Jun 27, 2011

Interview with Jeannie Holmes + GIVEAWAY

I am pleased to announce my visitor for today, Jeannie Holmes, author of the Alexandra Sabian series! Her newest installment in the series, Blood Secrets, is releasing July 5th, 2011! Jeannie was kind enough to answer some questions and giveaway a SIGNED copy of Blood Secrets! How awesome is Jeannie?!

Onto the interview!

JESS: On the cover blurb for Blood Secrets, you mention The Dollmaker, is he going to be like a voodoo priest with his dolls or something else? (if you can say)

JEANNIE: No, the Dollmaker isn’t a voodoo priest. He does use “black magic” but I make a clear distinction between what he does and the rituals of voodoo practitioners. Voodoo is a religion that many people don’t fully understand, and while I don’t fully understand it myself, I do respect its followers. So while the Dollmaker does use a form of magic, it’s something that’s completely a product of my own warped imagination.

JESS: What is the Shadowlands going to be like? Another world or dimension? (again, if you can say)

JEANNIE: Readers actually saw the Shadowlands in Blood Law. It’s where Alex encountered her father and learned of the Hall of Records, a metaphysical storehouse of knowledge and memories. The Shadowlands are essentially a “no man’s land” between the physical plane and the spirit realm similar to the idea of Purgatory. It’s the realm of ghosts, and information can be stored there within the Hall of Records, which can be accessed if someone has the correct psychic abilities.

JESS: Do you find writing in third person easier? What made you decide to go this route?

JEANNIE: I write both third person and first person. They each have their strengths and weaknesses for storytelling, but I wouldn’t say I find one easier than the other. As for why I chose to write Alex’s story in third person, I always knew there would be more than one side to the story. If you think of characters as being trapped in protective bubbles but viewing the same event, each character is going to see something different based on where they’re standing, what color bubble they have, or if they’ve blocked the view out completely. It’s the same in real life. You can have a dozen people witness an accident and you’ll get a dozen different versions of what happened. But if you take all of those accounts and start looking for the common threads then you can piece together something resembling the truth. If all you have is one person’s point of view, you constantly have to question their reliability. Did they really see what they say they saw? Are their judgments colored by their own biases? Of course you can do the same with multiple points of view. Regardless of whether the story is told by one character or several, hopefully the result is an entertaining story that readers enjoy.

JESS: How many books do you think you might have for the series?

JEANNIE: I have a total of six planned, and hopefully I will get the opportunity to write them all. I never meant for the series to drag out to infinity. I think Alex and Varik would eventually like for me to go away and leave them alone. Plus I have a ton of other ideas that I’d like to explore at some point.

JESS: What was your road to publication like?

JEANNIE: My road to publication as, in relative terms, short and charmed. I completely by-passed the query letter phase. My writing mentor, Carolyn Haines (author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series), asked her agent to look at the first 100 pages of my manuscript, and Marian (Young) agreed. A week later she asked for the remainder. A week after that, Marian called me and said she wanted to be my agent. I worked with her to make some corrections to the book. She shopped it around for about six months. It finally landed with Danielle Perez, who was a senior editor at Bantam at the time, and she thankfully bought it. So from the time I started working with my agent to the time I sold the book was only six or seven months. But it took another two years of rewrites, edits, editor swaps (Danielle left Bantam and I started working with my current editor Shauna Summers.), and cover changes to bring Blood Law to the market. I’ve been very fortunate and I try to repay that good fortune to others whenever possible.

JESS: What kinds of books did you like to read growing up? How about now?

JEANNIE: I read a lot of fantasy – Terry Brooks, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, David Eddings, Jennifer Roberson, Tolkien (naturally) – and classic literature like Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and Bram Stoker. I also read a lot of comic books. Stephen King and Dean Koontz showed up in my teen years. I still love to read all of these authors, and actually read more non-fiction now than I did growing up because I’m researching ideas. But there are three authors who can publish a book and I’ll drop everything to read them: Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, and Lisa Gardner. I love their work.

JESS: What book are you currently reading or last read?

JEANNIE: If Charlaine, Kim, or Lisa have published a book recently, it was probably that one. Otherwise, my most recent read is most likely a forensic text in preparation for the next Alex Sabian book.

JESS: Thanks for stopping by Jeannie! Can't wait to read Blood Secrets!

JEANNIE: Thanks for having me!

Onto the giveaway! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on the interview and that's it! Won't make it anymore difficult and following is NOT required, but GREATly appreciated!

Contest ends July 2nd 2011 at 11:59 PM (CST)
Open to International readers!!
Please leave your email address in your comment so I have a way to contact you as well! Thanks!


  1. Thank you for the giveaway! This books are already on my wishlist, so to win one of them will be awesome! :)

  2. Awesome interview!! I'm going to check these books out. :)

  3. very interesting interview. Count me in!

  4. I've already pre-bought for my Kindle, but need the paperback as well. :)


  5. Just showin' my girl, Jeannie some lurve <3 :o)


  6. i follow! enter me!!!! =]=]=]

    americangirlie1991 at yahoo dot com


  7. Sounds great. Thanks for the chance!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  8. I enjoyed the interview and I'm looking forward to getting started on this series.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  9. I think it is amazing that edit. re-writes etc can take so long to do.

    I would have thought that publishers buy most books to have an entry into whatever genre is hot at the moment and so would want to get them out a lkot quicker.

    Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Much appreciated.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  10. Great interview! Interesting to read about Jeannie writing in first/third person.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    enigma75 AT ubiquitary DOT org

  11. Carol T -- Hi! Publishers generally have a long lead time so anything that's a "new release" was actually purchased 18-24 months prior. This allows for several rounds of editing (including line/copy editing), cover design, marketing plans, placement deals with bookstores, etc. That doesn't include the potential for last minute changes that delay a book's release. Publishing is not for the faint of heart. :)


  12. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by to comment on my interview. And a huge thanks to Jessica for inviting me to a GREAT read!

    Good luck to all and I hope everyone enjoys the books! :)

    - Jeannie

  13. I like that cover and there is something appealing about the black magic aspect!

  14. Oooh, definitely interesting. Totally count me in on this. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung


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