Guest: Urban Fantasy Author Jennifer Estep & Giveaway

Urban Fantasy author Jennifer Estep

With pleasure today I have Jennifer Estep here guest posting. Jennifer’s debut Urban Fantasy novel Spider’s Bite just released on January 26, which I have read and reviewed. Folks, Spider’s Bite is truly Urban Fantasy at it’s best and I can’t wait for May to get here. On May 25th, Web of Lies, the second book in Jennifer’s Elemental Assassins series releases.

Good news! Jennifer is giving away a copy of Spider’s Bite to one lucky commentator. Details for the giveaway are at the end of this post.

Howdy Jennifer!

What's in a book title?

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Donna for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much, Donna!

On to my topic of the day – book titles.

Ah, book titles. Coming up with a good one can be an author’s worst nightmare. Seriously, it’s tough to condense your book down to a few words and still capture the overall spirit of the story – not to mention make it interesting enough to catch a reader’s eye in the bookstore.

Spider’s Bite, the first book in my new Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, came out Jan. 26. I think Spider’s Bite is a pretty cool title, especially since it ties in with the titles of the other two books in the series that will be out this year – Web of Lies (June) and Venom (October). Yep, that’s right, all the books in the Elemental Assassin titles have something to do with spiders. That’s because the heroine of the series, Gin Blanco, moonlights as an assassin codenamed the Spider.

But Spider’s Bite was not my original title for the first book – it was Gin on the Rocks. I thought it would be cool to use the word “gin” in all the titles as a play on my heroine’s name – Gin with a Twist, Bitter Gin, Gin and Tonic, etc. I came up with a whole slew of gin-related titles, with the help of my critique group. We had quite a lot of fun dreaming up gin titles (and just dreaming about gin and tonics in general) one day.

But my editor and agent thought that the “gin” titles weren’t quite strong enough and didn’t really say “dark, fun, sexy urban fantasy,” which is what the Elemental Assassin books are all about. So, somewhere along the way, one of us had the idea to tie the books together using spider-related titles. And voila! We had Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, and Venom.

Of course, those weren’t the only spider-related titles that we came up with. We considered things like Black Widow, Death Weaver, Web of Death, The Deadly Web She Weaves, Revenge of the Spider, etc. We also came up with some real groaners. My personal favorite for sheer badness is Eight Legs of Justice. That one makes me snicker every time I think about it.

Right now, we’re getting ready to brainstorm titles for books 4 and 5 in the series. For book 4, I like The Silken Noose, which is a type of spider and ties in with a line in the book. We’ll see if my editor and agent go for that, or if we can come up with something even better. I have no clue what the title will be for book 5. At this point, everything that I think of just sounds cheesy and hokey to me.

Ah, book titles. They can be a pain to create, but once you’ve got a good one, you want to shout it from the rooftops – and hope that you can come up with something that’s just as cool and clever for the next book. 

What about you guys? Do you like the spider titles? Or think the gin ones were cooler? What are some of your favorite titles? Share in the comments.

Thank you Jennifer for the wonderful post and generous giveaway!

Places you can find Jennifer: Web Site | Blog | Facebook

~*~*~*~*~*~* This giveaway is now closed ~*~*~*~*~*~*

Thanks to Jennifer one lucky commentator will win a copy of Spider’s Bite. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Answer one of Jennifer’s questions at the end of her post in the comments.
  2. Leave your email with your comment ONLY IF it is NOT part of your profile.
  3. Open to the US and Canada.
  4. Deadline to enter this giveaway is Saturday, February 6th at Midnight CST.

Good Luck!


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

These books sound fabulous! I am really surprised, and glad to hear they are all being published so close together. Thank you for that! As for the names... I like both ideas. But I think I like the spider references. But do the titles relating to spiders really relate to the book in spider ways? If not as much as the Gin titles, then I would go for the Gin titles.

I am really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

E.J. Stevens said...

Great interview and giveaway!

I like the spider titles and immediately thought of the "Trapdoor Spider" as another possible title.[at]gmail[dot]com

Wicked Walker said...

I can see where you could have some fun with GIN in the name! I do like Spider is edgy and dangerous! I can't wait to read this book!


Anonymous said...

I like the Spider theme way better than the Gin theme. The series would have to be something UF, dark, gritty, and unromantic to fit "Gin on the Rocks"...

tetewa said...

I enjoy both different titles but the spider titles I think are more eye catching!

Tynga said...

