Today my blog is a stop along the “Jinn Nation” Book Tour of UK-based author Caroline Barnard-Smith. I’m happy to share with you an excerpt of the her newest book and an interview with this Indie author, giving you a little taste into her juicy vampiric mind! We even are giving one e-book copy away to a lucky reader!
Win a FREE E-book!!!
You can win a free e-book of “Jinn Nation” (in any e-format you choose) by reading this entire blog and leaving your comment in the comment section of the blog, by commenting to @ErinAlMehairi on Twitter, or by commenting on Faceboook under the post of this blog on my wall (www.facebook.com/almehairierin). At the end of the week, winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and name and info will be given to the author. Please be sure I know how to reach you if you comment or you will not be eligible.
Once, the vampire Dylan had feared nothing and no one. He’d rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.
Finding himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn – a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.
Click on the excerpt link to be sucked into the story of “Jinn Nation”~ You don’t want to miss this!!! Jinn_Nation_-_Excerpt
It has been so nice to meet you Caroline. I am very curious about your book and your host of anti-heroic vampires!
Q: What makes you love to write stories of vampires and bloodlust so passionately?
A: I think it’s the sense of freedom that attracts me to vampires. They’re not a part of society, they live on the fringes where they can go where they want, be who they want, eat who they want. There’s also the rock star element, of course. Vampires are bad through and through (or at least they should be) and there’s something innately sexy about that. As a writer it also gives you permission to be bad, which is far more fun than it probably should be.
Q: Have you always been writing this genre, or has it been a migration?
A: I started out writing straight urban fantasy, spurred on after reading the newest book by an established urban fantasy author and realising it was so awful, I was sure I could do better (I’m not naming any names but trust me, it was bad!) I never actually found out if I could do better because that particular early novel will spend the rest of it’s sad life buried on my hard drive, but raw and ridiculous as that book was, full of witches and wizards and fairies and elves and anything else I could plagiarise from my favourite fantasy novels, it taught me a lot about the craft of writing. It taught me how to explore characters, how to plot and how to get to the end of a long project, so I actually owe that little book a lot.
Q: Tell me about your idea and the creation behind your newest novel….
A: When I started all I had in my head was a scene in the middle of a nighttime American desert where two people, two people with secrets, met in a bar. I started writing and before long the story turned into a sort of bloody travelogue across the United States and beyond, taking in many of the places I wished I could see but couldn’t afford to visit. I’ve already talked about the freedom that vampires represent and there’s no freer place than the open road (if I’m to believe the movies, anyway), so putting the two together made Jinn Nation an immensely fun book to write.
Q: What do you want most for your readers to take away from your book? How do you want them to feel?
A: I know it’s a cliché but I really do write the books I’d like to read, and that certainly doesn’t involve gutless vegetarian vampires who sparkle in the sun; so I suppose I’d like readers to come away from Jinn Nation thinking, “Finally! Someone’s given Dracula his balls back!” I’ve also tried hard to make my female character, Christa, less of a moaning, pining bore than many of the female characters I see in paranormal fiction these days. The women in these books are always bemoaning their tragic, fated love lives or readying themselves to jump over some metaphorical cliff at their supernatural boyfriend’s command. They’re too Mary-Sue-like, ie. they’re ridiculously attractive, have every super power under the sun and are probably black belts in karate for no goddamned reason. I desperately wanted to stay away from this, even though Christa does have quite considerable mental powers… Hopefully, readers will think that I’ve succeeded.
Q: What was your debut novel, Dunraven Road, about and does it tie in with Jinn Nation?
A: Dunraven Road does loosely tie in with Jinn Nation because the vampire Dylan stars in both novels, but that’s really where the similarities end. Dunraven Road is a close, oppressive novel, with the action mostly confined to just one street (hence the title!), while Jinn Nation is far broader, global even, and has lighter moments. I wasn’t planning to write about vampires when I started my debut novel. I set out to write about the experience of living in a small town in your twenties and somewhere along the line, an ancient brotherhood of vampires appeared and forced me to include them. The vampires were definitely the villains in that novel, leaving the reader to root for the hapless humans who happened to stumble right into their diabolical scheme, but Jinn Nation saw me going back to a format first made popular by Anne Rice that I hold dear to my heart: the vampire as anti-hero.
Q: What are the differences between traditional publishing and indie publishing? What are the benefits of indie publishing? The hardships?
A: The biggest difference must be that you have to do absolutely everything yourself, or at least hire someone to do it for you. I’m very lucky to have an excellent proofreader, but after my manuscript came back from her I had to edit my work thoroughly, checking spelling and grammar as well as making sure the plot actually hung together. I then had to learn how to format my work as an ebook and a paperback to be published through a print on demand service. The only aspect I had to draft in extra help for was the cover, because I’m completely hopeless with Photoshop. A traditional publisher will do all these things for you, but they also don’t give you much control. They might demand changes to your manuscript and you certainly wouldn’t get any input into the typesetting or cover design. All of this is a lot of hard work, but personally I’ve found the experience immensely satisfying. The paperback proofs of Jinn Nation were delivered just the other day and being able to hold that beautifully printed book in my hands and think, “I did that”, was fantastic.
Q: Would you like to tell me about your craft business? Is it just as dark and juicy?
A: Sadly no! It’s completely different from my literary work. I taught myself how to knit in my early twenties because I wanted something to do with my hands so that I’d stop biting my nails. Since then I’ve become good enough to start writing my own patterns and these are what I sell at CazzCraft.co.uk, along with knitting supplies such as bamboo needles and stitch markers. It’s been a lot of fun and once I’m finished promoting Jinn Nation, I really should get back to work on it and write some new patterns!
Q: How do you juggle being an author, an artist, and a mom?
A: Well, my daughter always comes first of course, and then I have to do everything else in moderation. It’s fairly easy to continue pursuing my personal projects at the moment because the Sprogling is only 4 months old. She sleeps a lot of the time or is content to sit with me while I work (one-handed) at the computer, but I’m sure this will all change once she starts running around!
Q: I hear you have a radio show, what should listeners expect from the show and how do we tune in?
A: Yes, I had my very own radio show 🙂 It was called Write Around Devon and it aired on my local community radio station once a week. I loved doing it because it was basically just me playing my favourite songs and talking about my favourite subject. I even got to interview quite a few local authors. I gave it up when I was pregnant before I grew too big to fit under the desk (hehe) but I’d love to return to it one day.
Thank you Caroline for sharing about your book and offering advice to us! Wonderful insight!! You’ve been awesome to talk to and I wish you much success. Stop by again!
Contact Caroline online also at:
How do you buy “Jinn Nation”?
Paperback – https://www.createspace.com/3565931
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70355