Those who read my review of ’Hunted by the Others’ will know I loved that book and should have gone out to buy it themselves by now ;-)
And when I recently read 'Spark of Temptation' and also loved that story I wanted to know more about this series and about Jess Haines, the mastermind who wrote it. She kindly agreed to an interview.
Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview and welcome to Pearls Cast Before a McPig.
My first question is probably asked before, but as I haven’t run across it I will ask it anyway:
How did you get the idea for this series?
Hey, no worries. I can’t remember if it’s been asked before, so it’s all good!
Many moons ago, I used to roleplay on AOL (“Gasp!” I hear you say. “The horror! Say it ain’t so!”). In the late 90’s, I went to the movies and sat down to watch something involving lots of violence. A preview for Blade hit the screen—and I knew I had to have a vampire hunter character of my very own! I would love her and hug her and squeeze her and call her… Shiarra Waynest.
The Shia of today and the Shia of yesteryear are very different in terms of personality. However, I gave a wink and a nod to her bad ol’ self in the belt with the trio of stakes, and kept her physical looks pretty much the same as they were way back when.
The series itself crept up on me. I wrote the first book, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, purely for shits and giggles, setting aside my Oh-So-Serious High Fantasy™ back in late 2007/early 2008. I needed a palate cleanser after getting far too involved in the writerly woes that come with taking yourself too seriously. I started writing the second book, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS, almost as soon as I finished HUNTED. My friend Binah pushed and poked and prodded at me to seek publication when she read HUNTED, so… here I am!
Phew, I’m glad you had friend like Binah to push you into publishing, I must confess.
Are any of the characters based on yourself or people you know?
Absolutely! But you will never drag past my lips which characters or who they are based on. *g*
I must say I love Arnold, he’s a very recognisable character for me. What I was wondering is if you yourself are a roleplayer and if so, what kind of rpg’s you’ve played. (I myself have played quite a few, but Vampire the Masquerade is my favourite)
Arnold is quite possibly my favorite character. I have a hard time choosing between him and the vampire, Royce. (Shia? Who’s that?! Pfft.)
I am indeed a roleplayer. I haven’t had much time to sit down to do tabletop games in a while, but I was a fan of AD&D (3.5 edition, don’t give me none o’ that 4E). I played Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, Mage: the Ascension, etc, etc, back in the 90’s/very early 00’s. I’ve done online RPGs as well; most notably, EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Oh, and we cannot forget Munchkin! Someone pass me my Dues Ex Machinegun and Freudian Slippers.
Wow! That’s an impressive list. If you were a pig I’d fall in love with you.
Let me follow this question with two questions to satisfy the roleplay geek in me.
What kind of clan would Royce be if he was a Vampire the Masquerade vampire?
Ventrue. He’s too much of a domineering, controlling snob not to be. *g*
What kind of character would Shiarra pick if she was forced to play (Advanced) Dungeons and Dragons? And how about Arnold: what character does he like to play?
Poor Shia! She’d be so at sea. I imagine for the race she’d stick with human (‘cause, ya know, that’s familiar and all). As for class? I can’t see her as anything but a warrior—at least the first time or two. I’m sure she’d eventually become brave enough to try an elvish ranger or a human paladin, but I doubt she’d ever get creative enough to try being a wizard or dwarf.
As for Arnold, his favorite character to play is his half-elven bard, Dorian Silvertongue the Goblinslayer of Thoracin. (Don’t ask.)
Any chance we might run into other were-creatures than werewolves in future books? (like were boars for example. I think everyone would love to read about were boars, I know I would ;-) )
*wary look* Have you been sneaking peeks into my third book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS? Naughty!
I wouldn‘t dare! *tries to hold back excited squeal*
Speaking about creatures: Will there be any other new creatures we’ve not heard about yet in future books?
I’m not quite done exploring overdone fantasy tropes. *g* I don’t expect to throw in any brand spankin’ new fantasy critters into the H&W series, but if I ever tear my Far Too Serious™ high fantasy manuscript from the clutches of the dust bunnies under my bed, you might!
