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I Belong


Guest Post & Giveaway: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Our guest today is author Jennifer Estep.  The sixth installment in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, By a Thread, will be released on February 28, 2012.  Please join me in welcoming Jennifer back to Dark Faerie Tales.  You can also read an excerpt from the book by clicking the link that I provided at the end of the post.

Thanks to Jennifer, one lucky commenter will have a chance to win By a Thread.  As always, details are listed at the end of the post.

Welcome Jennifer!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Angela for hosting me on the blog again today. Thanks so much, Angela!

So today, Angela wanted me to write something on world building. I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

World building is always an interesting topic to think and write about because everyone approaches it differently. Some authors will sit down and figure out all the details of their fantasy world, what the magic system is, and how it works before they do anything else.

Me? I’m more of a panster when it comes to writing. I usually have a general idea of the story in my mind, and then I sit down and start writing it. I don’t usually do detailed outlines, storyboards, character outlines, or anything like that.

The same thing goes for the world building. Usually, I’ll start with my heroine and think about the kind of magic she has and how she can use it to defeat the bad guy. I also like to think ahead about how the heroine’s magic can grow and change and how she can use different aspects of it in future books.

Once I have that figured out, that’s when I start thinking about the world around my heroine. Okay, if she has this kind of magic, what kind of magic do other people have? Does everyone have magic? How does the bad guy’s magic affect my heroine? Is everyone human or some variation of that? Or are there creatures in the world?

The list of questions you can ask yourself about magic and world building is endless, and just when you think you have everything figured out, you’ll think of something that will throw everything else off.

In general, I like to set up a few basic rules for the magic in my worlds, like the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone – in my Elemental Assassin series. Those are the main elementals, but I also mention that folks have related powers, like electricity would be an offshoot of Air power. This way, there are rules and folks know what kind of magic they can expect to see in the books, but it also gives me some flexibility to write about villains with different powers. So far in the series, I’ve written about villains with Fire, Air, Stone, and electrical magic.

In the end, though, I think the most important thing about world building and writing in general is to just have fun with what you’re creating. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it will show in your writing, and hopefully other folks will enjoy it as well.

What about you guys? What sort of magic and creatures do you like to read about? What are some of your favorite fantasy books and authors?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author who also writes the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Books in the series are Spider’s BiteWeb of LiesVenom, and Tan­gled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released on Sept. 27. Visit Jennifer for free short stories, excerpts, and more.

You can visit Jennifer around the web here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Want to read more from Jennifer Estep?

Spider's Bite Web of Lies Venom Tangled Threads Spider’s Revenge By a ThreadTouch of Frost Kiss of Frost Dark FrostKarma Girl Hot Mama Jinx A Karma Girl Christmas

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This giveaway is provided by Jennifer Estep

One winner will receive a copy of By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Available on February 28, 2012 from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books

About the Book:

When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.

Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun.

But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

Pre-Order from

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:


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49 Responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

  1. AHNo Gravatar
    1

    There are so many magical creatures that I love to read about. Lately, it’s been gargoyles and dragons.

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  2. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    2

    AH — That’s one of the great things about the fantasy genre — that there are so many different creatures/magic/powers to read about.

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  3. DogsMomNo Gravatar
    3

    I am a dragon fan, but also trolls and fairies (both good and mischievous) and “lighter” fantasy magical creatures.

    Favorite authors include TH White, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings, MZB, Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony among many many more

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  4. Cristina OtelNo Gravatar
    4

    I love fantasy genre because you can enter in a different world and you can be a part of this world. I love to read about all these magic creatures.

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  5. ChristineNo Gravatar
    5

    At heart I’m a shapeshifter fan; I love reading about vapires and faeries particularly, but shapeshifters win every time!

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  6. TiffanyNo Gravatar
    6

    I love to read about shifters,dragons and vampires. I have a lot of favorite authors but a few are Richelle Mead, Alyxandra Harvey, Carrie Jones, Cassandra Clare, Jenna Macclaine, Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh, Rachel Vincent, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Shelley Laurenston and Andrea Cremer. Thanks for a great giveaway, the EA series is fabulous!

