1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
First you must promise this information will never be held against me in a competency hearing ;) Okay, how insane am I? I’d rank myself a six. My husband might say a seven, but six sounds better. Why am I insane? Well, I let pretend people in my head order me around (“You don’t need to sleep, you need to write this scene!”) Half the time, writing is like taking their dictation. So I guess that’s not very sane.
2. Is Frost just a pseudonym thing? Or is it your real name? If it’s the latter, and you married your way to it, tell me, is worth marrying your way into the Right Author Name? *ggg*
Frost is my real last name. Yes, I married into it when I was nineteen. Always plan ahead *grin* The funny thing is, my maiden last name was Holly. We joke in my family that going from Holly to Frost kept a very winterish theme.
3. Is Halfway To The Grave better described as (sub)urban fantasy?
Probably. My heroine is from a very small town. She does go to several big cities in the novel, but a big city isn’t where she lives.
4. The lines between genres blur and change constantly. What do you think separates paranormal romance from urban fantasy at the moment?
I’m a new author, so I feel very unqualified to discuss genre boundaries. But you asked, so here’s my newbie, unqualified two cents: If a novel has less than 50% of the story containing the romance plot, and the novel doesn’t end with the hero/heroine together in some form of happy, then it’s an urban fantasy, not a paranormal romance. Most romance readers want to see their hero/heroine together happily at the end. Most UF readers want to see the Big Bad Evil defeated at the end, and whoever’s left standing doesn’t necessarily have to be in love. Now, I do have an exception to this generalization, in my obviously-biased opinion: If a novel is part of a series, and the series as a whole has at least 50% romance plot with the hero/heroine ending up together and happy at the series’ conclusion, then I’ll say it’s a paranormal romance series versus an urban fantasy series.
5. Vamps are hot or Vamps are not?
As a reader/writer, I love vampires. I love them whether they’re smokin’ hot and sexy (think author JR Ward) or whether they’re evil, mindless puppets (think author Ilona Andrews). Vamps have been a favorite creature of mine since I was a child. They were the clear choice for me when writing. One of the first rules of writing when you start out is ‘write what you love’, because then no matter what happen career-wise, you’re at least guaranteed to please one person :) So I wrote vamps, because they’re my creature version of chocolate.
Industry-wise? There’s some fatigue with vampires. I’ve heard the rumbles from both readers and agents/editors. Editors are getting choosier about the vampire novels they acquire, because there’s a plethora of fangs already in the fiction section. But fellow vamp lovers shouldn’t despair. A well-written, exciting book will still get snatched up. I just wouldn’t encourage people to write vampires if they think it’s a hot trend they’re going to catch, because that no longer seems to be the case.
6. Is there really a group of five cemeteries that forms a pentagram on a map somewhere? Or did you make the whole thing up?
There really are five cemeteries forming a pentagram in Ohio. Simms cemetery, where my heroine has her encounter with a ghost, is one of those cemeteries. Simms cemetery is reportedly haunted, too, though it’s closed to the public. And the former lawman/hangman referenced, John Simms, was an actual person. The cemetery was named after him, and he kept it well-stocked, since he wasn’t known for leniency. According to records, the tree Simms used to hang people on still stands in the cemetery. John Simms left Ohio in the eighteen hundreds under mysterious circumstances. Some records claim he died, some showed he moved out west. I thought the whole history surrounding the cemetery and who it was named for was fascinating.
Update: Halfway To The Grave is a NYT Bestseller! Congrats, Jeaniene!