Oct 6, 2009

Jeanne C Stein - Interview and Contest

[The contest portion is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!]

A very warm PVN welcome to Jeanne Stein who has taken time from her busy writing schedule to answer questions about her Anna Strong Chronicles and the writing life. Jeanne is also happy to answer questions from readers and respond to their comments.

Retribution (Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles, Book 5) was published by Ace, on August 25, 2009.

Read the interview and then the contest information.

PVN: The mysterious Culebra - what is his story? And please tell us about Beso de la Muerte.

Jeanne: Culebra is a favorite of many of my readers. I’ve been asked to write an Anna Strong novella and decided to use Culebra’s story as the theme so you’ll have to wait for the details of his life. I will tell you he has an interesting past. Beso de la Muerte is a fictional town, the place in which Culebra sought refuge when escaping that past. It had to be a place with magical qualities—one supernaturals and mortals alike could be comfortable in.

PVN: Describe the hunky Lance. I love that fact that he is an underwear model.

Jeanne: That came out of nowhere, really. Well, not exactly. I was looking at an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog and suddenly, I was inspired. Anna needed someone she could let her hair down with, someone she could enjoy sexually as a woman and a vampire. She tried a human lover (Max). That didn’t work out so well. Lance fulfills her needs. At least for the time being!

PVN: Retribution is book five in the Anna Strong series. While writing it did you ever find yourself going off in a surprising direction?

Jeanne: Sometimes, although the next book in the series, Chosen, really took me in surprising directions. In fact, in that book, whenever I came to a fork in the plot, the original thoughts I had proved to be wrong. The story went in opposite directions to what I’d planned. It made it much more fun to write and I think it will be more fun for the reader because I expect they’ll be surprised by the twists, too.

PVN: Anna clings to her humanity and her love of her family only grows stronger unlike most other vampire in the series. Why have you made this such an important part of her character?

Jeanne: I wanted to give Anna vulnerability. A creature as strong as a vampire has few natural enemies. Immortality could make one
reckless. Having a family and attachments to the human community keeps her grounded and aware. Makes it less likely she’ll become a predator.

PVN: You have stated before that one of your favorite early Urban Fantasy novels is Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin. (It's certainly on my list of greats.) What is it about this story that appeals.

Jeanne: The realism of Rosemary’s Baby is what makes it so scary good.
It’s easy to believe in witches when you see Rosemary decorating a nursery and sewing curtains. It’s what I strive for in my books. Take readers on a trip in a real city (San Diego) with stops at real places (La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla), give Anna a real cottage (on Isthmus Court in Mission Beach.) Ground the reader in what’s real so they accept what isn’t.

PVN: As a writer are you a panster or are you someone who must have an outline?

Jeanne: A little of both. I don’t write a complete outline, but I usually have a synopsis—maybe a page or two—outlining the main plot points. Also, a paragraph or two about each secondary character and the role they play in the story.

PVN: What sort of daily writing goal do you set for yourself?

Jeanne: My daily goal is ten pages. If I write more than that, it’s great. But I don’t let myself stop until I’ve completed those ten pages!!

PVN: What do you like and not like about author tours?

Jeanne: What I like is easy—Meeting readers. Meeting other authors. Room service. What I don’t like is the time it takes away from writing. I bring my laptop but it’s hard to write on the road. In the morning, I’m usually preparing for the event. By the time I get back to my room at night, I’m tired. I don’t get much done away from home.

PVN: What other writing projects do you have in mind?

Jeanne: Next up is the seventh Anna Strong novel, as well as the novella I mentioned earlier. I’m also working on a novel with a co-author set during World War I—the theme involves Angel/Demon involvement with a war that truly changed the world.

PVN: Which conferences or conventions have you attended in the past year? How have you participated? Do you believe this is a necessary part of a writer's life?

Jeanne: Let’s see—I participated as a panelist in ComicCon, DragonCon, Amradillocon, Colorado Gold, RomanticTimes and coming up in October, MileHiCon. It is a necessary part of a writer’s life but you have to learn to choose which conferences give you the most bang for your buck. Since I pay my own way, it’s an important consideration. I look for cons that put me in touch with readers, reviewers, bookstore owners and managers. And cons that promise fun—like DragonCon. I think it’s my favorite.

PVN: Tell us about your love for San Diego, Anna's home town.