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  7. MLNo Gravatar
    7

    I enjoy reading about any magic and magical creatures-fae, dragons, witches, mermaids, etc.

    I’ve enjoyed a bunch of Piers Anthony books-all the Xanth creatures. Other favorite fantasy authors are Anne McCaffrey and CS Lewis.

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  8. TurquoiseNo Gravatar
    8

    I’m really looking forward to reading By a Thread! It will be a nice break from all the “end of the world” type books I’ve been reading.

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  9. TurquoiseNo Gravatar
    9

    And I can’t wait to get back to reading about the fey and supernatural creatures! I’m really missing the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton!

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  10. AmyNo Gravatar
    10

    I love paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and I like reading about angels, werewolves, and big cat shifters. I don’t really read any strictly high fantasy books.

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  11. Rain maidenNo Gravatar
    11

    The more fae creatures the better. Vampires, werewolves, demons. I’m really on a zombie kick right now. Love your work Jennifer, keep them stories coming.

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  12. Viki S.No Gravatar
    12

    Honestly I find that I love them all. The more I read the more creatures I’m exposed to and find that I really like them. Magically I like the Fae as well as witches. As for authors I never know what genre to use. I stick with the description of paranormal. A few are: Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Keri Arthur and many many more. I just keep adding authors to my list :).

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  13. Audra HoltwickNo Gravatar
    13

    Dragons and shifters
    Melanie Rawn and Anne MacCaffery

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  14. RebeNo Gravatar
    14

    I’m really open to all sorts of magical creatures! I like shifters of all types, vamps, fae, you name it. At the moment I’m glomming on dragon shifters.

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  15. Stephanie EcksteinNo Gravatar
    15

    Lately I’ve fell out of love with the whole Vampire and Werewolf genre, so I guess my favorite fantasy creatures would have to be witches or any mostly normal human with magic?!? I really love your books of course Gin is totally a tough chick who can kick some serious butt. I also really love Kim Harrison’s Hollow’s series too. I just finished reading Sins of the Demon by Diane Rowland and I enjoy that series as well. Kalayna Price’s Alex Craft series is another of my favorites. So I guess I like any book with a tough chick who can hold her own :)

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  16. NaNo Gravatar
    16

    I like to read about vampires and shape-shiters. I’m reallyy open to meeting unique creatures. I enjoyed the Fever series which has a beast in it. Very interesting!

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  17. CrystalGBNo Gravatar
    17

    I love reading about witches, shapeshifters, werewolves, and vampires.

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  18. EdwardNo Gravatar
    18

    Everything really. Vampires, shapeshifters, faeries, I like them! I love the Harry Potter series and the Dresden Files series.

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  19. bn100No Gravatar
    19

    I like to read abou vampires, werewolves, fairies, and dragons. I like J. K. Rowling’s books.

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  20. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    20

    DogsMom — I like Eddings and Brooks too.

    Cristina — I like that about fantasy books too.

    Christine — I like reading about shapeshifters too.

    Tiffany — Thanks! I appreciate that. Glad you are enjoying the series.

    ML — The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Lewis is definitely a classic.

    Turquoise — Thanks! I appreciate that, and I hope you enjoy the book.

    Amy — I like paranormal romance and urban fantasy too.

    Rain Maiden — Thanks! I appreciate that.

    Viki — I like Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.

    Audra — I’ve heard a lot of good things about McCaffrey’s books.

    Rebe — I like reading about dragons too.

    Stephanie — Thanks! I appreciate that. I like strong heroines too.

    Na — I like reading about different creatures too.

    Crystal — I like reading about those creatures too.

    Edward — I like the Harry Potter series too.

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  21. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    21

    BN100 — I like the Harry Potter series too.

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  22. NeonNo Gravatar
    22

    I’ll read them all. But I like shapeshifters, vamps, and witches. Now for favorite authors: Laurell K Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Yasmine Galenorn, the Harry Potter books, Carrie Vaughn, and the list just keeps getting longer.

