A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.
PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Jim’s books.
Welcome to Bitten by Books, we are excited to have you here today!
I would like to thank you taking the time to join us for the question and answer session with our readers. It has been very interesting to get to know more about you and what makes you tick as a writer! Readers, if you haven’t done so already please stop by and get your copy of Jim’s newest book The Mermaid’s Madness.
BBB: What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of writing?
JCH: One of the most challenging pieces has always been time management. Writing is wonderful, but it doesn’t support my family, so I also work a day job. Add in wanting to make time with my wife and two young children, and it becomes an ongoing balancing act trying to manage the priorities. As for the most rewarding, I’d probably have to say that moment when a scene just *works*, when everything comes together and you sit back knowing this is the scene that’s going to blow people away. That and hearing from readers who truly loved something you wrote. It’s an awesome feeling.
BBB: Do you consider different books fantasy or urban fantasy? and do you think it is important to distinguish between the two?
JCH: Ah yes, good old urban fantasy. Also known as “That subgenre of fantasy that outsells goblins and princesses six-to-one.” Not that I’m bitter, mind you. I’m actually very happy writing what I do, even if my
books aren’t the current hot trend in SF/F. I’m not in marketing, so for me the various genres and subgenres boil down to, “If you like this sort of book, you’ll probably enjoy this other book here.” I do think it’s
important from a marketing standpoint, making it as easy as possible for people to find (and buy) more books they’ll like.
BBB: You seem to have a really good understanding of the dynamic and interactions between women. Were you raised with sisters?
JCH: Thank you, and nope, just me and my little brother. I think the most important thing about characterization is just learning to listen to other people, particularly people with different backgrounds and experiences from yourself.
BBB: What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
JCH: Hm … well, there was the time I wanted to bring Smudge the fire-spider out of the goblin books and drop him into the middle of a science fiction convention to see what happened, but I actually managed to
write and sell that story. So I guess I’d have to go with turning one or more of my princesses into zombies or vampires for a kind of Halloween special.
BBB: Our reviewer AJ asks “Why did you decide to change the characters names in The Stepsister Scheme? I really loved the characters but was a little disconcerted at first that their names were changed. Have others given you that feedback?”
JCH: I’m guessing AJ is referring to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty being called Danielle and Talia in the books? Snow White is Ermillina, but she goes by Snow, so that shouldn’t be as disconcerting. Mostly I did it because these characters deserve their own names. Sleeping Beauty is a title, a description of a princess who’s a symbol instead of being her own person. Cinderella, or Cinderwench, was an insult tossed out by her stepmother and stepsisters. These women deserve better. I haven’t gotten much feedback, aside from the occasional question as to where I came up with the names. (Talia and Ermillina both came from more obscure versions of their respective stories.)
BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?
JCH: Not as well as I’d like. For the princess series, I experimented with creating a private wiki file of characters, nations, timelines, and other world building details. The wiki actually works really well, allowing me to find particular details fast and add information as necessary. The problem is I don’t like to stop writing long enough to update the silly thing, because I don’t want to lose momentum on the story. So about half of my world building made it into the wiki, and the rest is jotted down in random notes and on the backs of flyers and such, all of which is jammed into a folder.
BBB: What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle 2 or Sony Digital Book Reader to the environment?
JCH: At the moment, I don’t think there’s been much of an impact, but I imagine that will change as the price continues to come down and e-readers become more standardized.
BBB: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors in the end? Do you feel they have a negative impact or positive, or no impact at all that you can see?
JCH: Electronic sales make up a small fraction of my overall royalties, so right now I don’t know that the e-readers are having that much of an impact. Ask me again in five or ten years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that answer changed a lot. I don’t think electronic books are going to be the End Of Publishing, and I suspect the demand for good stories will stay strong for the foreseeable future. I’m just planning to keep writing, and one way or another I trust there will be ways to connect stories and readers.
BBB: Can you tell us about your different stories and the general storylines that drive them?
