Jun 27, 2012

Posted by in AAD2012, Interviews | 42 Comments

AAD Author Spotlight – Interview with Jeaniene Frost plus giveaway

Authors After Dark Spotlight number twenty-six is with one of the author who is responsible for cementing my love for the paranormal romance genre.  I read Halfway to the Grave shortly after having discovered the genre and holy man did I love that book.  I still consider it one of my most favorite reads ever and I have enjoyed everything I’ve read that she has written!  Who is she?  None other than the incredible Jeaniene Frost.

Questions about AAD:
Have you attended Authors After Dark before or are you an AAD virgin like me? 

I’ve never been before but I’ve heard wonderful things about the AAD convention, so I’m really looking forward to it. Plus, it’s in one of my favorite cities. Beignets, here I come!

What are you most looking forward to at AAD2012?

I already mentioned the beignets, didn’t I? 🙂  In all seriousness, I’m looking forward to hanging out with readers and other authors. Most of my family are sick of me yammering on about books, genres, paranormal creatures and that sort of thing, so conventions are fun because I’m surrounded by people who love that stuff as much as I do.

Which author(s) attending AAD2012 are you most looking forward to meeting?

I’m looking forward to meeting all of them as well as catching up with authors I’ve already met.

Questions about your WRITING and READING HABITS:
What did you do when you found out you were being published for the first time?

Oh, I remember it vividly. I was working at my old day job when I opened my email and saw a message from my former agent (she was at a convention with no cell phone signal so that’s why she didn’t call.) It said “We have an offer for HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE! It’s from Erika Tsang at HarperCollins / Avon Books, $ [redacted] each for two books. May I accept this offer?”

I must’ve made some loud sound because my boss came running in to ask what was wrong. I pointed to the email and said, “Read that and tell me it says what I think it says.” I must’ve re-read that email fifty times before I believed it enough to call my husband, and I was babbling so excitedly that all he heard was “book!” and a sum of money, to which he replied, “Honey, we don’t have that amount of money to spend for you to publish your book.” Then I shouted, “No, that’s what this publisher is paying ME to BUY my book!” That’s one of the few times my husband has been speechless.

Of all of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?

Halfway to the Grave will always have a special place in my heart. It wasn’t only my first book published – it was the first book I ever finished. However, I am fickle as the day is long, so my favorite book is usually the last book I’ve written, which in this case would be Once Burned.

Have you ever written a scene that made you blush?

Yes. Every sex scene I’ve ever written has made me blush.

Who was your favorite hero or heroine to write?

Again my fickleness comes into play. My favorites are whoever I’m writing at the time, and since I’m writing about Vlad and Leila now, they win. If you ask me again in a couple months when I’m back to writing about Cat and Bones, they will be my favorite hero and heroine.

Who is your favorite hero or heroine to read?

For a heroine, I love Kate Daniels from author Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. For a hero, probably Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

Have you ever been surprised by a reader’s reaction to a scene that you wrote – either good or bad? 

Too many times to count! In the interest of space, I’ll only list one example: I was so wigged about Chapter 32 in One Foot in the Grave (I wrote the book before I was contracted so I didn’t think it would ever see the light of day) that I tried to tone it down in revisions because I was afraid people would think I was a pervert for writing it. I even confessed this fear to my friend, author Vicki Pettersson. With her wicked sense of humor , she said, “Oh Jeaniene, you’re right. You may as well hand out lube at your signings and wear a tee shirt that says, “Likes it from behind!” (For more of Vicki’s wickedly sharp humor, check out her books). However, when I broached the idea of toning down that chapter with my editor, she refused to let me do it. When the book came out and most readers really liked it, I was stunned. Years later, I still can’t go to a signing or be on a panel without at least one reader mentioning chapter 32 and several others cheering. Who knew?

Have you always been a reader or are you like me and got turned off by the mind-numbingly boring deep and multi-layered books you had to read in High School only to ‘find’ reading again as an adult?

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. Some of required reading in high school was boring, true, but I also really liked some of the classics (Beowulf, Shakespeare, Melville, etc). I will say that I used to bounce around between genres. For a while in my teens and twenties, I glommed a bunch of true crime books. Then mysteries. Then horror. Then back to romance. However, I’ve been on a ten year kick with the paranormal genre, probably because there’s so much diversity to it.

What book do you most remember having read in High School?

Required reading? Catch-22. A Farewell to Arms. Beowulf. Lots of Shakespeare.  My own reading? A ton of romance, plus anything by Dean Koontz, Sydney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum and Jackie Collins.

