changeling per Nalini Singh design. :) Love them.

Anonymous said...

Greetings m'ladies. I'd have to say I'd be Fae, but never accepted by the race, so raised by draconics. My name is Kyra and I'm 5'8 with shades of sky blue, white, and black in my hair. My eyes are slitted like a cats and they're violet. I was raised in the courts and thus know most of the nobles in the vamiric,spirit, and shadow courts. I tend to cause havic with out trying, be it styles of dress or...well lets just say who is missing from the nights meeting. While being of the court makes it really easy for me to pull of my job. I'm a trained assasin *shush don't tell anyone, i just might have to kill you...winks* and one of the best in my class. so there you are m'ladies you have a bit of history along with my class and race.

btw great interview and i can't wait till its out even if i do win.

Tracy said...

Great interview Katie & Jeaniene - thanks!

What would I be? Ug, I hate making choices! lol As much as I think I would like being a vampire I think I would have to choose to be a shifter of some sort. I think the freedom of the change and the run would be very cool. My name? Um, Tracy? No, let's use a name my daughter likes for her "babies"...Carine.

Sarah Bauman said...

If I could be a character I would have to say that I would want to be a werewolf. My name would be Tatiana. I would be a black wolf with silver on my ears, paws and the tip of my tail. My eyes would be a dark amber color. QWhen I was human it would look like my hair was streaked with silver and my eyes would a light amber color.
The reason that I want to be a werewolf would be the ability to change my form and be an animal that I love.

Crissy said...

Another great interview and just can't wait for the book.

Well this is not an easy question. I have had many many debates on my blog between vampire and wolf shifter. I go back and forth ALOT! And I just can't decide which one I would choose.

Of course vampires live forever. Point. But there is that whole blood thing. But some can fly. Point. But then no sun?

Then with the wolf shifting. I would have to be in control of my wolf. And oh boy give me an alpha male! But theres the whole pain when changing thing.

So once again. I Don't know. But I love reading everyones answers. Good question!!!

Eula Hendrix said...

I would be half vampire half human because I want to be a strong independant woman who can fight for her own and my Name would be Eula do't have enough of those.

Eula Hendrix said...

Cathy said...

Hi Jeaniene, great interview, I like your author list in your TBR pile.

I would be a werewolf, with a sable coat and my name would be Melinda.

Katie(babs) said...

No selkie shift-changers?
I also think it would be cool to be a Demon Witch. I would love to cause problems wherever I go *G*

(as if I don't do that already)

Judi said...

Great interview!

I would be a fae/sidhe warrior, I'm thinking a cross mix of both seelie and unseelie, so I would have both positive traits and negative from both, but more powerful because of the mix. I would have long black hair and aqua blue eyes, as well as being very proficiant with a short-sword. My name would be Cynder, or Cyn in short form.

I also have an interview and contest starting today on my blog. Just click my name to go there.:)

Kristie (J) said...

Great interview! And I could be an otherworldly creature, I think I would be of the fae world - who falls in love with a human male and saves his life and takes him back to my world to heal. Then he would save me from the evil Fae King and I would give up my immortality and live in the human world with my love - but I'd still have a few special gifts, like a beautiful voice that makes people weep.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I'd be a witch with rather subtle abilities. You know, not like lightening shooting out of my fingertips, but untying people's shoelaces so they trip at JUST the right moment. My name would have to be something reminiscent of an ancient goddess, like Athena.

Freedom Star said...

Oh man, I would want to be a witch. Seriously. I like the idea of magic and being able to manipulate things in a way that our scientific community currently says is impossible. I would especially like to move things with my mind, that would be loads of fun! I could write funny things on the smartboard behind the professor as she's lecturing. There is a YA author, Tamora Pierce, who has written some amazing series in her universe. There is one character who is a female weather mage. I think that would be pretty cool too.

Of course, if we're talking creatures, I'd like to be a shifter. A horse shifter, to be specific. One of my favorite things to do is to hop on a horse and go for a gallop on the trails. I love speed, and I would honestly love to be able to run like that on the open hills or at the beach as a horse. That would be amazing and exhilerating.

AriesRain said...

Love the interview, especially the “Tell me something about Cat or Bones I wouldn't necessarily catch?” question.

If I could be any character, I would be a sexy - bad ass vampire named Jade. Vampires just radiate an aura of seductiveness and power that makes them so damn desirable and enticing. To stay young, healthy, and sexually charged forever as well as have the opportunity to learn, love, and travel endlessly… Ah, that would be how I would choose to live my life and I am now drooling at my computer with envy.

Freedom Star said...

Silly me, I forgot to mention what my name would be. a witch and as a shifter, since both are human-like but not exactly humans, I would probably keep my real name, Candace, because I can't imagine going by something else. I know, unoriginal, but there you are.

Strohs said...

Ok, so before I go read everyone else's I'll leave mine.

I would have to say Fae. Come one some awsome Element powers and a way to blend in with humans.

I have to say the chances of riding on a dragon or walking in a magical kingdom is just a dream to come true!

