Today we are joined by the gifted Jennifer Rardin. Jennifer is the author of the Jaz Parks series. She is here to celebrate the release of the sixth book Bite Marks.1. Could you please start by telling us a bit about your Jaz Parks series?
JR: Sure! Jaz Parks and her boss, the vampire, Vayl, are assassins for the CIA. On the face of it their jobs seem pretty simple. Hunt down the bad guys who are trying to rip big, jagged holes in the fabric of America, and eliminate them. There’s even a list! But when you insert monsters, magic, and soul-starved demons into the mix believe me, nothing is easy.
Especially when your father is an ass.
Jaz could tell you all about him, but afterward she’d probably have to shove her fist through a wall. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?
As for Vayl. Well, he’s just so delectable Jaz finds it a real challenge to maintain the sort of professional relationship the CIA expects from its agents. Especially when his eyes turn green.
2. Bite Marks (Jaz Parks #6) hits bookstores October 29th. What sort of adventures are Jaz and her team in store for in this book?
JR: It’s never good when Jaz starts a mission pissed off, but when Vayl feels the same? Watch out.
Unfortunately they both have to admit that their boss, Pete, was right to cut their vacation short. Because fanatical gnomes are threatening to take down NASA’s third eye-to-the-universe, which is located just outside of Australia’s capital of Canberra.
You may be thinking, Gnomes? What’s the big deal? All they do is stand around my mom’s garden looking adorable—and yet proving themselves useless to prevent the neighbor’s cats from crapping in her mulch!
These are not those guys. Not even remotely related, I’m sorry to say. Unless your mom’s gnomes make a habit of feeding their physically challenged community members to their young. No? Okay, then.
3. If you could describe your heroine, Jaz, in only 5 words, which would you choose?
JR: Loyal- Practical- Vulnerable- Stubborn- Sassy
4. Let’s talk about Bergman. Will he ever find love? He comes up with some incredible inventions. How do you come up with these high-tech gadgets? Have you been contacted by the Department of Defense for some tips?
JR: Bergman is da bomb. In fact, that’s probably how he’ll leave this world—by ordering Jaz to pack his corpse on the tip of a moon rocket and shoot his remains into space.
Will he ever find love? Well, first he has to decide to look for it. Then he has to recognize it when it clubs him between the eyes. I’m thinking his journey could be somewhat hilarious; maybe even more fun than reaching a final destination. But it’s really up to him, and he hasn’t yet clued me into his ultimate personal plans. I can tell you that he returns for Bite Marks and has an even bigger role in Bitten in Two.
My gadgets seem to evolve the way real inventions do—out of necessity and some thought about how practical application can translate into wondrous invention. Luckily I have Bergman to figure out the details, otherwise nothing I imagine would ever work.
I don’t think my stuff is nearly advanced enough to interest the Department of Defense. No doubt they’ve already dreamed up and either instituted or trashed most of what I’ve written about. But it is fun for me to try to outdo them.
5. I read that you are working on the next book, Bitten in Two. How many books are you planning for the Jaz Parks series?
JR: Yeah, actually I just sent the manuscript for Bitten in Two to my editor, so I’m pretty psyched about that. We’re planning one more book in the series so far. I won’t say that I’m going to end it there, but you should have a good idea of where the characters will be heading by the end of that book.
6. I discovered that you are diligently writing your YA debut novel titled Shadowstruck. Care to share any information on the storyline and release date?
JR: I can’t get too specific, because my agent hasn’t even seen it yet. But I can tell you I was first inspired to write it after watching a TV series that followed a group of teenagers through a boot-camp style setting that their parents had enrolled them in because, basically, they couldn’t deal with them anymore and they were hoping the camp counselors could “cure” them of their constant fighting, bitching, and manipulating.
One kid in particular really got to me. He was always ready to throw the first punch. But underneath I could tell he wanted to get his life together. That he could make it all work if he just had the right people backing him up. And what was pissing him off so extremely had as much to do with his crap parents as it had to do with his crap choices.
But I didn’t want to write about that world, you know? I wanted to create my own place. Different conflicts. Scarier monsters. Even bigger odds that would force a fighting-type to figure out where he stood and where he should (or even if he could) draw the line. So this story is about a 15-year-old detentionmeister who has to rescue his little sister from a man who can make his shadow real.
7. Is it hard to make the transition from adult to YA?
JR: In some ways, yeah, it is. I find myself questioning where the line is on pushing the romance, and if I’ve crossed some boundary in the violence/gore arena. But in the end I know who I’m writing to. They’re smart, sophisticated people who have limited patience for junk. As long as I keep that at the front of my mind, I should be okay.
8. What is currently on your TBR pile?
JR: Right now I’m reading The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller. My TBR pile is unbelievably tall and tippy now that I’m writing full time. Because I used to read at night, before bedtime, and now even those hours are filled with work. So here’s an abbreviated list of what’s on the pile:
The first four books in the Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
Orphan’s Destiny, Orphan’s Journey & Orphan’s Alliance by Robert Buettner
Hal Spacejock: Second Course by Simon Haynes
Dead to Me by Anton Strout
The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller
The High Lord by Trudi Caravan
9. What is your favorite way to unwind after a hard day of writing? Any guilty pleasures?
JR: Supernatural, baby! (http://www.cwtv.com/shows/supernatural) I am so obsessed with that series it’s not even funny! Go Dean & Sam!! And no, they are not a guilty pleasure. That would be a big bowl of homemade cookie dough (minus the egg, because Salmonella is scarier than vampires!) and a glass of milk. Scrumptious!
I think I am the only person on the planet who doesn't watch that show! Jennifer thank you so much for visiting use today. Congratulations on your new release and on those to come!
Giveaway time! I was strolling through my favorite bookstore the other day and found a brand new copy of Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, book 1). If you have not read this series yet, here's a chance to start.
To enter, please leave a question or comment for Jennifer.
For an extra entries, post a link to this contest somewhere (sidebar, post, facebook, twitter, where ever you go). I will give one entry per link, be sure to leave me a link for verification.
I am going to open this up everyone! The giveaway will end October 29 and I will post the winner here on October 30. Good luck!