Welcome to our interview with Jennifer at the coffee shop! Waiter, can we please get our guest of honor a Chi Tea Latte? Thanks so much! Readers, we're glad you stopped in to meet her. You won't be disappointed, we promise. She's also giving away THREE e-copies on her book so be sure to get your entries in at the bottom. Leave a comment to chat with Jen, she'll be here all week!
Deanna: Jen, thank you for hanging out with me all week! Let's get started. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Jennifer: Hi, Deanna, thanks for having me here today. Let’s see, I grew up in the Chicago area but moved around a lot during my childhood and again after college. Circumstances eventually forced me to settle down in the quite countryside just over the Wisconsin boarder, but I still consider myself a city girl at heart and long to return to someplace that doesn’t shut down at 9PM. I’m a night owl so I miss the night life that comes with urban living. In fact, one of the reasons I started writing was to give myself something to do to escape.
Deanna: I hear you about places closing at 9 PM! For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?
Jennifer: Either one is fine with me; I love food and movies, lol. My dinner of choice would be sushi or something ethnic and healthy, but I’m not picky. I’d be just as happy with a BigMac, lol. My movie choices depend on my mood. Favorites are comedies or action flicks. When I’m at home, though, I like to snuggle up with a corny chick flick, haha.
Deanna: Those are fun to watch too. We do need our down time! Do you prefer wine, whiskey, scotch, or ice tea?
Jennifer: Well, of those three choices, I’d go with ice tea, but I’m really a vodka/tequila/coffee drinker. For the record, I don’t drink much alcohol, just a margarita occasionally with dinner. Caffeine, on the other hand, is my one vice. I’m pretty sure I drink an unsafe amount of coffee each day, lol.
Deanna: But that's what keeps us working! What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?
Jennifer: I read while soaking in a hot bath or I watch t.v. – usually teen dramas like the Vampire Diaries, or Teen Wolf, or Pretty Little Liars. Those three are my favorites right now.
Deanna: Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?
Jennifer: Thankfully, I don’t right now, but I have before! I was working full-time when I started writing Dark Heirloom and that was hectic. I count my blessings now and hope I never have to go back to that.
Deanna: As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Jennifer: Jeeze…a lot? LOL. I have so many characters running through my head at any given moment; I’m surprised they haven’t locked me up in a padded cell yet.
Deanna: Only another author understands that! How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Jennifer: It depends on how long and complicated I want the story to be. I don’t limit myself to any number unless I’m writing a short story. But with novels like Dark Heirloom, I just let the action and emotions flow naturally from the characters. Characters are complex, just like real people. They have needs and wants and feelings and all of those elements account for how things turn out.
Deanna: Readers love to know how writers spend their day. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Jennifer: Oh, gosh, it’s really nothing special, lol. I spend 90% of my time on the computer either writing or doing something related to my writing career (like this interview). The fun part about being an author is when readers contact you to say how much they enjoyed your book. That really makes all the work worth it; it’s such a soul-lifting feeling.
Deanna: That is definitely the high point. I love hearing from readers! What one thing would you pass on to new writers?
Jennifer: Keep writing and don’t stress too much over marketing. I have author friends who really let marking and promoting get to their heads to the point that they’re so stressed out they can’t write anymore. I understand marketing is the stressful side of this industry, especially when you put yourself out there and get nothing back, and it’s a necessary evil if you want readers. But there’s no reason why marketing can’t be fun. Don’t look at it as work; look at it as the opportunity to brag about what you’ve accomplished, especially if you’re published! That’s a huge deal, don’t undermine yourself.
Deanna: I love marketing and reaching out to readers. Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Jennifer: Well, the Dark Heirloom series will definitely have a common theme binding the books together. I love my genre – urban fantasy – and I’m positive no matter where the wind blows me, there will always be a character nearby with some sort of paranormal ability or ancestry that makes them larger than life.
Deanna: What are the physical characteristics that you admire in a man?
Jennifer: How about the simple fact that they’re men? Haha. I’m a sucker for sexy eyes, specifically blue or green eyes with dark hair. A sexy smile is also important.
