The Big Idea: Jennifer Estep
Here’s a crazy idea: Books should be fun. That’s Jennifer Estep’s philosophy, and today she’s here to tell you how it informs her “Elemental Assassin” series of novels, including the latest, Tangled Threads. And she has questions of her own for you at the end. Be ready!
So here’s my Big Idea – I think books should be fun.
That’s it. That’s my writing philosophy in a nutshell. Nothing deep or serious here – just fun. LOL.
So how does this relate to my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series? Here goes.
Back in high school, I discovered epic fantasy books by the likes of David Eddings, Terry Brooks, and others. As I read more and more epic and other types of fantasy books, I realized something – I always liked reading about the assassin characters. Why? Because there were just so many different types of assassins out there – cool assassins, crazy assassins, government assassins, reluctant assassins, psychotic assassins, and every variation in between.
But the more books with assassin characters that I read (in the fantasy genre and beyond) and the more movies and TV shows I watched, the more I realized something – that a lot of the assassins were, well, whiny. Seriously, seriously whiny and all angsty and emotionally conflicted about their profession. It always seemed to me like there was a very simple solution to this problem – quit being an assassin! Bada-bing, bada-boom. Problem solved, angst gone.
Somewhere along the way, I thought it would be cool to write my own assassin character with my own magic and world building. Someone who was actually okay with being an assassin because she knew that there were worse people in the world than she was – real monsters that she could protect good, decent folks from. More importantly, someone who was definitely not whiny.
So I did, and the result is Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider and the star of my Elemental Assassin series. I’ll admit that Gin has a little bit of angst, due to the fact that her mother and sister were murdered when she was a kid, but Gin’s made her peace with being an assassin – and she’s more than happy to pull out her knives when the situation calls for it. With no whining at all.
But back to the fun part. I’m not trying to write the next great American novel with my Elemental Assassin books. I just want to tell a good story – one that’s full of action, danger, magic, and even a little romance. One of my favorite TV shows is The A-Team, if that tells you anything about me. LOL. I like writing fight scenes, and I love figuring out how Gin can use her deadly skills, along with her Ice and Stone magic, to take down the bad guys. That’s why I write about an assassin.
At the end of one of my books, I just want the reader to feel like it was time and money well-spent – and hope that she’s looking forward to Gin’s next adventure.
What about you guys? What are some of your favorite books?