Gin theme was a fun Idea but I think I like he spider theme better, i'm not crazy about the first cover thought, I like the second cover better.
Thanks for stopping by and for the opportunity to win your book!

Reading said...

The gin titles were good, but I love the spider titles. There are just so many possibilities. Good luck with the book release!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the nice words about Spider's Bite. I appreciate them. And Donna -- thanks for the awesome review yesterday. So glad you enjoyed the book.

Melissa -- The spider titles do relate to what's going on in the book, which I think is good.

EJ -- That's one that we didn't come up with. I'll have to keep that in mind.

Stacy -- I thought the gin titles were fun, and I had about a dozen of them that I came up with.

TJ -- I do like the spider titles better now (especially since I got such great cover art to go along with them).

Tetewa -- Me too.

Tynga -- I like both covers. I keep going back and forth about which one I like better!

Bethie -- Thanks!

throuthehaze said...

I like the Spider titles more than the Gin ones :)

Smokinhotbooks said...

Great Giveaway Donna, don't enter me in I just picked up Spider's Bite yesterday, lol.

I really like the series title it stands out more than Gin. I like when series have a theme vs the main character's name.

Bells said...

I have been wanting to read this book. The spider is what made me look at the cover. There aren't a lot of books with spider on the front. It does sound better than gin to me.

Wendy said...

While I'm not a fan of spiders - at all! - I definitely do like the spider-theme titles! Very cool. :)

Terri P aka WindDancer said...

I like the spider titles - particularly Venom and yes that Eight Legs of Justice one was pretty bad. LOL Do you get to approve the titles? Or do they just listen to your input but make the final decision themselves?

BreiaB said...

While I like both sets of titles, I must say that I like the spider titles best. They seem darker and more fearsome than the gin titles.I also like the second cover best.

LSUReader said...

I like the "Spider" titles a lot. My favorite titles tend to be ones that make it easy for me to keep up with the books I've read--Sue Grafton's alphabet titles, Janet Evanovich's numerical ones, etc. Your book sounds great and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for visiting.

Bridget said...

Even though I'm no fan of spiders, I'd have to say that I like those titles best.

Just posted your contest and guest post on Win A Book.

Loved Karma Girl and Jinx. Looking forward to reading this new series!

doreen lamoureux said...

I love the spider titles. Creepy and they jump out at you. lol
I love all the spider titles. I like the one your thinking of too. Never knew a spider like that existed. I'm not afraid of spiders but no venom ones live around here. Lucky me.
Thanks for the post.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Throughthehaze -- Me too.

Smokinghotbooks -- I like both of those -- basically, anything that makes it easy for me to remember an author's books, and the titles that I've already read.

Bells -- You're right. I actually looked on Amazon one time, and there aren't many books with "spider" in the title -- unless you want to read books about actual spiders. LOL.

Wendy -- Thanks!

Terri P -- Usually, my editor, agent, and I brainstorm and come up with the titles. My editor listens to my input, but it's really the publisher's decision in the end.

Breia -- That's what my editor/agent though too. That the spider titles were more urban fantasy-sounding than the gin titles.

LSU -- Me too. Another thing that I like is when publishers put the book numbers on the spine so you can tell which one in a series that it is.

Bridget -- Thanks! I hope you enjoy Spider's Bite as well.

Dor -- There are a few venomous spiders where I live. Brown recluses, mostly. But I haven't run into any of them yet!

Jamie said...

I've heard a lot of great buzz about this book. Donna gave it a really good review and so if Donna says it's good then I know it's good. Looking forward to reading it.

Van Pham said...

Gin titles are fun but i like the spider titles more. Looking forward to reading this book!

thanks for the giveaway.


Persephone said...

I like the spider titles, it gives the books a more ominous and exciting feel.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

I like the spider titles more because you can loosely relate them to each other whereas the Gin titles all had to have Gin in them. Not that there is anything really wrong with alcohol based titles ;) Though I have to say the Eight-legs of Justice title sounds pretty awesome ;). I'm looking forward to reading your books, I like the idea of a woman assassin.

misskallie2000 said...

I like the Spider titles. The spider titles do relate to what's going on in the book, which I think is good. They also catch your eye when you are looking at book store for a good book.
I have not read any of these but they do seem to be good reads going by the reviews I've read.

misskallie200 at yahoo dot com

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I like them both but think the Spider titles are more UF. Good choice. I've heard great reviews and this book is on my WANT list!

whitewolfreads said...

