I’m a latecomer to Jeaniene Frost’s books having only recently started the Night Huntress series, but one bite–sorry book–was all it took for me to discover that this was a world I wanted more of (specifically Bones). And clearly I’m not alone in wanting more from the Night Huntress universe as Jeaniene is here today to talk about her upcoming Night Huntress spinoff books debuting with First Drop of Crimson on February 9th.
Jeaniene Frost lives with her husband and their very spoiled dog in Florida. Although not a vampire herself, she confesses to having pale skin, wearing a lot of black, and sleeping in late whenever possible. And while she can’t see ghosts, she loves to walk through old cemeteries. Jeaniene also loves poetry and animals, but fears children and hates to cook. She is currently at work on the next novel in her bestselling Night Huntress series.
First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, Book 1)
by Jeaniene Frost will be released on February 9, 2010
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Night Huntress series comes a breathtaking new journey to the dark side of desire.
The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows—her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield—and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family’s past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness—and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.
He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together . . .
Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.
ATUF:I’m a cover junkie, so I’m always interested in what goes into that first impression we readers get of a new book. What can you tell us about the cover of First Drop of Crimson?
JF: I really like how it shows a couple instead of just the heroine, like my Night Huntress novels do, because FDOC is a more romantic book. And it’s split narrative between my heroine and hero, so I think the cover is a great representation of that. I also like the red dress (my heroine wears a slinky red dress in a scene) plus the open shirt on the hero, because, uh, did you check out his abs? NICE ;).
People ask me if the model is how I picture my hero, Spade. Short answer: no. The hair color and length are right, though, and as an author that’s all I can ask. For those who want an idea of what I think Spade looks like, here’s a link with some pictures:
ATUF: I love the title First Drop of Crimson. How did you settle on it, and what is your process for coming up with titles?
JF: I told my editor I really wanted the word “crimson” in the title, much like I told her years ago that nothing would make me happy except having the word “grave” in all my Cat and Bones books. Because my editor is awesome, she made both things happen. So we brainstormed around the word “crimson”, going back and forth with Marketing to decide on a final title. I’m very happy with the end result because it’s a metaphor for a big plot point in the book. There’s something unusual about my heroine’s blood, but no one knows that until the first drop is spilled, so the title ties in great with that.
ATUF: First Drop of Crimson is a spinoff of your Night Huntress series, but can be read as a stand alone. What can devoted fans and new readers alike expect?
JF: New readers will get a picture of the supernatural world that my current series is set in, plus a dark, action-filled love story. Readers who are already fans of the Night Huntress series will get a lot of their questions answered about Spade’s past, how he became friends with Bones, who sired him, plus a far deeper look into the vampire world. Previous readers will also see a different side of Denise, which I think may surprise some people. She’s a lot tougher and more complex than I had a chance to show when Denise was just a side character in the Night Huntress series.
ATUF: How would you describe the Night Huntress Books in comparison to the Night Huntress World Books?
JF: Probably the main difference is that the Night Huntress World books are stand-alones. The story with the main characters is wrapped up in one book versus being stretched out over several. So readers will have a resolution between Spade and Denise by the end of First Drop of Crimson. Plus, as I mentioned in an earlier answer, the NHW books are more romantic in tone. There’s still plenty of supernatural action, but the relationship takes a bigger focus. And with the point of view narrative split between Spade and Denise, readers will be also able to delve further into both characters instead of just seeing events unfold through only one character’s viewpoint like in my Night Huntress series.
ATUF: On your blog, you talk about how Spade (a.k.a. Charles) and Denise’s story had been written in your mind long before Halfway to the Grave was published. Are you by chance sitting on more stories about Spade and Denise for possible future books?
JF: It’s true, I did have Spade and Denise’s story in my head long before Halfway to the Grave (my first published novel) even hit the shelves. I’m so excited to be able to finally give them the spotlight and let readers see what happens with them. But though Spade and Denise might pop up again as the hero/heroine of a short story, and they’ll still be side characters in the Night Huntress series, I have no plans to focus another full-length novel around them. By the end of First Drop, the bulk of their story is told, and not every story is meant to be a series. Theirs is one of those stories that’s best told in one book versus several.
ATUF: On your website you state that after Spade’s story, Mencheres will be the main character in the next stand alone Night Huntress World book. Do you already have characters that you’d like to focus on beyond those two?
