Posted by Nancy Northcott Dec 12 2012, 12:37 am in Demon Trappers, Jana Oliver, urban fantasy, YA
This month marks the end of a series I’ve enjoyed very much, Jana Oliver’s Demon Trappers. The first book, The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, won the 2012 Young Adult Maggie Award of Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jana will talk with us today about winding up this series. Welcome, Jana!
So let’s say you’re an author and the last book in your young adult series is finally in the wild. How do you cope?
A) Turn cartwheels of joy shouting “It’s done! OMG it’s done!”
B) Don sack cloth and ashes
C) Find yourself a bit emotional and reach for an adult beverage (or three)
At present I’m veering back and forth between A & C (because sack cloth and ashes really isn’t my thing). I’m thrilled, but I’m sad at the same time, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve invested *four* years in the Demon Trappers Series, seen it go from a twinkle in my imagination to being published in nine foreign countries. It’s won awards, both here and abroad. It’s in my blood.
Over those years I’ve watched my fave characters go through Hell (literally) and find their destiny in FORETOLD, the final book. Riley Blackthorne, the 17 y/o heroine has gone from being a self-centered teen to a strong young woman. Denver Beck, the hunky Southern guy trapper with so many secrets, has learned that he’s worthy of love. And Ori, the wild card in the series, took the series in surprising directions.
At the very core was the story of a teen stuck in the middle of the “Grand Game” between Heaven and Hell, supposedly another “pawn”. It was vitally important that Riley’s “story arc” made sense. It wasn’t easy. My readers might be surprised to hear it took me longer to “get” Riley than it did Beck. It’s been a long time since I was seventeen and I had to tap my memories for what I was like at that age. The raging insecurities, the feeling that everything was immediate and raw-edged. As we age we realize a lot of stuff will just take care of itself on its own, but when you’re a teen everything is High Priority, life or death.
So it was with Riley and probably more life and death than most. It was agonizing to watch as she and Beck made some serious mistakes, flawed decisions that could cost them their lives and/or their souls. Still, they bounced back tougher and wiser. That process, writ large, is how we mature. We make mistakes, we acknowledge them, and we move on. Unlike Riley, fortunately our boo-boos rarely gain the attention of the angels and the Prince of Hell.
Now that it’s all over I’m like someone who has packed up their bags and is moving to a new city, leaving behind my very best friends. I promise to keep in touch. I have to — I know them better than I know myself.
Now it’ll be a new story, new characters to put through their paces, a fresh start. It’s what an author does. Nevertheless I will also look back fondly at the Demon Trappers Series, for it changed me in ways too numerous to count. That’s the power of the written word – it changes not only the reader, but the one who penned the tale.
For more about Jana and her books check her website: www.JanaOliver.com or www.DemonTrappers.com. You can also find her on Twitter as @crazyauthorgirl and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/janaoliver.
Jana’s giving one commenter today the winner’s choice of one book in the series (The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, Soul Thief, Forgiven, or Foretold) and a Demon Trappers tee shirt. So tell us, what book, television, or movie series have enjoyed that’s over now, as well as what you liked about it and what you miss about it.
Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Deb Marlowe, Addison Fox and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Mar 1 2012, 12:23 am in Addison Fox, Anna Campbell, Annie West, coming attractions, Diane Kelly, Jana Oliver, JD Tyler, Jo Robertson, Joan Swan, Jules Bennett, Kate Carlisle, Robin Perini, Teresa Morgan, Trish Milburn
Wheeeeeee! Welcome to March!
Is it blowing in like a Lion where you are, or as mild as the proverbial Lamb? Aas usual, we’ve got a great lineup for March and a lot of exciting things going on. There’s also the Ides of March and the ever popular, green-beer-drinking joy of St. Patrick’s Day! WOOHOO!
We’ll all be lifting glasses of Guiness in March (or other beverages of choice…Irish Coffee, perhaps?) to celebrate book releases and MAJOR MILESTONES!
Lesseeee, where do I start? Bandita Trish has a fabulous new book coming out with Harlequin American. Her March release is COWBOY TO THE RESCUE, second in her Teagues of Texas trilogy.
Bandita Jo’s wonderful FRAIL BLOOD will hit the market later this month as well. It’s another brilliant read from Bandita Jo! (And I’m dying to get it b/c I only got to read a little bit….)
Our own Bandita Kate has a great new book out, ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, and yes, I know we talked about it last month, but did you know it hit the
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST!? Kate’s latest debuted on the list at #15!! She also hit PUBLISHERS WEEKLY! Garnering a Starred review (nearly impossible!) and making a splashy #9 debut on THEIR list of great books!!