Questions about YOU:
What is your favorite movie?

I don’t have an all-time-favorite movie (are you noticing my inability to narrow things down to a simple answer? :)). My favorite recent movie was The Avengers, but I also really love Fight Club, Kill Bill 1 and 2, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Finding Neverland, What About Bob, The Dark Knight, and Hellboy.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Haagen-Dazs crème brulee, and my grocery store almost never carries it. I suppose that’s a good thing for my health.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely not a morning person!

Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about you?

I read from the Bible every night.

Question about your UPCOMING RELEASE(S):
Your newest book, Once Burned, the first book in your sparkling new Night Prince series, was released yesterday!  *does a happy dance because this is Vlad’s book!* Are you relieved that it’s finally out in the wild?

I’m my usual bundle of nerves. I loved writing Vlad and Leila’s story and I hope that readers will love it, too. Of course not all will because that’s the name of the subjectivity game, but I’m excited to give everyone a closer look at Vlad, as well as introduce Leila, Marty, and the other new characters in Once Burned.

I’m not sure if you are aware but you made many many…many readers extremely happy when you announced that Vlad would be getting his own books.  Was the fact that he is such a popular side character in your Night Huntress books a deciding factor in writing his story or did you always know you’d be telling his tale someday?

I’m delighted that readers were happy when I announced that Vlad was getting a series. No, I didn’t choose Vlad based on his popularity. If I wrote based on popularity, I would’ve written about Ian because he gets SO many requests for a book (maybe one day, Ian fans!). Yet it was Vlad’s story that kept nagging at my mind, and that’s why he was chosen. If I don’t have a story in my head, I can’t put one onto the page, so that’s how I decide who gets a book. In Vlad and Leila’s case, I had more than one story in my head, which is why they’re getting at least two books.

I will stress this once again:  Vlad is a fantastic character.  He is adored by many!  Did you feel added pressure from fans/readers to “write his story well” or did you just go with the flow and hope for the best?

Me feel pressured writing about the most re-written vampire in history? Of course not! *drinks*

Seriously, I always feel pressure to write to the best of my ability because it’s my name on the cover. The buck starts and stops with me every novel, every time. Each book has its own unique pressures. Cat and Bones fans expect a certain romance-to-action ratio, and that ratio varies depending on who you ask. With an infamous literary character like Dracula (don’t tell Vlad I called him that! ;)) there’s all the usual pressure of hoping that established Night Huntress readers will like his book, plus a whole new plateful of potential issues. Some new readers who have a preconceived notion of what Dracula should be like may not enjoy any deviation from what’s been done before. On the other hand, some new readers may not want to read the same old Dracula again, so deviating may be the only way to please them. Some new readers may want me to meet in the middle between the old Dracula lore and something completely different. There’s no way to win without writing the most erratic character ever.

Because of that, all I can do is write Vlad the way that I see him.  Countless times his character frustrated me, offended me, made me laugh and made me curse. He may be the hardest character I’ve ever written. At the same time, I was so plugged into writing about Vlad and Leila that I chose to do their sequel after Once Burned instead of switching back to Cat and Bones.

How about coming up with the perfect mate for the Night Prince?  Did Leila come to you fully formed or did she develop as you wrote the story?

With all my characters, I think I know everything about them when I start their story, but by the end, I realize that I’d only known half at the beginning. Leila was no different. In addition to her unusual abilities, I knew Leila had a survivor’s mentality and a real familiarity with the darkness in people, plus she felt responsible for her mother’s death.  Vlad is a survivor in the extreme, he’s been enveloped in darkness for over five hundred years, and he too carries a deep regret over the loss of a loved one. That was the starting point for their attraction, and I did know it from the beginning. All the rest of the minutia came to me as I wrote. That’s the fun part of being an organic writer – you discover secrets and revelations along the way.

You have released six Night Huntress books (not including the many novellas you’ve written for the series) and two Night Huntress World books.  That is a lot of time spent in the same frame of mind, the same world, with the same characters, etc…  Do you ever think “Screw Cat, Bones and Vlad.  They can go rot somewhere for a while.  I want to write about puppies!”?

Lol, I can honestly say I’ve never wanted to write about puppies. Actually, because I’ve switched characters over the years, it’s kept writing in that world fresh for me. I do want to eventually write something unrelated to my vampire world, but not yet.  I’m still having too much fun playing with the fanged ones ;).

