Please help me welcome Jen Bluekissed into the Moonlight! Jen is a recent transplant to the Tennessee area from Iowa and aside from getting lost in a great story, Jen counts other favorite hobbies as word and strategy games.
Jen can be found at the following places on the web:
Thanks for joining us today, Jen! It’s a pleasure to have you with us and an honor. Now, let’s learn a little bit about you and your books:
1. Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?
My favorite scary movie is The Shining. I love psychological thrillers, especially those with a little paranormal twist. Though not a scary movie, I also love Nuns on the Run in which two bank robbers hide in a convent dressed as nuns. The movie I’ve watched most often on Halloween is The Exorcist. I first saw it as a young child, and when I asked my father for reassurance about the whole movie just being make believe, my father’s response freaked me out. He said, “No, people really do become possessed by the devil, so make sure you never do anything to make that happen.”
Did I mention I grew up in a very conservative Catholic home? The Exorcist still freaks me out, though I still love the film.
2. Do you have any Halloween traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, wearing costumes, etc.?
Other than gorging myself on leftover chocolate? I used to own a blonde wig with curls that were nearly five feet long. Other than Halloween, I used to wear the wig at random times while pretending to be Rapunzel. I moved a few years ago, and the wig was eaten by the moving truck. Either that, or my loved ones took it to an unnaturally early death and fibbed to me so I wouldn’t wear it anymore.
3. If you do you dress up for Halloween, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?
I’m dressing up as my alter-ego for Halloween. I like painting my lips blue. I also have a dress covered in lips. Jen Bluekissed is my pen name, and she’s a lot of fun when she goes out in public.
My all-time favorite costume for Halloween was the year I dressed up as an old woman. I was a freshman in high school when a friend and I went to St. Vincent de Paul and bought clothes that only the most uncoordinated of all elderly people would ever wear. It’s dark for a reason when we celebrate Halloween, right? I died my hair gray and used a cane. It was good for keeping people away from my goodies.
4. Are you superstitious? Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder? If not one of these two, what is your superstition?
I’ve never been superstitious. When I studied in Spain, I was surprised to find out that Tuesday the 13th is considered bad luck.
I do believe evil spirits and ghosts exist. My biggest display of superstition regarding them is that I haven’t written about them. I get freaked out when I think about them getting angry with me. I hope to someday gather the courage to go there with my writing.
Vampires, werewolves, polytheistic gods, angels, leprechauns, etc. are all fair game, however.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?
Absolutely. I almost have a cemetery in my back yard. I’m originally from Iowa. In Iowa, when selling property, one is required to disclose if there is anyone buried on the property. When I moved to Tennessee, my husband and I were surprised to learn that such disclosures aren’t required. We bought our property without knowing about the cemetery.
It’s around 200 years old and behind a stone wall. The headstones are only visible in winter after the trees have lost their leaves.
Since moving in, the house next door to us has had foundation problems and is cracked and sunk nearly a foot. The neighbors were joking about the ghosts in the cemetery when we first moved in. Within a month, their place was cracked enough that they could see light through their living room wall. I personally believe the spirits in the cemetery are the cause.
Also, when I was in seventh grade, I went into our basement to watch TV while my mom parked the car in our garage and then was going to shovel snow. I was in the basement for only five or ten minutes when I suddenly knew I had to go upstairs. I didn’t know why, and I even dismissed the feeling I had for a minute or two. The feeling grew so intense that I couldn’t stand being in the basement any longer.
When I finally went upstairs, I heard my mother screaming from outside. She accidentally left the car in drive while shoveling the driveway down a slight hill. The car rolled down the driveway and on top of her. She was pinned under the gas tank and ultimately survived. Had I stayed in the basement, I don’t think she would have fared as well.
6. Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens.
Full moons seem to be the days when more strange things happen to me. I was once locked out of my house three times on the same day coinciding with a full moon.
During a full moon, working in customer service also produces at lot of interesting customers. I used to work for a life insurance company in a call center, and would get calls from people who claimed the died and wanted to claim on their own life insurance.
I also used to be a teacher, and routinely held parent teacher conferences on Halloween. Some of the kids who were the biggest troublemakers in class would behave like angels on Halloween because their parents were due to see me later in the day.
7. If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
I’d be a leprechaun. They live to be old and are rich.
Now, let’s get to your writing:
8. Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?