Jeanne: I lived most of my adult life in San Diego so it’s a city I know and love. It’s a city of contrasts. Being so close to the border makes the city a target for drug and human trafficking. It has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It is home to the wealthy and the indigent—often sharing the same community. It is a place where anyone can be comfortable and individuality is welcomed. It’s also a place where developers have been allowed to run roughshod. Open space is disappearing and high rises literally block out the sun from two or three story buildings that once had panoramic views. The airport’s short runway is little more than a long driveway. It’s a big city that’s run like a small town. To everyone’s detriment.

PVN: Where can readers find you?

Jeanne: On my website: www.jeannestein.com

The blog I share with Mario Acevedo The Biting Edge

And now on Facebook. (I’m still learning about Facebook but it’s fun so befriend me)

You can find a new story, The Ghost of Leadville, in an anthology just released, The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2

And of course, in the new book Retribution just out.

PVN: Thanks, Jeanne for taking the time to do this interview!

Jeanne: Thanks for having me—again—it’s always a pleasure.

Now for the contest :

Jeanne: "I would like to offer 2 winners their choice of series books, magnets, pens and a surprise or two."

To be eligible do one or more of the following:

* Leave a comment
* Ask Jeanne a question
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL

If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.Contest ends Oct 8, 2009 at 11:59 PM


angelshimmery said...

Hi what a wonderful interview as per usual, haven't read any of these books but would love to now.
Please enter me in the contest I've put it up on face book. http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fpatricias-vampire-notes.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F10%2Fjeanne-c-stein-interview-and-contest.html#/profile.php?id=1075320624&ref=profile

Helen Greenwood said...

Books look fab, would love to be entered into the draw please!

Virginia C said...

Hi, Jeanne! I enjoyed your interview. Who is your favorite fantasy male underwear model? Have fun thinking about your answer : )

I am a follower and a subscriber. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Brooke Reviews said...

Great interview. I think the conferences sound exhausted but like a lot of fun. :)


Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview with Jeanne C. Stein & thanks to Jeanne for sharing.
My question to Jeanne is: If you could condense what you've learned about writing into one paragraph, what would it be & could you share it with us?
All the best,

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeanne,

I love the series,I can't wait to read more.

my question is will we see Max again?


Jeanne Stein said...

Hi all and welcome. Thanks for entering the contest. I'll be checking in throughout the day.

Some good questions to start things off so here goes:

Virginia asks: Who is your favorite fantasy male underwear model?

Why, Lance of course. I see him as a kind of hunkier James Marsters…but with those great cheekbones.

RK asked: If you could condense what you've learned about writing into one paragraph, what would it be & could you share it with us?

Hi RK—Nice of you to stop by. The one true thing about writing is that if you don’t keep at it, you’ll never get published. It can be a very frustrating, very discouraging business, but perseverance is as important as talent.

Elaing8 asked: my question is will we see Max again?

Yes. And that’s all I’m going to say. ☺


cfisher1504 said...

Great interview!!! I am a huge fan!!! Love your books!!!!
cfisher1504 at gmail dot com

Tynga said...

Thank you Jeanne for stopping by! Your books have been on my to-buy list but just haven't bought them yet =(
I guess now is a god opportunity to start the series!

My question would be (ok I know it,s a weird one but I always get interesting answers!) What would you like to be written on your grave mark?

Thank you!

Diane said...

Hi Jeanne!!
I really enjoyed Retribution and can't wait for Chosen.
Thanks for a great interview!

Jeanne Stein said...

Thanks to Cfisher and Diane for the kind words. Always nice to hear that readers like my stuff!

Tynga asked: What would you like to be written on your grave mark?

Interesting—Maybe “she did no harm” – course, I hope that isn’t something that’s going to come up soon!

Unknown said...

Hi Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by. Retribution was fab. The tot loved the cover--especially the glowing necklace.

Inquiring tots what to know what Anna's favorite animal and wheather carniverous vampiric giraffes live in the San Diego Zoo, lol.

What I'm curious is, is what are the wordcount ranges of your books. Is this by choice or an editorial decision. Any revision tips?

Okay, lots of questions for me. Can you guess what I'm doing, lol?

suzanne lazear (@) hotmail

Have a great day!

~Suzanne and the tot

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Ooh wow! Count me in!! Love the Anna series. I don't know if this is an answerable question, but here it goes: is there any chance Anna might tell her family about her being a vampire? I mean she's upset that she will have to leave them soon b/c of it, I was just wondering if she would ever come out into the open about it.


Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Suzanne: inquiring tots what to know what Anna's favorite animal and wheather carniverous vampiric giraffes live in the San Diego Zoo, lol.

