Monday, May 27, 2013

Interview with Jocelyn Adams

Stone Chameleon

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Hey, great to meet everyone.  I was born and raised a farm girl in small town Ontario and still love living in the country, though the farm’s long gone.  I spend my days working at a high school, and my nights playing with my little girl and writing.

Urban fantasy has settled into my heart and made a home there.  I used to be a die-hard Stephen King horror fan, and I still am, but when a friend put me onto Laurell K. Hamilton, I was finished.  That was it.  I didn’t even know I could write, but I suddenly wanted to, and I wanted to write that kind of book, dark, gritty and filled with neat creatures and romance.

Please tell us about your latest release.

Stone Chameleon is the opener to my Ironhill Jinn series.  Lou Hudson is a preternatural pest exterminator, and also the last of the jinn.  She’s living in secret as her species is condemned and was all but wiped out shortly before she was born.  Her element is earth, and she can transform herself into stone.  When her emotions rise, she can even cause an accidental earth quake.  Add in a bad murder wrap, a gorgeous and grouchy highland vampire in a kilt, some mystery and romance, and you’ll have Stone Chameleon.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

Oh yes.  I don’t usually have much of a hard time feeling out characters, but Amun Bassili, Lou Hudson’s potential love interest in Stone Chameleon, really had me stumped for a while.  Beta readers hated him, so I had to do a lot of tweaking to get that love/hate thing to a perfect balance.  Easier said than done.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

I’m smiling right now.  I kind of have a thing for really good villains, and while Isaac (the highland vampire) isn’t truly a villain, he makes a damn fine antagonist.  He’s arrogant and demanding, but he’s got a softer side when it comes to Lou that slips out now and then.  I wasn’t sure how much he’d play into the series, but after book one, I’ve decided to keep him around and give him a bigger role.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?

It depends on the book and how I’m writing it.  I’m a total pantser, so I often just start writing and the characters pretty much tell me who they are.  When I’m participating in the novel marathon I do each year to raise money for adult literacy programs, I do sketch out basic attributes, both physical and personality, but those often change as I write anyway, so I’m not sure why I bother. J

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

This is one of my favorites.  It’s so very Isaac.

I must have dozed a bit, because something woke me.  A sound?  Remnants of a dream?  The cool water sloshed over the side of the tub as I sat upright and looked around.  The lack of light suggested the sun had gone down, putting the hour at around nine at least.
“Miss Hudson, do not test my patience,” Isaac bellowed from somewhere beyond the bathroom door.
Definitely not a dream.  My heart tried to escape my throat as I leapt from the bath and wrapped my terrycloth robe around me, still cinching the belt when I entered the living room.
Once again, I found Isaac on the patio, his shoulders heaving to add to the huffing bull image he pulled off so nicely.  I should have known he’d show up after receiving my message upon waking, but it still surprised me. 
He’d shed his sash and wore nothing but his kilt, a wide black belt, and a brass buckle the size of my head.  Growing visibly calm, he took a few steps nearer, his dark gaze sweeping my body before landing back on my face.  “You’re all pruny.  What have you been doing, trying to pickle yourself?”
Maybe I could blame it on sugar aftermath, or possibly stress about Mum, my impending death, or that I’d caused an earthquake with my drunkenness, but his comment cracked me up until I held my aching belly.  When I finished wiping tears from my eyes and shook off the last of my giggles, I found him grinning at me, though it held more petulance than amusement.
“You have a lovely laugh, Miss Hudson.”  The grin flattened.  “It would be a shame to extinguish it.”

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

Ironhill stands on the ground that had been Philadelphia before a preternatural war all but destroyed it thirty years ago.  So many of the jinn fell there that the soil is rich with power, drawing creatures of all kinds to live there.  It’s causing a few problems with the regular old humans who are now well in the minority and are beginning to notice.  Lou does her best to keep the peace and acts as an advocate for all of the non-human races.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

I tend to keep the backstory to a minimum as I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to feel like I’m reading all of the previous books in a series every time I pick up a new one.  There is enough information in book two that a reader shouldn’t be too lost, but it’s still best read in order.

Do you write in different genres?

I do, actually.  I have another pen name that I write adult erotica, both contemporary and fantasy.  Under this pen name, I write contemporary romance, urban fantasy, paranormal romance and a little bit of horror, mostly in short stories.  Under yet another pen name, I’m developing my first young adult literary novel about a child of rape growing up in a small town.  Juggling personalities is rough, but sometimes the muse goes wherever he wants to, and I tend to follow.  J

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

I don’t have a lot of those.  Once in a while I like a little bit of Jack Daniels and gingerale.  I’d also go to the end of the earth to have a great piece of toast and honey.  I share that with my main character in Stone Chameleon.  Yum.

What was the last amazing book you read?

That would be Iced, the latest of the FEVER series by Karen Marie Moning.  I didn’t expect to like it so much since the main character is so young and I prefer adult books, but she writes fascinating characters and hooked me right from the first chapter.  I can’t wait to read the rest of Dani O’Malley’s adventures in Dublin.