Thank you so much Jeaniene for answering my questions today.  Once Burned (read my review here) is an awesome book!  I have no doubt that it will be hugely popular and that even more women will be dreaming of Vlad soon enough.  Who knows?  He may even rival Bones one day.  *grin*

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! And Vlad would expect nothing less than to eclipse Bones in readers’ hearts. *wink* Vlad has a wee bit of an arrogant side, you know.

And that’s why we love him.  😉

The Night Huntress books are some of the most beloved in the paranormal romance section of the bookstore and Cat and Bones are two of the most popular characters out there.  Now is your chance to give this series a try or to read that installment you have yet to pick up.  Jeaniene is offering a copy of one of her Night Huntress books, winners choice, to one lucky commenter!  Winner may chose Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave’s End, Destined for an Early Grave, This Side of the Grave, One Grave at a Time, First Drop of Crimson or Eternal Kiss of Darkness.  Phew…that’s a lot to chose from.  To enter, just leave a comment telling us which book you would chose if you won.  Giveaway open internationally and you must leave you comment by Sunday, July 1st 2012 11:59est.  Good luck to everyone and THANK YOU to Jeaniene for offering such a great prize. 

Here’s where you can find Jeaniene –

  1. Petula Winmill says:

    I would like Halfway to the Grave most because I haven’t read any of them . I do like to start at the beginning. I would take any that I could get with joy.

  2. elizabeth ziko says:

    I love Half way to the Grave, because it shows u no matter what u can go out kicking ass. I love Cat!

  3. I would love to have ‘First Drop of Crimson’. I’ve read the Kat & Bones books and love them. But I’m a Spade fan as well, so that’s my book of choise.

  4. i would choose : Halfway to the Grave..coz 1’st i know my fav hero..bones..i love him..

  5. Great Interview. I was so happy to hear that Vlad was getting not only one book but more. I think we as the reader really start to fell in love with him during the dream thief book. So I am very happy we get to read more about him.
    Thanks for this great giveaway. I have all the books except One Geave at a Time, so that’s my choice.

  6. Danni T says:

    I would choose First Drop of Crimson.

  7. Phyllis Marshall says:

    Thanks to you both for bringing us this very insightful and entertaining interview!! Loved it and now I have a renewed purpose to read Jeannie’s books!! Since I have her first in the series, I would love to get Book 2 ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE so I can continue the journey. Have a great day, ladies. 🙂


  8. As i already own book 1-3, I would love to win ‘destined for an early grave’….
    and I sincerely hope she never starts writing about puppies 😉

  9. Fantastic interview! I am SO excited to maybe meet Jeaniene at AAD this year.
    I need a new copy of One Foot in the Grave. Certain sections of my copy *blushes* are falling a part thanks to over reading.

  10. Milly Lie says:

    Cat and Bones…. Luvvvvvvvvvvv them….

    If I have chance to win, I choose: One Grave at a Time


  11. I would choose Halfway to the Grave! Would love to have my own copy because the one I read was borrowed. 🙂

    Twitter: @kuro_rin01

  12. Northwoman says:

    I can actually say I have read every single one of her books except Once Burned which is just out. I plan to read it of course. This is one of the few authors I knew before Julie, and LOVED so much. I own several of the books but don’t yet have One Grave at a Time.

  13. Great interview, Jeaniene is one of those autobuy authors for me. I SO wish I could go to AAD to meet her! Since I have the entire Night Huntress series, i would love either Eternal Kiss of Darkness or First Drop of Crimson. Thanks for the chance!

  14. Great interview. 🙂 Man, I gotta refresh my memory with that chapter 32 😉
    I’ve read all of NH and NHW books and now I’m dying to read Vlad’s unfortunately I gotta wait a little longer. *sulk*

    Thanks for sharing the interview though I am a little jealous because you got to meet Ms. Frost. 😀

  15. I haven’t tried the series yet! I would love to…

  16. ForeverReading1 says:

    One Foot in the Grave, (my copy of the book is worn out) I chose this book because it introduces Cat’s undercover life, and reunites Cat with the love of her life; however, the best thing about this book is that it introduces Ian.

  17. i loved loved this book.read it in 2 sittings…. i want more vlad…. i think ms frost’s has written one of the best pnr books this year… give it 5 stars….excellent excellent tale, love leia and vlad… he is so yummy right up there with barrons…go read it , such great lines he has..

  18. I loved all the Night Huntress series world, but If I have to pick, I would choose Eternal Kiss Of Darkness… I am currently reading Once Burned, and so far I love it! Vald RULES!!!

