Jennifer Estep, whose new urban fantsy, VENOM, releases today from Pocket Books. This is the third in the Elemental Assassin series. I had a chance to ask Jennifer a couple of quick questions as I put together my new Fiction Affliction column for Tor.com (more on that below).
Q: Your "elemental assassin," Gin Blanco, has an unusual "side" occupation. In addition to being an elemental mage and an assassin, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant, the Pork Pit. How did you come to use that element in your world-building?
JE: I'm a born and bred Southerner, and when I started writing the Elemental Assassin series, I knew that I wanted to give it a Southern vibe. What's more Southern than a great barbecue restaurant? Not much.
I also love writing about food, and I thought it would be cool to make cooking one of Gin's hobbies, to give her a quirk that people could relate to. Plus, I had written another (unpublished) book that featured a barbecue restaurant, and it was just too good of a set piece not to use. So with all that in mind, the Pork Pit and the city of Ashland were born.
Q: What's your favorite thing about the Elemental Assassin stories?
JE: My favorite thing about the series has definitely been the reader reaction. I knew that I was taking a bit of a risk, writing about an unapologetic assassin, but I've gotten so many emails from readers telling me that they love Gin as much as I do. My goal is to entertain folks, and knowing that people are enjoying reading about Gin and her adventures really does make my day as an author. Happy reading, everyone! ;-)
Venom, the third Elemental Assassins book, releases today. To see all the science fiction (including steampunk) books being released between September 28 and October 31, check out yesterday's Fiction Affliction column on Tor.com. A new one will run each day this week--others will focus on new releases in Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy and Young Adult Paranormal, and I'll update the links as they become available. Be sure and leave a comment!