Today’s Deadly Destination is from Jennifer Estep with a Q&A on the city of Ashland from HEART OF VENOM (published on August 27, 2013 by Pocket). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
Jennifer Estep’s Q&A on Ashland from HEART OF VENOM
ATUF: The Elemental Assassin series takes place in the fictional city of Ashland. Just how detailed has the city become for you over the series?
JE: It has become somewhat detailed for me. In each book, I always like to have my characters visit a couple of familiar, favorite places – sort of anchor locations that appear in most of the books. But I also try to have the characters visit new locations in every book so that readers get to see more of Ashland. So far, Gin and the rest of the characters have visited everything from fancy mansions to a riverboat casino to the mountains. So, in terms of locations, businesses, and more, Ashland is definitely a more detailed city than when I started the series.
ATUF: If fans could visit the real Ashland, what one site should they make sure and see?
JE: I would suggest the Pork Pit, Gin’s barbecue restaurant, since that’s really the heart of the series and where so many things have happened in the books. Not only would there be a good chance that Gin, Finn, Owen, Bria, and Sophia would be there, but folks could also chat and relax over a hot meal and sample some of Gin’s cooking.
ATUF: Is Ashland patterned after any real life locations?
JE: Not really. Folks always say to write what you know. Since I am familiar with the Appalachian Mountains, that’s why I chose to set Ashland in that part of the world. But I always like to make up my own fictional cities so I can put restaurants, houses, streets, stores, and more where I want them to go, and also so I can add new locations to the city and new places for the characters to visit as a series goes along.
ATUF: Is there anything significant about the graveyard portrayed on the cover of HEART OF VENOM?
JE: Well, I can’t say too much about it, just that Gin does visit a graveyard and does have a shovel at one point in the book.
ATUF: How closely has your cover artist, Tony Mauro, captured the Ashland you envisioned while writing?
JE: Tony has done a terrific job capturing Ashland and just the overall mood and atmosphere of the books. I think the covers have been really great. Every time that I think that Tony can’t possibly top himself, I see the cover for the next book, and I am impressed all over again.
ATUF: In the upcoming 10th Elemental Assassin book, THE SPIDER, we get to meet a much younger Gin. Will Ashland be similarly different from the city we know today?
JE: Ashland won’t be significantly different. Readers will still visit places like the Pork Pit and Jo-Jo’s beauty salon. But Gin and some of the other characters will be a little different, as will their relationships. For example, readers will get to see Gin and Fletcher interacting and see how Gin really became the Spider. Readers will also get to see how Gin crossed paths with some of the other characters in the series.
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket and the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.
1 copy of HEART OF VENOM
Available on August 27, 2013 by Pocket
The hotly anticipated ninth novel in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series finds Gin Blanco on a dangerous mission to rescue a friend.
When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…
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