Jun 9, 2010
Welcome to Day #23 of JoJos 30 Day Birthday Bash! Today we have the Author of Bound by Sin, Jenna Maclaine. So help me give a warm welcome to Jenna!
How do you think romance has changed in the last 30 years?
I think that some of it has gotten a little watered-down and politically correct. I remember some authors from the 80s and early 90s who wrote very epic and emotional reads. I eventually switched to reading paranormals because I felt that the historicals I was reading seemed to be the same story over and over with different characters. Maybe it was just genre burnout on my part, but I was looking for something with a little less fluff and a little more depth and grit. I haven’t had the chance to read as much in the past few years as I used to, so maybe historical have changed (or I have).
What type of romance do you prefer to read?
As you might guess from what I write, I love historical and paranormal romance!
What are your favorite types of Heroes & / or heroines?
I like a beta male. There are a lot of aspects of an alpha that I love, but it’s a big turn off for me when they get too controlling with their women. I love heroines who are tough and can handle themselves. In general, I’m also a sucker for a good Pygmalion story.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live on a family farm and that keeps me much busier than I’d like it to at times, but I love it! I have four Jack Russell Terriers, who keep my feet (and heart) warm while I write. I enjoy reading, though I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. I love to dance, and do it with enthusiasm, if not skill. I like quality TV shows and, other than my computer, the Tivo is my favorite piece of electronics. I spend way too much time on Facebook, but we have so much fun there!
Fav color: Green
Fav Scent: Honeysuckle, fresh cut grass, and (though some people would find this odd) the smell of my barn.
Fav Flavor: Chocolate!
Fav movies: Bringing Up Baby, the Philadelphia Story, Zorro the Gay Blade, The Princess Bride, French Kiss, The Phantom of the Opera, The Matchmaker, Secondhand Lions.
Do you read any reviews on your books?
I really try not to. I don’t go looking for them because I’m still too tender-hearted if I happen to stumble across a bad one. My mom, who is my biggest fan, reads all the reviews she can find and sometimes if she likes one she’ll forward it to me. I really do appreciate all the bloggers and reviewers out there who spend their time and money reading and reviewing books, though. I don’t think they get enough credit.
Do you read your own books after they make it to final print?
No, because it frustrates me. I will always find something that I could have done differently or better and at the point it’s too late to change it.
Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was little I wanted to be a zoologist, and I still don’t think there’s any better job in the world than taking care of baby pandas! If I lived in China (or within a reasonable driving distance to a zoo with pandas) I’d be all over that! But whether or not I’ve wanted to be a writer, I always have been. I’m sure my mom has boxes full of little books I made when I was a kid. I would fold sheets of paper and staple them together and write stories or poems about our animals. I think some people become writers because that’s what they want to do, and others become writers just because we can’t help ourselves!
Are there any processes you use when writing? Do you keep journals, sticky notes, chicken scratch on the back of receipts?
I would love to tell you that I’m a very organized writer, but I’m not. With each book I have this grand idea that I’m going to have this wonderful notebook filled with plots, character descriptions, websites, time tables, etc., but it never works out that way. What I end up with is a notepad jammed with page after page of scribbled notations which make perfect sense to me while I’m writing. Later, however, I go back and look at them and think what the heck is that??
What is the hardest / easiest part of writing for you?
The hardest part is getting the time to write. I have a farm with animals that need to be taken care of and stalls that need to be cleaned. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to juggle both of my jobs, especially if I actually plan on sleeping. I’m not sure there are any truly “easy” parts about writing, but when the house is quiet and the muse is talking to me-- that’s the easy part, just letting it flow.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Going to work in your pajamas!!
How long did you write before you became a published author?
I wrote Wages of Sin over the winter of 2004-2005. During the summer of 2005 I re-read it and edited it, put it away for a while, went back and edited some more. I queried several agents and got rejection letters in reply. Finally, I decided I would just publish it myself. It came out through Lulu.com in January of 2006. The week before Christmas that year I received an email from an agent asking me if I would like her to represent my book. She had bought it on Amazon and loved it! I was floored, especially since she was the second agent I’d queried and I still had her very nice rejection letter in my desk! I got my contract with St. Martin’s in June of 2007 and Wages of Sin was released by them in July of 2008. Whenever anyone asks me how someone becomes a published author I always tell them that I don’t know; the way it happened to me was not the normal way it’s done!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers??
First of all, don’t give up. Other than that, probably the best advice I could give is to get your name out there, even before you have a contract or a book to publish. Use the social networking sites and blogs to connect with readers, because one day you’ll have something in print and you want to already have a following of people who know you and will go out and buy your books. I wish someone had told me that when I was getting started.
How many books / series have you written?
I have three books out in the Cin Craven series: Wages of Sin, Grave Sins, and Bound by Sin. I also have four short stories out in anthologies. The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, Strange Brew, Huntress, and The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance all features stories from Cin’s world.
Do you have a website or blog that your readers can keep up with you and your books?
I do have a website and a blog. You can find all my links at www.jennamaclaine.com I’m on MySpace and Facebook as well. I rarely use MySpace but I’m on Facebook almost daily and we have a lot of fun, so please look for me there!
Bound By Sin
(3rd book in the Cin Craven series)
set in 1862.
