Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Post: Jennifer Estep author of Touch of Frost

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to thank Michelle for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much, Michelle!

So today, Michelle asked me to do a top ten list. Since Touch of Frost, my first YA book recently came out, I thought that I’d do a list about why I decided to write a YA book, especially one that focuses on mythology. So here goes:

1) I’m a fan of the genre: I love reading YA books. In fact, some of my favorite reads in recent years have been YA books, including Beastly by Alex Flinn; Graceling by Kristin Cashore; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; and The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal, among many others.

2) A fun challenge: You always want to push yourself and grow as a writer, and I thought writing a YA book would be a fun challenge for me as an author. So far, I’m having a blast writing the Mythos Academy series, and I hope folks enjoy reading the books as much as I do writing them.

3) I’ve always loved mythology: I’ve always loved mythology and all the stories of the gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes, and more battling each other and going on these epic quests. So writing a YA book focusing on mythology seemed like a natural fit for me.

4) Monsters, monsters, monsters: One of the cool things about mythology is all the various monsters that are found in the myths and stories. I had a lot of fun putting my own twist on some of the monsters, like my Nemean prowlers, which are big, black, panther-like creatures – with big claws, bigger teeth, and burning red eyes.

5) Strong heroines: I like reading and writing about strong heroines, and there are so many great heroines in the YA genre, including Katniss from The Hunger Games. I thought writing a YA book would let me come up with a really strong heroine, someone who is smart, sassy, and sarcastic and still trying to figure out what her place is in the world. Hopefully, folks will enjoy reading about my heroine, Gwen Frost.

6) Cute guys: It seems like there are just as many gorgeous guys in YA books as there are strong heroines, and I had a lot of fun coming up with Logan Quinn, the Spartan warrior who’s as cute as he is deadly. Logan and Gwen don’t really get along at first, but it seems like they just keep running into each other …

7) World building: One of the things that I like best about writing fantasy books is that you get to create your own world. I had a blast dreaming up Mythos Academy with its beautiful campus, the Library of Antiquities, and all the creepy statues that always seem to be watching Gwen.

8) Fight scenes: I love writing fight scenes, and writing a YA book about a school where the kids are training to be warriors definitely let me put a lot of action in the story.

9) Growing up: One of the reasons I think YA books are so popular is that we can all relate to growing up and trying to find our place in the world and figure out what kind of person we want to be. So I wanted to write my own sort of coming-of-age story.

10) Reader interest: It seems like YA is the one genre that everyone gets excited about these days, from teens and their parents to booksellers and librarians to all the other readers out there. I think any book that gets folks interested in reading is awesome, but it seems like YA is what everyone wants to read these days – yours truly included.

So there you have it. Some reasons why I decided to write a YA book.

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite YA books and characters?

Jennifer Estep writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was published on July 26. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available now as a 99-cent download. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will hit shelves on Nov. 29. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more information.
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