I’m so happy to have Jennifer Estep back for a third time to Smexy! Today she is talking about her current release, Venom and music and writing. Take it away Jennifer.
Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Mandi for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Mandi!
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 Mandi asked me to talk a little bit about music today, since we both love The Killers – seriously, seriously love them. Right, Mandi? ;-)
I know a lot of authors listen to music when they write, but I don’t. In fact, I prefer dead freaking silence, as I like to call it, when I’m working on a new book, especially the first draft. So why don’t I listen to music? Well, the quiet just works for me. Usually, I’m concentrating so hard on my writing that everything else just fades away. After a while, I don’t even really hear the music anymore. So I don’t think there’s much use to put it on in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong. I love music (although not as much as I love books). Some of my favorite bands include the aforementioned Killers, The Pretenders, Green Day, and Kelly Clarkson. I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, and I love oldies music, especially by quirky bands like Paul Revere and the Raiders or the Royal Guardsmen (who did a bunch of Snoopy songs). Yeah, I have pretty eclectic (aka weird) tastes when it comes to music. LOL.
My significant other and I actually have a music game that we play. Anytime, we’re out at a restaurant, he’ll ask me who is singing whatever song is playing in the background, and I will hazard a guess. He always knows who sings what. Sadly, I do not. I can’t tell you the number of times he’s looked at me and said “How can you not know that blah-blah sings so-and-so?”
Quite easily, apparently.
But I do occasionally think about music while I’m writing a book. In my Elemental Assassin books, there’s usually a scene or two at my fictional nightclub, Northern Aggression, and I’ve mentioned that the sound system is blaring out a song by a band that I like. I’ve also dropped in other musical references like that in my books. And I even wrote an unpublished book where the heroine loved to sing karaoke and the hero was a John Denver fan. Yes, I admit it, I like John Denver. (I told you I had weird taste in music.)
I also associate certain songs with my characters and those written by other authors. For example, I think that the song Human by The Pretenders is a perfect fit for Gin’s character. The lines go something like this: “See I bleed and I bruise/Oh, but what’s it to you/I’m only human on the inside.” Another Pretenders’ song, Night in My Veins, makes me think about the character Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress Books. One of the lines goes something like this: “I find myself in the bones of his face.”
So there you have it. A little bit about my musical quirks and oddities. Frightening, isn’t it? ;-)
What about you guys? What music do you dig? Do books or characters ever make you think of certain songs?
Thanks Jennifer!! I let out a little squee when I read The Killers are mentioned in Venom ;)
Jennifer Estep is giving away one copy of Venom today! To enter, just answer her question above. Open to US/Canada only. Please leave your email if it is not in your profile. Contest open through Thursday October 2nd.