Jennifer has also graciously offered to do a giveaway of Kiss of Frost to one of our commenters! Leave a comment answering the question: What kind of Mythos Academy warrior do you think you'd be: Valkyrie, Viking, Roman, Amazon, Celt, Samurai, Ninja, Spartan, Gypsy, or something else? Give us a second comment with a link to a tweet or blog post where you mention the contest and we'll enter you a second time. (This contest is U.S. only -- sorry international friends!) Only livejournal comments will be counted as contest entries, so if you're reading this on a syndicated site, pop over to lj to comment! Comments must be posted by 11/30 at midnight EST to be counted as contest entries. I'll announce the winner on December 1st.
And without further ado: here's Jennifer!
MtU&E: Although Kiss of Frost is the second "Mythos Academy" book, it's actually the third story -- you published the prequel story "First Frost" as an e-book along with Touch of Frost when the first novel was released. We've got some interest in e-books here at MtU&E: What made you decide to release the e-prequel, and has it done well for you?
JE: It seems like more and more authors are doing prequels, short stories, and other bonus material to tie into their books. As a reader, I like extras like that, and they can be fun to create as an author. I’ve written several free short stories to go along with my "Elemental Assassin" adult urban fantasy series. Readers really seem to have enjoyed those stories, and I thought it would be fun to write something for the "Mythos Academy" series too. My editor and publisher agreed, and we came up with First Frost, a prequel story that shows exactly how my heroine, Gwen Frost, winds up at Mythos Academy. I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments from readers about the prequel story, which I appreciate.
I’ve also written "Halloween Frost," a "Mythos Academy" short story, that is in the Entangled e-anthology that I am participating in with several other authors. Proceeds from that e-anthology benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. "Halloween Frost" takes place after the events of Touch of Frost.
There are also some extras in the back of Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost, including Gwen’s class schedule, a who’s who of characters, and things like that. Hopefully, readers have as much fun reading the material as I did writing it.
MtU&E: One of the ideas in Touch of Frost that is mentioned very briefly in Kiss of Frost is that if a person believes an illusion is real, that illusion is as dangerous as if it were real. Awesome metaphysics! Will illusion magic like that come into play as the series progresses?
JE: Thanks. Glad you liked that. The illusion magic is something that I hope to do more with in future books. I think it would be fun to dream up different ways the heroes and villains could use that sort of magic. As the series goes along, I hope to introduce some new magic/powers as well. For example, in Dark Frost, the third book in the series, someone has a similar power to the illusion magic mentioned in Touch of Frost.
MtU&E: In Kiss of Frost, we get to hang out with not one, but three Spartan warriors. How did you decide that their most formidable ability would be using improvised weapons?
JE: When I was thinking about the warrior whiz kids at Mythos Academy and the various abilities they might have, I thought it would be interesting to have some warriors who didn’t need traditional weapons to fight with. So I decided to give these warriors a killer instinct that would let them pick up any object and automatically know how to wield it as a weapon, and that this instinct would make them some of the most feared fighters at the academy. So the idea just sort of snowballed into Logan Quinn and his Spartan friends, Oliver Hector and Kenzie Tanaka.
MtU&E: In Norse mythology, Fenrir (or Fenrisulfr) is one of the big bad monsters, destined to kill Odin at Ragnarok. One of Gwen's lessons in myth-history class is about how the monsters trained by the Reapers have free will -- that they are not inherently evil. There's a great scene in the book where a Fenrir wolf shows just how true that lesson is. What was the impulse behind that moment in the story?
JE: There’s a lot of talk and stories in mythology about things being fated, and that you can’t escape your destiny, good or bad. Then, you have beings like the Fates themselves.
So I thought it would be interesting to do a mythology story and play around with the idea of what may or may not be destined versus free will. A couple of characters talk about free will in the "Mythos Academy" books, and the idea that people are responsible for their own actions and their own destinies. I thought if people are responsible for their own actions, then why not the mythological creatures too? So that’s something that comes into play with a Fenrir wolf in Kiss of Frost. Plus, the idea of free will is something that will also play a part in future books in the series.
MtU&E: Last (and easiest) question: how many "Mythos Academy" books do you currently have under contract, and how many do you hope will eventually finish off the series? (Here's hoping that those two numbers match!)
JE: Right now, I’m under contract for six books in the "Mythos Academy" series. Dark Frost, the third book, will be out in June 2012, while Crimson Frost, the fourth book, is tentatively set to be published in January 2013. At this point, I’m not sure if I will finish out the series with these six books or not. I’ll just have to see where Gwen and the other characters take me.
For more information about my books, folks can visit my website at www.jenniferestep.com. Happy reading, everyone!