I'm very happy to be able to welcome Jennifer Estep to the blog today. She is the author of the Elemental Assassins, Mythos Academy, and Bigtime series.
Author website: Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin Series in order: Spiders Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Webs, Spider's Revenge
Your Elemental Assassins series is truly unique! I love the idea of involving fire, ice, stone, and metal with the characters. How did you come up with this idea?
A: Thanks! I’m glad you are enjoying the books. ;-)
Way back when I had the first glimmer of an idea for the series, I knew that I wanted to write an assassin character, Gin Blanco, and I knew that I wanted the book to be a fantasy, but I wasn’t sure what kind of magic/creatures that I wanted to focus on. One day, I thought it would be cool to do something with elemental magic and have my characters be able to use and control things like Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. I thought I could give my characters some interesting abilities using elemental magic, so that’s what I did.
Book 4 in the series, Tangled Threads was released on 4/26/11. How many books do you have planned for the series?
A: Right now, I’ll have one more Elemental Assassin book out this year – Spider’s Revenge, book five, will be out in October. I’m under contract for two more books after that. I’m working on book six right now, which I’m referring to as “Gin on vacation.” Basically, Gin goes on a trip to relax and ends up getting mixed up with another bad guy.
I love writing the books, and I plan to keep getting Gin into trouble as long as my publisher wants to publish the series. I think there are a lot of Gin stories left to tell. ;-)
Gin Blanco, your heroine, is not your usual hero. But she manages to do what she thinks is right and ends up helping those in need. I found myself rooting for her for what she did! Was there ever an issue with her killing for good when writing her character?
A: I knew it would be a challenge to write an assassin and have her be the heroine of the series. So I decided to have Gin have a good reason for becoming an assassin – witnessing the murder of her mother and older sister and being forced to live on the streets. Basically, Gin became the assassin the Spider just to survive in the dark, gritty city of Ashland.
As the series has progressed, Gin has slowly changed from killing people for money to helping folks who can’t help themselves – good, decent people who are threatened by bad guys who won’t take no for an answers. I think that change in philosophy makes Gin more interesting and easier to root for.
Her love interest in book 1, Donovan Caine, had an issue with her being an assassin. I thought it was interesting that he was a cop and had to deal with what she did, even if she had a good reason for doing it. Will he ever make an appearance in a future book?
A: I’m thinking about bringing Donovan back just so Gin can get some closure on their relationship. Donovan was the one who walked out on Gin, which didn’t sit very well with her. Gin always does things on her own terms, but Donovan left her instead. Also, I think I could write some very interesting scenes with Gin, Donovan, and Owen if I bring Donovan back in a future book. ;-)
Speaking of love interest, I love Owen! I think he truly gets Gin and understands why she does the things that she needs to do. Did you know that his character was going to come along when the idea of his series popped into your head?
A: Not really. I had planned for Donovan to be the main love interest, but as I was writing the first book, Spider’s Bite, I realized that Donovan and Gin were basically going to have the same argument in every book about Gin being an assassin. I didn’t think that would be very interesting for readers, so I decided to have Donovan leave and brought Owen in instead. I’m glad I made the change. Like you said, Owen really understands Gin because he’s had to do some of the same things that she’s had to over the years to keep his younger sister Eva safe. So far, most readers seem to be on Team Owen, which is really satisfying to me.
I have to tell you Jennifer, I am absolutely head over heels for Finnegan Lane! After reading book 3 in Venom, I went through a Finn withdrawal period. Thank goodness I had the support of my buddy Colette. I would tweet I miss Finn! at least once a week to her on Twitter. I'm so glad that he is a part of Gin's life, because I feel that she really needs him.
I've read Finn's short story, but are there any plans for Finn to have his own book?
A: Finn seems to be the most popular character in the series – even more so than Gin, I think. LOL. People just seem to love how greedy, arrogant, and shameless he is. Finn says exactly what’s on his mind with no regard for the consequences. He’s a really, really fun character for me to write.
I don’t have any plans to do a Finn book at this time, but I’ll never say never. I may write some more short stories from his point of view. It just depends on my schedule. Right now, I’ve got my hands full writing two series.
I also love that all of the great dishes that Gin makes in the books. I find my stomach growling while reading. LOL! Have you ever thought of making a Elemental Assassins cookbook? I'd love to see some of Sophia's recipes.
A: Lots of folks seem to like all the dishes that Gin and the gang cook up at the Pork Pit in the books. I love writing about food almost as much as I do eating it! And hey, there are no calories this way. LOL.
I don’t have any plans to do a cookbook, but I’ve got a few recipes posted on my website here (scroll down to Gin’s Recipe Box): http://www.jenniferestep.com/books-series/elemental-assassin-series/
Thanks again for stopping by and I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book Spider's Revenge in September! Any clues that you can give us as to what might happen?
A: Thanks for having me on the blog today. I appreciate that. ;-)
Well, I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but I will say that Gin and Mab finally have their big showdown in Spider’s Revenge. So if you’ve been waiting for the two of them to go toe-to-toe, this is the book where that happens. Happy reading, everyone! ;-)
I cannot wait to read the big showdown in Spider's Revenge! Jennifer is generously giving away a copy of her newest release Tangled Threads to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment letting me know that you are interested along with your email. Only open to US/Canada only. Good luck!