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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sheep Interview: Jocelynn Drake

Today we have Urban Fantasy author Jocelynn Drake. Your are probably familiar with her Dark Days series that ended with book #6 Burn the Night. Since then she has been hard at work on a new series, The Asylum Tales, that looks like it is going to be lots of fun. We learned some cool information about the series and why you should hide the matches around Jocelynn <G>

Sharon: Angel's Ink is the debut book in your new series! Would you tell our readers a little about it and why their lives will be better for having read it?
Jocelynn: Angel’s Ink is the first novel in the Asylum Tales series, which takes place in Low Town.  The city of Low Town is filled with all types of creatures living together with the humans.  As a result, sometimes a person will need a little extra help in life.  A little extra good luck?  Some help with your love life?  This is where your local tattoo artist comes in handy.  A tattoo artist is skilled in stirring potions that can be placed in the ink.  The new series focuses on Gage, a tattoo artist and former warlock, and his friends Bronx (a troll) and Trixie (an elf) and their misadventures together.  Low Town is a strange place, where anything can happen and it usually does.

The new series is chockfull of a ton of great creatures, insane misadventures, and a narrator that is constantly in over his head but still manages to have a few laughs along the way.

Sharon: what real town does Low Town resemble most?
Jocelynn: Hahaha! I’m not telling. Nope, you’re gonna have to read it to figure it out. If you know this city, all the stories are filled with little hints and clues. I didn’t necessarily mean for this to happen .. but … well …it just did.  But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Yes, Low Town is similar to another city, but it’s still its own place with its own identity and feel.

Katie: You also released two novellas that introduce some characters and world building prior to the novel coming out. Why was this decision made? Usually novellas come out after a novel.
Jocelynn: The novellas gave me a chance to ease readers into this new series.  It is extremely different from my Dark Days series and I wanted to help readers ease into this new, strange, and exciting world.  What’s more, the novellas give me the opportunity to introduce the world and new characters slowly while also digging into some of the back story that I might never get a chance to tell in the main novella.

In addition, if you’re going to try a new author or a new series, would you rather spend $2 or $14?  Yeah, me too. :)
Sharon: You are right. It would be better to try a series/author out for $2 rather than find out it wasn't for you after spending $14…
Jocelynn: And it’s only gotten worse with the e-books.  One click of the button and PRESTO! You’ve got a brand new book. Almost no waiting, no driving, no searching for a parking spot, and no getting bummed because the book you wanted wasn’t there.  My wallet HATES e-readers.  Of course, I don’t have much self-control in brick-and-mortar bookstores either, which I still dearly love. The pain is a little less over $2 than $14, but I still have my auto-buy authors.

Sharon: Do you have any tattoos that you regret?
Jocelynn: Not yet, but give me time.  I currently have four tattoos, but I’m hoping to add to my collection this fall/winter. 
Katie: What might you add?
Jocelynn: I am planning on a phoenix in flames for my right thigh. I figured after creating the Fire Starter I should have flames on my body somewhere. I’m planning a pair of crossed skeleton keys for the last blank space on my back. And my ultimate goal is a feather quill on my left forearm and an inkwell on my right forearm, but that might have to wait until I exit corporate workplace.

Sharon: What is your gaming obsession right now?
pic from Wikia
Jocelynn: I’m in a sort of holding pattern as I finish up some revisions on the second book in the Asylum Tales.  I am still working on the Final Fantasy 13 game and I’ve got the Final Fantasy 13-2 as well.  I also have the Assassin’s Creed III game pre-ordered, which I am dying to get my hands on.  I have fallen in love with Ezio, but I can understand the need to end his story after three games.  I’m looking forward to meeting Connor.  I am also looking forward to playing through the Uncharted series, because really, who doesn’t love Nate Drake?
Sharon: so no….Tetris or Zombies VS Plants? <G>
Jocelynn:  HA! I haven’t played Tetris in years and I’ve never played the other game. I’m a diehard Final Fantasy player and completely in love with the Assassin’s Creed series. I’m so impressed with the storyteller for these games recently.  They’ve become such a rich tapestry of characters and twisting plots.  If I wasn’t writing books, I’d give anything to be writing stories for video games.

Katie: What do you think of all the action movies that have come out this year?
Jocelynn: Bring it on! I love action movies.  Sure, they’re usually not big on things like plot and in-depth character development, but I just love watching things explode.  For me, if I want plot and great characters, I’ll read a book. If I want pure escapism, I’ll watch a movie.

Though, the exception for me was The Dark Knight Rises.  As a huge Batman fan, I was quite pleased with the movie and the respect the director showed the comics. 

Sharon: if you could blow something up what would it be?
Jocelynn: No, the real question is what wouldn’t I blow up? Well, I wouldn’t blow up anything that would hurt someone.  That’s just wrong. I’m just in it for the noise, destruction, and giant ball of flames.  The Drakes all have a special gene – the firebug gene.  We all like to set things on fire and blow things up. My father and uncles have it. I have it. My younger brothers have it.  We just gotta see things burn.

Is it any surprise that I created Mira?

