Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Second Interview With Jennifer Estep!

Way back in August, Jennifer Estep offered to do another interview when her second book, HOT MAMA was released. I was delighted to take her up on her offer, so here she is!

So, how is Karma Girl doing?

The book is doing well. Sales are good, and I’ve gotten lots of great reviews. But most important (at least to me) are the comments I’ve gotten from readers. I love getting positive feedback from readers. Knowing someone else has enjoyed the book really makes my day.

I found the change of character a great idea in Hot Mama (although I missed Carmen). Same world, very different character. Personally, I think is such a brilliant concept that it could safely be called a Master Plan. What gave you the idea to write each book about a different character?

Actually, it wasn’t my idea -- at first. I was pitching Karma Girl to an editor at a conference a couple of years ago. She asked me about the potential to develop the book into a series. I told her that I envisioned the series as a trilogy, with each book about Carmen and her coming to grips with her superpowers. That was my brilliant idea.

To which the editor responds: “Or each book could be about a different superhero, too, right?”

Well, duh. I wanted to smack my forehead for not coming up with that myself! So, I started thinking about what the editor said about making each book about a different character, and I realized I really wanted to write a book from Fiona aka Fiera’s point of view.

I loved writing her story, and I realized how writing about a different heroine every time really let me expand the world and keep the stories interesting and fresh. I hope readers will agree.

I think it's safe to say that Bigtime is going to be quite a successful franchise. Other writers -- especially in the mystery genre -- have kept their franchises going through dozens of books. Since each of your books feature a different character, you have the potential to keep yours alive endlessly. How many Bigtime books do you have in mind now?

I recently turned in Bigtime 4 -- aka NIGHTINGALE. I’m hoping my publisher will want to buy that book and continue the series. I’ve also done some preliminary work on Bigtime 5 -- aka FANGIRL. Right now, I have characters and stories in mind for books 6 and 7 as well, and the series could go well beyond that.

But, like everything else, it all comes down to sales. If the Bigtime books do well, there will probably be more of them. So, fingers crossed!

Recently on your blog, you announced a delay in the third book, Jinx. However, you more than made up for that bad news by announcing that your first two books would be re-released with new art just ahead of Jinx, with each book published back-to-back. How did this decision come about? How excited were you? Is the cover art going to be the same sort of theme as the first two books, or are they completely different? When can we expect a boxed set?

It was a good news-bad news situation. The bad news is that readers have to wait a few more months to read JINX, the third book. I really hate the delay for people who love the series.

But I’m also really excited about the mass market re-release for KARMA GIRL and HOT MAMA. I think re-releasing the first two books and then JINX (which will debut in mass market) in three consecutive month (July-August-September 2008) will really create some buzz for the series. Hopefully, people who didn’t try the books in trade paperback will pick up the mass market versions, and people who read the series the first time around will re-read the books and get hooked all over again.

The cover art for the re-releases of KARMA GIRL and HOT MAMA is going to be different. How different, I don’t know yet. I’m also getting a new cover for JINX. So far my covers have been excellent, and I’m excited to see what my publisher will come up with.

A box set would be awesome! But unless I become the next J.K. Rowling, unfortunately, I don’t think there will be a Bigtime box set anytime soon. But a girl can dream. :grin:

We want movies! Is there any interest in any Bigtime movies, yet? What about graphic novels?

So, do I. :wink: There’s no news on the movie or graphic novel front yet, but my fingers are always crossed!

And wow; you've written an urban fantasy! With a Druid! And magical terrorists! Can we expect to see that in print soon?

That book is an urban fantasy called LIVE & LET SPY. It’s about Abby Tome, a Druid who owns a bookstore who is forced to become a spy to help stop a group of magical terrorists. Abby doesn’t have a lot of magic, and she doesn’t think she’s a very good spy, but she’s stronger than she thinks she is. Think Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden suddenly thrown into the spy world.

I’m a huge James Bond fangirl, and I’ve always wanted to write a spy book. So, this was my chance. As for seeing it in print, I’ve turned the book into my agent, and have my fingers crossed about selling it. In the meantime, I’ve started work on the sequel, YOU ONLY SPY TWICE.

I’m also working on a third separate series about an assassin named Gin. Right now, that book has a working title of A SONG OF ICE & STONE. That one is also an urban fantasy, and it’s set in the South. It’s quite a bit darker than my other books and has a gritty, Southern gothic feel to it.

Do you have anything else that you'd like to add?

I just want to say thanks for having me back on the blog. Thanks to all the readers out there for letting me know how much they enjoyed KARMA GIRL. I hope that everyone likes HOT MAMA even more. Happy reading!


Carole McDonnell said...

Congratulations on the future re-release in mass market. That would be sooo good. -C

Tia Nevitt said...

It sounded like a good move to me. A great excuse to buy a matched set!