Author Interview: Urban Fantasy author Jennifer Estep

There are tons of great new books in speculative fiction being released today–get your credit cards ready! I’ll be spotlighting a few over the next days. (Scroll below for a mini-interview with Boneshaker author Cherie Priest, whose Dreadnought releases today.)

Next up is Jennifer Estep, whose new urban fantsy, VENOM, releases today from Pocket Books. This is the third in the Elemental Assassin series. I had a chance to ask Jennifer a couple of quick questions as I put together my new Fiction Affliction column for (more on that below).

Q: Your “elemental assassin,” Gin Blanco, has an unusual “side” occupation. In addition to being an elemental mage and an assassin, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant, the Pork Pit. How did you come to use that element in your world-building?

JE:  I’m a born and bred Southerner, and when I started writing the Elemental Assassin series, I knew that I wanted to give it a Southern vibe. What’s more Southern than a great barbecue restaurant? Not much.

I also love writing about food, and I thought  it would be cool to make cooking one of Gin’s hobbies, to give her a quirk that people could relate to. Plus, I had written another (unpublished) book that featured a barbecue restaurant, and it was just too good of a set piece not to use. So with all that in mind, the Pork Pit and the city of Ashland were born.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the Elemental Assassin stories?

JE: My favorite thing about the series has definitely been the reader reaction. I knew that I was taking a bit of a risk, writing about an unapologetic assassin, but I’ve gotten so many emails from readers telling me that they love Gin as much as I do. My goal is to entertain folks, and knowing that people are enjoying reading about Gin and her adventures really does make my day as an author. Happy reading, everyone! 😉

Venom, the third Elemental Assassins book, releases today. To see all the science fiction (including steampunk) books being released between September 28 and October 31, check out yesterday’s Fiction Affliction column on A new one will run each day this week–others will focus on new releases in Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy and Young Adult Paranormal, and I’ll update the links as they become available. Be sure and leave a comment!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

4 thoughts on “Author Interview: Urban Fantasy author Jennifer Estep

  1. Sort of a Fried Green Tomatoes moment. Bet other things get grilled, too. Love hearing your readers embrace the unapologetic assasin theme. That must tickle your toes as an author.

  2. Hi, everyone! I just wanted to say thanks to Suzanne for taking the time to feature my book here.

    Julia — Thanks! I would say the book is definitely action-packed fun. Those are the kind of books I like to read, and those are the kind of books that I (hopefully) write.

    Sharon — It really does. I wasn’t sure how readers would react to Gin, since she is sort of an anti-hero, but everyone seems to love her — so far at least!