I’m thrilled to have the awesome Jessa Slade back on the blog to celebrate her brand new novel in the Marked Souls series, Darkness Undone (out tomorrow!! You may read my review, too!) Jessa was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and there’s a giveaway, so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post!
Please welcome Jessa to the blog!
Jessa, you’re the author of 3 books in the paranormal Marked Souls series, as well as the upcoming installment, Darkness Undone. Since you already knew that you wanted to write from a very young age, how did you celebrate when you sold your first book?
To be honest, my journey to getting The Call was soooo dayum sloooow that I had a stronger feeling of “About time!” than “Squee!” Still, there was chocolate. A lot of chocolate 🙂 Funny thing about chocolate; you can use it to celebrate or commiserate. Very efficient. There is a bakery near my house that makes Cloud 9 chocolate cakes that are sooo yummy, and my XY always gets me a cake when I’ve achieved something worthy of that many calories.
Do you think it’s more of a challenge to write about different characters in each book, as opposed to the same characters?
I actually think the opposite is true. Writing about new characters is like constantly reliving the first stages of falling in love. The getting-to-know-you part is exciting and fresh. Writing the same characters, you still have to make it exciting and fresh, but you have to find ways to make the next experience a realistic outcome of past experiences. Much trickier. I’m working on a new project that follows the same characters, and I hope I can pull it off!
Can you tell us a little about Darkness Undone?
This is the fourth book of the Marked Souls, but it’s also the start of its own trilogy within the series. We have a new hero and new heroine we’ve never met before, and a new bad guy too. The new villain… Yeah, we’ll have to see what becomes of Thorne. He intrigues me. I have a course plotted for him, but I’m getting hints that he might not stick to that path. But I’m not sure which way he is trying to turn. Maybe he needs a reader-guided choose-your-own-adventure story to nail him down 🙂
What’s one of your favorite characters to write from your series?
I love Ecco. He is my Greek chorus character. He showed up in the first book to say what everybody else is thinking but for whatever reason is unwilling to say. Plus he looks sorta like Jason Momoa, so of course he’s fun to write!
What’s one of your most unusual writing quirks?
I have to rubberband my right pinkie finger to my ring finger. I’m a fast typist…and a really terrible typist. Which means I hit the backspace key a lot. A few years ago, my whole right arm started going numb. I was worried about Repetitive Strain Injuries, which plague a lot of writers, but luckily I was able to “cure” it with the rubberband, which forces me to use my stronger fingers to backspace. The only other cure would be typing more neatly, and THAT’s not going to happen.
What are some of your favorite writers or books?
My answer changes depending on the day you ask that question. But at the moment I’m going to say THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien because I am so freaking excited about the movie this winter! Did you know it’s going to be in 3D?! A four-hour movie can’t reach the depths of the book, I know, but I was thrilled with how much Peter Jackson loved the source material for THE LORD OF THE RINGS, so I trust him with THE HOBBIT. Heck, I guess I’ll trust him with my books too, should he be interested 😉
Have you ever “faked” reading a book, and if so, what was it?
I faked my way through a book report of THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE when I was a kid. Man, that was a boring book. I think. I don’t know, of course, since I didn’t finish it. I hear there was a war.
What are you reading now?
I am a judge for the Romance Writers of America RITA, a national award of excellence for romance fiction in many genres. You can see past winners (almost like a convenient shopping list!) at http://www.rwa.org/cs/contests_and_awards/rita_awards/past_winners I can’t tell you which titles I’m reading, but it’s a mix of genres which is fun. That’s one of my favorite things about romance: You can find any subgenre and style to suit your tastes, historical to futuristic, inspirational to erotic, and everything between.
If you could have drinks with anyone (alive or dead), who would it be?
Joss Whedon. He seems like a lot of fun. Also, I’d trust him to make my stories into movies if Peter Jackson happens to be busy.
What do you love best about living in the Pacific Northwest?
The rain! That slow, steady drizzle makes it so much easier to sit at my computer with the space heater aimed at my backside.
When you’re not busy at work on your next novel, how do you like to spend your free time?
Brainstorming the next-next novel 🙂 I love coming up with new worlds. That’s one of my favorite parts of creating a story. I also garden. I taught myself to like green beans last year. This year, I hope to conquer kale. And I love to make jewelry. My inner crow longs for one of every bead in the universe.
Is there any other news of upcoming projects or events you’d like to share with us?
My first science fiction romance story recently came out in the anthology HOTTER ON THE EDGE. “Enslaved By Starlight” is about a sexy starship captain who… Wait, never mind what happens next. Sexy starship captain is entirely enough! 🙂 But if you want to know more, you can find it HERE, And this summer, I have the first story in a new world of dark fey. No details available on that yet, but soon, I hope! If you want to know more about THAT, you can sign up for my newsletter!
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Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS UNDONE, a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards, a music download card with the album containing the Marked Souls theme song, and a pair of earrings inspired by the storyworld. US/Canadian addresses ONLY/ENDS 3/12/12
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About Darkness Undone:
The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,
and as a powerful new enemy ascends,
the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…
Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.
Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.
What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.
“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”
– Publishers Weekly
“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.”
–RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
**Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores HERE
**Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels at http://jessaslade.com