What had you doing a series about demons, angels, and other biblical
Jeaniene Frost : Iâ€™ve loved all things paranormal since I was a
child. Seriously, a story long told by my parents was that on my first day of
Sunday school, I told the pastor that I thought the cross on the wall was to
keep the vampires away. Not surprisingly, the first books I wrote featured
vampires, but even then, I soon branched out to include other creatures like
ghosts, ghouls, witches, revenants, wraiths, sorcerers, necromancers, and even a
However, I first got the idea for the Broken Destiny series
the same way I first got the idea for my Night Huntress series:
from a dream. I have very vivid dreams, and theyâ€™ve ended up being plot fodder
for more than a few books. In this particular dream, a young woman woke up
trapped in a demon realm after spending the night in a bed and breakfast. Over
the next few years, while I was writing my other novels, that story kept growing
in my mind. Ironically, the young woman didnâ€™t turn out to be my novelâ€™s
heroine. Instead, she was my heroineâ€™s sister, and the first Broken
Destiny novel starts out with my heroine trying to find her. So, demons and
demon realms came with the initial idea. In that way, I didnâ€™t pick themâ€”they
kinda picked me.
For the Biblical theme, I can credit two things: King Davidâ€™s fascinating
backstory, and the movie DRACULA 2000. *grins* Not something youâ€™d normally lump
together in the same sentence, right? But the story of a shepherd boy who brings
down a giant armed with only courage and a sling shot is one of my favorites.
Dracula 2000 gave me the idea for a great opposing lineage because in that
movie, Dracula was really Judas Iscariot. You donâ€™t need to know the Bible to
know that if youâ€™re called a Judas, it is NOT a compliment. I didnâ€™t make my
Broken Destiny hero the actual Judas like the movie did, but I made him
one of Judasâ€™s descendants. My heroine is also a descendant of King David, and
of course, David was the ancestor of the person that Judas so infamously betrayed.
Miranda Owen: Two characters in THE SWEETEST BURN that I found most
fascinating were Zach and Demetrius. With Zachâ€™s enigmatic ways and super secret
orders from â€śthe powers that beâ€ť, I think that a lot of characters directed
their frustration at him. Demetrius and his demon shenanigans made him a villain
who is very easy to love to hate. Did you enjoy writing these characters? Who
was the most difficult to write and who was the most fun?
Jeaniene Frost : Demetrius was easier to write, which probably
doesnâ€™t reflect well on me as a person, hehe. He does truly terrible things, but
he does them with great joy, like when he slit someoneâ€™s throat with his shadows
and then used that same shadow to wave at my heroine, Ivy. Demetrius has no
conscience, so I had to hit a â€śpauseâ€ť button on my own conscience while writing
Zach, on the other hand, is all business. His personality was inspired by a line
in the Bible where someone (canâ€™t remember who) asked an angel if he was on
their side, or the opposing armyâ€™s side. The angel replied, â€śNeither.â€ť Thatâ€™s
Zach in a nutshell. Later, you find out why he seems so ambivalent about Ivy and
Adrianâ€™s struggles, or even humanityâ€™s fate in general. But Zach isnâ€™t in a
hurry to reveal that, or to reveal which side heâ€™s actually rooting for.
Miranda Owen: I love how Adrian is a sexy hero who is flawed without
being a jerk. Antiheroes and â€śalpha-holesâ€ť are a frequent topic of discussing in
some of my reader groups. What are some of your thoughts on heroes, antiheroes,
and alpha-holes (guys who equate strength with taking their bad attitude out on
women in benign but extremely annoying ways, pushing the heroine away â€śfor her
own goodâ€ť, and is all kinds of condescending)? What makes a great romantic hero?
Who are some of your favorites?
Jeaniene Frost : Iâ€™m a fan of the noble hero, the beta hero,
the antihero, and even the alpha-hole heroâ€”up to a point. If the hero treats the
heroine badly throughout the book/series and (1) never regrets it enough to stop
on his own, or (2) never gets his ass handed to him by the heroine and thus
stops for fear of losing his relationship and/or life, thatâ€™s a bridge too far
for me. A hero can start out as a jerk, but heâ€™d better have a good reason for
it, and heâ€™d also better eventually change. Otherwise, Iâ€™m done. Besides that,
give me a compelling, complex hero with strengths, flaws, intelligence, a sense
of humor, and above all, devotion to the heroineâ€”even if he denies it at
first!â€”and Iâ€™m there. As for favorites, wow, so many! To narrow it down, Curran
from the Kate Daniels series, Jamie from the Outlander series, Charles
from the Alpha and Omega series, Lothaire from the Immortals After Dark
series, Eric from the Southern Vampire series, and Keenan from the
Wicked Lovely series.
Miranda Owen: The snippets of humor in THE SWEETEST BURN blissfully
relieve the tension amid all the battle sequences. Is the dialogue in your books
something that you enjoy writing the most?