JCH: The goblin books were all about looking at the fantasy genre from a different perspective, exploring what heroism and adventure and quests meant to someone on the opposite end of the food chain. Well, that and the occasional nose-picking joke. The princess series has been similar in many ways. Not the nose-picking, but the desire to look at things from another perspective, to give these characters the chance to take control of their own stories and kick some ass in the process.
BBB: What else do you currently have in the works? When can we expect your next book?
JCH: I’m doing final revisions on Red Hood’s Revenge, the third princess book, which should be out around July of next year. After that, the as-of-yet-untitled fourth princess book will probably wrap up the series. I’ve got a few ideas for a new series, but it will probably be another year before I start writing it.
BBB: You came up with some really unusual names for the secondary characters in The Stepsister Scheme. Where did those names come from?
JCH: Mostly it was a matter of playing with sounds and syllables until I came up with something that felt right for the character or race in question. I tried to keep the tradition of having fairly ridiculous-sounding fairy names, as you get in the old fairy tales, which is where you get names like Arlorran and Trittibar and Febblekeck. A lot of these characters went thought many different names before I finally settled on the right one.
BBB: The fate of the stepmother was an awesome but gruesome twist. Where did that concept originate from?
JCH: Thank you! Like a lot of the backstory for the books, this came from the older (pre-Disney) fairy tales, which were a lot darker than the stories we hear these days. Without spoiling anything, if you read Aschenputtel, one of the old Cinderella tales, you’ll find the inspiration for the fate of Danielle’s stepmother.
BBB: Where do you see the fantasy/urban fantasy genre headed? Can you see it slowing down in the near future, or do you think that the immediate future is pretty bright for it?
JCH: In the future, the entire fantasy genre shall be made up of classic works with monsters added, a la Pride and Prejudice with Zombies. I’m planning to stake out Shakespeare Cthulhu as my own niche.
BBB: Do you have any personal traits that you have written into the characters of your books?
JCH: Jig the goblin’s nearsightedness. I’ve worn glasses since age four, and every once in a while I find myself wondering why everyone in the fantasy genre has 20/20 vision. And my family would be quick to point out that most of the smart-assery in various characters is very much me.
BBB: Do you feel that you might lean towards doing some more urban fantasy type books in the future?
JCH: I’ve never done much urban fantasy (though I did have a story in Esther Friesner’s anthology Strip Mauled, which is suburban fantasy–does that count?) The new series, post-princesses, will probably be set in today’s time, and may have more of an urban bent to it.
BBB: True Blood or The Vampire Diaries?
JCH: Charlaine Harris and I share an agent, so just to be safe, I’m going with True Blood. But the truth is I don’t really watch that much TV, and haven’t caught either show. I’ve read some of Charlaine Harris’ Harper
Connelly series and enjoyed it, though.
BBB: Do you have any plans for book signings/ readings anytime soon? If so, where can our readers find you?
JCH: I’ve got a few more book signings in Michigan, and I’ll be Guest of Honor at Icon in Iowa later this month. I keep all of my upcoming events posted on my web site at http://www.jimchines.com/appearances/
Learn more about Jim C. Hines below:
Read Reviews of his work here.
To visit the author’s website go here.
To visit the author’s blog go here.
CONTEST: PLEASE NOTE THE NEW CONTEST EMAIL ADDRESS TO SEND YOUR ENTRIES TO BELOW. There are also revisions to the rules for this contest, please read them all carefully. Also, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME in your comment/post so we can give you the proper credit for your entries.
Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do just ONE or ALL of these things, and each thing you do will give you additional entries at a chance to WIN. REMEMBER you have Until 10/13/09 at 11:59 pm PDT to do the different things that YOU choose to do.
He will be giving away 1 set of painted goblin miniatures from Garden Ninja Studios and his awesome publisher DAW Books has agreed to donate THREE copies each of the following anthologies:
Terribly Twisted Tales
If I Were An Evil Overlord
Open to readers worldwide
1. The easiest way to enter is by purchasing copies of Jim’s books.
From Barnes & Noble:
Good for 300 entries per book you purchase by using the links above.
