I haven’t quite stopped hyperventilating over the fact that the lovely Jeaniene Frost, author of The Night Huntress series and The Night Huntress World series granted me an interview. I was so nervous (even through e-mail) that I managed to head desk, palm face, pencil eye myself many times while trying to organize my questions. Luckily for me, Ms. Frost pretended not to notice my interview fail, and was so extremely wonderful at getting back to me! And not only that, she came bearing gifts in the form of our favorite things:
So without further ado, please welcome Jeaniene Frost and make sure to check out the amazing book giveaway below!
1. You write a lot about vampires, ghouls and demons, but what is something that truly frightens you?
Demonic entities scare the hell out of me (pun intended but it’s true). Back in the eighties I saw the original Amityville Horror and a movie called The Entity. Both of those scared me off of watching demon movies for the next twenty years. Last year, without knowing what the plot was about beforehand, I saw Paranormal Activity…and slept with the light on for the next six months.
2. Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, what do you usually do for the occasion?
I do celebrate it, but in a low key way. My husband and I usually watch horror movies and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. This year, though, we’re doing something exciting – we’re going to New Orleans and spending Halloween weekend there. We’ll be at the Anne Rice Fanclub’s Memnoch Resurrection ball, plus checking out the local haunted houses and going on ghost tours. I can’t wait!
3. If you could be any one of your characters for a day, who would you be and why?
Denise, because she can shapeshift into anyone/anything now, plus eat all she wants without gaining any weight .
4. One thing that always has me marveling over your books is the way you write dialogue for your vampires. Is it still challenging to put yourself in such a ‘formal’ mind set while you are writing?
Mencheres’s point of view was probably the most challenging to write. He’s beyond ancient, so the goal was to reflect his unique perspective of having lived several millennia without him coming across as too unrelatable to readers. Bones, Cat, and Vlad are probably the ones whose dialog and personalities come easiest to me. I don’t know why. I can just “hear” them in my mind more clearly than a lot of my other characters.
5. Of Bones and Co. who is the most like to: dress up for Halloween, stay at home and pass out candy to trick or treaters, watch chick flicks, watch vampire movies, read Jane Austen, and read contemporary fiction?
Dress up for Halloween: Ian. He’d think it was hysterical to put on a costume and “pretend” to scare people since scaring people is something he does for real on a regular basis.
Stay at home and pass out candy: Cat. With how tumultuous her life is, she’d love doing something so “normal” as that.
Watch chick flicks: Bones. He’s always looking for more research material to anticipate and understand the feminine psyche, lol.
Watch vampire movies: Vlad. He’s a movie buff, and he’d do it so he could scornfully point out everything that the movies got wrong about his kind – and about the Dracula persona.
Read Jane Austen: Spade. He loves the classics.
Read contemporary fiction: Denise. She likes to live in the now, so contemporaries would be her fiction of choice.
6. Recently, you posted a powerful and emotional message titled, “Speak”ing out, in which you included a very personal story. Can you tell us more about why you wanted to address the controversy regarding banned books?
There are some issues that hit closer to home than others for me. Seeing the scornful and utterly incorrect labeling of a novel about rape and its terrible emotional aftereffects being called “soft porn” and “immoral” (I’m referencing Scroggins’ argument for why SPEAK should be banned from a particular school’s curriculum) made me so upset that it took several drafts before I could write a post that didn’t devolve into a profanity-laced rant. Likening the crime of rape to something that’s immoral not because the perpetrator is committing a horrible crime, but because it’s too sexually stimulating for “good” parents to let their teens read about (the definition of pornography, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is “the depiction of erotic behavior in pictures or writing intended to cause sexual excitement”) is a brutal slap in the face to everyone who’s survived a completed or attempted sexual assault. Since I fall into the latter category, as my post “Speak”ing out” detailed, I felt that even though the topic was controversial, I simply could not stay silent.
I was stunned by all the replies I received via email, Twitter, Facebook, my website blog, and LiveJournal saying, in paraphrase, “That happened to me, too. And I was too ashamed to tell anyone about it at the time.” The reported statistics for attempted or completed sexual assault are 1 in 6 for females *, and considering all the women who don’t report incidents, I’d imagine those statistics are only the tip of the iceberg. So what Scroggins is doing by attempting to ban a novel that lets assault survivors know what happened to them is NOT their fault and they are not alone is akin to telling them to keep their suffering to themselves. As evidenced by the hundreds of blog posts and comments that went up in protest of Scroggins’ statements, that’s just not going to happen.
Jeaniene Frost is offering five (5) copies of SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. To enter, simply leave a comment with your name and contact e-mail address. Open to Everyone! Ends 10/7 at Midnight (CST). Winner will be selected using random.org and will be announced on Friday, October 8th.
Texas sized hugs to Ms. Frost for the interview and giveaway! Bones, if you happen to see this message, my Movie Club’s next theme is Chick Flick movie night. Just Sayin’ *winks*