As the Civil War rages among mortal men, Cin Craven is locked in an epic battle of her own—fighting the renegade vampires whose unquenchable appetites she knows all too well. At her side are the immortal warriors of The Righteous- among them her husband, her lover, her soul-mate Michael. With a passion bordering on possession, Cin’s love for Michael knows no bounds. But when a ruthless plantation owner kidnaps Cin’s cousin the most terrifying battle of all awaits. Cin is drawn to the irresistible lure of dark magic to stop their enemies, while Michael staunchly opposes it- putting their love and loyalty to the ultimate test.
Can you tell us a little bit about when and where the story takes place?
When I started to think about what I wanted in a series-- what I would like to read but hadn’t found yet-- I was intrigued by the idea of following a heroine and her companions from the beginning of her after life, through the centuries, to the present day. I would often read paranormals or urban fantasies where the only glimpse readers were given into the history of these centuries-old vampires was through brief flashbacks and I wished that we could read the whole story of how they got to be where they are in modern times. As a result, Wages of Sin is set in 1815, Graves Sins in 1828, and Bound by Sin in 1862.
How do you come up with character names?The majority of my characters name themselves. When they come to me I pretty much know who they are and what their names are. Some of the secondary characters are a bit harder, though. I have been known to look out in the pasture and pick a name out of my flock of sheep if I get stuck naming a character!
How did you come up with the idea for this book/series? From a dream, from watching tv, while reading another book?
My characters talk to me and tell me where they want to go. I sometimes feel that they write these books, not me! Cin and Michael came to me one night as I was falling asleep. Part of the scene from Wages of Sin where Cin becomes a vampire just sort of floated through my head as I was drifting off to sleep. It was like a 30-second clip from a movie and I woke up and thought to myself, what was that? I knew it wasn’t really a dream because the girl wasn’t me, the guy wasn’t anyone I recognized, and it didn’t feel like a dream. It felt like something I should be doing. So I laid there for a very long time and thought about it… and that’s how Cin Craven and The Righteous were born. Once I had the characters firmly established in my mind, they pretty much took over from there.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters?
Cin Craven is a 19th century aristocrat. She’s also the only witch to have ever retained her powers after being turned into a vampire. As a result, she’s a very dangerous weapon and a perfect addition to The Righteous, the police force of the High King of the Vampires. Michael, her love interest in the first book and later her husband, was a soldier in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army before he was turned into a vampire to save him from mortal wounds received on the field of battle. His skill with a sword is unparalleled and the vampires call him the Devil’s Archangel. The other two members of The Righteous are Devlin and his consort Justine. The four of them are feared among the vampire nation as they are the judge, jury and executioners of the High King. The Celtic goddess Morrigan is the fountainhead of my vampires and she and the High King have quite a spicy love/hate relationship that I look forward to exploring in future books. Morrigan has plans for Cin and when she shows up Cin knows that trouble isn’t far behind!
Do you have any idea how many book are going to be in this series?
I hope to have eight or nine books in the series and then I have ideas for spin-offs involving some of the secondary characters.
Are any of your characters based on people in your life?
No, I’ve learned that it’s best not to do that. I have a partially finished historical romance in my desk that I wrote in college and I modeled the hero after the really hot guy I was dating. As soon as you do that, though, you will break up and then you’re stuck with this guy in your book. Halfway through it I was severely tempted to drown him in the English Channel and save the heroine the trouble! There is a bit of me in all my characters (even the villains) but I try not to model any of them after myself or anyone I know. Sometimes certain traits from people I know will pop into a character, but it’s more of a case of leaning on my own experiences because I think it’s what the character would do, rather than modeling the character after someone I know.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Bound by Sin is my favorite book of the series, over all, but I still think one of my favorite individual scenes is the big fight scene from Grave Sins. I had a fabulous time writing that.
Was there any part of this book (or past books) that was harder for you to write than the others?
I always struggle with the sex scenes and those are the most difficult parts of the books for me to write. What was surprisingly hard to get through, though, was writing Michael’s marriage proposal to Cin in Grave Sins. To all the husbands out there—if you proposed and did a good job of it, my hat’s off to you! I have much more sympathy for guys when it comes to popping the question than I used to. I sat down to write it and figured how hard could it be? Pfft. It was probably the hardest part of the whole book for me to write!
Pizza or burger: Either, depending on the mood
Dress or jeans: Jeans!
Highlander or vampire: Vampire highlander!
Fire or water: Water
Up or down: Both?
Black & white or color: Color
Half full or half empty: Half Empty
Day or night: Both. Night for writing. Day because I must have some sunshine!
Star trek or star wars: Not a big fan of either.
Sword or gun: Sword. They’re more poetic.
Eyes or mouth: Mouth, It’s all about the smile.
Strawberry or cherry: Strawberry
Old or new: I suppose it depends on what it is!
High or low: I’m afraid of heights, so I’d have to say low.
Shower or bath: Shower
Paperback or hardback: Paperback
Desktop or laptop: Desktop
Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi
Winter or summer: Summer!
Dog or cat: Both
Movie theatre or movies at home: At home.
Check out Jenna:
Thank you so much Jenna for being here today
and for helping me Celebrate my upcoming 30th Birthday!!!
But wait don't go away! Jenna is stopping by
throughout the day to chat with
her lovely fans AND Jenna Is offering you awesome commentors,
the chance for 1 of you to win a signed copy of Bound by Sin!
** Must answer 1 of the Questions:
~Have you read any of the Cin Craven series?
~What did you think of it?
***please include an e-mail address so the winner can be contacted
*Open World Wide / Ends June 18th*