What I'm curious is, is what are the word count ranges of your books. Is this by choice or an editorial decision. Any revision tips?

First of all, tell my friend the tot that as many times as I’ve been to the SD Zoo, I’ve never seen the carnivorous vampire giraffes. Course it could be because they are too dangerous to be on display.

I’ll have to ask someone the next time I visit SD. I'll also have to ask Anna about her favorite animal. We already know she doesn't get along well with dogs!

My books range from about 75-80,000 words. And that is stipulated in my contract.

As for your second question, I usually bring my chapters to my critique group as I go, then when the first draft is complete, give the entire manuscript to them for suggestions. If you don’t have a critique group, maybe you could find a beta reader to help. Fresh eyes are a must, IMHO.

Jeanne Stein said...

Good question Jessica: is there any chance Anna might tell her family about her being a vampire?

I plan to have Anna come out to her family at some point. I think she has to. I have a feeling it will be because of a crisis, though. Maybe a fatal accident or illness and the decision to save or not save someone she loves will depend on revealing her true nature.

I'm so glad you like the books. i appreciate your support.

Cherry said...

Reposted your contest at: http://contests-freebies.blogspot.com/2009/10/book-giveaway-jeanne-c-steins-anna.html

Dot S.(ladeetdareads.wordpress.com) said...

I enjoyed the interview. I have just finished THE BECOMING and can't wait to continue with the series. I'm just delighted that I stumbled on the first book in the series.

jeanette8042 said...

Wonderful interview and the series sounds liek an awesome read!

felinewyvern said...

Wonderful interview Jeanne. Your series about Anna sounds intriguing and if I ever get enough book funds it will be on my list of to buy books :D

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Your series sounds sexy and amazing. It is on my to-read list, which of course is 100 miles long, but promise to get to the books some day soon I hope.

Cybercliper said...

Ok, I so need to get on the ball and check this series out. Don't know how I missed it. annhonATaolDOTcom

Jeanne Stein said...

Thanks for spreading the word, Cherry, and for the kind words, Dot. Jeanette and Cyberclipper thanks for playing and Ilona, maybe you’ll be one of the winners! Roxanne, I can be patient! I appreciate all of you stopping by.


throuthehaze said...

I would love to read one of these books!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors and series to read, sounds good!

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

Hello Jeanne,
Who's opinion is the MOST important to you while you are writing a new book. Like when you get done writing a new chapter or when you are finally able to put your forever pondering idea into words. Who is the person you can't wait to tell & then have them read what you wrote. Who do you turn to for that ALL important and much needed opinion?

Thanks for the interview & the peek into the life of an Author.
I so enjoy your writing and ALWAYS look forward to news on any New books you are coming out with!!! Thanks for your Talent & the enjoyment spent on reading your books!!! Without books I would be utterly lost!!!

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I posted this on Twitter http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4667449457

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I posted this on My Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/posted.php?id=1259591812&share_id=180106982872&comments=1#s180106982872

Shawna L. said...

Shawna L.

I also posted this on my blog~ http://booksaremoviesinthemind.blogspot.com/

Miss Haley said...

awesome interview! enter me plz

+1 posted at http://haleymathiot.blogspot.com/2009/10/contests.html

Derek Tatum said...

I'm not entering the contest because I already have the entire series, but I did want to say that I enjoyed the interview. Jeanne is one of the nicest of the nice.

Alexia561 said...

Really enjoyed the interview! Loved learning that Jeanne's must took over book 5 and sent it in a totally different direction. How fun!

Please enter me in the contest.

Sent out a RT about the contest at http://twitter.com/Alexia561/status/4670823047

Alexia561 said...

Sorry, forgot to include my email address:



Amanda said...

Great interview! I have not read these books, but I would like to.

Vickie said...

Hey Jeanne! Lady K says hey, too. We are getting our bags packed for Big Stone Gap, Virginia and the house is in chaos. Books were packed first, #4 and #5 Anna's are in the bag in hopes of finding some time to read.
No need to enter me in the contest, I have my SIGNED books and my magnets and pens (Lady K's favorite homework utensils).

= D

Jeanne Stein said...

through the haze and tetewa, hope you enjoy the books.

