Paranormal Haven: Before we get started, we want to first thank you for taking time out of what we are sure is a very busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.
Jeaniene Frost: Thank you so much for having me, and thanks for your patience with this interview.
PH: Why write paranormal books?
JF: I’ve always been drawn to the paranormal, even back when I was a child. I’d sneak to watch horror movies – most of which had a paranormal element – and search for books with a supernatural twist to them, which was easier said than done. There wasn’t a big selection of paranormal books when I was growing up, which is why I started reading adult books at a very young age. With the amazing paranormal selection in both Middle Grade and Young Adult markets today, kids and teens have no idea how great they have it. Heh, someone stop me before I start talking about walking uphill to school both ways next ;-)
PH: What is the most difficult part of writing?
JF: The business aspect. I have some tough days writing, sure, but what makes me want to pull my hair out usually falls under the “author” hat, not the “writer” one. You’re running your own business as an author, and with any business, there’s so many different things to handle, all at the same time that you’re trying to write the next book. I had no idea of this when I first published, so I’m still trying to learn how to juggle everything.
PH: Aside from vampires, is there any other paranormal creature you would like to write a series about?
JF: Well, in my books, I also have ghouls, ghosts, demons, and magic, so I like writing about all those things, too. I did a short story with werewolves a while back and really enjoyed that as well. As long as it’s weird and supernatural, chances are, I’ll want to write about it.
PH: Do any of your characters give you a hard time while writing?
JF: YES. Many of them do. I’ll highlight Kira as a specific example because she’s the heroine of my upcoming novel. When I thought up the story for Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I already knew my hero, Mencheres, very well because he’d been a side character in several books already. I thought I knew all about my heroine, Kira, and I had the main plot of the book figured out. So I figured it would be a breeze to write - until I actually started writing it.
*cue me being unable to complete the first chapter for over a month* When I’d try to write scenes with Kira, it was like pulling teeth. Since Eternal Kiss is written in both Mencheres and Kira’s points of view, I couldn’t just show her through actions and dialog; I had to be in her head. And despite several starts and stops, an outline, and knowing all the facts about Kira’s background, I just wasn’t in her head. It finally occurred to me that the problem boiled down to a cliché Hollywood question – what’s my motivation? Or in this case, Kira’s motivation. I thought I knew what was driving her, and it turned out I was ALL WRONG. Once I figured out what motivated Kira, she really came together for me as a character. Words started spilling onto the page and her scenes with Mencheres had all the sizzle they’d been lacking. It was such a relief – and funny at the same time. Kira wasn’t about to let me write her “wrong”, no matter how hard I tried at first ;-)
PH: What is the difference between your Night Huntress series and your Night Huntress World series?
JF: The biggest difference would be that the Night Huntress series follows the same protagonists, Cat and Bones, through several books. The Night Huntress World series consists of stand-alone novels, which means the protagonists are for that book only. First Drop of Crimson was Spade and Denise’s story, but Eternal Kiss of Darkness is Mencheres and Kira’s story. Spade, Denise, Mencheres, and Kira will still all appear as side characters again in the Night Huntress series, but I have no plans to give them their own separate books again.
PH: Your upcoming release, Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, book 2), will be out July 27th. Can you tell us about it?
JF: As I mentioned, this book features Mencheres and Kira as the hero/heroine. Night Huntress readers already know Mencheres is one of the most powerful vampires in existence, but lately, he’s lost his ability to see the future. Now that Mencheres can’t see what’s about to happen, he has enemies crawling out of the woodwork to come after him since this is their best chance to destroy him.
Kira is a Chicago private investigator trying to work her way up to more significant cases. She intervenes in what she thinks is a regular mugging and ends up witnessing a ghoul attack on Mencheres. Knowing Kira had seen too much, Mencheres takes her with him, but erasing her memory proves more difficult than he imagined. If Kira repeats what she knows about the undead to others, Mencheres’s enemies have even more ammunition against him. But keeping Kira with him to protect the secrecy of his race soon proves even more dangerous when Mencheres realizes he’s falling for her.
PH: Will Cat and Bones be making an appearance?
JF: Cat and Bones are both in Eternal Kiss of Darkness, as well as Vlad and several new characters.
PH: Is there a character's book you are not looking forward to writing?
