Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jeaniene Frost Q & A

Ms. Frost sat in with Goodreads fans on Saturday to answer some of their burning questions. You can read the full discourse here. Warning: this one's pretty long, since she spent more than a day answering their questions.

-On Vlad
You announced a while back that Vlad would have his own books, two if memory serve, I was wondering if you have a estimate timeline for their release?

Your memory is correct – I have two Vlad books under contract. Right now I’m revising Cat and Bones #6 and then I’ll write a story featuring them for an anthology coming out later this year, but after that, I start Vlad’s books. I’m really looking forward to it, and the first one is estimated to release in 2012.

Would consider writing more than two Vlad books? And, if it's not too much too ask, can you give us any more information about Vlad's story, besides the name of his love interest?

I’d consider doing more books on Vlad besides two if (a) readers liked the initial books enough to buy them –publishers are sticklers about not enough sales = no more books, and (b) I had more stories in my head to write about him. Without both those things happening, Vlad’s story will end at two books. If both those things do happen, then I’d definitely want to write more with him.

As for Leila, the heroine, there’s not a lot about her that I can share at this time. I can say that she’s human, but she’s got an unusual secret that results in her becoming embroiled in the vampire world – and no, the secret is not her being another half breed.
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-On Mencheres
After EKOD, are we going to see new things about Mencheres and his power and his relationship with Cat and Bones are going to improved?

Mencheres is in This Side of the Grave and some of what you’re asking is addressed there, so I can’t specific now or it would spoiler.

Mencheres is able to locate people, no? So…why didn't Bones ask him to locate Cat when she took off after HTTG?

It’s mentioned briefly in One Foot in the Grave that Bones did ask Mencheres to locate Cat using his power, but Mencheres refused. Since Mencheres knew what would happen later with Cat, Bones, Gregor, and the others, Bones didn’t know at the time that he refused out of a “greater good” reason.
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-On Denise
*FDOC spoiler alert* Question re the ending of FDOC: Denise comes to terms with her shifting abilities and Spade eliminates those who might try to exploit her "special" blood, but aren't they still left with the problem of Spade not being able to freely partake of Denise's blood?

That’s right, Spade will never be able to feed from Denise like he would from a normal human, because she’s not a normal human anymore and the risk of losing control would always be there.

My question is about Denise. Is she exactly like the demon that turned her into a shapeshifter, or something a little different?

A little different. She’s not a demon herself now, but she shows a lot of the traits of the demon who branded her.

I know that the demon could only be killed by a knife in the eye made from one of his own bones. If and when Spade dies and Denise decides she wants to die as well, will she have to die the same way? I know that Spade destroyed the knife they used on the demon.

For clarity, demon bone though the eyes can kill another demon, but it doesn’t have to be bone from that particular demon. It can be bone through the eyes from any demon. So because of the brands being permanent, infusing Denise with the original demon’s powers, for her to die now, she’d have to be stabbed in the eyes with demon bone. Any other injury, she’d heal from.
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-On Ian
I love the NH series and have read the anthologies as well. I was just wondering why Spade and Bones have vampire names, and Ian does not?

Ian just has to be different, doesn't he? *wink*

Now most people when they think of one of your Night Huntress books ask you if Ian or another guy from the series will get their own book, but I find Marie, the Queen of New Orlean’s to be a fascinating character. Have you ever considered letting her have her own book. I would love to see what kind of man you’d come up with to have her have her own HEA.

I also think Marie is a fascinating character. She’s so complex that she’s as challenging to write as she is enjoyable. Marie shows up again in This Side of the Grave, and I can’t wait to see what readers make of what happens with her.

Do you feel that Ian is starting to get closer to being ready to reach that point or does he still have a long way to go before he's ready to settle down? Do you think you will ever do a short story or novella featuring Ian - kind of like a spot light of one of his adventures now (before he ultimately settles down?)

Right now I think Ian still has a long way to go before he’d be ready to settle down, but he may surprise me. Other characters certainly have. I wouldn’t do a short story or novella on Ian until he’s at a different place in his life, or it would just be lots of violence and rampant promiscuity, heh.

Why did Bones,Spade,Ian and Timothy remain 20 years with the natives before returning to London?

Many reasons, including adjusting to their new undead status, learning all about vampire ways, and also so most of their contemporaries back home wouldn't realize they were still alive - and yet hadn't aged a bit. If any of them would've shown up back in London right away, questions would have been raised about how they got out of their sentencing, etc etc. Twenty years later, anyone who saw them (except for those they chose to reveal their true nature to) would think they were people who bore an uncanny resemblance to someone else who was probably dead by then.

