Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Q & A with Suzanne Johnson + Giveaway

About the Author:

On Aug. 28, 2005, Suzanne Johnson loaded two dogs, a cat, a friend, and her mom into a car and fled New Orleans in the hours before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

Four years later, she began weaving her experiences and love for her city into the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, beginning with Royal Street (2012), continuing with River Road (2012), and now with Elysian Fields (August 2013).

She grew up in rural Alabama, halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’ birthplace, and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years—which means she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.




 
She can be found online at her website or her daily blog, Preternatura. As Susannah Sandlin, she writes the best-selling Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series and the recent standalone, Storm Force.
 
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Title:  Elysian Fields

Series:  Sentinels of New Orleans Series, Book Three

Author:  Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

Date of Publication:  August 13, 2013

Number of Pages: 352

Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Book Description:  The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi. New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. 

Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren't random--an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. 

Namely, DJ. Fighting off an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn't easy. Jake Warin's loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world's most annoying wizard, and former partner AlexWarin just turned up on DJ's to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power. 

Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte's pirate wench? It could be DJ's best option.



Don't miss out on books one and two in the Sentinels of New Orleans series!


Q & A with Suzanne Johnson 
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
A:  The heroine is DJ Jaco, a Green Congress wizard (think geek) in New Orleans who, after Hurricane Katrina, was thrust into the role of Sentinel for the area (think border guard between our world and the preternatural world).

She’s surrounded by a cast of regulars who might have larger or smaller roles in each book, but I’d categorize three as major at this point in the story—her former partner Alex Warin, who’s an enforcer for the wizards (think: assassin) and a shapeshifter; the undead early 19th-century French pirate Jean Lafitte, granted immortality by the power of human memory; and DJ’s neighbor Quince Randolph, aka Rand. I can’t tell you much about Rand without major spoilery!

Other recurring characters include Adrian Hoffman, a glorified secretary for the wizarding Congress of Elders; Etienne Boulard and his assistant Terri Ford, vampire regent; Rene Delachaise, a merman and good friend of DJ’s; Jake Warin, Alex’s cousin and former love interest of DJ’s who’s a rogue werewolf; Eugenie Dupre, DJ’s friend and a human who’s only recently learned about the “other” world; and various wizards, pirates, elves, vampires, and an occasional undead jazz musician or voodoo god.

Q:  DJ is described by multiple reviewers as a strong heroine.  In your opinion, what makes a good, strong female character?
A:  I think there are all kinds of strong female lead characters, but my personal favorites are those who have to work at it. DJ’s strength doesn’t come in her ability to wield a weapon. In fact, she sucks at it. But she’s strong because she’s smart, creative, and doesn’t quit. She has a strong sense of ethics, but doesn’t mind bending the rules and asking forgiveness later. She gets knocked down a lot, but she always comes up swinging, figuratively speaking. She’ll ask for help if she needs to (well, she’s getting better about that). Those are the things that make her strong.

Q:  If your books were turned into a movie, who would you want to play the parts?
A:  Ah, that’s so hard. I always envisioned DJ as looking a little like the actress Emilie de Ravin, although she might have to work to get a New Orleans accent. For Jean Lafitte, perhaps Giles Marini—he already has the accent down. A young Josh Holloway could play Jake. Alex, Alex, Alex. I just haven’t found the right Alex. I picture him in my head but haven’t found anyone who’d work. Suggestions?

Q:  When you first started writing Royal Street did you know it was going to turn into a series?  What was your writing process like throughout the series?
A:  LOL. When I first started Royal Street, I wasn’t even sure it was going to turn into a novel! It was my first book, my first stab at writing fiction, and I started it partly as a way to turn my post-Hurricane Katrina angst (I’d been living in New Orleans) into something positive. So it was all gut and heart. By the time I finished it, though, I had fallen in love with the whole writing process, and by the time I found my agent, I’d already started writing the second book River Road. When Royal Street sold, River Road was almost finished, so I sold them both at the same time. It’s a natural for me to think in terms of series, because that’s almost all I read.

Q:  Is Elysian Fields going to be the last in the series, or can your readers expect more in the future?
A:  No, in fact, Elysian Fields really kicks off a big story arc that began building in the first two books. There will be at least two more in the series, after which we’ll see how they’re selling and how the big story arc is progressing. The next book has the working title of Pirate’s Alley, and will be out in 2014—no firm date yet.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
A:  The best advice I haven’t quite taken is to learn to say no; I have a problem with that, which is why I’m always overcomitted. The best advice I actually try to take is to treat my writing like a career and give it the same attention and dedication that I give to my day-job. Treat it like a hobby and it will be a hobby.