I loved the interview and can't wait for my book... i've had it ordered for over a month!

Stacy Stew said...

I would definitely want to be a vampire. My name would be Anastasia, because that sounds sexy and it keeps a little of my real name.

EternallyMaroon said...

Hmmm...I think I would choose to be a super powerful master vamp named Jane =D. No one would suspect that I could kick their butts with an innocuous name like that! ^.^

Brooke said...

I'd probably want to be a were, because changing into a wolf or cat is just too cool for wards. Plus there is just something so sexy about how they move. I'm not sure what my name would be. I'll have to think about that one.

*crosses fingers* I hope I wiiiin!

Drea said...

Loved the interview! I am so excited for OFITG.

I would so have to be a vampire. Being out only at night we be great
for me...being a redhead, I shy away from the sun anyways! I would
my green eyes, but would like them to be more vibrant, more
emerald...and of course my hair would so have to stay it's red, I would
just like it to be longer. My name...hummm...I have always loved the
name Rayne.

Sweet said...

I'd want to be some kind of shape shifter, but with no pain involved in the shifting process.

I really don't know know why I haven't at least read the 1st book of this series yet. Great interview.

Wendy said...

Cool interview, I'm really looking forward to One Foot in The Grave. )

I'd be a shifter, maybe ooh, a tigress! Or a gargoyle! (I have this odd fascination with gargoyles, um, don't ask)

Kat said...

I forgot my vampire name! I want to win the new book darnit! I would be a kick-ass, gorgeous vamp named Ione. (pronounced ee-own-ay) I've always longed to be a vampire in some ways, but especially in your world where you can choose not to be a fiend, and can still go in the sun. I like vampires much better in your book.

Wendy said...

And Katie, I totally agree with you, if I was gonna be Queen of Zombies, all my zombies will look like Gerald Butler! *g*

Wendy said...

Oh! name. Right. Well, I love Irish names so it would be Ashling. Or maybe Ciara.

An Irish Gargoyle? Wow..

Amberkatze said...

Great interview! I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

I would love to be a witch...with a nice Welsh name (because I am Welsh...) like Cariad or Cerys.

I also like the idea of being a were-panther or tiger because I love cats. A bit like Yasmine Galenorn's sister of the otherworld...actually all 3 of those sisters are pretty cool!

azteclady said...

Gah, there was supposed to be a name and supernatural creature!


Shapeshifter--torn between a large cat (black leopard, yes!) or a mermaid.

Name? You want like a name?

(that humming sound you hear is my overheating, overworked brain trying to come up with something half-interesting)

(brain asplodes)

Since nothing remotely original or creative comes up, I'll be Fleur.

Wendy said...

*snickers* Azteclady - I mean Fleur! - I got brains on my shoes. Sigh.. damn.

Katie(babs) said...

These are such cool characters and names!!
I forgot about a Gargoyle. I use to love that cartoon when it was on the air. :(

OMG a cross between a leopard and a mermaid?!? LMAO!! I am trying to picture that. Fleur the leopomaid?

And Eternallymaroon, you have a point because if you have such a name as Jane, no one would see you coming ;)

But as Queen of the Zombies could you imagine if my name was Sue or Ethel?

arnold1208 said...

I would be a new type of breed, a sexy Vampire/Were/Witch hybrid named Raven Night.I always thought it would be interesting if a novel came out w/a character like that. Maybe they could be an enforcer for all things supernatural, and keep'em all in line so the human world won't find out about them and protect everyone from the rogue Supes that think it's ok to get out of line. Not sure if that makes sense.

I guess I have a weird imagination. LOL

I also can't wait for the next books in the series!!! I loved the first one!!!

arnold1208 said...

I would be a new type of breed, a sexy Vampire/Were/Witch hybrid named Raven Night.I always thought it would be interesting if a novel came out w/a character like that. Maybe they could be an enforcer for all things supernatural, and keep'em all in line so the human world won't find out about them and protect everyone from the rogue Supes that think it's ok to get out of line. Not sure if that makes sense.

I guess I have a weird imagination. LOL

I also can't wait for the next books in the series!!! I loved the first one!!!

Gypsy said...

i would want to be a hot sexy vamp ,with a cool extoic name ,like natasha (russian)

Gypsy said...

or as a gypsy witch :)

Jeaniene Frost said...

OMG, you guys are great! I love reading about everyone's inner creature :D. Kate, thanks for the cool contest question. This has been so fun!

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview. I always like to get to know how my fave authors and how they think especially about their own works.

For me. Well I'm torn, where most would think I'd say vampire. I would have to think More shape sifter, either panther or wolf and my name would be swiftfooted

Katie(babs) said...

Jeaniene: You never gave us your vampire name *G* so spill!

Pamk said...

I'd be weredragon. and my name would be Pamela I be tall volumptuos black haired human.

Carolyn Jean said...

I just read Christine's review, and this q & a, and now I really really want the book! But what creature to be!