Definitely like the spider themed titles better than the Gin (even though I can definitely see the fun had in coming up with them!).

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Stacy -- Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

Van -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy it too.

Marianna -- That's true. Gin just makes me think of alcohol. ;-)

Heather -- We all had a good long laugh over Eight Legs of Justice. LOL.

Misskallie -- The book had been getting a lot of great reviews, which I'm so grateful for.

Patti -- I hope you enjoy it.

JMS -- Oh, we had a lot of fun coming up with the gin titles. I think we invented some new drinks that day!

justpeachy36 said...

I think the spider titles are great. I can't wait to read the books.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

michelle said...

I like the spider titles better. Sounds like you are having a lot of fun coming up with them! I've been reading a lot lately how authors don't have a lot of control over their book titles. Does your publisher usually go with the title you want?

mishcara at gmail dot com

heatwave16 said...

Hi Jennifer!!! I'm really excited about your new book. It sounds awesome, plus a very good friend of mine was saying how fab-u-lous it was.

As for the titles, I do like the Gin ones, but I have to agree that the spider is more dark and urban fantasy-ish. However, I hate spiders, so I would have voted for Gin. :)Or maybe a BBQ Pig Attack. JK lol


Michele L. said...

Hi Jennifer!

The spider title really caught my attention when I first read about your book. I thought to myself this is, Urban fantasy, which I love! My pick is the spider title. So ultra urban, sinister and mysterious. Attention grabber!

Susan said...

Spiders creep me out! And I am sure these books would be creepy and interesting... would love to read them.

Linda Henderson said...

I think the spider related titles are great. The gin titles would have been okay too. I like titles that are connected, say the J.D.Robb In Death series. I keep thinking one of these days she will run out of titles for these.

seriousreader at live dot com

Anonymous said...

I like the spider titles and each one is going to work with a specific book. That kind of gives the reader a little hint to try and guess about what might happen. If spiders freaked me out I wouldn't like the spider connection.

Anonymous said...

Justpeachy -- Thanks!

Michelle -- I have some input as far as the titles go, but in the end, it's up to the publisher. They have the final say, but I've been happy with all of my titles to far.

Heatwave -- Cool. Glad to know your friend enjoyed the book. I didn't think about BBQ titles, but those would be fun too!

Michele -- The spider titles are sinister and fun at the same time.

Susan -- I don't mind little spiders. It's the big, fat, hairy ones that freak me out.

Linda -- I've often thought that about the In Death series myself. LOL.

Leni -- The titles are also working really well for the free short stories that I'm writing to go along with the books too, which is another plus.

Roxy said...

LOL at Eight Legs of Justice. That is pretty cheesy (and funny).

I like the spider related titles. They sound good and I like how they don't all say spider ___. Instead, its more subtle.

Some of my favorite titles are The Name of the Wind, Wicked Lovely, and the Outlaw Demon Wails.

One I heard recently that I'm totally in love with is My Love Lies Bleeding. It sounds so lyrical, just really pretty.

Tricia said...

While I'm not a fan of spiders I like these titles they just have more of an UF feel to me.

Julie S said...

I think the spider titles are fascinating because they tie in the scary and dangerous bugs with the theme of the book.


cfisher1504 said...

I really loved Spider Bite!! Cant wait for next release!!!

DawnsReadingNook said...

I Like the spider titles over the gin ones. I have this on my wish list and can't wait to check them out. Thanks for being here.

Daelith said...

Even though spiders creep me out, I like the spiders titles better. As someone said about, they have more of a UF/Paranormal feel to them.

cheleooc at yahoo dot com

Thank you

Natasha said...

Great interview!!
I really like the spiders titles! :)

Count me in.


donnas said...

Great interview.

I like both sets. But the spider titles seem more UF.

I really like the titles in Michelle Bardsley Broken Heart series. They are fun and usually make me laugh.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Jason said...

I haven't read these books but I do like the names. The spider references in the titles are intriguing.
Please enter me in the contest. :)

Thanks, Jason

Anne said...

I'm going to agree with your editor, I like the Spider titles better.

Anonymous said...

I love both titles! The Spider ones do sound darker and sexier though, while the Gin ones sound really witty and fun. :D

Anonymous said...

I prefer the spider titles simply because I'm terrified of spiders. Somehow that fear draws me to these book titles. Strange, but true!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to pop in a final time and say thanks to everyone who left a comment and for all the nice words about Spider's Bite. I appreciate them! Happy reading everyone! ;-)

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