Sharon: Have you gotten any hate mail because of something you did to your characters in the Dark Days series?
Jocelynn: Hate mail? No. I did have some readers who were upset with me over a character that died in Pray for Dawn.  I think the biggest complaint regarding the Dark Days series was over the fact that it took several books for my main characters to get together. I understand their frustration.  I felt it as well. But remember: 1. The series isn't a paranormal romance series, but urban fantasy. 2. The main characters HATE each other in the first book. If they had gotten together in the first book or even the second book, it would have been totally unbelievable.  They had to learn to understand and respect each other. You can’t have love without respect.’ 
Sharon: I guess I should have phrased it “have you received a lot of grief from fans for something you did with your characters? UF fans and PNR fans definitely different beasts <G>
Jocelynn: The grief came in interesting, but slightly predictable waves. When Dayhunter was released, fans were upset that Mira had a fling outside of Danaus.  When Pray for Dawn hit, they were upset that a particular character died (but so was I).  When Wait for Dusk was released, I was upset a character died and no one else seemed to care.  But then, everyone was happy that IT finally happened so I guess the death was easily overlooked even if I was heartbroken. And when Burn the Night hit, people were upset that it was over – which was very flattering, but it was time to let go. Mira needed a break.

Katie: What does your main character own or have that you would like to have too?
Jocelynn: Mira owns a BMW Z4 convertible. I owned one a few years ago and I’m jealous that Mira still has hers.  Gage has magic.  I’d love to be able to makes half the potions that he can.

Sharon: Did you ever feel like giving up on writing or publishing?
Jocelynn: Nope. I started writing when I was twelve, and while I’ve taken breaks for writing, I’ve never stopped thinking of new ideas.  I’ve always got a new idea dancing around in my head and writing it down is the only way to make room for more ideas.      

Sharon: Which deadly sin did you commit most recently?
Jocelynn: I’m not sure. For me, it always feels like sloth. Whenever I’m relaxing, my mind immediately conjures up a list of things that I should be doing then badgers me until I finally cave and get back to work.

Katie: Apocalypse happens tomorrow. What would your last meal be?
Jocelynn: My last meal would be the strangest hodgepodge of things.  Fried chickens, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, four cheese ravioli, garlic bread, my mother’s pot roast with butter noodles, a nice green salad with no tomatoes, a selection of cheeses, and for dessert a slice of hot apple pie and a slice a strawberry shortcake, and a slice of chocolate cake with milk poured over it (a family tradition).
Sharon: I’m coming to your house when the Apocalypse hits!
Jocelynn: The best food is always the home cooked meals. I love my mother’s cooking and my husband is pretty fantastic too.  I’m a lucky girl.

Sharon: Can you speak another language?
Jocelynn: Many many years ago, I spoke French, but it has been more than 10 years since I last spoke the language. J’ai oublie tout les mots.
Sharon: Ce n'est pas grave, je ne sais pas du tout fran├žais.
(I totally used Google translation <G>)

Now for some fun rapid fire questions!

Sharon: Team Bucky or Team Satchel?
Jocelynn: I don’t know what either is, so I have to say, Team Gage.
Sharon: *headdesk* I'm gonna keep asking this till someone knows!

Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Jocelynn: Coke
Sharon: *headdesk…again*
Katie: Woot! Coke wins again!

Sharon: Tablets or gel caps?
Jocelynn: Tablets

Katie: Halloween or Christmas?
Jocelynn: Halloween
Sharon: what are you dressing up as this year?
Jocelynn: I have no freaking clue. I just moved so I haven’t even started thinking that far ahead. Probably a bed sheet with two eye holes cut in it.

Sharon: Sexy shoes or Slutty skirt?
Jocelynn: Sexy shoes

Katie: Pub or Dance club?
Jocelynn: Pub
Sharon: got a favorite Pub drink?
Jocelynn: My favorite place was more of a speakeasy down in MainStrasse, Covington KY called The Wiseguys Lounge inside of Goodfellas.  They made the best Old Fashion.  I also loved the rye sour, the Moscow mule, and their specialty martinis. They had one that was rimmed with pixy stick. AWESOME!

Sharon: Men in work hats or Men in Cowboy hats?
Jocelynn: Men in Cowboy hats

Katie: Swamp tour or Mountain Hike?
Jocelynn: Mountain hike

Sharon: pew-pew or bang bang?
Jocelynn: Bang bang

Katie: Thanks so much for chatting with us! Would you like to add anything before we wrap?

Jocelynn: I think you’ve cleaned me out of information. I would just suggest that readers stop by my blog. I now have posted the dates and locations for my mini-book tour in October/November.  Thanks so much for letting me stop by and ramble about my books.  It was great talking to you.

Visit Jocelynn's website and blog to find info on give aways and appearances. If you want to meet some of Low Town before Angel's Ink comes out then download the short stories, The Asylum Interviews: Bronx and The Asylum Interviews: Trixie. 

And I would suggest reading the free extra on her site called: Warlocks and Witches: The Subjugation of the Races Gage tells the dark history of the Great War that ended with the Warlocks and Witches in power and the decimation of other supernatural races. 


Looking for a tattoo -- and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions -- a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks -- to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has a price.

No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Towers where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him his right to practice magic. If he disobeys, his punishment -- execution -- will be swift.

Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead -- or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.

About the author:
Love comes in many varied forms. There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate. But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story. This Midwestern native spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cats, Harley and Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).

The Asylum Tales series


  1. Thanks for the great interview. Looking forward to this new series. I need to get the novellas read.

  2. I read both of Jocelynn's novellas, and I'm already in love with Gage. Wise cracking, hot, tough and he's got magic and can tattoo. Dang. I can't wait to read the novel!

  3. Awesome interview, thank you! I still have to start reading the first series, but they are on my shelves already. But this new one sure sounds good!

  4. Wonderful interview. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. I am really looking forward to the new series, as well as completing the others, love love Jocelynn Drake's writing :)