JF: First I want to say how much I loved writing Mencheres (and Kira, the heroine in Eternal Kiss of Darkness). Aside from being another dark, action-filled love story, Eternal also answers a lot of questions readers have asked me about things in the NH series. Mencheres is the oldest, most powerful vampire in my series thus far, so he’s got a lot to reveal once readers get a peek inside his head.
But to get back to your question, yes, I definitely have other characters I’d like to see get their own novels. Top on my list is Vlad. I never intended to write him into the Night Huntress books, but he showed up anyway and now I want to give him his own series. I already have the first book plotted out in my mind. Ian would probably be next on my wish list, and of course, I think it would be a riot to write a book with Juan. But *grin* as I don’t have access to the Magic Contract Wand, we’ll see how those ideas pan out. I can only cross my fingers and hope that my publisher likes one/all of these ideas, too.
ATUF: Do you have any current plans to write anything outside the Night Huntress universe?
JF: I’d like to. I have more ideas than I’ll ever have time to write, but I currently have four partially-written novels that are unrelated to the Night Huntress universe. One of those is an adult paranormal and the other three are Young Adult projects. So that ought to be a big hint about how I’m giving the YA market a very interested eye. I’m operating under tight deadlines now, but later this year there’s some breathing room, so I may pull out my favorite of those projects and shop it to see if I get any nibbles.
That doesn’t mean I want to stop writing in the Night Huntress universe. I’d like to do both. It’s like a brain cleanser for me to switch from writing in one paranormal world to another, completely different one. Keeps my creative juices flowing, which is why I wrote partials of four other novels while still writing in the Night Huntress universe. So the possibility of doing both appeals to me as a way to help keep my writing fresh. As with the other NHW spin-off novels, though, time and fate will tell whether I get my wish.
ATUF: How do you come up with your character names?
JF: It varies. Cat’s real name is Catherine, which came from my love of Sidney Sheldon’s THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT. Bones…I just knew that was his name. Then I had to come up with a good reason why he would have chosen it. Spade’s name came from the card game, though his reason for having it of course differs from mine in the books. Denise was just because I like that name, and Justina is homage to the ridiculous amount of “J” names in my family. Ian was another “I liked it” reason, and Mencheres, well, readers will find out the story behind his name in Eternal Kiss of Darkness.
ATUF: How did you get bitten by the vampire craze? And do you see it fading anytime soon?
JF: I was bitten by the vampire bug all the way back to childhood, when I wanted Dracula to win over Van Helsing. My parents have long told a story of me going to Sunday school for the first time – and telling the minister that the cross on the wall must be to keep the vampires away. So you could say I’ve been a vampire fan ever since I was way too young to even know about vampires, lol.
As for the current Fang hotness in the market, vampire popularity ebbs and flows over the years, but doesn’t ever seem to die (pun intended). When I was shopping Halfway to the Grave in 2004, I was told vampires were done in the market editors weren’t looking for more stories about them. Now you can’t swing a cat in a book store without hitting a vampire novel. I’m sure the cycle will repeat and people will again tire of vampires. But then after another few years, the Tall, Dark, and Dead trend will come back in all its bloodsucking glory.
ATUF: Can you share a new-to-you paranormal book that you recently read and loved?
JF: Just finished HOUSE OF NIGHT by C.E. Murphy and DRACULA, THE UN-DEAD by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. Really enjoyed both of those books. Anyone who’s read THE UNDEAD won’t be surprised by my liking it, especially based on my earlier comment about Dracula and VanHelsing ;).
ATUF: Where is this mythical Links page you mention on your website listing your favorite authors? Who is currently topping your list?
JF: My website was recently converted to WordPress so I could do updates myself, but not all the pages were immediately active. Sorry about that, but the Links page listing my favorite authors is now back up for business. I needed an entire page broken down by genre to list my favorites, too. It’s impossible for me to pick just one (or twenty) authors that I love the best. I love different authors for different reasons and I’m not always in the mood for the same thing when I grab a book. So I couldn’t imagine choosing just one. I can’t even pick just one favorite in a subgenre.
Works by Jeaniene Frost:
1. Halfway to the Grave (2007)
2. One Foot in the Grave (2008)
3. At Grave’s End (2009)
4. Destined for an Early Grave (2009)
Night Huntress World
1. First Drop of Crimson (2010)
2. Eternal Kiss of Darkness (2010)
Weddings From Hell (2008)
Four Dukes and a Devil (2009)
Thank you so much for stopping by Jeaniene! For more info about Jeaniene and her books visit: