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Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014


Please welcome Jenn Bennett to The Qwillery. Bitter Spirits, the first in Jenn's new Roaring Twenties series, was published on January 7, 2014.



Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery.

Jenn:  I'm thrilled to be back! Love this blog.



TQ:  You've written 4 Arcadia Bell novels and 2 Roaring Twenties series novels. What remains the most challenging thing for you about writing? Has your writing process changed over the years?

Jenn:  When I wrote KINDLING THE MOON, my first book, I wrote it by the seat of my pants in six weeks. Now I loosely plot the first third of a book before writing, and continue to plot as I discover things about my characters. And I've slowed down a bit. It generally takes me 2-3 months to write a book. That's my sweet spot, and I like to write three books a year—any less and I get twitchy. Most challenging thing about writing? Keeping my emotions in check and not losing my confidence. I always say that half the time, writers are all, "I'M A GENIUS!" And the other half, we're all, "I'M A FAILURE."



TQ:  What inspired you to write the Roaring Twenties series?

Jenn:  The first version of BITTER SPIRITS was actually a historical urban fantasy with different characters (and wildly different world-building) set in an alternate Baltimore. But somewhere along the way, I realized that I wanted to concentrate on the relationship between the main characters. A year or so later, I scrapped that first version and started all over again, this time in San Francisco. Once I began dreaming up Winter and Aida’s romance there, everything clicked into place.



TQ:  Why Romance set in the Twenties in San Francisco?

Jenn:  I’ve been attracted to the 1920s since I was a teenager and have amassed a small library of books, photos, and magazines from that decade. I’m also (not so) secretly in love with the Bay Area, so putting the two together was a labor of love and an absolute joy for me.



TQ:  Tell us something about Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties 1) that is not in the book description.

Jenn:  Regarding the paranormal element, apart from Aida’s talents as a spirit medium and the ghosts haunting Winter, a little folk magic is used by auxiliary characters—both hoodoo and traditional Chinese magic. I used to travel to Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan for work, which is what sparked my interest in Chinese culture. As for the hoodoo, Velma Toussaint (the owner of the speakeasy where my heroine works) has a few tricks up her sleeve. I went to grad school near New Orleans and soaked up the hoodoo/vodou culture there, which definitely helped when it came to writing Velma and the magical aid she provides my hero and heroine.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Bitter Spirits?

Jenn:  I’ve been fascinated with early 20th century culture since I was a teenager—the 1920s in particular. Over the years, I’ve amassed a small library of research material, including maps, magazines, books, and photographs from that era. In regards to Aida’s profession as a trance spirit medium, that was rather fun to research. Spiritualism’s heyday lasted from the second half of the 19th century through the 1920s, and during that time, several mediums made splashy national headlines—like the Fox sisters or Cora Scott or Paschal Beverly Randolph. Even President Abraham Lincoln attended séances organized by his wife!



TQ:  What would you do (as a profession) if you could live in the Roaring Twenties of your novels?

Jenn:  By day, I'd like to be a telephone operator in one of the luxury San Francisco hotels—so I could listen in on all the fascinating conversations—and by night, write all those conversations down in novels.



TQ:  Do your Arcadia Bell UF series and the Roaring Twenties series have anything in common?

Jenn:  They both take place in the same area of the country (Central/Northern coastal California). They both have esoteric magic systems. And they both feature character-driven stories. But where Arcadia was romantic urban fantasy, BITTER SPIRITS is adventurous romance. The focus is on the couple and how they relate to each other. The mystery/paranormal element is driving them together instead of driving the story.



TQ:  What's next?

Jenn:  The second book in the Roaring Twenties series comes out in early June (GRIM SHADOWS), and the fourth Arcadia Bell novel, BANISHING THE DARK, goes on sale in May. In 2015, I'll have a brand new young adult book coming out—a contemporary—which will be different than anything else I've written so far. I'm very excited about all of this.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jenn:  The pleasure was all mine!





Roaring Twenties

Bitter Spirits
Roaring Twenties 1
Berkley, January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014
It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her...

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…



Grim Shadows 
Roaring Twenties 2
Berkley, June 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014
It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…

Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…

Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.





You can check out the Arcadia Bell series at Jenn's website here.

Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014





About Jenn

Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014
Photo © Bill Skeel
Jenn Bennett is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series from Pocket Books and the Roaring Twenties historical paranormal romance series from Berkley. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She currently lives near Atlanta with one husband and two very bad pugs.






Website  ~  Twitter @Jenn_Benn  ~  At Simon & Schuster  ~  At Penguin USA



Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett recently revealed the cover for the 3rd novel in her Arcadia Bell series, Binding the Shadows. I love the purple!



Binding the Shadows
Arcadia Bell 3
Pocket Books, May 28, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett
Demons sure know how to kill a girl’s buzz . . .

Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady’s demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn’t exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her—but her targets aren’t the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside her destroys everything—and everyone—she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it’s last call for life as she knows it.
Preorder




And coming up next month:

Leashing the Tempest
An Arcadia Bell Novella
Pocket Star, December 18, 2012
eBook, 60 pages

Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett
Dating a demon, defeating evil, running a tiki bar: Arcadia Bell is a great occult mage in many respects. But then there’s the challenge of her boyfriend’s precocious teenage son…

Arcadia "Cady" Bell may have saved the Hellfire Club’s children from a local bogeyman, but she and her Earthbound demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, now face a more disturbing problem: his teenage son’s new demonic abilities. Jupe Butler can persuade you to do anything—or so he thinks. To test the limits of his newfound power, Cady invites the co-owner of Tambuku Tiki Lounge to be the teen’s guinea pig during an afternoon boat cruise. But when an angry storm whips the Pacific into a frenzy and Jupe puts them all in serious danger, will Cady's magic trump a teenager’s excess confidence?
Preorder




Prior books in the series:

Summoning the Night
Arcadia Bell 2
Pocket Books, April 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.