If faced with a zombie what would Shiarra do? And any chance btw she will be faced by one or more zombies?
I imagine it would go something like this:
SHIA: Ew, what’s the smell?
SHIA: Uh, ew? EW!
SHIA: Oh, sick. Did a piece of you just fall off?? *sprays Lysol* Get away! Shoo! I am so serious. Don’t you touch me!
SHIA: OH MY GOD, EW! GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!! *flail!*
As for whether she’ll actually encounter one, well… that depends! I’ve plotted out a number of books, but I’ve only been contracted for three in this series—so far. If it turns out there will be more, than yes, you can expect them in book five. *g*
*plots to hypnotise people into buying Jess' books to increase chances there being a book five*
How many books are you planning in this series?
I’ve plotted nine total for the series. Whether that many get published, well… we’ll see!
Any chance we’ll get another short (or longer) story featuring Arnold and Sara or other supporting characters?
I would love (LOVE) to do another one featuring those two! The novella in NOCTURNAL was the setup for something bigger involving Arnold and Sara. Not sure if they’ll get their own novel, but they will be involved in some issues that strongly impact the aforementioned book five.
I’ve been tossing around some ideas for stuff to work on as soon as I get my current projects off my plate. With four novel manuscripts and a novella in progress, I probably shouldn’t go off onto another tangent just now. *g*
And my last question: Any other projects you’re working on?
Absolutely! Ever hear of a TV series called The Real Housewives of New Jersey/New York/Orange County, etc, etc, etc? Get this—I’ve got a novella coming out sometime next year in an anthology called THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY.
The hilarity. We haz it.
I am also hard at work on a paranormal romance that features characters mentioned briefly in book two, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS. It’s a co-written novel featuring characters from my work and from a friend’s. It’s an unlikely pairing—a werewolf named Christoph from a pack that has a tendency to hunt down and eat vampires, and a mute vamp named Mouse (who makes her first appearance as one of Royce’s house guards in TAKEN). Christoph and his packmate Ashi make some spectacularly stupid mistakes that land them in Royce’s hands. Wackiness ensues. Said wackiness includes a fashion makeover from the gayest vampire in all the land, an angry French chef, werewolves in fetish collars, an epic battle over ice cream, a naked Highlander, and a bit of male strip-dancing.
As you might have gathered, this isn’t your typical romance.
The PNR manuscript is written but undergoing some heavy editing and such before I pass it on to my agent or to Kensington, so no promises that it will ever see the light of day.
I must say it sounds like a blast, so I’ll be hoping it will get published. Thanks so much for dropping by and answering my questions.
Thanks very much for having me over!
Hunted by the Others and Nocturnal (which features the Novella 'Spark of Temptation) are both out and are waiting for you to buy them.
Go on, don't wait: I want book five!!!
Taken by the Others will be released in January 2011
Deceived by the Others will be released in July 2011
And now to tease all those who still haven’t read any of Jess’ books into buying them I will leave you all with the start of chapter 10 of ‘Hunted by the Others’, which features Shia and Arnold:
“Don’t touch anything while we’re inside without asking first,” Arnold said before we walked through the doors. ”Some of the stuff in here is dying to get out and might try to attach itself to you.”
Oh great. Sentient artifacts, just the sort of thing to make my day.
He led the way inside. The walls here were of red sandstone marked with runes similar to the ones on the doors. Every few feet there were arches with burning torches for light. The flickering lights drew my attention to the runes that moved and swirled in a way that was making me feel dizzy. I had the sick feeling we left New York behind the minute we walked through those arches.
“What did you need exactly anyway? Vero didn’t tell me what to give you.”
I sighed hoping I wouldn’t sound too ridiculous and unprofessional. “I was hoping you might be able to tell me. I was hired to find a statuette in the possession of a vampire.”
He snorted laughter, drawing my attention sharply to him and off the weird walls. “Oh, that. I’ve got just the thing.”