An Interview with Jenna Black and A Giveaway!
Please welcome author of The Devil Inside, Jenna Black! After reviewing The Devil Inside for Night Owl Romance and here on my blog, I was so captivated by the story that I asked Jenna if I can interview her here. She graciously agreed and is even doing a book giveaway to one lucky reader! Here is her interview!
Rachael: How did you come up with the idea to write a book about an exorcist?
Jenna Black: I got totally hooked on the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and I noticed that for some reason, I wasn’t burning out on that series as I had on every other series I could remember reading in the past. (Generally, after a series hit five or six books, I’d find myself getting tired of it.) I tried to analyze what it was about the Anita Blake series that made it still hold my interest after so many books, and I decided it was the enormity and the intensity of Anita’s internal conflicts.
When I set about to come up with my own urban fantasy concept, I started with the desire to build a really strong internal conflict. And that’s how I ended up with a possessed exorcist.
Rachael: Do you know how many books will be in the Morgan Kingsley series?
Jenna Black: At least five, because that’s what I have under contract. After that, it will depend on a number of factors, such as whether I’m still enjoying the series, whether fans are still enjoying the series, and whether my publisher wants to continue publishing the series.
Rachael: Do you plot everything out or do you just sit down and write?
Jenna Black: It actually varies from book to book. Some I plot, some I write by the seat of my pants. So far, the books in the Morgan Kingsley series have fallen into the latter category.
Rachael: What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
Jenna Black: I love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of my favorite authors are Laurell K. Hamilton, J.R. Ward, Kelley Armstrong, and Rachel Caine. (There are a lot more, but if I listed them all, no one would want to read this blog because it would be too long!)
Rachael: What are you currently working on?
Jenna Black: I’m currently working on the third book in the Morgan Kingsley series, The Devil’s Due, which will be coming out in the fall. I’ve got a draft finished, and my husband is reading over it right now. (He serves as my first reader for practically all my books.)
Rachael: Can you tell us about your Guardians of the Night Series?
Jenna Black: The Guardians of the Night series are paranormal romances, set in a world where there are two kinds of vampires: Killers and Guardians. Killers, as you might have guessed by their name, feed by drinking human blood and killing their victims. Once they begin to kill, they become addicted to it and are unable to stop. Guardians are vampires who feed on animal blood. They are less powerful, both physically and psychically, than the Killers, but it is their mission to protect the human population from Killers. Their mission is complicated by the constant temptation to reach for greater power by making a kill.
Rachael: Do you know how many books will be in the Guardians of the Night Series?
Jenna Black: I’ve got three out right now, and a fourth coming out in May. After that, the fate of the series is unknown. I’d like to write at least a couple more, but that may or may not end up happening.
Burning Questions After Reading the Book - No Spoilers Here
Rachael: Why do humans offer their bodies as hosts for the demons? Can a demon live without a host body?
Jenna Black: Demons are usually incorporeal and live in a parallel world called the Demon Realm. Humans can summon them onto the Mortal Plain by giving up their bodies as hosts. Many people who volunteer to host demons do so because it gives them a chance to be heroes. A person possessed by a demon has superhuman strength and healing ability, and so they often take on very dangerous jobs—and can take risks in those jobs that would get a normal person killed. A demon can live without its host, but not on the Mortal Plain. If a demon’s host dies, the demon goes back to the Demon Realm.
Rachael: I mention in my review, some violence and S&M in The Devil Inside. What was the reason for including this in the story? Did you feel it added to the character's personality? Was it to show how scary demons can be?
Jenna Black: There are actually a couple of reasons I chose to do this. One is a straight-out story reason, which is that it heightened Morgan’s conflict. Her entire world view is shaken up when Lugh, the demon king, possesses her, and having her deal with people whose sexual practices are strange and even abhorrent to her, shakes her up even more. She’s got a very judgmental, black and white view of the world, and I wanted to confront her with as many shades of gray as possible. (Also, it just made sense to me that creatures who were incorporeal in their own world would have a very different way of viewing physical sensation than most humans would.)
The other reason is more of a “writer reason.” My latest book in the Guardians of the Night series, Shadows on the Soul, was a very, very difficult one for me to write. Gabriel, the hero, is a Killer, and in the previous book, he’d been one of the secondary villains. He is a darker character than most romance readers are used to seeing as heroes, and the whole time I wrote it, I worried. My inner critic kept protesting “you can’t do that!” But I was on a tight deadline, and I had to force myself not to listen to that inner critic when it insisted Gabriel was too dark to redeem.
I think that Shadows on the Soul was the best book I’d written up to that point, and judging by reviews, others agree. I think one of the reasons it turned out so well is that I took so many risks, and battling my inner critic perversely gave me extra energy and excitement. The Devil Inside was the very next book I wrote, and I wanted to keep pushing myself to take risks, to write about things that made me uncomfortable, and to do battle with my inner critic. Believe me, some of the scenes that were uncomfortable were read were a lot more uncomfortable to write. But I feel like the risk paid off, and that I grew as a writer by taking it.
Rachael: Will there be more back story on the characters in future books? I am curious about the night that everything happened to Morgan. Will readers find out more about how she became a host for a demon?
Jenna Black: There will definitely be more back story, especially about Morgan. You’ll learn a lot about her past in The Devil You Know. There’s also more to come about Raphael and his twisted, complicated relationship with Lugh.
Rachael: Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
Jenna Black: You can visit me on the web at http://www.jennablack.com/, where you’ll find excerpts from all my books, including the upcoming books in he Guardians of the Night series and the Morgan Kingsley series. And if you’re on MySpace, please drop by my page and send me a friend request: www.MySpace.com/jennablackbooks
Jenna Black: Thanks for letting me reach out to your readers!
Rachael: Thank you Jenna Black for this wonderful interview!
Jenna will be giving away a signed copy of The Devil Inside to a reader who comments and asks questions in the comments section of this post! Did you read The Devil Inside already and have questions about it for Jenna? Do you want to read The Devil Inside and want to know more about it? Comment away!
You can buy The Devil Inside here
Edited to Add
Rachael : Because I am SO happy with all the people commenting, I am going to also giveaway books from my own shelf. These are Christmas Anthologies that are unread. I ended up with so many of them that I figured someone else would give them a better home and probably even read them! Check out the comments section here for the rest of the details.
Rachael has written over 300 reviews for various publications online. She started Enchanted by Books to have the chance to showcase a large variety of different genres. Never satisfied with just one type of book she reads them all. Romance, chick lit, paranormal, urban fantasy, mysteries, young adult, memoirs, self help, the variety is endless. Rachael lives in New Jersey and loves meeting new people to chat books with online. Please leave a comment and share your opinion!