What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?
I would encourage budding authors to read in the genre that they want to write in and to educate themselves about all aspects of publishing, from writing and editing, to getting an agent, to marketing and self-publishing. Also, write in a genre that you enjoy reading. If you don’t like zombie books, don’t try to write one just because zombies are popular right now.
But most of all, I would encourage budding authors to have fun with their writing and enjoy telling their story. If you are having fun with your writing, then I think it will show in the finished product and hopefully make it an enjoyable story for readers as well.
What's your favorite book and why?
One of my favorite books is BEAUTY by Robin McKinley, which is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I like fairy tale retellings, especially of that story, and BEAUTY is just a lovely book.
Where did you get the idea for Midnight Frost?
I’ve always enjoyed mythology and reading and watching stories about all the gods, goddesses, warriors, and creatures battling each other and going on all these epic quests. So when I decided to write a young adult series, I thought it would be fun to write something related to mythology and to try to put my own spin on the gods, goddesses, warriors, creatures, and more. So that was sort of the beginning of my Mythos Academy series.
Did you hit any snags while writing Midnight Frost? What were they and how did you fix them?
Not really. For me, the first book in a series – in this case, TOUCH OF FROST – is often the hardest to write because I am creating a world and magic system, along with characters, settings, and more. But after I get all of that established, I can just turn the characters loose and let them have all sorts of adventures.
Which one of the characters in Midnight Frost is your favorite and why?
One of my favorite characters in the series is Vic, Gwen’s talking sword. Vic is really confident, and he’s just a really fun character for me to write.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?
I wrote about seven books over the course of about seven years before I got an agent and sold my first book, which was KARMA GIRL, the first book in my Bigtime paranormal romance series. And I got a lot of rejections along the way. So getting published definitely did not happen overnight for me. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s been a great ride so far, and I plan to keep writing as long as folks are interested in my books.
What are you working on now? Sequel? Something new?
Right now, I’m working on POISON PROMISE, the 11th book in my Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series, which is tentatively scheduled to be published in July 2014.
I’m also working on some other projects, including a new young adult series, so we’ll see what happens with those.
Folks can check out my website at www.jenniferestep.com for more information and the latest news about my books.
The Mythos Academy series is now on its fifth book. Do you see an end in sight or are you just going to keep giving us Gwen until we say no more (which probably won't happen)?
KILLER FROST, the sixth book, will be the last book in my Mythos Academy series. So readers will get to see how Gwen and her friends take on Loki and his Reapers of Chaos. I hope that fans of the series will enjoy the conclusion.
I’ve had a lot of fun writing the series, and if there is enough reader interest, I may write more in the series or do a spin-off someday. We’ll see what happens.
You write in both the adult and young adult realms. Do you prefer one over the other? Likewise, do you have a particular series that is more close to your heart than the others?
I really like writing in both genres. All of my books, whether they are for adults or young adults, have some common elements, including strong heroines, magic/world building, and lots of action/fight scenes. With my Mythos Academy young adult books, I’m telling a little more of a coming-of-age story with a heroine who is still trying to figure out who she is, how her magic works, and what she wants her place in the world to be.
I enjoy writing in all three of my series – Mythos Academy (young adult); Elemental Assassin (adult); and Bigtime (adult). I think switching back and forth between the series helps to keep me balanced as a writer.
What's your favorite song and why?
Since we’re approaching the holiday season, I’ll share one of my favorite holiday songs, which is Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Jennifer is giving away a copy of MIDNIGHT FROST for US entrants.
Midnight Frost: Here we go again …
Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.
As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …
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