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  23. Cory w.No Gravatar
    23

    I love to read about anything magical. Vampires, werewolves and other shifters, witches, etc. I’m into anything with a paranormal or magical slant to it. Some of my favorites are Jennifer Estep (of course), Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, and Kelley Armstrong.

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  24. CarolynNo Gravatar
    24

    I love reading Harry Potter, books by Sherwood Smith, Maria V Snyder, and i love books about shapeshifters as well

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  25. Danielle DNo Gravatar
    25

    ok creatures would have to be dragons (of course), fae, angels, elementals like djinn

    as for authors, there are way too many to name, but Margaret Weis/Tacey Hickman, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep (clearly), Christina Henry, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine

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  26. dusiaNo Gravatar
    26

    I enjoy reading about dragons and elves. My favourite series are Harry Potter and Eragon, but about authors… There’re quite a lot:P like Julie Kagawa, J.K. Rownling, Andrea Cremer…

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  27. Barbara ElnessNo Gravatar
    27

    I love to read about the standard vampires, werewolves, witches and demons, but it’s really fun to see what other kinds of creatures an author can come up with. I love the magical elementals featured in the Elemental Assassin series, which is absolutely one of my favorite series. Some others are Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty series, and Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series.

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  28. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    28

    Neon — It’s a great time to be a fan of the genre with all the great books/authors out there.

    Cory — Thanks! I appreciate that, and that’s a great group of authors/books to be included with.

    Carolyn — I’m looking forward to reading Touch of Power by Snyder.

    Danielle — Thanks! I appreciate that, and that’s a great group of authors/books to be included with.

    Dusia — I enjoyed The Iron King by Kagawa. I need to finish the rest of that series.

    Barbara — Thanks! I appreciate that, and that’s a great group of authors/books to be included with.

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  29. Paranormal HavenNo Gravatar
    29

    I know shifters and vampires have already been listed (at least a dozen times) but I can’t get enough of them. At least I’m not strictly were shifters anymore. That’s improvement, right?

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  30. donnasNo Gravatar
    30

    I love paranormals and will happily read about any type of fantasy creature.

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  31. Dani HarperNo Gravatar
    31

    I love shapeshifters of any kind (enjoying the Jane Yellowrock series right now). I also enjoy reading about demons, fairies and ghosts.

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  32. Teri CNo Gravatar
    32

    I love my UF and PNR. all the magical creatures intrigue me but I sure am a sucker for loupes and dragons.

    My fave series include, The Hallows, Anita Blake, Mercy Thompson, Vincent’s Shifters, Iilona Andres and Devon Monk’s books.

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  33. CindyNo Gravatar
    33

    I have to say, that I prefer Vamps, Demons, Ghost, and shifters. Will read about any kind of creatures. Favorite authors, hmmm; JR Ward- BDB, Jennifer Estep- EA(oh wait thats you!:D), Stacia Kane- Downside, Jess Haines- The Others, Kalayna Price- Grave Witch, Darynda Jones- Charlie Davidson, Adrian Phoenix- Hoodo, Ilona Andrews- Kate Daniels, and Nalini Singh- Guild Hinters. I know thats a ton 8O, but these are my most fav series. There are still lots of other I like too.

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  34. whitewolfreadsNo Gravatar
    34

    Jennifer, since you are a self-professed pantser, when it comes to world building, do you ever run into road blocks because you don’t have everything meticulously planned out?

    One of my absolute favorite worlds is the one created by Ilona Andrews in thier Kate Daniels series. The dynamics of that world is definitely unique and detailed.

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  35. Maghon ThomasNo Gravatar
    35

    hmmm, I pretty much like anything that has a surpernatural element to it… as for my favorites, I would say Jennifer Estep, Laurell K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Chloe Neill, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Keri Arthur, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Vincent, Faith Hunter, Diana Rowlands, Carrie Vaughn, Charlotte Abel, Samantha Young, HM Ward, Karen Chance, … I SWEAR I could go on (trust me, I can, cuz I keep a handy list lol) but I don’t wanna take up a giant space :)

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  36. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    36

    Paranormal Haven — I think shifters and vampires will always be popular.

