Interview with Jennifer Estep | NewInBooks


What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Capture the Crown?

Capture the Crown is book #1 in my Gargoyle Queen epic fantasy series, and it is set in the same world as my Crown of Shards series, which features gladiators, gargoyles, shapeshifters, and more.

I’ve always loved Robin Hood and Scarlet Pimpernel type stories where the main character is much more than what they present themselves as and how other people view them. In Capture the Crown, my heroine, Gemma Ripley, is known for being a pampered princess, but she uses that persona – and other people’s low expectations of her – to secretly moonlight as a spy and protect her kingdom. So it was a lot of fun for me to write a character with some hidden depths.

If you woke up in the world of Capture the Crown, what is the first thing you would do?

I would eat a toasted cheese-and-jam sandwich, which is the favorite food of my heroine, Gemma Ripley.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love reading all kinds of books, and my favorite genres to read are fantasy, romance, YA, spy thrillers, and anything (books, comics, etc.) with superheroes.

Fantasy is my favorite genre to write in, simply because the possibilities are endless when it comes to the types of characters/creatures, worldbuilding, and magic systems that you can write about.

What fictional world would you most like to visit?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the Marvel superhero movies and TV shows, and I think it would be a really cool place to visit.

What book did you expect to hate, but ended up loving?

Back in college, I took a detective fiction class, and I decided to read Bank Shot by Donald E. Westlake as part of the class. I had never read Westlake before, so I didn’t have any expectations about the book, but I absolutely loved it. Bank Shot is part of Westlake’s Dortmunder comic crime caper series about a group of thieves, and it is one of my all-time favorite book series.

What’s your favorite thing about writing? What’s your least favorite thing about it?

My favorite thing is when I finish writing a book. It’s always a great feeling of accomplishment to know that I’ve written something that folks will hopefully read and enjoy.

However, I do get tired of reading – and re-reading – my own books. Authors must re-read their own books for revisions, copyedits, and page proofs, and after a while, it can get a little tedious.

What scene in Capture the Crown was your favorite to write?

I always love writing action and fight scenes and coming up with ways for my heroines to defeat the villains. So some of my favorite scenes in Capture the Crown are when Gemma Ripley finally faces off with a couple of the villains near the end of the book.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I love the quote from the movie Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender!” It definitely applies to writing and so many other things in life.

What will your next adventure or writing project be?

Tear Down the Throne, Gargoyle Queen #2, will be out on May 3, 2022.

Also, I will be publishing A Sense of Danger, a stand-alone urban fantasy about spies with magic, on Nov. 16.

Happy reading, everyone!


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