Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview with Author Jess Haines

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, my wonderful followers, Jess Haines, author of the H&W Investigations series.
I was going to publish my ARC review of Taken by the Others along with the interview, but my computer died. Although I would just like to say that I absolutely loved Taken by the Others and can't wait to read the rest of the series.

So without further dithering from me, I give you the lovely Jess Haines.

1.) How long did it take you from coming up with the initial concept of the story to writing the first page (I’ve always been curious)?

For my first book, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, the story was a long time coming.

The main character, Shiarra Waynest, has been around for quite a while. I’ve had her kicking around in my mind since the late 90’s. However, her story as you know it didn’t fully form in my head until 2008. I was in the middle of writing an epic, oh-so-serious-high-falutin’ fantasy novel—from 2001 until I had an epiphany in late 2007. I wrapped the high fantasy novel up, buried it in a hole, and started writing HUNTED BY THE OTHERS completely off the cuff. It was my cure for taking myself too seriously.

As for the sequel, TAKEN BY THE OTHERS? I wrote the first pages of that book within days of finishing my first draft of HUNTED. Same story with the third book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS—I’m not happy if I’m not writing something, so it was a natural progression for me to finish one project and move immediately on to the next.

2.) Did you learn any new skills while researching your book?

Absolutely. Did you know that the proper administration of chocolate and coffee in the correct doses cures all ills?

In all seriousness, I’ve learned quite a lot from my adventures in publishing. Writing under deadlines, how to be a more Tactful-and-Politically-Correct-Author-Even-When-I’m-Really-Not, and all kinds of odds and ends about how to get around in the publishing biz.

3.) Is there a particular author who inspired you to write?

Just one? No. It’s a laundry list.

Bill Waterson, Jim Butcher, Anne McCaffrey, Stephen King, Patricia Wrede, Steve Perry, Orson Scott Card, George Orwell, the Brothers Grimm, Scott O’Dell, George R.R... Martin, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, Avi, Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Richard A. Knaak, C.S. Friedman—need I go on?

*Oh my gosh! I too love Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. Great list of authors*
4.) Any advice for would be writers?

Read. A lot. Write. A lot.

Don’t take rejection personally—learn from it and move on.

Not everyone in this business is out to scam you, and not everyone in this business is out to help you. Sifting through the piles and piles of websites and publications out there that offer advice is time consuming but necessary if you’re serious about being a published author.

If you think that writing a book is your ticket to the fast lane or that every author gets a six figure advance and a movie deal starting out of the gate—think again. The percentage of authors with Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer-level success are infinitesimally small. They didn’t get where they are overnight. No author does. It takes hard work and dedication—but don’t give up! Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

5.) Any odd writing rituals (I personally can’t write before 10 pm)?

Consume coffee. Contemplate computer screen for a while. Spatter out roughly 200 words. Add coffee. Get interrupted. Handle interruption. Consume more coffee. Rinse, repeat.

6.) What is your all-time favorite book?

Oh, God, I can’t pick just one!
Fantasy: C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy—BLACK SUN RISING, WHEN TRUE NIGHT FALLS, CROWN OF SHADOWS (shhhhhh, they all count as one book to me!)
Urban Fantasy (shush, it’s its own genre, I swear!): I am heartily torn by the FEVER series by Karen Marie Moning and the DRESDEN FILES by Jim Butcher. Please don’t make me choose!
Sci-Fi: BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
Horror: NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King

7.) Can you tell us how many books are going to be in the series?

I don’t know exactly. I just turned novel #3, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS, in to my editor—which means I’m no longer on contract for the H&W Series. I’ve been busily chipping away at #4, 5, and 6, but they aren’t technically under contract—yet.

8.) Are you working on any other projects?

Yes, indeed!

I have a novella coming out next year that is set in the same world as, but not with the same characters you’ll find in, HUNTED BY THE OTHERS. Get this—the anthology is called THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY. That title is too hilarious—I couldn’t say no!

I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day, but I’ve got a paranormal romance I’m co-writing with another author, and that ol’ serious fantasy gathering dust under my bed. Maybe someday they’ll go places!

9.) Could you introduce the main character to us?

Sure thing—Shiarra Waynest is a private investigator in a world that’s changed since 9/11. Supernatural critters—aka, “Others”—have proclaimed their existence to the world and integrated themselves into society—but that doesn’t mean everyone likes it. Shiarra doesn’t give a hoot about the vampire clubs, mage covens, or werewolf cab drivers. She’s a normal human swimming in debt and willing to do almost anything to keep her business afloat. Thanks to what appear to be dire circumstances to her eyes, she goes against her instincts and accepts a job from a mage coven to locate an ancient artifact in the hands of New York’s most high-profile vampire.
Yeah, I never said she was smart.

10.) Can you describe the H&W Investigations series in ten words?

In my own words: Fast-paced, action-packed, fun and funny.

…but I think Mario Acevedo may have said it better: “A sexy, bruising tango of supernatural fun and vampiric mayhem.”


11.) One of my favorite things about Taken by the Others was how the Others were legal citizens and how they couldn’t just turn people because they felt like it; can you tell us why you chose to bring them legally into society?

I have a background in law. I’ve mostly worked in law firms and court reporting agencies since I was a teenager. What can I say? I take my work home with me.

12.) Could you tell us when we can expect Taken by the Others to hit stores?

The official release date is January 4, 2011!

13.) Is there any question you wished I'd asked?

What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladden swallow?

Thanks again for having me!

Thanks Jess for stopping by and taking the time to answer a few questions. Can I just say that your list of authors has made me an even bigger fan.

Check out her website HERE 

Books by Jess Haines:
Hunted by the Others (H&W Investigations, 1)
Taken by the Others (H&W Investigations, 2) *Jan, 2011*
Deceived by the Others (H&W Investigations, 3) *July, 2011*

I would like to extend another big thanks to Jess for graciously donating a few copies of Hunted by the Others for this contest.

There will be between 1 and 5 winners, depending upon on how many entries there are.

Contest Rules:
  • Open to residents of the US
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Following is not required, but is much appreciated.
  • Fill out form to enter.
  • Ends Dec 15th at 11:59 pm
Fill Out This Form to Enter.



  1. Great interview. Sounds like a great series, looking forward to reading it.

  2. What a nice interview. I love Mercedes Lackey too. I haven't tried any of your books yet but I have heard wonderful things about Hunted by the Others.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thank you, guys! I do hope you enjoy my books, and good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

    @Danielle -- I especially loved a story Lackey co-wrote with Andre Norton called THE ELVENBANE. Fabulous novel, highly recommend it.



    Thank you for an excellent interview and thanks to Jess for sharing here.
    All the best,

  5. Thank you for this interesting interview! HUNTED BY THE OTHERS sounds like an awesome book!

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to do a wonderful and informational interview. I really am looking forward to reading the series even if I don't win the book

    danellejohns at gmail dot com

  7. Great interview. These books sound really interesting and I'm adding them to my TBR even if I don't win!! XOXO thanks for the giveaway and linking it up on my blog!

  8. This series sounds great. I've read some reviews before and meant to start reading it. I need to get to it =) Thanks for reminding and great interview!

  9. That was great interview. I'm really looking forward to reading it. It sounds like a great series.

  10. Sounds like a great book. Adding it to my wishlist!

  11. Great Interview. Im so exctied for the release of Taken by the others.


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