Author Interview & Giveaway: Jennifer Estep, Author of The Spider

Posted December 16th, 2013 in Author Interview, Giveaway / 28 comments

Welcome everyone. I have a special treat for you today. Jennifer Estep, author of the Elemental Assassin series, as well as the Mythos Academy series, is here today to answer a few of my questions. She talks about her new book, The Spider, and about her writing routine. I have read and reviewed The Spider and really liked it. Jennifer is also letting me giveaway a copy of The Spider to a lucky US winner.

The Spider
(Elemental Assassin #10)
by Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Publisher: Pocket Books (Dec 24, 2013)
Find It: My Review | Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

Question 1: I just finished The Spider and loved it. I was wondering what made you write a book completely set in Gin’s past?

Jennifer Estep: Thanks! I appreciate that, and I’m glad you enjoyed the book.
I like origin stories, and I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at Gin’s past and the job that really made her into the assassin the Spider. Writing a book set in the past let me show a different side of Gin—back when she was a bit more reckless and carefree. But of course, those are some of the things that lead to danger and dark consequences for Gin.

Also, writing a book set in the past let me bring back some of the characters that I had previously killed off in the series, like Fletcher Lane, Gin’s mentor. I enjoyed exploring and showing their relationship in this book.

Plus, it was really fun for me to show how Gin “meets” some of the other characters in the series for the first time. There are lots of little Easter eggs and things like that in the book that I hope fans of the series will enjoy.

Question 2: If you could choose a theme song for The Spider, which song would you choose?
Jennifer Estep: Good question! One song that I think fits Gin well is “Human” by The Pretenders.

Question 3: Out of all the characters you have created, which one do you love to write about the most?

Jennifer Estep: I love writing about Gin, but I would have to say that Finnegan Lane, her foster brother, is the most fun for me to write. Finn is a greedy, shameless womanizer who says exactly what is on his mind, no matter how outrageous it might be. I always have a good time writing him.

Question 4: Could you describe your writing routine/ritual?

Jennifer Estep: I write in first person, so one of the first things I do is think about my heroine, who she is, what she wants, and what her magic/power is. Once I have that in mind, I think about the overall story, setting, and other characters, along with the big turning points of the plot. Then I sit down and start writing. I’m a panster, so I don’t do a lot of plotting beforehand.

I’ll write a rough draft of anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 words. I’ll set it aside for a few weeks, then go back to it to see if I like the characters and if the story/world works. Then I’ll starting working on a second draft, fleshing out the characters, magic system, world building, etc. Once that’s done, I’ll let that draft sit for a few weeks. I repeat this process over and over until I have a full-length book (about 95,000 words).

Of course, there’s no wrong or right way to write a book. This is just the process that seems to work best for me.


Question 5: What can we expect next for Gin?

Jennifer Estep: Poison Promise, the 11th book in my Elemental Assassin series, is tentatively set to be released in August 2014. I can’t say too much about the book yet, other than the mysterious M.M. Monroe will finally make an appearance. So I hope fans of the series will enjoy seeing what impact this character has on Gin.

The 12th Elemental Assassin book is tentatively set to be published in December 2014.


Question 6: Thank you so much for answering a few of my questions. Is there anything you would like to add before you go?

Jennifer Estep: Thanks again for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate it. For more information about my books, folks can visit my website at

Happy reading, everyone!

Author Bio
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket, the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington, and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

WebsiteBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a print copy of The Spider by Jennifer Estep. US only. The email you use to sign in to rafflecopter is the one I uses to contact you.
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Author Interview, Giveaway

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28 Responses to “Author Interview & Giveaway: Jennifer Estep, Author of The Spider”

  1. lindalou

    I have read the book in this series AND have all the rest up to his one ready to be read. I really enjoyed the 1st one! Thanks for the giveaway!!!!!!

  2. JenM

    I’m right in the middle of Heart Of Venom, so I’m all caught up and ready for The Spider. Looking forward to seeing more of Fletcher. What little we saw in the first book and the occasional flashback was too short. Now that we are so many books into the series, how many more does Jennifer want it to go?

  3. Julie S

    I love origins stories. So, if I haven’t read any of this series yet (but it is on my list!) can this book still be read since it is an origins story, or would it not work as a standalone?

    • Jennifer Bielman

      The author answered below, but as a reader I think you could enjoy it as a stand-alone but it’s so much better knowing the whole series and getting the references.

  4. Jennifer Estep

    Jeann — Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Lindalou — Thanks! Hope you enjoy the books.

    JenM — Thanks! Hope you are enjoying HEART OF VENOM. At this point, I’m contracted for 12 books in the series. We’ll see what happens.

    Sherry — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Julie — Thanks! Well, that depends. I think it works fairly well as a stand-alone, but if you want to get all the references to other events/characters, then you might want to start with Spider’s Bite, the first book.

    Elisa — Thanks! There is a lot of Gin’s relationship with Fletcher in this book.

  5. Giselle

    Great interview! So this book is set in the character’s past is it like a prequel? I’ve always wanted to give this series a try it sounds right up my alley and I’ve had a lot of people recommend it. I also would think you gotta almost put yourself in your character’s shoes and head when you write in 1st person (which is my fav narrative voice). Like you have to almost become her. Anyways, I have to give this series a try soon! 🙂

  6. Jennifer Estep

    Giselle — Thanks! Glad you liked the interview. Yep, this is a prequel book set 10 years before Spider’s Bite, the first book in the series. Hope you get a chance to check out the series.

  7. Jaclyn Canada

    What a great interview! I love getting to learn more about author’s rituals the most because they are usually similar with very different things thrown in. I think it’s so funny that the greedy womanizer is the most fun to write. It’s like when you hear actors say that the villain roles were their favorites. I remember your review of this one and how neat it was to get to see the characters in the beginning and how some of them were met. Thanks so much for sharing 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Hehe, yup, this was a good one. Being a writer myself, it is fun to write the flawed/evil characters more because it’s so extreme to who I am as a person. It’s like being a different person for that little bit.

  8. Jennifer Estep

    Jaclyn — Thanks! And I agree with Jennifer — the villains are often a lot of fun to write, maybe because it seems like they have more fun than the heroes trying to stop them.

  9. Steph F.

    I love this series and am really excited to see younger Gin. I love her villains almost as much as I love the good guys. Can’t wait to see Monroe too.

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