Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guest Post: Jennifer Estep!

Guest Post:
Greetings and salutations! I want to say thanks to Julia for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Julia!

So today, Julia asked me to talk a little bit about character evolution since I’m four books into my Elemental Assassin series.

In the first book, readers were introduced to Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, an assassin who is as cold and deadly as the Ice and Stone magic that she wields. Since then, readers have seen Gin go through a lot – the murder of her mentor, the realization that her younger sister is still alive, getting dumped by the straight-arrow cop she was having a steamy affair with, letting a sexy new guy into her life, finally declaring war on her lifelong enemy.

I wouldn’t say that Gin has gotten weaker as the series has progressed (although she and other characters often joke that she’s getting soft in her old age). Instead, I’d argue that Gin has slowly changed – that she’s come to realize that it’s okay to lower her defenses around and care about the people that really matter to her. But that doesn’t mean that Gin won’t pull out her silverstone knives on a moment’s notice and do what needs to be done if someone is a threat to her or the people she loves. I’m still writing about an assassin, after all. LOL.

I think it’s important for characters to change and evolve over the course of a series. As a reader, I get tired of characters who never get any smarter and never seem to learn from their past mistakes. I don’t want to read the exact same story over and over again – I want there to be consequences, just like there are in real life. I like to see characters change, to become stronger in their magic and more confident about themselves.

I think watching characters grow up is one of the things that can help keep a series fresh and entertaining. Plus, it’s a form of payoff for sticking with a character and series – you get to see a character become the strong, confident heroine that she was always meant to be from the very beginning.

To me, there’s nothing better than seeing a character I love finally come into her own. Hopefully, that sort of emotional payoff is what I’m doing with Gin and the Elemental Assassin books. Fingers crossed anyway. ;-)

What about you guys? Do you like it when characters change and grow? Or would you prefer them to stay the same? What are some of the characters you’ve enjoyed reading or watching over the years? 

About the Author:
Jennifer writes the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Books in the series are Spider’s BiteWeb of Lies, and VenomTan­gled Threads, the fourth book, was pub­lished on April 26, while Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released in Octo­ber.

Jennifer also 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.

The first book, Touch of Frost, will be out in August, while the sec­ond book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves in Decem­ber. First Frost, a prequel e-short story to the series, will be out in July. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more.

Jennifer’s books have been fea­tured in Cos­mopoli­tan, Enter­tain­ment Weekly, South­ern Liv­ing, and a vari­ety of other pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on Face­book, Goodreads, and Twit­ter and find out more about Jennifer on her Author Bio page.

Read my reviews of VENOM, Elemental Assassin #3.

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