Is there a reason why Bones[was] and Ian are extremist playboys in comparison to Spade and Vlad?

Different personalities, upbringings, and circumstances lead to different decisions. Even though I write fiction, it wouldn't seem plausible to me to have all my heroes be the exact same. Some of my male characters do share similar traits, of course, but the reasons behind those traits will vary, and then you have some characters who are quite the opposite of others.
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-On Cat & Bones
Is there a possibility that you would write Bones beginning following his transformation into a vampire?

I've often said that I'd like to do this because I have a lot of Bones's history in my head, but I'm pretty tied up with deadlines now, so I don't see it happening any time soon. Maybe one day


Also, Bones is master vampire and has Mencheres blood, are we going find out more of his vampires powers come out?

All I can say on this without spoilering is that Bones’s character, like Cat’s, will continue to evolve as the series progresses.


My questions are about Bones. In book 2 he told Cat he surprised her at the wedding, because he wanted to look into her eyes to see how she felt. What did Bones see in her eyes?

Strong emotion, which was the main thing he was looking for. At that time, Bones wasn’t sure what Cat felt for him (it had been over four years since they’d seen each other), so her initial reaction showed that he hadn’t been relegated to a distant memory, which was his biggest fear.

Then I also wondered when he got back from the airport and knew Cat and Annette were fighting, what was he thinking? Was he worried what Annette said to Cat? Was he afraid Cat would leave him?

Bones was furious with Annette for what she’d done, as he told Cat in the subsequent chapters. Yes, a part of him was concerned that Cat learning about his past that way would alter her feelings for him. Everyone has fears when it comes to the person they love. Even Bones :)

Will Cat and Bones have their wedding? In the mortal world. Because it seem Cat does not feel she is really married. Since she is vampire does she feel differently?

This is addressed in This Side of the Grave, so only a couple more weeks to find out!

Usually we have a hero or heroine in a series who don't find their HEA until the end of the series, but with NH, you have Cat and Bones together from pretty much the beginning. What made you decide to set it up that way, and can you hint at any more relationship issues they may face in the future (as in DFAEG)?

For me, the driving point in the series is the relationship between Cat and Bones. Sure, they have lots of outside challenges to overcome (like people trying to kill them for various reasons, or trying to protect their friends from harm) but if you take out their feelings for each other, the series would fall flat. I’ve read and enjoyed other series where a couple’s relationship is the slow build that you describe, but in creating Cat and Bones’s story, I knew that approach wouldn’t work because then I’d lose my connection as the author. And if I’m not plugged into what I write, how can I expect anyone else to be?

***Spoilers for Destined For An Early Grave*** When Bones leaves Cat after she returns from being with Gregor, did he leave mainly because he was mad or to put his plan in place to defeat Gregor in New Orleans?

Both. He left her then so he didn’t say more things in anger that he’d regret later, and because he absolutely wanted to take Gregor down so he could never come between them again.

Is there any possibility that Cat and Bones can have children like a sudden unexpected and unbelievable pregnancy?

***Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read Destined for an Early Grave***Sorry, no, there’s no possibility. Cat’s a full vampire now, and it’s impossible for female vampires to get pregnant. It was only Cat’s father being a brand new vampire with some viable sperm remaining when he slept with Justina that made it possible for Cat to be born, but that was extremely unusual or there would be more half-breeds in the books.

What were Bones' thoughts when Cat didn't answer her phone in AGE when he was at the airport with Annette? Did he have an idea about what had happened to her?

He didn’t know what had happened, but after he called a few times and she didn’t answer, he knew something had to be wrong. Bones is very protective of Cat, and considering all their enemies, he had reason to assume she was in danger.
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-On Cooper
I'd like to know if, and when, Cooper will join the ranks of the undead in some form. Tate and Juan are already vampires and Dave is a ghoul so that only leaves Coop of the original team members that were talked about the most.

Yay for a Cooper fan! He hasn't had much screen time lately, but he's a great character and I hope to find a way to reveal more of him to readers in the future. I can't really answer your question of if/when he will turn undead, though, or it would spoiler. Sorry!

Can you tell me if Coop will be showing up in any of the spin-off books? I've already gotten a kind of hint about him from your earlier reply but would like to know about this.

My next two spin-off books feature Vlad and the hero and a new character named Leila as the heroine. Neither one of them have any ties to Cooper, so you probably won’t see him crop up in their books (as far as I know, anyway). As I mentioned before, I really like his character so I’m hoping to find a way to put him on the page more in a future book or in a short story.
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-General Q&A
I do have a question about Night's Darkest Embrace though. Will we be seeing Nocturna and Raphael at some point in the future? Maybe another series?

