Frequently Asked Questions
These are common questions that I get from readers. The answers come from the Monday Morning Mailbag feature that I post on my Facebook page.
How do you pronounce your last name?
It is pronounced Eee-step — not Essstep.
Why do you use the word “toboggan” in your books to refer to a winter hat? Isn’t a “toboggan” supposed to be a sled?
I get this question a lot — probably more than any other question, which I think is a bit strange. Who knew folks were so interested in regional word choices? 🙂
In the South, where I am from and where many of my books are set, a “toboggan” refers to a winter hat — not a sled. A sled is just a sled in the South. We do not call those “toboggans”.
Many folks have also asked why I don’t use the word “toque” when talking about a winter hat. That’s a Northern/Canadian word. The Southern characters in my books would never use that word, so it’s just a difference in regional word choices. Here’s a blog post that I did about the subject several years ago: http://www.jenniferestep.com/you-say-tomato/#.V-h9AySpn2A
Why don’t you come to Town XYZ for a book signing? Why don’t you travel more and do more book signings?
I love going to different places and meeting readers, but traveling is expensive, and I usually have to pay for any travel, book conferences, etc. that I do attend out of my own pocket.
Unless you are a mega bestselling author (like J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, etc.), your publisher is not going to send you on a book tour around the country. I am not a mega bestselling author, so I have to pay my own way. That’s why I rarely do more than a couple of book conferences a year.
Plus, it’s often difficult for me to make time to travel, given all my writing deadlines. I figure that you guys would prefer to have more books to read than anything else. 🙂
Do you have any plans to do an Elemental Assassin cookbook?
No, there are no plans to do a cookbook. I don’t have recipes for everything that Gin makes in the books. Many of the dishes (like Fletcher’s secret barbecue sauce) exist only in my imagination or are just things that I think would sound good to eat. I just like writing about food.
Plus, I imagine that writing a cookbook would be a lot of work, and that’s something that I just don’t have the time for, given my regular book writing deadlines.
There are a few recipes posted on my website. Go to the Elemental Assassin series page, scroll down, and click on Gin’s Recipe Box.
I also share a recipe in my monthly e-newsletter. You can sign up for that on the Newsletter page or by using the widget in the right sidebar on this page.
Why don’t you do T-shirts or other merchandise for your Elemental Assassin and other book series?
I think it would be cool to have merchandise, but there are a lot of rights/permissions involved in creating and selling things like T-shirts, etc. I do not own the rights to the cover art for my books — the cover artist and/or publisher owns those rights. And there are various other legal things to consider as well, including where/how to sell the merchandise, taxes, fulfilling/shipping orders, etc. I just don’t have time to tackle all of those things.
I can either write books, or I can do extra things like merchandise. I simply don’t have time to do both, and I imagine that most people would rather have more books to read. So that’s where my focus is.
Will there be any more books in your Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series?
As of right now, I do not plan to write any more Black Blade books. I enjoyed writing the series, but I feel like Lila’s story is finished since she did everything she set out to do, including defeating the bad guy. I’ll never say never, but as of right now, I don’t plan to write anything else in this series.
How many more books will be in your Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series?
As of right now, I am planning to write three more books after Snared, book #16. That should let me finish the story arc with Gin and the Circle.
However, that probably won’t be the final, absolute end of the series. I’m hoping to write some more e-novellas from the other characters’ points of view, and I’d like to write some stand-alone books as well, both from Gin’s and the other characters’ points of view. I still feel like there are a lot of stories left to tell in Ashland.
Of course, this could always change, so we’ll see what happens.
Will you be writing any more Mythos Academy books?
Yes, yes, I will. This series is set in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy world. This is a spinoff series, and the new books star Rory Forseti, Gwen’s cousin from Midnight Frost and Killer Frost, books #5 and #6 in the original series. Gwen is NOT the heroine in these books, although she and some of the other characters from the original series make cameo appearances in the spinoff books.
Spartan Heart, book #1, will be out on Dec. 5, 2017. I’m hoping to release book #2 in summer 2018, but we’ll see what happens. I’ll share more information when it becomes available.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Nope, I do not. I’ve tried in the past, and I’ve found that I’m concentrating so much on what I am writing that I usually end up getting annoyed by the music or tuning it out completely. So I don’t listen to music while I’m writing a book or reading through copyedits/page proofs.
However, when I’m doing other things like e-mail, blogging, social media, etc., I will often listen to music, especially movie soundtracks. Some of my favorite soundtracks to listen to include: Captain America: The Winter Solider; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
What is your favorite book that you’ve written?
I like different things about my different books. Sometimes, I like the plot of this book or a secondary character in that book. In general, I usually like the first book in a series the best. I’ve always enjoyed origin stories, and that’s often what a first book in a series is all about — setting up your characters and world for future adventures.
Are there any plans to make a movie/TV show out of any of your books?
No. There are no plans to make a movie or TV show out of any of my books at this time. I think it would be awesome if it were to ever happen, but that is something that is completely out of my control and that I have zero influence over.
My agent has said that getting a movie/TV deal is like getting struck by lightning — in other words, the chances of it ever happening are very, very small. Even if someone bought the movie/TV rights to one of my books, the chances of a movie/TV show ever actually getting made and being shown in the theater or on the air are smaller still.
So, as my grandma would say, I’m not holding my breath about it. LOL.