WOOT!!! Party Hats and Shamrock stew for EVERYONE!!!
Let’s see…ahem…okay, back to our regularly scheduled Coming Attractions pot….
So, what’s up in MARVELOUS MARCH?
Look out tomorrow, March 2, becauase our own Anna Campbell is coming on with the fabulous Annie West! (www.Annie-west.com) It’ll be a rocking day in the Bandit Lair with those two! Annie’s popping in to tell us about her latest American release, teh fabulous GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT. Get out your Lawrence of Arabia gear for this wonderful sheikh romance, gals!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always up for (har, har!) a great read from Annie West! And when you get Anna and Annie together, in the same blog space….WATCH OUT!!
Diane Kelly makes her Lair debut on Saturday, March 3, with Bandita Nancy.I f you’ve never seen the humor in the IRS, prepare to have your eyes opened. Diane’s second mystery, DEATH, TAXES, AND A SKINNY NO-WHIP LATTE features the return of IRS agent Tara Holloway. Diane and Nancy will chat about Tara’s adventures and the hunky boyfriend she romances when the bullets aren’t flying.
Now you KNOW you want to be here for that! I’m betting that something goes BOOM! in this book, so I’m going to be front and center on Saturday to chat with Diane!
Now, as much fun as that’s going to be, brace yourselves for the wild and wonderful trio of authors coming on March 5! JD Tyler and Addision Fox visit with Bandita Suz to talk about their forthcoming e-novellas BLACK MAGIC and WAVE OF MEMORIES. A lot of you have your e-readers poised and ready to go for this one, I know. With all the wonderful success of Suz’s book, and the fabulous following both JD and Addison have garnered, this should be a fabulous day to tune in and hear about the amazing world of the e-novella!
March 6 is going to be yet another rockin’ day as Joan Swan (www.JoanSwan.com) visits the Lair with Anna Campbell again acting as hostess! This is Joan’s debut visit to the Lair with her debut book. She’ll be telling us all about her hot new romantic suspense, FEVER. Wow, that’s some cover!
On March 8, join Bandita Nancy for a Reader-Writer-Roundtable! Nancy hosts Maureen Hardgree, Eilis Flynn, Gerri Russell, Louisa Cornell, and Barbara Monajem for a discussion of who’s reading (and writing) what this month. I know you’ll want to join in THAT as all the Banditas, and Bandita Buddies are constantly updating their To Be Read piles!
Then we’re headed back to the dessert climes as Teresa Morgan, author of CINDERELLA AND THE SHEIKH, HANDCUFFED TO THE SHEIKH, AND SHEIKH WITH BENEFITS will guest with Jo on March 12. She’ll be discussing “What’s Your Hero Fetish?”
Oh my, THAT should get some interesting posts going, don’t you think? Hmmmmm? Grins.
Be sure to stop in. Sven and the gang are making hummus, importing a wide variety of olives, dates and other “desert-y” foods. (But don’t worry, if you don’t like hummus, he’ll have his usual array of other delicious delicacies!)
And Bandita Donna brings Jules Bennett to the lair on the 16th for an inaugural visit! Woot! We love meeting new authors in the Lair!! Jules new book IN THE SPOTLIGHT will be out this month from Harlequin Desire.
The ever-popular and well known Robin Perini guests with Nancy on the 18th, celebrating the release of her first Harlequin Intrigue, Finding Her Son.
And last but not least, join Bandita Nancy again on the 21st as she welcomes Jana Oliver to the Lair. Jana Oliver will return to the Lair with her demon-trapping heroine, 17-year-old Riley Blackthorne. Jana and Nancy will talk about Riley’s latest adventure, FORGIVEN.
Contest, contest, contest! Check it out!
Posted by Nancy Northcott Feb 3 2011, 6:00 am in American Heart Association, Jana Oliver, The Demon Trapper's Daughter, YA paranormal romance
posted by Nancy
Today we have Jana Oliver’s debut in the Lair as we chat about her new series from St. Martins. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter is labeled YA paranormal romance, but it has classic urban fantasy elements and is designed to appeal to adults (it certainly grabbed me) as well as teens. It’s already out in the UK as The Demon Trappers: Forsaken from MacMillan.
Welcome, Jana! We love call stories in the Lair. Would you like to share yours?
I was attending the Romance Times Convention in Orlando in 2009. I’d just been on a mystery panel and notice that my cell phone had a message. My heart sped up as the Demon Trappers Series was making the rounds at that point. I scurried to the parking lot and called my agent.
