Rachel Vincent (rkvincent) wrote in fangs_fur_fey,
Rachel Vincent

Interview with Jeaniene Frost

Two days ago, One Foot in the Grave, Jeaniene Frost’s sequel to the bestselling Halfway to the Grave was released, and I was thrilled for the opportunity to pick Jeaniene’s brain. Read on to find out why Cat Crawfield can be hard for her to write, why writers should treasure their publishing firsts, and what Jeaniene has coming up next…

RACHEL: What kind of urban fantasy/paranormal romance do you read: fangs, fur, or fey, or is there some other aspect of the genre that you relish?

JEANIENE: I read all types of urban fantasy / paranormal romance. I do have a favorite creature (three guesses what it is), but there’s no creature that makes me think, “Oh, not a book about _________.” So, creature-wise, I’m an equal opportunity reader. 

RACHEL: Is there any one character that’s harder for you to write than others?

JEANIENE: Cat, my heroine, is hard for me to write at times. She’s stubborn as all hell and doesn’t always want to do what I tell her to do. I know some people roll their eyes when an author says that, because yes, we are in control, but I’ve found that certain scenes are like pulling teeth to write, while other scenes flow, and the difference is whether Cat’s feeling cooperative with what I’ve got planned J.

RACHEL: Which of the books you’ve written so far was the most difficult to write? Why?

JEANIENE: No question – my third book, AT GRAVE’S END. I’m in the process of revising it for the umpteenth time now, and it’s kicking my ass. Why? It’s a lot more emotionally-charged than my first two books, and it delves far more into vampire society than the other two books. I’m trying to walk a tightrope between making the vampire internal structure believable, making the harshness of some of what happens to my characters feel real, and yet not making the novel a damn depressing read, all at the same time.

Like I said, it’s been tough going. But I’m hoping readers will think the end result is worth the effort, of course.

RACHEL: If you could go back in time and meet the pre-published Jeaniene Frost what words of advice would you give yourself?

JEANIENE: To enjoy the ride more. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “what’s next, what’s next?” stresses that I can miss the fun of right now. Getting that first request for a full from an agent was awesome – but I was so caught up in the worry about “will she/won’t she?” like it that I missed a lot of the joy in that. Ditto for having my novel first sent to editors. That’s exciting, but I was busy being terrified, lol. Then the rest of the process, you get the idea. There will never be another “first” for a lot of things, and if I could do it over again, I’d relish those firsts more, without always looking at what’s next over the horizon.

RACHEL: What kind of reading experience are you hoping to create for your readers?  What do you want them to come away from your books saying, thinking and feeling?

JEANIENE: Oh, let’s see: I want readers to be amused, scared, turned on, reflective, and entertained. Not too much to ask, is it? Lol.

Seriously, I didn’t write my books with the thought that they had to be all one way or another. Which is why they straddle two genres – urban fantasy and paranormal romance, without fitting neatly into either. I love the darkness you can create with urban fantasy, where yes, monsters exist and one could be standing next to you right now. But I also love humor, snark, sexiness, and romance in books, too. I’m lucky there are readers who’ve made cross-genre novels popular, which gave me a chance to publish books with all those elements in them, instead of just picking one or two and forgoing the rest to fit a stricter niche.  

RACHEL: It takes a lot of mental and emotional fortitude to write for publication; what are the tough spots for you? What do you do to get through the tough spots?

JEANIENE: Depends, really. Sometimes there’s no getting past the tough spots without nailing my ass to a chair and demanding that I keep at it no matter what. Sometimes, I need to step back, listen to some music, browse a cemetery (yes, weird, but that relaxes me), or read a good book to get jazzed up to tackle the tough spots with writing. I guess the really hard part is knowing which course of action to take – the stepping back, or the anchoring down.

RACHEL: What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?

JEANIENE: Balancing my responsibilities as an author versus my responsibilities as a writer, and yes, those differ. As an author, I want to be available for readers, answer all emails promptly, maintain my blogs, read my friend’s LJ, read all my friend’s books, participate in my fan forum, and beta-read for author friends/a few aspiring author friends. Trouble is, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that AND write, let alone work and pay attention to my husband/family. So I have to pick and chose, or rotate, and invariably, things get neglected at times. Sometimes it’s my blogs. Sometimes it’s beta-reading. Sometimes it’s my husband. You get the picture. Finding a balance without disappointing people – or myself – is tricky.

RACHEL: Do you have a favorite line from One Foot in the Grave?

JEANIENE: There were quite a few lines I had fun writing, but I’ll pick, “Once you go dead, no one’s better in bed,” which was Cat’s sarcastic response after a co-worker asked her how she could have sex with a vampire.

RACHEL: How many books are in your Night Huntress series? What future project are you working on–what do readers have to look forward to?

JEANIENE: Right now there are five books planned in the Night Huntress series. That may change, depending on if my publisher buys more J. Aside from that, I have about three projects cooking that I’d like to spend more time developing. Two are unrelated to my Night Huntress series, and one is a side-addition in the Grave world. What I work on, when I’m finished fixing book three and writing the proposal for book four, will depend on which characters are making the most noise in my head.

RACHEL: How can readers best contact you?

JEANIENE: They can email me at frostlight1 AT yahoo DOT com, or find me on my blogs (MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jeanienefrost ), (Livejournal: http://frost-light.livejournal.com/ ), or at my fan forum (http://www.frostfans.com/forums/index.php ). I’m easy to get a hold of J.

Thanks, Jeaniene! 

Currently available from Jeaniene are: 
 ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, Night Huntress, book two
Avon (April 29, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0061245091 

 HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, Night Huntress, book one
Avon (October 30, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0061245084

Coming soon:

WEDDING FROM HELL anthology, May 28, 2008.

AT GRAVE’S END, Night Huntress, book three, Jan 09

Tags: interview, jeaniene frost
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