Shawna, the question of whose opinion metters the most is a good one. I mentioned I have a writers group. I also let my husband read the completed manuscript. He’s great at finding things others missed. And of course, there’s the editor. She always has a thing or two to say! But in the end, it really is MY story so sometimes I take the suggestions of others and sometimes I don’t. It depends on whether or not I think the change would alter the direction of the book. Also, sometimes a suggestion that something needs to be changed may be an indication that I haven’t been clear in what I whatever point I was trying to make. That happens, too. And thanks for spreading the word!

You, too, Haleyknitz!

Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Derek, thank you for stopping by! My D*C app is in!!

Alexia and Amanda, thanks for playing.

Vickie—have fun with grandma and tell Lady K I have lots more pens whenever she needs them! Have a good trip.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I haven't got to read this series yet, but it is on my wish list!

I agree there is just something about Rosemary's Baby that stands out. I watched it on tv a few days ago actually lol. I don't think i could get tired of it.

Is there a genre you haven't written in before you'd like to try?

I posted to my facebook:

Pam S

Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Pam-- I still have the itch to do a straight mystery, but frankly, I'm having so much fun with UF that it's not such a priority anymore!


Pissenlit said...

Hiya Jeanne! I've just got to say that wow, those covers always look fantastic, especially all together like that! So, question...the WWI novel you're working on, will it be the beginning of a series or a stand-alone?

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Great interview. Jeanne, there are so many vampire books out, what do you think makes your series stand out from the rest?


P.S. My blog is "busy" today, but I will be posting a link to the interview tomorrow at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

Please enter me in the contest - I love reading about supernatural characters, and your series sounds like I would enjoy your books.

Froggy said...

Please enter me in the contest!I added link on my sidebar under contests

A Blog with Bite!

Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Pissenlit—nice to see you here. We envision the WWI project to be a trilogy. The time frame is book one—June 1914 – July 1916; Book two—July 16- June 1917 and Book three—July 1917 – 1919.

Penny asked: what do you think makes your series stand out from the rest?

I think Anna’s desire to remain as human as she can is a big factor. She’s constantly reconciling the two sides of her nature—the animal who needs human blood to survive, and the human, who seeks to protect the mortal community from other predators. And the antagonists she faces aren’t always other supernatural monsters. Humans can be monstrous, too, as we all know.

Froggy—thanks for spreading the word.


Abigail said...

I've only read book one so far, so this contest is perfect for me.

I posted this in the Contests & Giveaways section on my blog


AllThingsUrbanFantasy(at) gmail (dot) com

Caridad Pineiro said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing, Jeanne. I love San Diego as well. Hope to get there soon. Good luck with the new release.

Jeanne Stein said...

thanks, Abigail, for entering the contest.

And Caridad, welcome and for you readers out there, Caridad has a couple of new releases this month. Sins of the Flesh and Awakening the Beast. Check her website for details.


Poppy said...

Hi! I really enjoyed the interview, it was great :)


SciFiGuy said...

I just wanted to say thanks for the interview Jeanne and Patricia. I have all the books so don't enter me in the contest. San Diego is one of my fav US cities.

Jeanne Stein said...

Thanks Poppy and SciFi Guy for stopping by. I appreciate it!


Martha Eskuchen said...

Nice Interview! Thanks! I am not familiar with Jeanne or the series but the cover of Retribution is eye catching! The other covers (I went to look) are great too! What is the "heat" rating for your books? Sensual, Steamy or more?
I think it is interesting the next book took you on its own direction! :)
Thanks. mesreadsATgmailDOTcom

Unknown said...

Wonderful interview.

Jeanne: Describe the series in 5 words or less.

Added to sidebar:


Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Martha-- actually it depends on which book your read. There is actually much more sex in the first than the ones that follow. I would rate it as sensual. The sex scenes are graphic but not pornographic, if you know what I mean.

Wow, Kate--that's a challenge! Kick-ass vampire with a soul. (I'm counting kick-ass as one word!) :-)


mrsshukra said...

Hi Jeanne, what distracts you the most when you write?


Jeanne Stein said...

Hi Etiry-- I can't listen to music. I have the overwhelming urge to burst into song--even if I don't know the words. It's a curse!


Jeanne Stein said...

I believe we've reached the end of the contest entry time-- thank you all for participating. This has been a great group and thank you, Pat, for inviting me. I hope we can do it again!


Amy J said...

Would love to be entered! Thanks!
Amy J

Patricia Altner said...

The contest is now officially closed.

Thanks to everyone who came by and participated!

lalalalalalala said...

If you could, would you change anything in your published books? For example, details, events, locations, etc.

kimi kaio @yahoo.com (no spaces)