To set the scene: warm Florida sunshine, cars pulling in and out, lots of noise. And there’s me on my cell phone, pacing. The verdict? Yes! We had a deal for three books with St. Martin’s Press and the size of the advance brought a smile to my face. I know whoever was in the parking lot that day must have thought I was crazy as I was dancing around like a mad thing. Who wouldn’t? I shared the news with my spouse, then my writer buds and finally my roommate. We went out for an awesome celebratory dinner that night.
You had an unusual path to New York publication. Can you give us the highlights?
I self-published my first few books, then signed with a small Canadian press for the Time Rovers Series. That was a good move as I worked with an incredible editor and learned a lot over the course of the trilogy. Next I signed with a literary agent and then came the contract at St. Martin’s. Lest this sounds like it all happened overnight, it didn’t. Between the first self-pubbed book and my NY debut, a decade has passed. It’s been a wild ride.
Riley, the title character, is in a tough spot when the book opens, and things go downhill from there. Tell us a bit about Riley and her world.
Riley’s a typical teen except that she’s chosen to follow in her father’s footsteps. Unlike the Vatican’s Demon Hunters, who slay the fiends outright, Riley and the other trappers have to use their wits to capture the Hellspawn. She’s entered a male-dominated organization and so has to fight for respect every step of the way. As if being a teen isn’t bad enough. And then there’s Simon, that cute guy she’s got her eye on. Riley definitely has her hands full.
The city I’ve crafted is an alternate 2018 Atlanta where demons abound. They range from the small Grade Ones who steal your jewelry or tear apart library books, to the Grade Fives (Geo-Fiends) who generate spot earthquakes and tornadoes. Necromancers raise the dead to sell as unpaid slaves as the economy continues to fail, forcing the closure of the schools. It’s “pre-dystopian” if that’s a term. Given a few more year the city will be beyond repair.
What’s going on in Riley’s love life?
Riley’s love life is complicated by the fact that most regular guys don’t want to date a girl who traps Hellspawn for a living. The one young man she is interested in–a fellow trapper apprentice named Simon–might just do the trick. Or not. Her social life is complicated by Beck (her dad’s trapping partner) and his need to play chaperone. And then there’s Ori, the hunky mysterious dude who is every girl’s idea of a hot date. Just where does he fit in? It’s enough to drive a demon-trapping teen to distraction.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
There was a two-fold challenge: making sure Riley sounded like a teen and laying the groundwork for the rivalry between Heaven and Hell. The first required a lot of young adult reading and trusting my gut when it came to Riley’s character. The second issue needed academic research. I needed to backstop the story of Lucifer’s fall from heaven across Christianity, Judaism and Islam. I needed to come up with a plausible explanation of how the demons came to be. Then I had to work out the framework of the Grand Game (the eternal struggle between Heaven and Hell). Once I had those two main issues worked out, I was good to go.
For a peek at the first chapter, click here.
What are you working on now?
Book #3 in the series (yet untitled). It’s due April 1 and I’m wrapping up different plot threads so this book is more of a challenge than the other two. First books in a series are always a breeze for me. They fly out my brain. Middle ones are harder. The ones that tie up the main story arc are the hardest. If St. Martin’s likes the series, there will (hopefully) be three more.
For more information on Jana and her work, visit her website or the book’s website. There’s also a UK website for the British version of the book.
What’s your favorite story about a kid out on his or her own? Is there an urban fantasy or YA series you particularly like? Do you have a question for Jana?
One commenter or questioner will receive the cool package (stickers, book, and backpack with Guild patch) pictured at left, with the caveat that the book in the picture is an ARC but the winner will receive an actual book, signed and personalized.
Another commenter will receive an American Heart Association Go Red pin.
The comment link is below today’s healthy heart tip and related opportunities.
Tip for the Day: If your children are having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or day care, instead of sending candies, consider mini-boxes of raisins, mini-bags of pretzels, pencils or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection.
And don’t forget . . .
Go Red for Women on February 4
Romance Writers of America and the American Heart Association have partnered to raise awareness of heart disease in women and encourage you to join us in wearing red on February 4, National Wear Red Day®. Visit http://www.GoRedForWomen.org to learn how to fight heart disease.
And just in case you missed it….
Sign Up for the Go Red BetterU Program and Receive Two Free Romance Novel E-Books
From Feb. 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance novel e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association’s BetterU Program and one after you complete week six of the program. And look for the Eat Smart for Your Heart limited-edition magazine (that features this offer) on newsstands and in a grocery store near you.
To sign up for the BetterU program, click here.
(Go Red For Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books.)