I am so FRIKKIN PSYCHED right now! After reading ALL of the Night Huntress books, Night Huntress World books and Once Burned (Night Prince #1), I was DYING to pick Jeaniene Frost’s brain and last night, she got back to me! Not only did she take the time to answer my questions, but she’s also hooking us up with a GIVEAWAY! Without further delay, I’d like to welcome Jeaniene Frost to Pure Textuality!!
JENA FROM PURE TEXTUALITY [JENA]: Folks can read on your website bio that you have always been a big fan of horror movies. Naturally, there had to be some vampires in there. Who is your favorite silver screen (or TV screen) vampire?
JEANIENE FROST [JEANIENE]: Favorite “non-evil” vamps would have to be Eric and Bill from HBO’s True Blood series, and no, don’t ask me to pick between them. I can’t, heh.
Favorite “evil” vamp might be Colin Farrel’s Jerry from the recent Fright Night remake. He was deliciously horrible, and I LOVED how he solved the dilemma of not being invited into the hero’s house. Evil brilliance!
JENA: Do you read vampire fiction? If so, who is your favorite vampire in the literary world and why?
JEANIENE: I have a lot of favorite vampires, to no one’s shock, but I’ll try to be brief. Lothaire from Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series; Eric and Bill from Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series; Dmitri from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter books, and of course, Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel (how could I fail to mention the vampire that launched them all?).
JENA: Let’s talk about your work. The Night Huntress World as a whole has captivated many urban fantasy readers. Personally, I never got into reading romance until I picked up ‘First Drop of Crimson’ by “accident”. I was new to your writing and hadn’t done any research at all. Therefore, I had no idea that the book I was digging into was technically a romance, a genre I had never picked up prior. It wasn’t until I was finished, and completely HOOKED, that I found out about the Night Huntress books and the fact that FDOC was actually a spinoff of sorts. Needless to say, I picked up all of the rest of the series and devoured them in a matter of a week and a half. You are single handedly responsible for creating the monster that is my love for Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Romance. When you started writing, was it always the “plan” to incorporate romance into your writing or did it just sort of happen?
JEANIENE: I am so pleased that my book started you on the path to being a PNR/UF junkie! Lol. To answer your question, yes, I always knew that romance would be a central theme in my books. Before I knew anything else, I knew that Cat loved Bones but didn’t think it could work between them, and I also knew Bones loved her and was determined to prove that it could. Their story, and thus the Night Huntress series, was built around that. However, it also had lots of elements of horror, action and humor. It made labeling the genre in my query letters a real nightmare (I hadn’t even heard of the “urban fantasy” designation back then).
JENA: Having started off with FDOC, I was introduced to Spade as the main man. Between that book and the rest of your world, I have come to know the rest of your fabulous cast of fangy men – including Ian, Vlad (*swoon*) and of course, Bones. My personal favorite out of the lot is Bones because I adore his humor. Who is your favorite of the leading men to write?
JEANIENE: I’m fickle so my favorite leading man is whoever I’m writing at the time. Right now, it’s a cross between Vlad and Bones because I just started writing the next Night Huntress novel and thus Vlad is still fresh in my head after two books with him. But give it a couple weeks. I’ll be back into Bones and saying “Vlad who?” *wink*
JENA: Speaking of Bones, Cat and Bones definitely rate as one of best couple of all-time in fiction. They have amazing chemistry and banter. Your website says that Bones is mostly a complete figment of your imagination (not inspired anyone). Six books into the series, do you find it difficult to keep their chemistry fresh?
JEANIENE: Since they’re past the “does he/she love me?” stage, their chemistry has changed, but for me it hasn’t lessened. In a way, it’s freeing not to need to write all the angst that new couples invariably have. Plus, Cat’s lost a lot of her shyness with Bones as their relationship progresses, so that can make for some steamy scenes. What I really love about the two of them at this stage is their commitment to each other. Since there isn’t a question of their feelings anymore, I can up the stakes around them in ways that it’s harder to do with newer, not-quite-there-yet couples.