Q:  What do you see as the biggest challenge for indie authors and what have you been doing to overcome that?
A:  I haven’t self-published; both of my series (as Suzanne Johnson and Susannah Sandlin) are traditionally published, so I’ll answer this question as a book blogger and an editor who sees a lot of indie work cross my desk. The biggest challenge for an indie author—for any author, really—is discoverability. With an estimated 15 million books coming out this year, how are you going to make your work stand out and get people to read it? The biggest problems I see with indie works coming my way for review are covers that look “homemade” and lack of editing. Your name is your brand, and you don’t want a reader’s first impression of your brand to be negative. So it’s important to showcase your work at its best by getting professional developmental editing, copyediting, and cover design. Otherwise, a reader might try you out once, but won’t come back again.

Q:  If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
A:  Definitely teleporting. I don’t like the whole flying experience; I’ll drive anywhere, but don’t make me deal with airports.

 Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  It’s actually a book I’m reading as research for a new novel: Unearthing Churchill’s Secret Army, by John Grehan and Martin Mace. I usually read nonfiction when I’m working on a new manuscript, often something research-related.

Thanks for having me today!

 
 



August 10 http://www.bittersweet-enchantment.com/
August 12 http://magluvsya03.wordpress.com
August 12 http://mistressofthedarkpath.wordpress.com/
August 12 http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy.blogspot.com/
August 13 http://buffy-kennedy.blogspot.com/
August 13 http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/
August 14 http://whatthecatread.wordpress.com
August 15 http://www.jillarcher.com/
August 15 http://mybookaddiction.com
August 19 http://www.tyngasreviews.com
August 19 http://ccclubbs.com/
August 20 http://jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.co.uk/
August 21 http://buriedunderbooks1.blogspot.com
August 22 http://ShareMyDestiny.blogspot.com
August 23 saphsbookblog.blogspot.com
August 23 http://thedarkeva.com
August 23 www.faerietalebooks.org
August 26 http://empyreanedge.com
August 27 http://victoriasgossip.com/blog/
August 28 http://bookedandloaded.com
August 29 http://shutupandreadgroup.blogspot.com/
August 29 http://www.literaryme.net/
August 30 http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com
August 30 http://frankieblooding.wordpress.com/             
September 2
http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com/
September 2 www.jademystique.blogspot.com
September 3 Www.mymidnightfantasies.blogspot.com
September 3 http://chapterbreak.wordpress.com
September 4 http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com/
September 4 http://www.bookliaison.net/
September 5
www.leeanna.me
September 6 http://www.readingreality.net
September 6 http://doctorsnotes-shy.blogspot.com
September 9 http://www.romancingthedarkside.com
September 10 www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com


17 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great book!

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  2. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to it. Thanks!

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  3. You chose my FAVORITE superpower! It's the obvious best choice by far. ;)

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  4. Looking forward to reading this book.

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  5. I totally agree about what makes a strong heroine. Great interview.

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  6. For D.J., how about Poppy Montgomery from the TV show Unforgettable. Thanks for the Q&A with Suzanne. Elysian Fields is a great read. Wonderful continuation of the Sentinel of New Orleans series.

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  7. Great post. I'm enjoying following the tour.

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  8. I hadn't thought about teleporting that way, but Suzanne is right - it would be a LOT better than airports, which make me feel like the world's biggest germophobe and take forever.

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  9. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Yes, when I say I hate to fly people think I am afraid of flying...but I hate airports and crowds and standing in lines. Flying is fine!

    Poppy Montgomery....yes, I could see her playing DJ!

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  10. ^^ i 'm not sure who could play Alex... he is so complex ^^ but i definitively go check the list of model keri lake did just in case one appears as alex^^

    Also i can understand the problem of not being able to say no ( oki i do say no more often but i end up doing what i refused anyway so....quite similar^^)

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  11. Love the Q&A, and I would love to teleport to. Thanks for sharing. and the for the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

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  12. Great interview! Gives more insight into the characters.

    Deb
    mammy4423 @ yahoo. com

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  13. Sounds like a great book w/strong, well developed characters!

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  14. Can't wait for book 4! Good job suzanne

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