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Friday, May 25, 2012

Author Interview: Jess Haines

Today, I’d like to welcome Jess Haines to the blog. She’s here to kick off the blog tour for the fourth book in her H&W Investigations series, STALKING THE OTHERS, which come out on July 3rd. You can read my review of HUNTED BY THE OTHERS here and TAKEN BY THE OTHERS here. And stick around! Kensington is hosting a giveaway for the blog tour and the Rafflecopter form can be found at the end of the post.

Sara: How would you describe Stalking the Others, for readers who haven’t heard of it before?

Jess: This is the fourth book in my series, so let me start with a short recap of the other three:

Book 1 –- HUNTED BY THE OTHERS: Shiarra Waynest, a private investigator, is blackmailed into retrieving an artifact from a vampire. The problem? As a human, she doesn’t stand a chance against the Others.

Book 2 -– TAKEN BY THE OTHERS: With the artifact destroyed, Shia believes her dealings with the supernaturals in town are over -- but the vampires, werewolves, and monster hunters in town believe otherwise...

Book 3 –- DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS: Determined to get away from the troubles plaguing her in the city, Shia goes on a vacation with her werewolf boyfriend -- along with his entire pack -- in the Catskills.

Book 4 – STALKING THE OTHERS: After the events and subsequent betrayal Shia experienced in the last book, she’s done being pushed around. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can -- and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left...

So, in this book, Shiarra is in a very bad place. She’s lost her family, her boyfriend, and probably her business and license as a private investigator -- and some might feel she’s also lost her marbles. She’s ready to take on the world, and get some payback from the people who turned her life into her version of a living hell.

It’s not recommended as a starting point -- this is the continuation that picks up right where my last book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS, left off.

Sara: In three words, how would you describe your main characters?

Shiarra: Frazzled, overworked, underpaid
Chaz: Hairy werewolf jock
Royce: Sly, sexy vampire
Sara: Cool, confident friend
Arnold: Geeky, funny mage

Sara: Do you have a favorite character to write? Is there a character that’s a bit harder than the rest to write?

Jess: While you might think Shiarra is the obvious answer, it’s actually Arnold. I love him. He’s like the male version of me. Only with magic powers.

As for one who is harder to write than the rest? Jack. He’s a huge pain in the ass. Every time I think I have that vamp hunter pinned, he surprises me with a new twist to his character.

Sara: What sets Stalking the Others apart from the other Urban Fantasy?

Jess: Most urban fantasy novels center around a protagonist who has special powers. Sookie Stackhouse can read minds, Harry Dresden and Rachel Morgan can cast spells, Anita Blake can raise the dead (and bring all the boys to the yard with her magic hoo-ha), etc.

Shiarra is a vanilla human playing with the big boys in the supernatural community. In that way, she’s my “special snowflake”. She has a couple of magic items to help her out, but for the most part, she has to rely on her wits -- what few she has -- and her friends to help her out.

In STALKING THE OTHERS, there’s a chance that could be taken away from her. Good times, eh?

Sara: If Shiarra could work team up with any Urban Fantasy hero or heroine, who would you want her to work with?

Jess: Harry Dresden (from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files). I love that guy.

Sara: Can we look forward to any more books in the H&W Investigations series? Are you working on any other projects?

Jess: Right now, I’m contracted through six books, though I’ve got plots in mind for more in the series. There are also some spinoff ideas I’ve been kicking around. We’ll see what happens once book six is done.

Most of my attention right now is on completing the next book in the H&W series, but I’ve got some other stuff I’m working on, too.

If you’re familiar with the series, I’ve got a little something I’m looking for a home for right now that features Mouse, the mute vampiress, and Christoph, the dude in the fetish collar who shows up briefly in DECEIVED and again in STALKING THE OTHERS.

Sara: Tell us a little about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jess: I’m a pantser. All pants, all the time. Much to the occasional dismay of my editor...

As for my process, I sit my butt in the chair and write what comes to me. Of course, I do have to stick to the general outline I gave my editor when he bought books 2-6 on spec, but I often surprise myself with the twists and turns things take along the way. I find it’s a lot more “fresh” if I just let it come instead of trying to force my work to fit a mold.

Sara: What are your influences both in and out of Urban Fantasy?

Jess: Before I was published, I hadn’t had much experience with reading UF. Most of my influences came from outside the genre (though Jim Butcher and Laurell K. Hamilton are to blame for me dipping my toes into the world of writing UF).

For the most part, I’ve always been a fan of cheesy horror and supernatural movies. Buffy, Fright Night, Tremors, The Howling -- you name it, I’ve probably watched it. My tastes in books were pretty eclectic. I’ve probably read 90% of the pre-Fifth Age DragonLance novels, and love authors like Stephen King, Terry Goodkind, Michael Crichton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, etc. I could put together a laundry list, but if it had vampires or dragons in it, I probably read it as a kid. I’d like to think those books helped warp my twisted young mind. *g*

Sara: What are you currently reading?

Jess: I’m currently reading Jennifer Armintrout’s QUEENE OF LIGHT. You might know Jennifer from her très amusing recaps of the novel 50 SHADES OF GREY:

I plan on reading the next two books (CHILD OF DARKNESS and VEIL OF SHADOWS) as soon as possible. I’m about halfway done with the first book, and so far it’s fabulous!

Thanks again for having me, Sara!

Thanks for stopping by Jess! And now for the giveaway. Kensington is offering 15 copies of STALKING THE OTHERS to readers from US/Canada. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Stalking the Others
Author: Jess Haines
Series: H&W Investigations #4
Vampires, werewolves, mages -- the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor...

Once, she was one of the good guys -- or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shia’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon.

Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police. Instead of going into hiding, Shia is enlisting the aid of her enchanted hunter’s belt and every dirty P.I. trick she knows. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can -- and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left...

Don’t forget to check out Jess Haines’ blog to find the entire blog tour schedule.


  1. I love this series and I can't wait to read Stalking the Others.

  2. I've read an enjopyed the other 3, so I'd like to find out what happens after Shiarra went through the window.


  3. I love all your books cant wait till Stalking the others comes out.

  4. I love this series. I'm looking forward to Stalking the Others.

  5. Thanks everybody! =) Hope you all enjoy STO, and good luck to those who enter the giveaway!


  6. I want this book because I've heard this is a great series.

  7. I've been hearing raves about this series, and definitely be reading it soon. I have the first 3 books on my shelves. :)

  8. I'd really love to read this series! It sounds great. Thank you for the awesome interview and giveaway.

  9. I have HUNTED BY THE OTHERS on my Kindle and look forward in reading it. The enitre series sounds great.

    Tracey D


Thanks for stopping by Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog! I'd love to here what's on your mind. :)