Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today's Special -- Jennifer Estep

We are glad that Jennifer Estep is back with us again. Jennifer is the author of the Bigtime paranormal series and the incredibly popular Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Check out Gannon's review of the latest book, Venom, here. When she's not creating books for her eager fans, Jennifer is an award-winning features page designer for a daily newspaper.

Please give a big Romance Dish welcome to Jennifer!

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Gannon and the rest of the folks here at The Romance Dish for having me on the blog today. Thanks, guys!

Some of you might know me as the author of the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional south­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

The first two books in the series are Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies. Venom, the third book, came out on Sept. 28. Tan­gled Threads, the fourth book, will be pub­lished in May 2011, while the fifth book (unti­tled) will be released in Octo­ber 2011.

I’ve also sold a young adult urban fantasy series called Mythos Academy. The first book is called Touch of Frost and will be out in August 2011. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendents of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more.

So Gannon asked me to talk a little today about scary stuff, since we’re getting close to Halloween. I have a secret to confess – I’m a wimp when it comes to scary stuff. A total, complete, unapologetic wimp. I don’t like to read horror books, and I will not watch scary movies. The last horror movie I watched was one of the Scream movies and only because I wanted to see what everyone else was talking about.

Why do I hate scary stuff? Well, I think it started when I was a kid. As much as I love all the classic Disney films, Pinocchio freaked me out when I saw it. First of all, it was about a puppet, and I was never one to play much with dolls. Then, there was the part where all the kids get turned into donkeys. And finally, the characters get swallowed by a whale. Seriously, a freaking whale. And this is supposed to be a kids’ movie? Well, it wasn’t for this kid.

Then, when I was in middle school, someone described the movie Child’s Play to me in great detail. For those of you who don’t know, Child’s Play is about a knife-wielding doll that kills people. I never actually saw the movie, but believe me, this kid gave me all the horror highlights. To this day, I can’t even watch scenes from any of the Child’s Play movies.

But the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, happened when I was visiting some of my cousins one summer. What movie did we have to watch? Poltergeist, which is about a creepy little girl who gets sucked into her TV and an equally creepy woman who saves her. Yeah, that firmly cemented my aversion to all things horror-related.

Maybe it’s the puppet/doll thing that scares me. Or maybe I just don’t want to get sucked into my TV. Whatever it is, horror is not the genre for me. I think there are enough scary things in the world as it is without inventing new ones – or wanting to be scared by them. LOL.

I know, I know. I write about an assassin who kills people – a lot of people. My Elemental Assassin books are pretty bloody and violent. But you know what? There are no puppets or killer dolls or body-sucking TV demons in my books. And I plan on keeping it that way. ;-)

What about you guys? Do you like scary books or movies? Why or why not? What are some of your favorites?


  1. I don't really like horror movies, but suspense filled, scary movies are fun. I think Alien was the scariest movie I ever saw, it was intense. In books it's the same thing, I can enjoy some suspense, but don't really read thrillers or horror.
    I do love the Elemental Assassin series and I'm looking forward to following the continuing adventures of Gin and friends.

  2. I LOVEEE horror flicks the scarier the better and the gorier the better tho I do love ur assassin series deff has its perks great post

    my favs r

    It (anything by Steven King really)
    Halloween the ne woens r better then the old ones but hey back thend idnt have the same standards as today
    and anything relaly thats horror related i watch

  3. Jennifer

    I am with you I don't like scary movies either and I don't read really scary books don't get me wrong I love romantic suspense but scary no LOL.

    I remember going to see The Exorcist years ago and didn't sleep for ages after that and my kids did talk me into watching the Scream movies and I know What you Did last Summer but I had my hands over my eyes most of the time while my teenagers were laughing at me.

    Congrats on the series Jennifer I have added them to my must get list

    Have Fun

  4. Barbara -- Me either, as you can tell from the post. LOL. I don't mind scary if it's in an action or suspsense movie, but throw in aliens or creepy killer dolls, and I am so outta there.

    Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying the series.

    Sinn -- Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the series. You know, I've only read a few things by Stephen King. I keep meaning to pick up more of his books ...

    Helen -- Thanks! I hope you enjoy the books. I've seen the first two Scream movies. Horror isn't really my thing, but I did think the movies were very clever. I definitely didn't guess who the killer was in either one of them.

  5. Good morning, Jennifer! Thanks for being here today and talking about your favorite or maybe I should say "unfavorite" scary movies.

    I like suspense/thriller movies, along the lines of "The Sixth Sense", but horror/slasher movies are definitely not my thing. Like Helen, I saw "The Exorcist" when I was in high school---forced to watch at a friend's house---and it scared the crap out of me. If I hear that music, I immediately plug my ears!

  6. Most horror movies that I've seen are not scary to me. Only a few are actually decent. They are usually very predictable and I find myself laughing at them. To me, all the Chucky movies are comedies.

  7. Gannon -- Thanks for having me back on the blog. I appreciate that!

    I thought The Sixth Sense was really well done too. Ghosts don't bother me so much, but I'm like you -- I just don't care for all the gore.

