Guest: Jennifer Estep

Venom (Elemental Assassin, Book 3)Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jessica and Jen for having me on the blog today. Thanks, guys!

Some of you might know me as the author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

The first two books in the series are Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies. Venom, the third book, is coming out on Sept. 28. Tangled Threads, the fourth book, will be published in May 2011, while the fifth book (untitled) will be released in October 2011.

I’ve also sold a young adult urban fantasy series called Mythos Academy. The first book is called Touch of Frost and will be out in August 2011. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendents of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more.

So today I thought I would talk about why I write fantasy books, especially urban fantasy. The main reason? Because I can do whatever I want to in the books. Seriously, there’s a little bit of everything in urban fantasy books – strong heroines, sexy heroes, cool magic, lots of action, despicable bad guys. Plus, the fate of the world (or at least a little piece of it) is usually at stake. I like reading books with all these elements in them, and urban fantasy lets me write books with all this in them – and more.

But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say that the magic is what really draws me to urban fantasy and fantasy books in general, both as a writer and a reader. I just think that it’s cool to imagine that there are people out there with special powers that they use to fight the good fight. The world is full of fairy tales and folk legends and myths and other stories – there’s got to be some basis for all of them, right? I like to think so anyway, at least for the good guys. There’s definitely enough bad stuff in the world without having to worry about whether psycho vampires or rabid werewolves really exist. LOL.

Plus, it’s just fun for me as a writer to come up with the magic and powers that I want my heroine to have and then stick her in a world/city/landscape that really challenges her. I just enjoy that sort of world building and thinking of how my heroine’s powers can grow and progress from book to book – and the tougher and tougher bad guys that she can meet along the way. In fact, I’m always dreaming up powers for potential heroines – I just wish that I had time to write them all.

I also really enjoy writing fight scenes. When the fate of the whole world is at stake or at least the heroine’s piece of it, you know there’s going to be a fight scene or three.

I will admit that I do have one weakness when it comes to writing fantasy books – I’m not that great at writing epic fantasy-type stories. I don’t know why, but I find it hard to write books/worlds that don’t have things like cars, electricity, and indoor plumbing in them. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to them myself that I can’t imagine my characters not using them on a daily basis. 😉

So there you have it – a few thoughts on why I write fantasy books.

What about you guys? What’s your favorite genre to read or write in? What are some of your favorite books?

If you’d like to learn a little more about Jennifer, we encourage you to visit her website at http://www.jenniferestep.com/ or go read our interview with her found here. Jennifer has excerpts from her books as well as a couple free reads at her site. She is also giving away a copy of Venom to one lucky reader. Due to shipping costs, she does ask that the reader live in the US or Canada. To enter, you first must leave a comment or question for Jennifer. Then to finish your entry, you need to either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, October 3.