    Donna — I like reading about different types of creatures too.

    Dani — I’ve heard a lot of good things about that series.

    Teri — I like reading about those creatures too.

    Cindy — Thanks! I appreciate that. There are a lot of great books/series/authors to read in the fantasy genre.

    Whitewolf — Sometimes, I do take a wrong turn, and I’ll have to go back and rewrite a character or situation.

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  37. Candace @ Lovey Dovey BooksNo Gravatar
    37

    I’m new to the whole urban fantasy genre but I do like the Night Huntress Series and Lindsay Buroker is my favorite fantasy author.

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  38. KausarNo Gravatar
    38

    That’s one of the great things about the fantasy genre — that there are so many different creatures/magic/powers to read about.

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  39. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    39

    Candace — I like the Night Huntress series too.

    Kausar — That’s one of the things I like about the fantasy genre too.

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  40. DeAnna SchultzNo Gravatar
    40

    I like to read all sorts of fantasy. Some of my top author’s I love are JR Ward, Tessa Dawn, Charlaine Harris, Rhiannon Frater, Jeanine Frost, Karen Dales, Laura Adrian, Joey Hill, Karen Marie Moning, Donna Boyd, Rea Carson are just a few. I just purchased the Night Myst and Neil Veil by Yasmine Galenorn from Audible.com. Dark Fae and Vampires. Yay!!

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  41. AmandaNo Gravatar
    41

    Wow what a question well I really have no fave but I havae read more Vampires, Werewolves, Demons and Fae books but Im into them all. And as for authors go I like Jennifer Estep of course but thats really an understatement :) but then theres Stacia Kane, Diana Rowland, Seanan McGuire, Kelly Meding and Im sure there is so much more but that’s all that pops out.

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  42. ToniNo Gravatar
    42

    I’ve read vampires, fairies, angels, shapeshfiters, humans with magic abilities and it’s their story that really pulls me in rather than their type of “creature/magical ability”. Besides the elemental assassin series, I love the Night Huntress, Kate Daniels, Chicagoland Vampires, Fever, Guild hunters and the list could go on and on because there really are some amazing stories out there!

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  43. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    43

    DeAnna — I read one of Galenorn’s stories in an anthology and enjoyed it. I keep meaning to read more by her.

    Amanda — Thanks! I appreciate that, and I like to read about different kinds of creatures too.

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  44. Barb PNo Gravatar
    44

    Hi Jennifer! In answer to your quest, I pretty much like all of it. Vamps, Shifters, demons etc. love it all. Some of my favorite authors are Diana Rowland, Cynthia Eden, Darynda Jones and the list goes on. I love your series and thanks so much for the awesome giveaway.

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  45. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    45

    Barb — Thanks! Glad you are enjoying my series. I like reading about different kinds of creatures too.

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  46. LexiNo Gravatar
    46

    Congrats on the new book! Can’t wait to see what Gin is up to now.
    As for magic, I love it all. The far fetched, the classics, the useless. It makes books fun and I can’t get enough. I am a big fan of G. A. Aikens Dragonkin series, can’t get much more magical than dragons that shift into sexy men. =)

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  47. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    47

    Lexi — Thanks! I appreciate that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that series. That’s another one I need to check out.

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  48. PamkNo Gravatar
    48

    love dragons, elves, shifters, and witches and most any other kind of creature.
    some of my favorite authors are
    Kresley Cole
    Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken
    Patricia Briggs
    Nalini Singh
    Ilona Andrews
    Thea Harrison
    Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Jennifer Estep
    Kelly Armonstrong
    Deborah cooke and many more that I am probably forgetting now.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

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  49. Jennifer EstepNo Gravatar
    49

    Pam — Thanks! I appreciate that, and that’s a great group of authors to be included with.

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