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Why we love NYT Bestselling author @Jennifer_Estep…oh, btw there’s a #giveaway too!

Today Smokey has thrown together some savory BBQ in honor of our guest, the New York Times Best Selling author, Jennifer Estep. (Of course, we’re not asking what supplied the meat, suffice to say it is scrumptious.) For those unfamiliar with her work, you are so missing out on some fantastically deadly adventures!

The Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series focuses 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.

If that’s not enough to whet your reading appetite, she’s also the creative mind behind The Mythos Academy, a young adult urban fantasy series focuses 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.

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

 JE: Sassy, sarcastic, southern, loves to cook, good with knives. That would describe Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider, the heroine of my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

 As much as Gin makes me tremble, I have to admit, I’d love to sit down at the Pork Pit…yummm

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys.  Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting).  Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

 JE: I’ve definitely hit snags in my writing where something just isn’t working. Sometimes, I can figure out what the problem is right away, and sometimes, I’ll get close to the end of a draft before I figure out what’s wrong and have to go back and rethink just about everything.

 But for me, it’s getting the words down in the first place that’s the most important thing. So if I think that something isn’t working, I just keep on writing. Eventually, the solution will come to me. And I find that it’s easier to go back and fix things when you have something on the page to work with, rather than no pages and no story and no characters at all.

I have to agree with you on that one, it’s so much easier to drag my Muse out of Filet Your Own Deli if I have something she can work with.  Unfortunately, she likes to wait until the most inconvenient times to allow me flashes of solutions…*cough, cough* mid-suds in shower.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?  Inquiring minds want to know: what was  your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

JE: I wrote my first book one summer during college. It was a really bad epic fantasy book, and, like you said, it will never see the light of day. LOL.

I’m tempted to burn my first one, a YA fantasy, just so it can never be used against me in a court of law… However it did provide endless entertainment at the last gathering at the retreat with the other Evil six…

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

 JE: I’ve gotten so many nice comments and e-mails about my books, and they always make my day. Knowing that folks are enjoying my books makes all of the long hours at the computer worthwhile.

 Since Gin owns a barbecue restaurant, I write about food a lot, which I really enjoy doing. I’ve gotten several comments from folks saying that reading the books makes them hungry. So that’s kind of fun for me to hear.

Let me just add, I tend to read, then re-read your series often, so I am humbly grateful for all those hours at the keyboard, Jennifer! 


Ready for the bullet list, fellow Swamp goers? Strap down and hang on!

  • Blades, guns, fists or feet?


Yep, right there with you!

  •  Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

 Beauty and the Beast

Nicceee…I’m a firm believer Belle’s hiding leathers under her gown…

  •  Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo; Hounded by Kevin Hearne; and Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Kevin’s HUNTED is at the top of my to-read pile…

  •  Greatest one liner of all time?

  “Inconceivable!” (From The Princess Bride movie)

Most awesome movie…EVER!

  •  Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

 Sarcastic witticism

mmm…yes, sarcasm it is the way of my people…

  •  Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

  I have a calendar of corgi dogs hanging on a wall in my office. I had a sweet little corgi mix dog for many years, and the calendar reminds me of him. So it’s more sentimental than strange.

I could lend you Hellhound, problem is, he’s kind like having a whole litter of corgis…or two…

  •  Favorite supernatural creature?


And this is why we love you, Jennifer!

Thank you, Jennifer for taking time to spend with us! And for sharing a chance to acquire DEADLY STING!

Want more of Jennifer Estep and Gin Blanco? Then here’s your chance! 

Just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below, then tweet or comment on this post for your chance to get a copy of Jennifer Estep’s DEADLY STING, the next exciting installment in her Elemental Assassin’s series!


Open to US Residents only, please. Winner will be announced on July 17th!



Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

She can be found at the following locations:

Jennifer’s Facebook page

Jennifer’s Twitter page

Jennifer’s Web Page

Jennifer’s Goodreads Page 


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  1. It is awesome to hear that even a NYT Bestselling author has a first attempt novel that will never see the light of day.

  2. Thanks, Lisa! And big thank you to Jennifer for stopping both here and at my place! This interview has been an absolute blast. Remember loyal Swamp followers, you have to pipe up for a chance to win Jennifer’s DEADLY STING. Don’t be shy, I’ve already told her all your secrets!

  3. Lisa — Thanks! Glad you liked the interview.

    Jami — Thanks for hosting me on both sites. I appreciate it.

  4. Joe Romano

     /  July 16, 2013

    I have been reading SFand fantasy books for many, many years. And, your books are among my favorites. I read the first several in quick order and now buy the new releases on the first day. Please keep them coming.


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