Deanna: Tell us about your latest book and the type of reader it may appeal to.
Jennifer: Dark Heirloom is book one of the Ema Marx series. Ema is a young woman who is attacked, knocked unconscious, and abducted by a vampire. But not just any vampire; he’s the prince of vampires. When Ema awakens, she immediately finds out that she’s no longer human. I’ll leave you with the official blurb below this. The series as a whole will follow Ema and the mysterious aspects of her transition – there’s a lot more to it than just what was solved at the end of book one – as well as the three dangerous vampires who fight over her.
Dark Heirloom is an adult series, but I’ve had a few older teenagers (17-18 year old) also enjoy reading it. It’s not heavily graphic, but I still caution parents to read it first because there is some adult language and some violent and sexual scenes. Dark Heirloom is a unique twist for the avid vampire fan who’s tired of the puny humans and whiney Bella’s.
Official Book Blub: “You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…
Deanna: Our vampire readers are sure to want this one! Tell us about Jesu, the hero of your latest book.
Jennifer: Jesu is Jalmari’s younger brother and thus also a prince, but without the load of responsibilities that comes with it. However, it’s Jesu who is Ema’s true savior – though Ema is still undecided about how she feels having a savior. Jesu gets premonitions and let’s just say he’s been in love with Ema long before she was even born…
Deanna: ooo...a bit of mystery, too! Tell us about Ema, the heroine of your latest book.
Jennifer: Ema is a 23 year old college graduate who majored in history. Imagine her surprise when the ancient myths start coming true before her eyes! She’s working on suing her college professors now. She’s the strong loner type that grew up with a broken family and never quite figured out what a relationship is supposed to be like. Also, she likes to dish out sarcasm from time to time and she has a bad habit of gorging on blood.
Deanna: Where does the story take place and why?
Jennifer: Dark Heirloom takes place in modern-day Finland. I wanted a foreign location so that Ema would be completely out of her element and unable to run away, since she can’t speak or read Finnish. The setting also had to be rural so my vampires were “out of the way” of the human public. Northern Finland lies within the Arctic Circle and is covered in wild forest preserves not unlike Alaska’s wilderness. I love that Southern Finland, though, is much more urban. It provides more diversity and possibilities to the setting and the story. When I researched Finland, I just fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful country full of culture and history and the more I read, the more I loved it. I secretly hope my writing will take me there one day.
Deanna: Definitely a different locale. What makes your vampires unique from the countless others in the media right now?
Jennifer: The most obvious is that my vampires are not undead. Instead, I’ve made them a human-nephilim hybrid that are more animalistic and slightly demonic in nature than a lot of the undead vampires you see today that just look like normal people with fangs. I researched the old vampire myths from around the world, both the pre-Christian lore and the stories that cropped up as a result of the crusades, and while I didn’t use all of it, I did implement some of the physical features as well as the magical abilities they were said to possess.
There are other more subtle elements that make Dark Heirloom a unique story and readers have pointed out many of them in their reviews. Among those, people reported really enjoying the way the vampire world is set up in Dark Heirloom, specifically the different clans and the different abilities each clan possess. Also the mix of science and mythology explaining the vampires’ origin and the way they are so tightly laced with real-life historical events.
Deanna: Where can readers get a copy of Dark Heirloom?
Jennifer: Dark Heirloom is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon/Kindle and Barnes&Noble/Nook and other major book retailers. Readers are welcome to try Dark Heirloom free of charge by downloading the first ten chapters from my website. You have the option use your e-Reader or just load them onto your computer.
Deanna: Readers, are you taking notes here? Wow! Can you give us a peek into book two?
Jennifer: Ah, it’s hard to talk about book two (Dark Liaison) without giving away the ending to book one! But I will tell you this; I’m very pleased at how Dark Liaison turned out. There’s far more action, laughs, tears, twists, and romance than book one. I’m so excited to share it – and actually, I have been naughty and have been posting little snippets on my facebook page for the fans! I just can’t resist. Look for it coming in 2013.