Today, I am excited to welcome back Jennifer Estep as we celebrate the release of her second Elemental Assassins novel, Web of Lies.
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.
I’m Gin Blanco.
You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coal-mining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jackie for having me back at Literary Escapism. Thanks so much, Jackie!
As some of you may know, I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals.
So today, Jackie asked me to talk a little bit about the world building in my books, especially when it comes to the elementals. There are four main types of elementals in the books — Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. I decided to go with these four elements because I wanted there to be some balance and symmetry to the magic. So two elements compliment each other — Air and Fire, and Ice and Stone — and two elements oppose each other — Fire and Ice, and Air and Stone.
Plus, I thought that I could come up with some really interesting powers using these elements. For example, in Spider’s Bite, readers discover that Air magic can be used in two ways. Number one, it can be used as a healing magic, to circulate oxygen through wounds, sew skin back together, and more. But someone with Air magic can also use oxygen to rip molecules apart and literally flay the skin off a person.
In my world, folks have to be able to tap into one of these elements — the big four as I call them — in order to be considered a true elemental. But in each book, I also mention that there are folks out there with other powers, elemental abilities that are offshoots of one of the four main elements.
For example, in the fourth Elemental Assassin book, Tangled Threads, Gin is going to go up against someone with electrical magic — basically, a lightning-based power that would be an offshoot of Air magic. Owen Grayson, another character in the series, has an elemental talent for metal — something that’s an offshoot of Stone. I mention other powers too — like people having elemental talents for water (an offshoot of Ice) and acid (an offshoot of Fire).
I think it’s important when you’re writing a fantasy series not to be too strict with your magic. That’s why I have my four main elements, but I also left myself plenty of wiggle room to add new powers to my world. As the series progresses, I’m looking forward to playing around and seeing what I can come up with — and how I can make each bad guy in the series tougher and harder for Gin to defeat. ;-)
What about you guys? What are some of your favorite fantasy powers and books? Share in the comments.
Contest Time! We have a copy of Web of Lies to give away. All you have to do is answer this question: What are some of your favorite fantasy powers and books? Unfortunately, this contest is only open to US/Canadian addresses.
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- +10 Purchase any of Jennifer’s novels through LE’s Amazon store or through the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.