I loved writing that story and showcasing another paranormal world, but I’m booked with Night Huntress/Night Huntress World deadlines until spring 2013, so I won’t have a chance to revisit Nocturna until then.

Since you have written the 2 books (Crimson and Eternal Kiss)off the NH series, are you going to let them stay couples (Spade and Denise MacGregor, Mencheres and Kira Graceling) in the next couple of books? Why or Why not?

At this time, I see Spade/Denise and Mencheres/Kira staying together. They might surprise me in the future and have some rough spots in their relationships, but I don’t anticipate a permanent breakup for either of those couples.

Most of my friends are afraid that as series go, once the spin offs start happening and the couple become married the series is nearing its end. Do you have plans to end this series and if so will you continue with the spin offs so that we will hopefully see glimpse of there lives in the future? Also, we would like to know if the series is continued how many more you have planned to write at this time?

Cat and Bones’s storyline will end at book nine, and I do intend to continue with spinoffs from their world after that featuring other characters. In those future spinoffs, as in the ones already on the shelves, you may see Cat and Bones again as side characters. Depends on the plot and what’s going on with the main characters of those stories.

Why was there so much time between Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave in the Night Huntress series’ world (4 NH years)? When you wrote it did you intend for it to be a series?

I didn't intend to write a series when I first started Halfway to the Grave. My goal was simply to write an entire book, something I'd procrastinated about doing since I was twelve. However, my initial idea for Cat and Bones came to me in a dream where I saw a half-vampire woman arguing with a full vampire man over why she'd left him years before, so that gap of several years was always going to happen. I thought I could sum up the story of that half vampire and the full vampire in one novel. *wink* Guess I was wrong, wasn't I?

I believe I heard you say we’ll see another half vampire/half human like Cat in the future. Is that character going to be in This Side of the Grave?

Kinda, and that’s all I’ll say about that :).

I want to know more about Tate. We all know of his love for Cat, but since that won't be happening, is there any chance we get to see him move on? Will he get his own story where he falls for someone who isn't already called for?

I like Tate and hope he can get over his issues. In a way, he’s his own worst enemy, and only he can pull himself out of the emotional mess he’s in.

We've met three of the four Englishmen turned vampire in Australia. Is there a chance we're going to meet Timothy anytime soon?

Maybe :). I can’t say for sure one way or the other or it would spoiler.

Oh, and I loved Timmie from HTTG. Will we ever see him again?

Same answer – maybe, but I can’t say for sure it would spoiler :).

***Spoiler warning for Destined for an Early Grave***It was shock to see Cat’s mom as vampire. Can you give us a hint about her as a vampire? Since she hate vampires.

You see glimpses of how Justina is dealing with her new condition in the Death’s Excellent Vacation anthology and in This Side of the Grave.

What's your worst or funniest typo that you've made while writing one of your books?

In Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I once referred to Bones as “Boned.” Didn’t see it until a reader pointed it out after the book was released, and while my copyeditor might be cringing over that mistake, I have to admit that some part of me is amused by it.


Will Justina (the ultimate pain in the butt) get a book? Or will we just be seeing more of her story here and there? I adore her.

Thank you! I know Justina has quite a few detractors, but I enjoy her character. I think part of the reason why she doesn’t irritate me as much as readers is because I know all of Justina’s backstory, and there is a lot more to her than I’ve been able to show thus far in the series. I’d love to do at least a side story on her one day to let readers in on what I know, but I mentioned before that I’m contracted for books through spring 2013, so I don’t know when I’d get the chance.

I'd like to know more about Annette's character. Will we see more of her? Will she find her own true love?

You’ll see Annette again in the story I’m writing for the winter holiday anthology I’m in with author Lynsay Sands (comes out the end of this year). As for her finding her own true love, I’d like to see that, too. But I don’t know yet if that will happen.

Why didn’t you use the term Dhampir for what Cat is?

I've deliberately never referred to Cat in my books as a dhampir for several reasons. For starters, I didn't want to cross mythologies, and I've already established in my series that half vampires are so extremely rare that it was shocking for Cat to be one. So using a word rooted in Balkan mythology that describes half vampires as not too uncommon would conflict with that.

Also, dhampirs in mythology are usually blood drinkers, which Cat was not as a half vampire. She didn't even have fangs, another thing that was contrary to the common description of a dhampir. Often, dhampirs (that I read/saw, anyway) experienced bouts of uncontrollable killing or rage, usually brought on by blood lust, which also was very opposite of Cat. So to me, the common definition(s) of that word did not fit my heroine and thus I didn't use it.

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