  19. Katrina T. says:

    I love the Night Huntress series. I’d choose Destined for an Early Grave because I still don’t have that one!

  20. First of all, thanks so much for this giveaway! I absolutely looove Jeaniene’s books. I own all the Night Huntress books but only have the Night Huntress World ones in ebook format. So I would like a copy of Eternal Kiss of Darkness in paper; Mencheres deserves a place in my bookcase!

  21. I just finished Once Burned and loved it! I’m really looking forward to meet (stalk) Jeaniene at AAD *fan squee*… It’s “almost” August.
    Great interview.

  22. Marie-Claude says:

    I have never read a book by Jeaniene Frost,but I keep hearing amazing thing about them. So I would like to go with Halfway to the Grave.

  23. Brittany says:

    I would have to pick At Grave’s End if I was to win a book. As much as I love all the books (I’ve read them all twice [except Vlad’s I only read his once so far]) At Grave’s End holds a special place in my heart. That book made me feel every emotion possible. And even though I’ve read book that made me cry they usually once make me shed a few tears. But At Grave’s End, it made me cry buckets. Which I love when I book makes me feel that emotional.

  24. I would pick Halfway to the Grave because I would love to do a reread of the series and I don’t own the first couple books.

  25. Molly Frenzel says:

    I’d choose Halfway to the Grave. Its my favorite and the one I always go back and read.

  26. Jeaniene Frost says:

    Just wanted to pop by and thank Julie again for the interview. Also, looking forward to seeing some of you at AAD! 🙂

  27. No need to enter me in the giveaway. (I have them all!) I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the interview. Can’t wait to meet you both in August!

  28. Love the interview! I would choose One Foot in the Grave (I lost my copy). Thank you for the giveaway! 🙂

  29. Nice interview. I’d choose Eternal Kiss of Darkness. Thanks for the giveaway.

  30. Thaks for the great interview, I am looking forward to reading this book. As I don’t have my booklist with me, I don’t know which one I don’t have yet, probably the last one.

  31. I’m so ashamed to say I’ve never read any of her books. **hangs head** So I’d choose Halfway to the Grave.

  32. Amiee Ryan says:

    I just finished listening to Once Burned!! You gotta love Tavia Gilberts narrating of the book! she brought all the characters to life 🙂 Thanks for the interview with Jeaniene, loved it! Wow thats a hard choice hmmmm Bones, Spade or Mencheres…I’d have to stick with Bones love him and One Foot in the Grave as my first choice or Destined for an Early Grave thanks for the fantastic giveaway!!


  33. Great I terview and I would choose to get One Foot in the Grave. Thanks.


  34. I would love to have Halfway to the Grave. This book solidified my love for the paranormal. I have always enjoyed this genre but when I read this book I took a giant head-first dive into the world of the unknown with kick-ass chicks and super hot guys. I don’t know if I will ever be able to read anything else and get the same tangled up feelings of devotion to the characters that are brought to life through these books. BTW I just finished Once Burned and LOVED it!!!

  35. Hey,
    Just like to congratulate Jeaniene on Once Burned, can’t wait to read it!
    Destined for an Early Grave would be my choice, i love the Bones Cat Vlad
    confrontations!! Thank you!

  36. Hey 🙂

    I would like to have “At grave’s end” cause I don’t have it in English yet. I’m a French fan and I’ve read them all in French and now I’m trying to red the all saga in English ^^
    Thanks you for this contest, finger crossed ^^


  37. Camilla Abrillo says:

    I’d love to have a copy of Destined for an Early Grave because I really enjoyed reading the many funny and heart-warming scenes between Cat and Vlad. 🙂

  38. Karyn R says:

    Wow that was a great interview!! I’m a big big fan of the Night Huntress series particularly Bones, wish I had a Bones of my own! lol All the books are brilliant its hard to pick just one! OK because every character (all the hot guys! :D) are in this book I’d go with Destined for An Early Grave if I were to win 🙂 Fingers crossed! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!


  39. Great Interview! I woud pick Once Burned.

  40. Wren B. says:

    I have never read her books, blush, I would like the first book I think Halfway to the grave. Thank you!

  41. Mary S. Clemens says:

    I haven’t had the chance to start that series yet and I would love the opportunity to get to read Halfway to the Grave. I’m an avid reader and these just look like the kind of books I could become addicted to.


  42. I would love to have One Foot in the Grave. This series just has such incredible review you can’t do nothing but want to read it.


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