    Trisha -- Yeah, I've heard that the Chucky movies are kind of over the top, but I still to this day can't watch them. Shudder!

  8. I don't read horror books or watch the movies. I have a daughter who watches horror movies (Netflix) and on TV. I've been with her sometimes when they're on, but I'm usually reading. The Steven King vampire movie scared me when it was first shown on TV. Of course that was before vampires were popular. Now vampires and scary are fine, but not horror.

    I enjoyed the Big Time series and The Elemental Assassin series is on my TBR list.

  9. Andrea -- I don't care much for the horror books or movies either. Yeah, I think vampires aren't made out to be as scary as they used to be, especially not in most of the paranormal romances out there. Vampires still seem to be pretty horrific in movies, though.

    Cool. I'm glad you enjoyed the Bigtime series and hope you like the Elemental Assassin books as well.

  10. Hello and welcome, Jennifer!! We are so happy to have you with us today. Congrats on the newest release! Gannon has raved about them!

    I don't do horror books, but have seen some pretty scary movies. A couple movies that totally creeped me out were The Ring and The Descent.{{shudder}}

  11. Andrea, I can't believe you watched The Ring. I'm too much of a chicken to see it!

  12. Hi Jennifer! Great to have you back with us again. Congrats on your new release.

    I'm a total wuss when it comes to scary movies. I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was in high school and for months afterward I drove 15 minutes out of my way whenever I was at my boyfriend's house just so I wouldn't have to drive past a cemetery.

    When it comes to books though I'm much more adventurous. I love thrillers and suspense and have even enjoyed some murder mysteries. I do steer clear of horror though. Really creepy stuff and I just don't mix.

  13. Barbara E., isn't the Elemental Assassin a great series?? Love it!

  14. SiNn, you are far braver than me in your movie and book choices. A little goes a long with me. *g*

  15. Helen, both of my sons are fine with horror movies, but my daughter (she's only 11) is going to be more like me....a little more on the wimpy side. Although, we all love to watch Ghosthunters and the like.

  16. Trisha, I've never watched an entire Chucky movie, and I think I'll keep it that way. ;-)

  17. Andrea I, vampires are completely fine with me now, but the Stephen King movie you're talking about scared me, too, when I was younger.

  18. LOL @ PJ. I think I would have taken the long route to avoid going by the cemetery, too.

  19. LOL, Gannon. Believe me, it wasn't easy. Another scary one I watched was called Wolf Creek. Creepy with a capital C!

  20. I stay away from horror movies. My teen years underscored the idea that horror films were not for me, even if my friends liked them (or maybe it was just the guys who liked them). I haven't watched a horror film in years and I plan to stay that way.


  21. I absolutely DO NOT read or watch horror. I get spooked way too easily. I can't even walk out to the shed in the yard at night - saber toothed tigers jumping from trees (watched a movie where this happened when I was babysitting back in high school, a veeeery long time ago). I have never and never will watch horror movies. I wouldn't sleep for weeks.
    There is a difference between scary and horror. Jurassic Park's raptors scared me but there was a logical, real reason for their behaviors. They did exist and these behaviors were probably pretty accurate. It isn't much different from bumping into a bear in your back yard (which did happen, unfortunately). You know what you are dealing with.
    Things like CHILD'S PLAY and THE EXORCIST are another story all together. They don't exist and their behaviors are unreal and unpredictable. There is no way to protect yourself.

  22. Forgot to comment on your series. Paranormal and Urban Fantasy are not the same as Horror. Most authors in those genre carefully build their worlds and the characters that inhabit it. There are rules and a logic to the way the characters and world operate. there is a story line with a beginning, middle, and end and a purpose.
    In horror, the main purpose usually seems to be how fast the body count can climb. No real, complicate plot.
    I like the sound of this series. I need to get to know Gin Blanco. Your "world", characters, and story sound interesting. I look forward to reading them.

  23. Andrea -- Thanks! You're braver than I am to watch both of those, especially The Descent. I saw the trailer for that one, and it was creepy enough for me!

    PJ -- Hi! Thanks for having me back on the blog. I appreciate that.

    I had to watch that movie for a night film class that I took. It definitely creeped me out. I think I would have avoided that cemetery too. ;-)

    Sheree -- Me too. And why is it mostly teens who die in horror films? I've always wondered that.

    Librarypat -- I agree. In a lot of horror movies these days, it seems like all they are trying to do is see how gory they can make them and how many people they can kill.

    I'm glad you're interested in my series. If you like urban fantasy and magic/world building, you might like them -- although Gin does kill a fair amount of people in the books. She is an assassin after all. LOL.

    Karyn -- I agree that the old school monsters are the creepiest. Thanks! I appreciate that.

  24. I like them spooky but not scary, especially in October. I dont really think there really arent a lot of good horror movies. At least not ones that are actually scary.

    Love the series and looking forward to Venom. Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com