Monday, 11 July 2011

interview with Jana Oliver author of The Demon Trappers series

1.Could you tell use 5 fun facts about yourself to start?  

1) I don’t like elevators.  

2) When I was in high school I was SO not one of the popular kids.  

3) I adore strawberries and cherries  

4) I can’t stand oysters and mussels. Ewwwww….  

5) If given a chance to read or watch a movie, I’ll read.  

2. Alba Solorzano asked why demons and not the typical vamp/werewolf or fay book?

I wanted to do something different and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t come up with a unique twist on the furry guys, the ones who sparkle drink blood or the dudes with wings. So I decided to do something with demons because that allowed me to go in all sorts of directions. I researched the “history” of demons and then began to create my own (Demon Creation 101 – a subject NOT taught in the schools). I realized I needed some way to keep these guys straight so the trappers’ rating system (Grade One through Five) worked pretty well. Also, the trappers would have their own slang for the critters, so that’s why a Grade One Klepto-Fiend is called a Magpie or Hell’s burglar.  

3. Book Chatter asked how do she feel about having to have differing titles for the books for US and UK?

I’m good with it because I know that each country has their own “feel” and so a title that works in the US might get a shoulder shrug in the UK and Australia (and vice versa). It is confusing for the readers, however, and that’s not ideal. I’ve just heard that the third US book will have the same title as the UK: FORGIVEN.  

It’s equally cool to see the different publishing houses’ view of the cover designs since those are unique to the particular country, as well. I’ve just heard that the third US book will have the same title as the UK: FORGIVEN.  

4.Was it ever hard putting so much action into one book?

Oh, yeah. Action requires a lot of pre-planning, especially for a battle scene. I have to keep in mind exactly what the characters are supposed to “learn” in the scene, but there is the whole “big picture” of who is where at what time, how each individual battle is choreographed and tying all that together. I probably rewrite the battle scenes at least fifteen times, at minimum. If I can get them right, then the reader will feel that demon claw slicing by their face or the horror of the moment. If not, it’s time for another rewrite ;)

5.Jade Walker asked If you had to choose between Ori, Beck and Simon who would you pick and why?

Oh, sure, ask the tough questions! Simon would give you a quiet life with not too much drama. Ori and Beck attract danger like ripe fruit does wasps, but in a way that’s kind of exciting. My choice? If you rolled all three into one he would be the perfect guy: brave, smoking hot, considerate and kind. Most guys aren’t that perfect, but it’s nice to dream. Did you notice I didn’t tell you which one? ::evil author laugh:: It’ll be up to Riley and I don’t dare try to outguess her.

6. Pam Perkins Mandigo asked How hard is it to come up with a series that is different from other books in that genre?

It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. Just about every plot has been done to death so it comes down to creating compelling characters, a vivid world and then put them through some really ugly experiences. All the while I’m writing I wonder “Is this good enough? How do I make it better? Is this like so-and-so’s book? Have I copied something and don’t know it?”

7.Leesa Birch asked which character are you most alike to?

Probably Lady Torin (who you’ll meet in the second book). She’s a summoner (necromancer) who likes single malt scotch, has a tart tongue and soft spot for folks in trouble.

8. Which character was the most difficult and easiest to write?

Master Harper is the hardest because I know his “backstory” and why he is such a nasty piece of work. Writing him as such a cruel guy is difficult because I have sympathy for him.

Second hardest? Riley. What, you say? Your heroine is hard to write? Sure is. She’s 17 and I’m not and because of that I have to remember what it was like at that age (hint: life wasn’t that cool. In fact I pretty much remember it sucked). To get into her head I have to stop thinking as logically as I do now and go with my instincts.

Easiest? Beck. I knew that South Georgia boy from the moment I wrote his first line of dialog. I saw his whole life, just like in a dossier: his hellish childhood in Sadlersville, his abusive mom, his wild teen years, his time with Paul Blackthorne and in the Army. It’s like he’s family, which is sorta frightening if you think of it.

9. Do you need quiet to write or do you listen to music?

I usually write with music in the background. What I’m listening to depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s Celtic, sometimes it’s alternative, classical or Pop. I’m totally a musical omnivore. Currently I’m enjoying The Decemberists (Why We Fight) and on the country side of things, The Band Perry (You Lie).

10 Clarissa Pereira asked what kind of books did you read while growing up?

I read the usual stuff until I reached junior high and high school. Then I went non-fiction in a big way. I spent probably two years studying World War II. Why did it fascinate me? I have no clue. I read about the battles, the people behind those battles, the Holocaust, the aftermath. Looking back I believe I was stoking up my brain on the good and evil we humans are capable of. Every now and then I’d read some Tolkien or CS Lewis.

 11. What inspired you to write?

The stories would not leave me be. They roamed around my head, picking fights, so I decided the best way to deal with them was to put them on paper.

12.   After writing the first book did you find it hard to come up with what to write next?

No, I’m pretty much a story factory. I’m always laying back stuff for future stories. At last count I’ve written fourteen of them and I’ve got ideas for even more.

13.   What are your thoughts on banned books?

I can understand if someone wants to limit access to a book because of age. I mean, having a very young child read HUNGER GAMES could be pretty intense. However, if the parents and the child deem it acceptable, then it should be available. I was reading really deep stuff when I was in junior and high school, non-fiction accounts of WWII and death camps. It was troubling stuff, but I could handle it. My parents were very hands off when it came to my reading. In fact, I don’t think they knew what I was reading.
As for having someone say “you/your child can’t read this book because I/we have decided it’s not good for them” is just wacked. We were given brains for a reason and we should use them.

14.   Do you ever get sick of people asking for interviews and being busy all the time?

I never mind folks asking for interviews. I love them. Just sometimes I’m overwhelmed because I want to be “out there” for my readers but the deadlines have a nasty habit of clubbing me over the head.

15.   What’s the best thing about being an author?

I get to spend all my time daydreaming and I get paid for it. J

16.   Do you have any advice for people that are trying to get their own books published?

Start by writing a really good story. Sounds elementary, but it’s the truth. Find yourself a good critique group, get expert help with your plotting, grammar, punctuation, etc. There is a ton of competition out there right now and your story has to stand out from the herd. Consider joining a professional writing organization. Even if you don’t write romance, their support network is incredible. You’ll learn about the craft along with learning about the industry.

17.   Finally what books do you recommend people read ? 

The ones that touch your heart, that make you cry, make you laugh or thank God that your life isn’t as bad as those poor folks in the story. I read across the spectrum, from Y.A. (Jeri Smith-Ready’s SHADE. L.A. Weatherly’s ANGEL and Paola Bacigalupi’s SHIP BREAKER) to detailed English murder mysteries (Charles Todd’s Inspector Ian Rutledge Series) to urban fantasy (Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden Series, the Kate Daniels’ Series by Ilona Andrews, Simon R. Green’s Nightside Series). It just depends on what kind of “fix” I need at any given moment.


  1. Great interview :)
    Must get to reading this before the next one comes out!

  2. Loved Forsaken and have Forbidden on pre order. Cant wait. Great interview!!

  3. Thanks so much for having me in for an interview! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  4. Great Interview!!!

    I love this book and I am hanging for Forbidden..not long now:D



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