JF: No. If I wasn’t looking forward to featuring a character as a protagonist, then I wouldn’t write a book about him/her. If I can’t even get excited about a character and story, how could I expect any readers to once it was out?
PH: If you had to pick between spending a day alone with Vlad or Ian, which would you choose?
JF: Probably Vlad. He’s tougher than Ian, but Vlad doesn’t do anything without a reason, so I’d feel more likely to come out of that day alive and with my sanity intact. Ian? I love him as a character, but Ian does what Ian likes – and he has a warped sense of humor. Ian might think it was fun to mesmerize me into spending the day barking like a dog and eating grass, or other countless things that I wouldn’t find humorous. Vlad would consider it beneath him to mess with a human like that, so the worst Vlad would probably due was mesmerize me into thinking I was mute so I wouldn’t keep asking him questions.
PH: What do you think of all the talk about One Foot In the Grave's famous chapter 32? Did you ever expect one chapter to be so popular?
JF: Never in a million years. I wrote that chapter (and book) before I even started trying to sell Halfway to the Grave, so I never thought it would see the light of day. When the book sold, I asked my agent how much of it I should censor for public viewing. She said to let my editor decide. Before I sent her the book, I warned my editor that a certain scene was extremely graphic and it needed to be trimmed, but I’d let her decide what was okay for public viewing and what wasn’t. My editor, when she sent the book back to me, edited not one word of the content for Chapter 32. I was stunned. I even tried to go back and take out, ah, certain aspects of it out, but she refused and said it was staying as it was. At publication, I was certain I’d get outraged reader emails telling me I’d crossed a line, or that my sales would suffer as a result, but, ahem. As you can guess, that didn’t happen.
Sure, some people didn’t care for it, but I was shocked that they were the minority. One of the most memorable complaints I read about that chapter was a review saying it was OBVIOUS that I was under thirty because only a very young, dumb author would assume any woman over thirty would find that disgusting scene sexy. As I was well over thirty when I wrote the book, and many of my readers who loved the scene were over thirty, too, that amused me.
Ph: How did you come up with Bones? Was there anything that inspired you while creating him? JF: Well, I’ve loved vampires since I was a child horrifying my parents because I kept rooting for Dracula to defeat the “evil” VanHelsing, lol. As a teen – and I KNOW this dates me – I was a huge Billy Idol fan, so there you get Bones’s English accent and the platinum hair he has in book one. Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Ash in Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness accounts for some of Bones’s attitude, and who didn’t sigh over Viggo Mortensen’s gorgeous, chiseled cheekbones in Lord of the Rings? So you see slivers of those people in Bones. He probably gets some of his wise-ass sense of humor from me, as well as his fear of flying, but Bones really evolved into his own character while I wrote him. The process of writing clues me into so many things about my characters. It’s like the difference between first impressions and what someone’s really like once you’ve spent time with him or her.
PH: Will we get to see more of Tate and Juan in future books?
JF: Tate and Juan are both in THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE, book five of the Night Huntress series. I expect both of them to also appear in book six, but as I just finished five and haven’t started six, I don’t know how much they’ll appear in it yet.
PH: If Cat and Bones could go on a double date with any other fictional couple, who would it be?
JF: That’s such a fun question. I’d never be able to come up with only one answer for it myself. Readers, help me out! If you could hook up Cat and Bones on a double date with another fictional couple, who would you most like to see them go out partying with?
PH: Where do you see Cat and Bones in 10 years?
JF: I actually know the answer to that, but I can’t tell you, or it would spoiler the end of the series :-) Rest assured, every book I write brings them closer to the end I have planned, and while I’ve promised readers that ending will see Cat and Bones together, I’m not prepared to offer any other hints on what that might entail. Hey, *wink* I don’t have the nickname of Evil Author on my fan site for nothing!
That's right, one lucky winner will get a copy of Eternal Kiss Of Darkness sent to you from the author herself. This giveaway is opened internationally. Here is what you will need to do to enter:
1. Fill out this form
2. Answer this question in a comment below: Which fictional couple you most want Cat and Bones to go out on a double-date with?
We will announce the winner on July 21st and they will then have 3 days to respond to our email with their shipping information or another winner will be chosen. Good lucky everyone and remember, Eternal Kiss Of Darkness hits bookstores on July 27th!