Guest: Jennifer Estep

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to thank Jen and the rest of the folks at Romancing the Book for having me here today. Thanks so much, guys!

My name is Jennifer Estep, and I write the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old 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 is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

The first book, Touch of Frost, and First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, are out now. The second book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves on Nov. 29.

So today, Jen asked me to talk a little bit about why I write young adult (YA) books. Mythos Academy is the third series that I’ve written, and my first two series – the Bigtime and Elemental Assassin series – were both for adults.

So why the switch to YA? Well, for starters, I thought it would be fun. YA truly is a genre that’s all about imagination, especially if you’re writing fantasy YA. As an author, if you can dream it up, then you can write about it in YA, no matter what kind of fantasy world or creature you’re focusing on. The possibilities are endless, and that’s one of the things that I like most about the genre.

I’ve always loved mythology, and I had been wanting to write a mythology-based book for a while, but I was struggling to come up with a heroine and storyline. One day, I wondered what would happen if I wrote a mythology-based YA book. It was like the proverbial light bulb went off over my head, and the characters and story just started to flow. That was the beginning of Touch of Frost and the rest of the Mythos Academy series.

You always want to challenge yourself and grow as a writer, and I thought that tackling the YA genre would be one way to do that. It was fun and challenging to write a heroine like Gwen, who is pushed into this new school and world and has to figure out how she fits in there. I think we all struggle with those things, whether we’re teens or adults, going to a new school or starting a new job. There are a lot of universal themes in YA, which also makes it interesting to me as a writer and a reader.

Plus, there are so many great YA books out there right now, and it seems like YA is one genre that everyone gets excited about – teens, adults, parents, teachers. I love reading YA as much as I like writing it. Some of my favorite reads the past few years have been YA books, everything from Beastly by Alex Flinn to Graceling by Kristin Cashore to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I wanted to add my own story to the mix.

I hope everyone has as much fun reading Touch of Frost and the rest of the Mythos Academy books as I do writing them. Happy reading, everyone! 😉

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite young adult books?

Jennifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author who also writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. 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.

Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released on Sept. 27. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for free short stories, excerpts, and more.

Contest details:

  • The prize is a print copy of Touch of Frost.
  • The contest is open to US and Canada residents.
  • You must answer Jennifer’s question for entry: What are some of your favorite young adult books?
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, August 14.