OR you can use the Barnes & Noble search banner on the right hand side of the site or this link HERE to make your purchase of ANY kind of merchandise during the contest. You can also use the Amazon search box or this link HERE to shop as well. Good for 100 entries to the contest for EACH item you purchase. Not valid on past purchases.
It is NOT mandatory to purchase anything to enter the contests, there are plenty of other ways to enter and win. Just email us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies.
2. In order to be entered into this contest the ONE thing you ALL have to do is ask Jim a question or leave a comment. It can be ANY question you like. No questions/comments = no entries! You can come by through 10/13/09 and ask Jim your questions. Good for 10 entries. (max 2 questions that count towards entries)
3. Spread the word! Use this direct link to the event: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=11707 on twitter, at another blog, website, Myspace, Ning Group, Facebook, Yahoo Group, Goodreads, Shelfari (any group where it is appropriate). You MUST come back here to this interview and post those links in one response here in this thread so we can verify your entries. Good for 100 entries per place you post the event link.
NOTE: if you post multiple links here, your post will not show up right away. If you don’t see it, don’t keep posting it, we WILL approve your entry later on in the day.
4. Be friends with Jim by joining him here:
Good for 100 entries per place you friend. Please send proof of friendship to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces).
5. VOTE in the The Vampire’s Assistant Movie Giveaway here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=11315 and leave a comment. Good for 50 entries.
6. VOTE in the 2009 Favorite Paranormal Fiction Author of the Year – Round 3 here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=11704 and leave a comment where you heard about the poll. Good for 50 entries.
7. Make a purchase in our Bloody Cafe store here: http://www.cafepress.com/bittenbybooks. We are all volunteers so your continuing support is deeply appreciated. Email us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies. Good for 100 entries.
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SUBSCRIBE to the Bitten by Books newsletter by clicking here or use the box on the top right hand side of the site. Be sure you VERIFY your subscription, an email is sent with the verification link. Unverified subscribers will not be entered and will be deleted from the mailing list. If you are already a subscriber, just let us know and you will get entries too.
Join The Blood Bank the Bitten by Books Community! Here: http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/ then come back here and tell us your user name and leave the link to your page.
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Add Bitten by Books to your blog roll or links page: http://bittenbybooks.com if you leave our link up permanently you will always be entered into our contests automatically. Just be sure to stop by each contest we hold and leave the link to where it is so we can give you your entry! Email us a copies of ALL of your verification emails to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Good for 150 entries each place you add us.
RULES AND LEGAL DISCLAIMERS
The contest ends on 10/13/09 at 11:59 pm PDT and the winners will be contacted via email. You will receive your prize bag directly from the author and publisher. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning.
1. Please note, the prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be absolutely no substitutions or changes the prize is non-transferable. If you don’t want the prize being offered, please don’t enter the contest. If you ever win an electronic copy of a book, please note that it is ILLEGAL to forward, give away or copy it in anyway once you receive it. Doing so violates copyright. If we find out that it has been done, you will no longer be eligible to win any of our contests.
2. You have THREE days from the day the we contact you to claim your prize by sending your name/mailing address to me. Failure to contact me will forfeit your prize. BBB can at that time, choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
3. The prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be no substitutions, trades or changes. No exceptions. Please do not ask. If for some reason you do not wish to claim your prize, please let me know as soon as possible. Bitten by Books has the option to re-award it or not.
4. Contest is open to USA readers except where noted. The prizes are shipped directly from the author and publisher.
5. Bitten by Books is in NO way responsible for the prizes being offered in any of the contests. If for some reason a contributor does not honor their prize, there is nothing we can or will do about it. We are not worried that this will happen, but we want to be very clear that WE are not offering these prizes, the contributor is and it is their responsibility to fulfill their prize obligations.
6. These rules are subject to change or be modified without prior written notice.
7. Contest is void where prohibited.
8. By entering this contest you are agreeing to our terms of entry