Jeaniene Frost : This will probably be the only short answer
you get in this interview: YES. I love dialogue the most. Some days, I wish that
dialogue was all I ever had to write.
Miranda Owen: In a 2006 speech, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER creator Joss
Whedon said that whenever heâ€™s asked why he creates such strong female
characters, he responds with, â€śBecause youâ€™re still asking me that question.â€ť
Whenever anybody asks who some of my favorite female characters are, I always
name Cat Crawfield from your Night Huntress series and Dr. Alexandra
Keller from Lynn Viehlâ€™s Darkyn series. I found both characters a
teensy bit annoying in their first books, but now I find myself comparing other
heroines to them. As an author who has written some complex and incredibly
strong female characters, do you have any set criteria you adhere to when
writing those characters, or qualities that you avoid giving them? Who are some
of your favorite female characters?
Jeaniene Frost : I approach writing my heroines the same way I
approach writing my heroes: by trying to make them as realistic as possible.
That means giving them strengths and weaknesses, flaws and fears, hopes and
dreams, bad habits and bravery, the whole package. One of the most irritating
things Iâ€™ve seen said by some about writing a romance is â€śitâ€™s all about the
hero.â€ť BULLSH!t. I donâ€™t care how fabulously a hero is written, if heâ€™s paired
with a two-dimensional Mary Sue that has little purpose beyond looking pretty
and/or needing rescued, Iâ€™m tossing the book. That doesnâ€™t mean I only like
â€śkick assâ€ť heroines, by the way. A strong heroine is so much more than her
ability to throw or take a punch. Take Sansa and Arya from GAME OF THRONES. Only
Arya physically fights, yet Sansa is still strong as steel, too. Itâ€™s just that
Sansaâ€™s considerable strength is displayed in different ways.
As for favorite heroines, once again, itâ€™s hard to narrow this down, but some
top favorites are Nevada from the Hidden Legacy series, Mercy from the
Mercedes Thompson series, Claire from the Outlander series,
Elena from the Women of the Otherworld series, Anita from the (early
books of) the Anita Blake series, and Elena from the Guild
Miranda Owen: Do you see yourself ever writing in any other romance
sub-genre â€“ historical, contemporary, and paranormal historical? Are there any
types of characters â€“ either ones youâ€™ve already written about or ones you
havenâ€™t - that youâ€™d think would be fun to build a series around? Fae, ghosts,
Jeaniene Frost : I donâ€™t see myself ever writing a regular
historical or a paranormal historical. That would take too much research. I
already do tons of research between setting details and using real historical
characters frequently in my novels. As for writing a contemporary novel, Iâ€™ve
had ideas, so I wouldnâ€™t rule that out entirely. Still, knowing me, I probably
couldnâ€™t write one without something supernatural turning up.
As for new supernatural creatures, Iâ€™ve toyed with shifters a few times in my
books, but I havenâ€™t written a real werewolf aside from a short story thatâ€™s
unrelated to any of my series. I would like to delve into werewolves again,
perhaps with a full length novel or even a series one day. Weâ€™ll see.
Miranda Owen: What are you currently working on? What do you have
planned for the future?
Jeaniene Frost : I just finished writing THE BRIGHTEST EMBERS, which
releases in November 2017 and is the third and final book in the Broken
Destiny series. After that, Ian and Veritas from the Night Huntress series
will be getting their own books, which will be called the Night Rebel
series. Iâ€™m really excited to write the first Night Rebel book because
Ian and Veritasâ€”on the surfaceâ€”are about as opposite as two people could be
since Veritas is a Law Guardian and Ian hasnâ€™t met a rule he hasnâ€™t wanted to
break. I foresee a lot of fun, fighting, and fire between the two of them, so I
canâ€™t wait to dive into their story.
Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international
bestselling author of the Night Huntress series and
the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have
sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her
husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps
in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry,
watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and
traveling â€“ by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.
Win any of Jeaniene's backlist, just tell us in the comments what you think should be the next supernatural power!
19 comments posted.
What about the ability to steal a power from another, leaving that person powerless until another gift is stolen?
(Angela Daffern 10:31am July 28, 2017)
Being able to see the future could be a curse and not a blessing. Super speed or maybe not needing to sleep.
(Cynthia Cook 4:52pm July 30, 2017)
Hmm, that's a tough one. I think a supernatural power that could be explored would be languages. Not just human languages but languages spoken by other beings. A universal translator that ends up in lots of situations that brings a group of characters together to face obstacles towards a peaceful union in worlds? Seriously, I just went along with the language power suggestion.
(Ela Raymundo 5:46pm August 2, 2017)
Cleaning :) But seriously, thinking beyond my SAHM-mind, think of how useful that
would be for cleaning up murder scenes, etc.
(Lauren Sullivan 1:55pm August 5, 2017)