After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no.

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.




Kindling the Moon
Arcadia Bell 1
Pocket Books, June 28, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages


Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn't easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia "Cady" Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she's carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can't clear her family name soon, she'll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.






About Jenn

Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn Bennett
Photo ©Bill Skeel
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning artist and author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series from Pocket Books. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two very bad pugs.

Get weekly Facebook updates from Jenn by liking her fan page, or follow her on Twitter for daily dribbles about her current writing projects, the book industry, and miscellaneous obsessions.

Website:  http://www.jennbennett.net/
Official Simon & Schuster Author Page

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - May 2, 2012

Please welcome Jenn Bennett back to The Qwillery. Summoning the Night, Arcadia Bell 2, was published on April 24, 2012.


TQ: Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Jenn:  Thanks for having me, Sally! Err, that sounded dirty, but you know what I mean.

TQ:  Yes, I do! :)  What do you wish you'd known when your first novel, Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell 1), came out that you know now?

Jenn:  Hmm, tough question. I suppose I wish I'd known how incredibly difficult it is to be a Published Author. This isn't the creative girl who dreams up brave new worlds, nor is it the disciplined artist who hammers out manuscripts while managing a caffeine addiction. It's the person who's expected to manage social media. To smile and act professional. The person who has to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a particular contract clause. I think the New Author Me freaked out about all those things. The Sophomore Author Me has learned to ignore it. I figure I can either be someone who blogs twice a week about the publishing business . . . or I can be a good writer. Some authors can do both. Hats off to them. Maybe one day I'll learn to juggle all of it, but right now, I'm content with plugging along on my current manuscript and just enjoying the ride.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jenn:  Maintaining my confidence. When I'm happy and arrogant, I'm creative. When I'm doubting, say, why I chose to make the hero of my series 42 (after some eighteen-year-old blogger says old dudes are gross) then it all comes crashing down.

TQ:   Please tell us something about Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell 2) that's not in the book description.

Jenn:  Here are three fake chapter titles for three random (and real) chapters: 1) Jupe Hearts Kar Yee 2) How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hajo? 3) Kitchen Sex.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in the Arcadia Bell series so far?

Jenn:  Probably Jupe. I knew I adored him when I created him. And I knew I was going to buck the rules by pushing a teenage kid as an interesting, vital part of the series. But I didn't expect the outpouring of Jupe fan mail—from people who are happy to see a biracial hero, to others who've told me he's so much like their own kid or a cousin or brother, or those who've said they swoon over his dialogue and can't wait until he's a few years older. It has been a wonderful, wonderful surprise.

TQ:  Which character in the series is most like you?

Jenn:  I'm a Jupe-Lon hybrid. Half the time, I'm bubbly and SUPER EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING. The other half, I'm a closed-off observer. My parents have told me that as a child, I vacillated between craving the spotlight and wanting to be left alone in my room so that I could read.

TQ:  The Arcadia Bell series is Urban Fantasy. Are there any other genres (or subgenres) in which you'd like to write?

Jenn:  I just finished a historical paranormal romance. I'd like dip my toes in young adult and have considered doing a Jupe spinoff. I don't know. A year ago, I would've said that I'd never be able to write anything that didn't have some supernatural slash paranormal slash horror element to it. But if I'm honest, what I really enjoy the most isn't the world-building, but writing unique characters. So who knows. Maybe I'll write a quirky mystery. Or an epic historical romance. Or a collection of erotic stories about monkeys. Anything's fair game.

TQ:  What's next?

Jenn:  LEASHING THE TEMPEST, Arcadia 2.5, is a special digital short novella starring Cady, Lon, Jupe, and Kar Yee. It comes out this Christmas. BINDING THE SHADOWS, Arcadia 3, releases next year, followed by Arcadia 4.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jenn:  It's been an absolute pleasure, thank you!


About Arcadia Bell

Summoning the Night
Arcadia Bell 2
Pocket Books, April 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - May 2, 2012
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.

After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no.

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.


Kindling the Moon
Arcadia Bell 1
Pocket Books, June 28, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - May 2, 2012
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn't easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia "Cady" Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she's carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can't clear her family name soon, she'll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.


About Jenn

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - May 2, 2012
Photo ©Bill Skeel
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist and author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series from Pocket Books. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She believes rebellion is an under-appreciated art form, has conjured more demons than you’ve had hot lunches, and likes her fairy tales like she likes her coffee: dark. She currently lives near Atlanta with her film-geek husband and two very bad pugs.

Her literary influences include: Edgar Allan Poe, Anaïs Nin, Grimm Brothers, Philip Pullman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary Shelley, Diana Gabaldon, Roald Dahl, and Oscar Wilde.

Get weekly Facebook updates from Jenn by liking her fan page, or follow her on Twitter for daily dribbles about her current writing projects, the book industry, and miscellaneous obsessions, which include: all things foodie and cooking; early to mid-20th-century art and culture; mythology & fairy tales; games, board and video; music (from indie to Ella Fitzgerald to metal); movies (from foreign to horror to fantastical); hermetic and arcane studies; world travel; vintage flea market finds . . . and the occasional picture of her dogs behaving badly.

Website:  http://www.jennbennett.net/blog
Official Simon & Schuster author page


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win his/her choice of Kindling the Moon or Summoning the Night from Jenn!  US/Canada ONLY.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Last Urban Fantasy novel you've read or what is your favorite genre?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Jenn Bennett, author of the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell Series - January 15, 2014Covers - The Arcadia Bell Series by Jenn BennettInterview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - May 2, 2012

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