Today we are going to be interviewing Jenn Bennett, the author of the Arcadia Bell series, on the blog. The latest book in the series just came out last month (check out my review here) and I took this opportunity to ask Jenn a couple of questions.
Where did you get the idea for the series?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m not really sure where I got the idea for the series. I mean, sure, I could tell you bits and pieces about what inspired the world-building or the setup. But when it comes down to it, my series isn’t about a Tiki bar owner or Earthbound demons or occult magic or weird supernatural mysteries. It’s about a girl in her mid-twenties who’s had a tough (and strange) life and is trying to build a new one. And a man who’s doing his best to raise a teenage son alone. And a teenage son who’s lost his mother. It’s about all these people, the connections they make, and how brave they have to be to hang on to those connections during times when it would be easier to walk away.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Jupe Butler, the teenage son. He’s vivacious and curious, and he has no filter, so he gets to say what other characters—and the reader—might be thinking.
Which character can you most relate to?
Hmm. Probably Jupe’s father (and Arcadia’s demon boyfriend) Lon? He’s a photographer, and background is painting/art. And though I might not be empathic like he is, I’m pretty sensitive to other people around me.
Do you have any other series or books planned?
I have a new series coming from Penguin in 2014 called Roaring Twenties. It’s paranormal romance that takes place in 1920s San Francisco. The first book is BITTER SPIRITS, and it’s about a bootlegger who turns to a spirit medium for help when he becomes hexed and haunted. There are ghosts. A little magic. A mystery in Chinatown. Foggy San Francisco. Witty characters. And lots of swoon-y romance!
Why did you choose to break our hearts like you did with that ending (Binding the Shadows)?
If your heart was broken, I’m happy—not because I want to make you suffer, but because I want to make you feel. Good books take you to great emotional heights: wonder, excitement, joy, heartbreak, and thrills. If you care about the characters, and if the story is good, you’ll feel all those things right alongside them. And what could be better than that? Are you worried for Arcadia? You should be. Her life is in danger and her world has just been rocked. She is worthy of your emotion. At least, I happen to think so.
Is Crossing the Aethyr going to be the last Arcadia Bell book?
Yes, and maybe? It will be the last book in this phase of Arcadia’s life, and all the things hanging from book #3 will be answered. But whether I decide to write the next phase of her life…I’m not sure yet. I’m working on new projects, and I’d rather leave this story and these characters in a good place than stretch out something just to fill books. These characters are too important to me. I want them to get the story they deserve, and I want to leave on a high note. At least for now.
Can you tell us something about Crossing the Aethyr to make us feel better?
The story mostly centers on a road trip taken by Arcadia and Lon. Lots of one-on-one time for the two of them. There’s also a secondary intertwining storyline in which Jupe gets chapters from his POV for the very first time. (Watch out, people!) He meets a brand new character, someone who changes his life. I absolutely adore this character and hope you will, too. And at the end of the book, you’ll get to see a glimpse into the future. It’s probably the most romantic of all four books, and it made me cry a lot of happy tears to write it. Hey, maybe you’ll even shed a few yourself when you read it. I definitely think it’s worth both the wait and all the heartbreak, as most really good things are.
Thank you so much for joining us on the blog today Jenn! I think I feel a lot better about the ending to Binding the Shadows now and am more excited than afraid to read Crossing the Aethyr.