The draw for me is playing with reality. As long as the rules are consistent within my own work, I can make characters do things and behave in ways that are more interesting. I think to a certain degree that the paranormal genre is an escapist genre. When I’m writing about vampires, spirits, leprechauns, etc., I can forget the routine things that are a drag in real life such as my mortgage and chores.
I also enjoy playing with character’s struggle to be true to themselves or their partners/family/love interests within the paranormal genre. Having extraordinary powers brings a struggle to relate to other characters that crosses into what all of us can relate to: belonging, guarding secrets, and the journey of being the best and truest person we can all be.
9. If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
Unconventional while at the same time fun.
In “Steak Tartare,” which is included in the Women of the Bite Anthology edited by Cecilia Tan, a vampire falls in love with a misfit werewolf. The anthology is published by Ravenous Romance.
In one of my works in progress, the story preceding the nursery rhyme of the Woman who Lived in the Shoe, I tell the how and why of the woman and all the children lived in the shoe. The protagonist falls in love with a Leprechaun who has escaped from a shoe-making sweat shop. He has the ability to make objects large or small at will, so he builds a shoe for them to live in. The ability also explains how leprechauns are effective at hiding their gold. When it is tiny while underground, it is much harder to find.
The protagonist also is named after the Aztec god of sexual power. When she accidentally takes someone else’s fertility medication, her husband shrinks the babies within her womb and then makes them normal size after they’re born.
10. Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
I’m pretty gullible. My characters get themselves into strange situations and are tricked easily.
11. Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?
I make all the decisions, though the characters in my head won’t shut up until I let them have their say. Characters are persistent and good at nagging me.
12. What was the creature that you had the most fun creating and why?
I’m currently working on a fantasy series in which there are several races of shape shifters, polytheistic gods who show up quite often, and two different sects of priests who call upon the gods to mess with the other characters in their world.
The reason this one is the most fun is that my protagonist has to face the truth that she isn’t who she has been raised to believe she was. I like works in which characters struggle over identity issues.
13. If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
I’d love to meet Itzli, the Chantico priest, from my work in progress because he is wise but very flawed. He calls upon various deities, and helps shape the heirs to the emperor’s throne. He also is in love with the emperor’s wife, so he’s in an impossible situation.
I’d never want to meet the Prince Raya from this same series. He’s got too much ego for me to avoid strangling him if I met him in real life.
The seductive power of the vampire meets female energy in Women of the Bite. These eleven stories of eternal love, dark avenging angels, and the eroticism of blood lust explore the female vampire and her sisters from all angles.
A young gypsy girl is saved from marauders by a mysterious spirit, but what price will be exacted for her rescue? Her blood, or her heart?
A young vampire runs into trouble in the New World and finds herself seeking the protection of her maker's wings back in Europe. Had her mistress always known she would return to the nest?
Silent film actress Theda Bara was known the world over as "The Vamp," but what happened when she was called upon to judge a beauty pageant of vampiresses from around the world?
What happens when a vampire and a werewolf are matched up by an online dating service? They both love steak tartare, but do they have enough in common beyond their mutual lust to find love as well?
Sink your teeth into these and many other stories of the lust and love of lesbian vampires.
Ebook ISBN 978-1-60777-196-8 (Available at www.ravenousromance.com)
Paperback ISBN-: 978-1593501587. The paperback edition is available from Alyson books. Read more at http://www.alyson.com/9781593501587.html
EXCERPT from “Steak Tartare” in the Women of the Bite Anthology edited by Cecilia Tan:
When filling out the online form for the matchmaking service, I knew I was in trouble when I saw the third question. The age category only had two spaces for numbers. I couldn’t type in that I was one thousand fourteen years old, nor could I shorten it and write that I was fourteen. If I hadn’t already paid the exorbitant fee, I would have bailed out then and there. As it was, however, I didn’t want to waste my money. I answered by typing “NA.” At least it didn’t give me an error message for typing letters instead of numbers. The form was more user friendly than some job applications I had filled out in the past.
I wanted to be honest during the process; I wanted love rather than just a convenient neck to sip. After living for centuries alone, I longed for someone to love. The multiple choice questions for the next hundred pages or so went something like this for answers. “A) Answer that doesn’t remotely fit. B) Answer that might have been applicable over a thousand years ago before I was bitten and hence made undead. C) Answer that I was tempted to select so that I would seem like a normal, human date seeker. D) Answer that only applied to straight people. E) None of the above.