Okay, I just thought of it - a were bird of some kind. Now the little ones that come to my feeder, but like, one that could kick ass, like a dinosaur bird with giant teeth. Maybe my name could be Melinda.

Jill D. said...

Great Review Katie! I haven't read these two books yet. Since reading your review on book 2 I have been very intrigued.

As far a what supernatural creature I would like to be... definitely not a vampire (squeamish around blood). Werewolf would be cool. I like the idea letting my animal out to play!

Jeaniene Frost said...

Katie, I was hoping you wouldn't notice that *wink*.

Ugh, names. I stink at those, and I change my mind several times. But if I'm forced to pick a vampire name, I'd pick Frost. It's easy to remember, lol, since it's my last name, and yet it still has that nick-name sound :)

Katie(babs) said...

By day, Jeaniene is writer extraordinaire, by night she is Frost, sexy ass vampire who roams the street protecting the innocent and destroying the wicked. ;D
Of course you need a quirky sidekick for laughs.

azteclady said...

Perfect sidekick: a leopomaid named Fleur.

:cheeky grin:

Katie(babs) said...

OMG Azteclady!! Now that is one story I would love to see! A leopomaid named Fleur who can strangle the enemy with her killer fish tail!

Ana said...

Great interview Katie.

I wouldn't be a vampire because of the whole blood thing. Can I be a Valkyrie just like the ones from Kresley Cole's books? My name would be Clio, like the Muse of History. : )

Barbara Elness said...

I have to say I'd choose being a vampire named Raven - with coal black hair and pale blue eyes.

angela_k said...

I would want to be a sexy Vamp and my name would be Natasha.
A sexy Vamp named Natasha.
Maybe not to sexy of a name for a Vamp but I like it. :)
I love your writing Jeaniene! I can't wait for One Foot In The Grave!

Bridget Locke said...

If I could be anything from an UF novel, I'd be a shapeshifting bird of prey. Walk as a human, but be able to fly! Too cool! :)

I'd love, love, love to have autographed copies of the books! I'm a huge fan of these novels. And Katiebabs, isn't Jeaniene just the sweetest person? When I interviewed her, she was just so sweet. :)

Katie(babs) said...

Bridget: Right you are! :)
Let's make Jeaniene blush with our words of kindness. LOL
BTW, I never told you that I love that avatar of yours. *G* Drool...

Daelith said...

Thank you both for taking the time to do this interview. Looking forward to the next book.

Jeaniene Frost said...

"Katiebabs, isn't Jeaniene just the sweetest person?"

Heh, you have mistaken an imposter for me! I am not sweet. I am bitter with a side of evil ;-)

(thanks, guys! :)

Ann M. said...

Hmm.. what would I be.. I think I'd be a werewolf. Something about changing into a wolf interests me. I'd be Anya.

What a great interview.

Wendy said...

Hey! What about a gargoyle?! I would make a great spy! *grins*

blackbetty said...

ok, so naturally a vampire would be 1st choice. living forever-duh! can you imagine how awesome it would be to see the times change, the evolution of the human race would happen in the blink of an eye. i would be the 1st vamp on mars..sweet! my name would be Eve, just because i like it. but i also think an angel would be cool. not a hymn-singing creature of peace, but a terrifying avenger of good. it's fascinating to me that there are angels in the bible who in the name of god can fight and murder demons. there's the whole murder is a sin thing, how do they get away with it and still reenter heaven? would it change their character so much that they would be outcast from the purer angels?it's in the fine print i guess. if i was this warrior angel i would have to be rebekkah or jezebel:) or something that sounds bible-ish and ancient.

Wendy said...

Betty, to be a vampire would be cool, especially the living forever part but could you imagine watching your families and friends die? That would suck!

DarlingDiva said...

Ohhh is it too late to join in on the fun. I truly enjoyed the interview. I loved Jeaniene's first book and could not wait for the second one. I am totally bummed that she did not have it at RT for I wanted to rip right into it.

which..then brings me to what I would like to be...I have to say VAMPIRE...grr...the night life and a great set of chops. What more could one ask for mixed with the that would be cool.

Stacey said...

i'd be a werelepard and my name would be wednesday, i'd work at a homeless shelter for animals. . .

Rayne T. Storm said...

Loved the interview w/Jeaniene!

My character would be a she-demon mercernary summoned by voodoo priestess from New Orleans to annihilate all scumbag adulterous husbands who do a good woman wrong.

I hire my spirit out to inhabit a woman scorned, then take the devil (literally)by his horns and...want
more wait for my book. ;) Rayne Storm

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fun to be a pooka because they can assume a variety of forms and create all sort of mischief.

They mostly take on the form of a sleek, dark horse and that's what I would choose.
My name would be Mystery.

~ Lilly K

azteclady said...

The killer tail and the claws--don't forget the lethal claws, katie(babs)

SHEENA said...

As a fellow redhead as Cat and named after a comic book warrior I must say I would probably be the vampire since my name tends to deal with long fanged creatures too. I would definately keep the name Sheena. But instead of Queen of the Jungle it would be Queen of the vampires. :)