JENA: Having read all of your books, one of the things that I noticed is that, although they are very detailed, they flow smoothly. Nothing seems conveniently placed. It’s all very organic. When writing, do you have to conduct a lot of research regarding the places that your characters go or talk about?
JEANIENE: I do a lot of research for the main setting and for incidental settings, too. I spent over three hours looking up maps and descriptions of the Bucharest metro system for one chapter in Twice Tempted, for example. Some research is fun, like learning about the differing accounts of the real Vlad’s historical background, but other research is tedious. Sometimes I spend hours combing the internet for what equates to only one or two lines of description, which only makes the “you got X wrong” emails more frustrating. The internet isn’t 100% accurate, yet I don’t want to only write about places I’ve lived in or personally been to. If I did, my settings would be pretty boring.
JENA: Let’s talk about your latest release ‘Once Burned’ and the fantastic character of Vlad Tepesh. Vlad is someone that we have gotten to know here and there throughout the rest of the Night Huntress/Night Huntress World books. I think I can comfortably speak for your legions of fans everywhere when I say that bringing him into his own line of books (the Night Prince series) was an amazing move. He’s a complex and highly arrogant character that we all just can’t help but love. However, his arrogance was brought to the table in a way that there was a humorous spin to it. Is it fun to be able to write someone with that big of an ego?
JEANIENE: It is fun, but I also wanted to reach through the computer and slap Vlad while writing him! He’s used to being obeyed by his people, feared by his enemies, and respected by his allies. He’s also used to women accepting the emotional limits he puts on relationships. Leila did that for most of Once Burned, but in Twice Tempted, she isn’t going to fall in line anymore, which will come as a shock to the oh-so-arrogant Vlad.
JENA: We have already read on your website that you have signed for two of the Night Prince books. Can you see being able to write more than that for Vlad?
JEANIENE: While I was halfway through writing Twice Tempted (Night Prince book two) I realized that Vlad and Leila’s story was far from over. So the Night Prince series will be a trilogy and will now end at book three.
JENA: Along with the wonderful men of the Night Huntress universe, you have a diverse cast of female leads. All of your female characters are strong women who can certainly hold their own. They’re tough and witty, both traits that would certainly be necessary for them to be matched up with the men in your books. It’s a nice change of pace from the women of romance novels who always need to be rescued. Out of your cast of capable women, who is your favorite to write and why?
JEANIENE: First let me defend my fellow romance authors. Many of them also write strong heroines who stand toe-to-toe with the heroes and rescue people just as much as – if not more – than they are rescued (for a full list of my favorite authors, go here: http://jeanienefrost.com/links/ ). As for my favorite heroine, I’ll give you the same answer I gave about favorite heroes: When I was writing the two Night Prince books, Leila was my favorite. Now I’m back to Cat so she’s my favorite. I also really connected to Denise and Kira when I wrote them (I told you I was fickle, didn’t I? 🙂
JENA: One last question. Imagine: The Night Prince series gets picked up for film and you’re left with all creative control and have been named Casting Director with no one above you to axe your picks. You can choose anyone in Hollywood and you have no limit on pay scale. Who would you hire to play Vlad Tepesh? How about Leila?
JEANIENE: After seeing X-Men: First Class and swooning over Magneto’s sinister yet sexy character, I’d say that Michael Fassbender could play Vlad, although he doesn’t necessarily match the image I have of Vlad in my head. Megan Fox could play Leila, but then again, so could Katie McGrath. Both have Leila’s general looks and both can play tough-yet-vulnerable characters. But I think I have as much of a chance of winning the Powerball lottery ten times in a row as I do of being named Casting Director for movies of my books. 🙂
JENA: Thanks so much to Jeaniene for stopping by today! This has been a blast and a real honor! 🙂 And the interview is not the only piece of fun Jeaniene brought with her!