Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22, 2011

Please welcome Jenn Bennett to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jenn:   I have a small audience of good luck charms that sit by my computer: a three-legged pig from Chile, a Chinese Buddha, and a Japanese Momiji message doll. Before I write, I like to double-check that they are are facing me.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Jenn:   Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron, Phllip Pullman, Anaïs Nin, William S. Burroughs, Diana Gabaldon, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison. I like rebels, counter-culturalists, madmen and madwomen. And I like subversive storytellers. I'm sure that everything I read influences my writing in one way or another, including magazines and nonfiction and emails from friends. But the biggest influence on KINDLING THE MOON was probably Arturo Pérez-Reverte's THE CLUB DUMAS.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?

Jenn:   Both! I've plotted every detail of a book, and I've started with nothing but a sense of place and a character. Recently, I've been leaning toward pantsing: there's a certain thrill of discovery you get when you're finding your way in the dark. However, at the very least, I prefer to know the goal and conflict of the story before I start writing.

TQ: What inspired you to write Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: I wanted to write a world in which no single group of people (or supernatural creatures) was necessarily bad or evil. Arcadia doesn't fight demons, Buffy-style: they are her friends, lovers, coworkers. Some are good—some, bad. I like gray characters.

I also wanted to write an urban fantasy with an independent lead who performed magic, but I didn't want to make her the average urban fantasy witch or sorcerer; I wanted to do something a little . . . darker. Arcadia has been raised in a occult group that taught her ceremonial magic. She doesn't necessary side with their viewpoints or subscribe to everything they're pushing, but she's smart enough to use what knowledge she's been given to her advantage.

TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world of Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: Arcadia's world in KINDLING primarily focuses on three supernatural groups: magicians (who are human), Earthbounds (descendants of humans with invoked demon souls), and Æthyric demons (big, bad scary demons who live on another plane). Most of my world-building is the product of an overactive imagination, but I did spend a good deal of time researching classic books about demons, including goetic texts like the Lesser Key of Solomon, De Praestigiis Daemonum, Dictionnaire Infernal . . . you know—breezy, light reading.

The series also includes a worldwide organization of occult orders that train and support ceremonial magicians. Though I took enormous artistic license with my fictional esoteric organization, I connected with a real-life one for inspiration—a local branch of the O.T.O., an Thelemic organization once led by Alister Crowley. Contrary to the general public's preconceived notions of Crowley, I found most of the members to be quite devout, friendly people.

TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: Heavy research aside, I think the greatest strength of the book is the intertwining relationships of three characters: Arcadia (the protagonist), Lon (a local photographer with a large esoteric library), and Jupe, Lon's teenage son. One of my favorite scenes occurs when thirteen-year-old Jupe calls up Arcadia at her bar and asks her on a date. It's one of the more lighthearted scenes in the book and some of my favorite dialogue.

TQ: Who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Jenn: Lon was the hardest to write. He's a famous photographer, older, and raising a teenager alone. He's also very reserved and a bit damaged. He puts on a front that ranges from hostile to aloof, and he's a terrible communicator. But he's got a legitimate reason for being this way, and Arcadia uncovers some of his secrets throughout the story.The easiest character to write was his son: Jupe is enthusiastic, geeky, cocky, and weirdly charming. He loves comics and monster movies. And despite everything he's been through, he's eternally optimistic. I like that Arcadia is somewhere between these two, personality-wise, and I enjoyed exploring how both of them could influence her (which is further explored in the second book,  SUMMONING THE NIGHT, due to come out in April 2012).

TQ: How many books are planned for the Arcadia Bell series?

Jenn: I'm contracted to Pocket for two, with an option for more. I have four total planned to complete a major story arc, and one day I'd like to do a young adult spinoff from Jupe's point of view.

TQ: Who should play Arcadia Bell if the book becomes a movie?

Jenn: I referred my editor (and the cover artist, Tony Mauro) to Cristina Scabbia for Arcadia's physical appearance. I'm not sure about her acting skills, though—or her Italian accent! Arcadia's parents are French, so maybe Audrey Tautou.

TQ: Is there a playlist for Kindling the Moon and what is it?

Jenn: There's one in my head, and it swerves from classic rock to metal to funk. If that doesn't scare you away, then you can look for it on my website in July.

TQ: What's next?

Jenn: I just finished a quirky young adult paranormal romance which could be described as Sixteen Candles meets The Hobbit in Appalachia. (Did you just do a double-take? Yep, that's about right.) I'm getting ready to start writing another young adult—a supernatural/suspense/romantic noir. After that, I might tackle adult paranormal romance. Whatever I write, I think it will always be offbeat, original, slightly humorous, unconventionally romantic, and it will take place in a dark or surreal setting. I think that's what I do best, and it's definitely what I enjoy.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Jenn: It was my absolute pleasure! Thank you for having me. The Qwillery rocks!

About Jenn's Books

Kindling the Moon
Arcadia Bell 1
(Pocket Books, June 28, 2011)
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn't easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia "Cady" Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she's carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can't clear her family name soon, she'll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell 2) is slated for release in April 2012.

About Jenn

Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist-turned-author. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She believes rebellion is an under-appreciated art form, has conjured more demons than you’ve had hot lunches, and likes her fairy tales like she likes her coffee: dark. She currently lives near Atlanta with her film-geek husband and two very bad pugs.