Stone Chameleon
Ironhill Jinn, book #1

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing

Release Date:  May 24th, 2013


When a series of unusual murders point to Lou Hudson, Ironhill’s equal rights advocate, as the primary suspect, she has but one choice: find the real perpetrator before her trial begins or face execution.

Lou, the last of the jinn, survives by hiding her abilities after the rest of the elementals fell victim to genocide. As a preternatural pest exterminator and self-proclaimed guardian of the innocent, she’s accustomed to trudging through the dregs of society. Hunting down a pesky murderer should be easy, especially with help from the dashing and mischievous local media darling.

For Lou, though, nothing is ever simple. When she discovers the killer’s identity, to reveal it would unearth her secret and go against her strict moral code, resulting in a deadly catch twenty-two.


A flare shot over the rooftops to our left. I dove at Blake and slammed him to the pavement as another column of fire streaked toward us. The flames seared my back. The dragon bat was not a happy camper. Someone landed on my backside, crushing a grunt out of me and pounding my shoulder blade while Blake gasped beneath me.

“Bloody hell, Amun,” I said, before I realized he did it to put out the flames eating up my shirt. “Oh, I see. Thanks.”

He pulled me up, and the three of us ducked behind a car in the parking lot beside the Whip and Tickle, a vampire fetish-wear shop. The owl-sized bat swooped over us again, blasting an inferno that exploded the front window of the shop, sending studded leather and melted mannequins onto the sidewalk.

Three of the other creatures we’d hunted lay dead on other streets, the scorpion included, all by my sword when I’d been left with two options: kill or die. Twelve more were contained in three trucks. The bat remained the only unwelcome visitor in Fangtown. Other than us, of course.

“This is madness, Lou.” Amun panted beside me, his arms rising to shield his head as the bat exhaled on a Mini Cooper two cars over, the crackling and popping suggesting we should find a new hiding place.

“I agree with Mr. Bassili,” Blake said, his drawl worsening with his fright. “What the hell in a hand grenade do we do now?”

Rudy poked his almost translucent head out from behind the newspaper boxes he dove behind during the first fiery blast. The poor guy shook so badly I’d have been surprised if he could see anything. I gestured to him to stay put. “We’ve scared it, not something you want to do to a dragon bat.” A deep exhalation centered me enough to think. “I seem to recall the pecking order in a colony of bats. If we want protection from the dominants, we must present an offering of food.”

“And that helps us how?” Amun, his face blackened with soot and smeared with dirt, tilted to rest against the tire of the car, appearing as frazzled as I’d ever seen him. The sight induced a belly laugh that wouldn’t be contained.

He took on a strange expression of one eyebrow cocked and a half-grin, as if he wasn’t sure whether to be amused or offended. “What?”

I waved him off. “Nothing, I think I’m just losing my marbles.” Rising up enough to see around the car to Rudy, I shouted, “Rudy, do you have any rodents in your truck? Rats or mice?”

“No,” he hollered back, “but I can call some for you.”

I nodded. “As fast as you can.”

Flapping came from our rears. Crackling. A blast tossed the front of a car up until it crashed down on its hood, crushing a Mazda behind it.

“Move!” I shoved at Amun and tugged Blake toward the back of the fetish shop, since it was much closer than the front where flames still poured out of the broken window. Amun kicked out with a startling force against the wooden door. It took three tries, but it finally gave. My, but he was strong. We rushed inside and crouched behind a cement wall beside a set of stairs leading down.

“What do you want the rats for?” Amun asked with obvious suspicion. “Tell me you don’t want one of us to go out there and dangle something for that thing to come and snatch, probably toasting us to a golden brown in the process? Because I think I’ve grown a healthy dose of sympathy for marshmallows right about now.”

“Don’t worry, Amun. I’m going, not you. We just need to listen for Rudy to come back, if he hasn’t chickened out and run for the hills. Hopefully rats like to hang out here and aren’t snapped up for evening snacks.” There was a reason the umikan stuck to small, normal pests, other than his ability to talk to them. Although he’d deal with the scarier stuff when the need called for it, he usually didn’t have enough courage to fill a thimble.

“What?” Amun palmed his forehead. “You can’t be serious.” He gestured toward the door. “Have you been oblivious to the destruction that thing caused just in the last ten minutes? It’s pissed, and I don’t think it’s going to care about some little morsel you offer it.” His frown tugged at his features. “Why are you smiling like that?”

I shrugged, hopped up on adrenaline and enjoying the sight of the great Amun Bassili squirming. “This is what I do for a living.”

“You’re enjoying this?” Both of his eyebrows jacked up.

“Yup,” Blake said, rolling his eyes and chuckling from deep in his belly. “Weirdest broad I ever knew. Takes a bit of starch outta the ole manhood, don’t it?”

I wiped the char from my hands onto my jeans. “To do a job one takes no pride in is a travesty, in my opinion.”

At Rudy’s shout from beyond the wall, I said, “Stay here. Don’t come out until I call or you could send the bat into fits again.”

About the Author:

Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she's a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for dark fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn't shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

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1 comment:

Jocelyn Adams said...

Thanks so much for having me over today. This was fun. Cheers!