Aug 26, 2008
Interview with Jeanne C. Stein
Jeanne C. Stein is the author of the bestselling series the Anna Strong Chronicles.
Despite a brutal introduction to the vampire world Anna relies on her inner strength and unflinching morality to pull her through. She is a character I like and admire. Book 4, Legacy, comes out today.
After you read the interview check the contest notes that follow.
PVN: Jeanne, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Patricia's Vampire Notes.
JS: Thanks, Patricia. It's a pleasure to be here.
PVN: How did you come up with the character of Anna? She is quite an amazing gal!
JS: Anna Strong is a character I’d carried around in my head for a long time. She’s the ultimate powerful female, confident, loyal, committed to protecting the ones she loves. She’s a little bit Buffy, a little bit everywoman. She’d make a damned good friend even if she is a vampire!
PVN: How did you decide on the characteristics of your vampires?
JS: I knew from the start that I wanted to set my books in my hometown of San Diego and that I wanted Anna to live at Mission Beach. I just couldn’t bring myself to relegating her to the dark. So I decided early on that my vampires would have adapted to sunlight. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Vampires have been around forever. Like man emerging from the primordial ooze, vampires emerged from the dark. Some things, though, had to remain the same. She had to subsist on human blood and have superhuman strength and be immortal. The one bit of lore I wish I hadn’t subscribed to, though, was the “casting no reflection” bit. It’s silly and since my vampires do retain their souls, I could easily have skipped that one. I just realized it too late! As a result, Anna has to be constantly aware of mirrors when she’s interacting with humans. It’s a pain for both of us.
PVN: Would you tell us a bit about Legacy and where Anna may be headed next?
JS: In Legacy, Anna is confronted by a woman who claims to be the widow of Avery—the vampire in book one who seduced Anna only to betray her in the worst way. The woman wants Avery’s estate and no matter how Anna tries to make it clear she’s happy to relinquish it, it soon becomes evident that there’s more than money at stake. The woman is out for Anna’s blood.
PVN: In the anthology Many Bloody Returns you write about a witch named Sophie. The story The Witch and the Wicked is very clever and funny. Would you tell us a bit about Sophie? Will we be seeing her with Anna?
JS: Sophie, the witch with a split personality, makes an appearance in book five—Retribution. She and her alter ego, Jonathan Deveraux, help Anna save Culebra’s life when he comes under the spell of Belinda Burke—the evil witch from the Watcher. I like Sophie and hope to bring her back again…maybe even in a book of her own.
PVN: Please describe your writing day and writing environment.
JS: I’m an early riser and try to be at my computer by 6 AM. My office is an alcove off my bedroom and I love it—I have my desktop MAC and reference books and a comfortable chair and when I’m there, I’m ready to work. Of course, there’s email to check and promo to work and the business stuff to take care of first so it’s about 8:30 or 9 before I’m actually writing. I work until 11, take a break for lunch and some kind of work-out (the gym or a walk) and then back at 1. I generally write until about 5 in the afternoon, later if it’s going really well. I aim for at least 5 pages a day. I’m generally done by 6, though, after that, my brain slows to a crawl. I spend the rest of the evening in “research” mode—with TV and books!
PVN: What are your favorite books and authors in the paranormal genre?
JS: I read so many different authors, it’s hard to list favorites. Charlaine Harris with her Sookie books was probably the first author after Anne Rice to capture my imagination with her original take on the vampire mythos. Then there’s LKH, of course, followed by anything Joss Whedon. More recently, I’ve added Richelle Mead, Jackie Kessler, Mark Henry, Mario Acevedo, Anthony Strout…I could go on and on. There are so many new and outstanding writers, there’s hardly enough time to read everyone I’d like to. That’s the one drawback of writing for a living—it cuts into your reading time!
PVN: And are there any paranormal favorites on TV or in the movies?
JS: Of course—I enjoyed the Sarah Connor Chronicles so I’m glad it’s coming back for a second season. I love Dexter. Lost. Heroes. Smallville. And I'm sure you know Charlaine’s Southern Vampire series is premiering on HBO this fall. I can hardly wait.
As for movies, just saw Dark Knight—I didn’t expect to like it so much. My favorite vampire movie, though, has to be Near Dark. I’m not picky when it comes to movies—if the story is good and the characters well defined, I usually enjoy them.
PVN: Jeanne, thanks once again!
JS: You're very welcome. It's always fun for me to connect with readers. I appreciate all the support Anna and I have been shown. And I'm very happy to announce I've accepted a contract for two more books-- that means Anna will be around to recount even more adventures. In fact, the next, tentatively titled Retribution, is scheduled for a spring 2009 release date.
PVN: Great news! Congratulations!!
Now for the contest information.
Jeanne is offering a copy of Legacy (with a set of four book cover magnets) to two lucky readers.
For a chance to win do one (or more) of the following:
*Comment on any subject from the interview. Each comment on a different subject counts as an entry.
*Ask Jeanne a question. Each question counts as an entry.
*Link to Patricia's Vampire Notes and send me the URL. Each link counts as an entry.
Be sure to include enough email information so that I will be able to contact you.
This contest ends at midnight August 27, 2008.
Winners will be announced on Thursday August 28, 2008.