Jenn's Links:


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Kindling the Moon from Jenn!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:
If you visited the Tambuku Tiki Lounge, what beverage would you order from Cady?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Wow! Great interview. This book is already on my wishlist, but after hearing aout Cristina Scabbia, and deep love of metal :)) which I share, I will have to read it sooner. Also love Tony Mauro's work!
    The answer: I'm torn between a burning absent and a white bloody mary - both I think will be appropriate.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  2. Thanks for the giveaway.

    I am not much for cocktails but seeing how it a demon friendly place how about something like the 666 Blaster.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  3. Well, if we are allowed to make up something up then how about something like "Demonic Delight"? Make it something between sweet and sour that goes down nice and smooth.

  4. The drink I would order from Cady is Blue Diablo.

    Qwill follower,

    zombvampire (@} gmail [•} com

  5. Great interview!! I love her three good luck charms she has at her desk so awesome :) Ive bee so excited for this book and have it on my wishlist!

    I would have to ask for a recommendation, a litte surprise cant hurt...well maybe lol. But I love trying out new drinks.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower: Kristen-Seeing Night
    +1 Tweeted:!/SeeingNight/status/83556748165783554
    Twitter follower: @seeingnight

  6. ohh this sounds like a great one. Thank you for the interview, not I am intrigued by this book.
    At the bar I would order a nice cool Guinness, nothing fancy.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  7. That was a great sounding read. I cannot wait to check it out. On a hot day like this I would order a Blackberry Margarita.

    +1 comment
    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  8. If I visited Tambuku Tiki Lounge, the beverage I would order from Cady is a Bloody Mary. I'm not much of a drinker but it seems very apt.

    I love the cover. It portrays a very strong heroine and I like the idea of her being a magician, a rarity.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower


  9. I love learning about new authors. Thanks for the fun interview.

    I'm torn on what drink to order. I typically either get a Porn Star or an Alabama Slammer (depending on whether the bar has the ingredients or not, lol)... but I think it would be fun to have Cady introduce me to something new. :)

    Jen K.
    GFC follower as Romancing the Book
    admin.bookblog AT

  10.!/profile.php?id=100000547840483 facebooked GFC Krystal Larson of the Qwillery I would order a Burning Absent! edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom Thank you!

  11. I don't drink except at the free cocktail party when I go on a cruise so I have no names handy. But, some place named Tambuku Tiki Lounge deserves a fruit drink with an umbrella and cute swizzle sticks. I'm sure even demons find them tasty.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower Anne38

  12. So embarrassed... but I would order a fruit juice *blushes*. Just not a drinker. Hmmm... maybe a chocolate shake!!

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  13. What a great interview! I share a love of quite a few of her favorite authors!

    I would order a Sex On The Beach, because I just love going into a bar and ordering that! Thanks for a great giveaway:)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower: Julie Witt
    +1 tweeted:!/jwitt33/status/83593333057916929

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  14. Hmm I don't actually drink anymore (alcohol that is) so would probably just order a coke. But if I was would probably go for the delicous Brain Hemmorage (spelling?)

    Posted on FB!/pitslodge
    Already a follower (as emmad)


  15. I like wine.

  16. Since I don't really drink much, I'd probably order a wine cooler or something fruity, or maybe ask Cady for a recommendation.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  17. This was a wonderful interview and the book - OH MY! I would love to read this. I think a drink I would order would be a Bloody Sunset.
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 facebook


  18. I would let Cady decide.. Something with a tiki motif..and one that you have to light on fire..

  19. Champagne: it's my one vice (My story & I'm sticking with that.)

    + 1 comment

    +1 I follow


  20. A demon friendly bar? Pondering what sort of drinks they may have ....

    Any drink that is green in color! Or failing that; purple.

  21. I'm a Fuzzy Navel kind of girl:)


  22. Love the interview. I have had this book on my blog's wishlist! I do want to read this one!

    However the drink question is quite easy. I'd order a Dr. Pepper from Hell. It's a real drink and good. ;)

    I'm a gfc follower
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. I would get a red wine. It's expensive and chic hahahaha :P
    Thanks a lot for the giveaway and the interview!

    GFC Follower! And Itweeted:!/petit_sayumi/status/84074704717103104


  24. Thanks for the giveaway:) I find it interesting that you keep lucky charms facing you on your desk before you write.

    In answer to your question: I would order a Pina Colada or ask for a recommendation based on their most popular drink:)

    +1 GFC follower: Identity Seeker
    +1 Tweeted:!/SweetNSensible/status/84367155088470017


  25. im to young to drink. ;) so i would get sweet iced tea. lol thank you!

    shadow_kohler at att dot net

  26. I would order a fuzzy navel.
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 tweeted!/mbreakfield/status/84837000372432897

  27. Negroni on the rocks for me, pls!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  28. Great interview and cool giveaway! Depending if I was the designated driver (as I usually) am I would order either a Shirley Temple or Amaretto Sour

    +1 comment
    +1 new GFC follower (TommyGirl)

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  29. A Bloody Mary would fit nicely, unless I get nervous than a Vodka Sunrise.

    tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/85561888636796928
    link -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com