Please welcome Jeannie Holmes to the blog today! Jeannie is the author of the Alexandra Sabian series (Blood Law, Blood Secrets), and kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions. She’s also generously offering a signed copy of Blood Secrets to one lucky winner, so be sure to see the details at the end of the post!
Jeannie, your Alexandra Sabian series is just awesome! Did you always picture yourself becoming a writer someday?
I’ve had an interest in art since childhood, as well as writing. I knew I would do something creative, but I didn’t always specifically see myself as a writer.
Did you have a plan for how many books you wanted to write in the series, or did you just decide to see where the series took you?
I planned for six books in the series, but I did leave room in the story line for surprises.
What are some of your favorite authors? Did you have a favorite while you were growing up?
Charlaine Harris, Vicki Pettersson, and Kim Harrison are some of my favorite urban fantasy authors, but I read in every genre so it’s hard to pick favorites. I loved reading classics as a kid—Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, H.G. Wells, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
I read that you love to travel. Do you have a favorite destination?
Traveling is definitely one of my favorite hobbies. My most favorite destination is Idaho Springs, Colorado, which is a small former mining town west of Denver. I love the architecture of the buildings, the little shops, and of course, the Rocky Mountains.
If you could pack up and go anywhere right now, where would you go?
Like you, I’m a coffee lover. Do you have a favorite?
I love Kona coffee from Hawaii, but it’s hard to find here in Alabama.
On your site, it says you love exploring old cemeteries. I’d love to hear more about that!
Cemeteries have always fascinated me. I look at gravestones as art, especially the older markers that can be elaborately carved. Unlike today when most are made by machine, older stones were carved by hand by artisans whose names may or may not be known. Cemeteries also contain a lot of history that’s specific to that area. Walk through one sometime and see how people died within days or weeks of each other. As a writer, I find that interesting because it makes me question what could’ve caused it. Was there an outbreak of illness? A serial killer in the area? I find a lot of inspiration in cemeteries.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
The most daring thing I’ve done is probably spending an entire twelve hour shift riding shotgun with a patrol officer. I can now actually describe what it’s like to be in a vehicle traveling at about 100 miles per hour on an interstate at 2:00 AM with lights and sirens. It’s not an experience I’ll be forgetting any time soon.
From what I’ve read, the road to getting published isn’t an easy one. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about writing, and what advice would you give to a struggling writer?
I’ve gotten a lot of great advice but I think the best came from Kim Harrison and Lee Child. Lee’s advice was simplistic: “Ignore all advice.” I have to agree with him because new writers will hear a lot of conflicting advice. If you listen to it all, you’ll drive yourself crazy and never write a single page, which leads me to Kim’s advice: “Write like you’ve already got the contract.” Basically, if you’re going to listen to any advice, listen to Kim’s and put your butt in the chair and write. It doesn’t have to be every day but you do need to set a schedule with goals and then meet them. That’s the best advice I can give to anyone.
Is there any news about upcoming projects or events you’d like to share?
I’m taking a little break from the Alex books to work on a couple of new projects. Unfortunately I can’t really say much about them right now. I do have a couple of events coming up later this year. I’ll be an attending guest at CONtraflow in New Orleans, November 4-6, and I’ll also be a guest at the Dahlonega Literary Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia, November 11-13.
1. Giveaway is for a signed copy of Blood Secrets to one winner!
2. To enter, leave a comment for Jeannie along with your email address.
3. Giveaway is open Internationally
4. Giveaway ENDS 9/14/11
About the book:
WHEN ALEXANDRA SABIAN SINKS HER TEETH INTO AN INVESTIGATION, SHE DOESN’T LET GO.
Alex allowed a case involving murdered vamps to get personal and is suspended from the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation. Now she’s facing an official inquiry but has a chance to redeem herself. The catch: She must once again work with Varik Baudelaire, her former mentor and ex-fiancé, as he spearheads a search for a missing college student. But Varik has been keeping secrets from Alex, and his mysterious past is on a collision course with his present.
When Alex and Varik discover a carefully handcrafted doll at a crime scene, neither of them can see how close the danger really is or that a killer known as the Dollmaker has made Alex the object of his horrific desire. Now the only way out of the Dollmaker’s lair is through the twilight realm of the Shadowlands, where all secrets—for better or worse—will be revealed.