Thursday, May 03, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett, author of the Arcadia Bell series is joining us today to answers questions about her recently released novel, Summoning the Night which is available now wherever books are sold.

 Hi Jenn, Thank you so much for stopping by! Can you give us the “elevator pitch” for Summoning the Night?

Hi, Van! So happy to be here! Elevator pitch: Cady and Lon investigate a 30-year-old trail of ghoulish clues to stop a local boogeyman who’s kidnapping teens at Halloween. (Then I’d have to hold the elevator doors open, so I could add that there’s a big subplot involving Lon’s son Jupe!)

I really enjoyed the plot; the whole snatcher mystery gave me the chills and Goosebumps! Where did you get the inspiration/idea for this novel?

I guess I’ve always been drawn to stories about old crimes that were never solved—killers who go underground for decades, then pop back up.

Was it easier to write the second book this time around, or harder?

Harder. I wrote KINDLING THE MOON for myself. Only one person read it before my agent. But when I was going through revisions and edits of SUMMONING THE NIGHT, the first book was already released. Suddenly there was an audience with expectations. I worried and fretted that I couldn’t please everyone, and had to force myself to block it all out.

I was so glad for more Cady and company, especially Jupe. I remembered I LOL so many times within the first couple of chapters. I also really liked Bob’s character, he was only a small secondary character but he made a lasting impression on me.  Are these characters based off any one you know?

I’m so glad you liked Jupe. He’s my favorite character to write and seems to be a fan favorite. And, yeah, Bob. He was only briefly mentioned in the first book, but I gave him a bigger role in SUMMONING. Bob is an Earthbound demon and Tambuku Tiki Lounge’s best customer. He’s a drunk, not the best looking guy in the world, and he does some stupid things, but he’s got a good heart. You’ll see more of him in Book 3.

What was the writing process like for your second novel? Did you have to do a lot of research?

 I think readers would be surprised just how MUCH research most writers do. Not just big picture research (on demons in different cultures, etc.), but minor things. Like: what’s California law on minors in the bar? And how often would Cady get deliveries? And what time would the sun set in late October in Central California? I research EVERYTHING. It’s ridiculous, really. One of my biggest “d’oh!” moments after finishing KINDLING THE MOON was finding out that pygmy hedgehogs are illegal pets in California. Of course, Cady does a lot of illegal things, so it’s really no stretch that she would have an illegal hedgehog as a pet (and I wouldn’t have changed it, just mentioned it) but the Crazy Research Me dropped the ball on that one.

 Arcadia is a totally Kick-ass character; she’s one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines. Who are some of your favorite urban fantasy Heroines?

That’s awfully kind of you to say! I like writing Arcadia because she can kick ass, but she’s also human and prone to making mistakes. I like that she’s not perfect. So I guess I’m drawn to other UF characters that are imperfect, too, like Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan, Carolyn Crane’s Justine Jones, Stacia Kane’s Chess Putnam.

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you in the future?

I recently finished a historical paranormal romance, so maybe you’ll see that in the future. And I’m considering the possibility of writing a young adult series from Jupe’s point of view.

What are you currently reading right now or what are some books in your TBR pile?

I actually read a lot of romance—especially historical romance. But lately I’ve been reading a British erotic romance author named Charlotte Stein. She’s amazing! If you’re into that sort of thing (steamy), you should check out her book SHELTERED. And on the mystery/UF/horror side of the fence (non-steamy), I just finished THE RESTORER by Amanda Stevens. Really nice Southern ghost story. Spooky.

Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

Best advice I can give is to carefully listen to all of the advice that other writers offer, then ignore 99% of it. You can’t break the rules until you know what they are, but that’s the end goal: to break them. The best authors do it with panache while being true to their own voice. It’s harder than it sounds!

Finish this statement: You’ll enjoy Summoning the Night if you like…

Hmm… it’s hard to compare it to another book or series, and it crosses several genres. So I guess I’d say that you’ll enjoy it if you like: occult weirdness, quirky but believable characters, a dash of horror, a few laugh-out-loud moments, and a love story that takes more than one book to tell.

Thanks for stopping by Jenn! If you haven’t read the Arcadia Bell series yet, what are you waiting for?! ! Kindling the Moon, the first book in the series was one of my top reads of 2011, and it’s no surprise that Summoning the Night is my top so far for 2012!

Books can be purchased here on Amazon or Book Depository

Jenn has kindly offered to giveaway (1) book to a follower of this blog! Winner can choose the first book in the series, Kindling the Moon or the second book in the series, Summoning the Moon. 

Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, as long as Book Depository ships to your country. :) Please fill out the rafflecopter below. 

Must be a follower of this blog. 
Extra Entry: Leave a question/comment for Jenn 

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  1. You're considering a Jupe series? That's fantastic! Normally I don't like children/teenagers in series when they're not the main character but I love Jupe. He's brilliant.

    1. So glad you like Jupe and like the idea of a series. I think it could be a lot of fun. :)

  2. Quirky but believable characters and a love story that takes more than one book to tell? Yes please! This sounds awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I just wanna say that I´m so excited to read this book!! :)

  4. Great interview. Jenn's books sound good. :)

  5. I've read lots of amazing reviews on your book series!

    1. Hope it lives up to the hype, LOL! :)

  6. Summoning the Night sounds awesome! I need to read Kindling the Moon soon!! :)

  7. Hi Jenn

    I loved Kindling the Moon and I am excited for Summoning the Night. Great interview.

    Thanks for the chance

    1. Hi Pam! So glad you liked KINDLING and thanks! :)

  8. great interview and thanks you a lot for opening the giveaway to international, i reallly appreciate

    all the best

    1. Thanks, Miki! Good luck in the giveaway!

  9. I'm just wondering if the Arcadia Bell series has a definite number of books with a targeted finale book to round up the main story arc of the series?

  10. Would love to read Kindling the Moon and Summoning the Night. Do you also give idea/opinion to your book covers? I think its so beautiful and cathcy. Have an "urban fantasy" feeling on it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Fantastic interview - good read :0)