So, now that I have calmed down a bit from reading Rogue’s Paradise by Jeffe Kennedy, I thought it would be fun to interview the mastermind behind this epic (yes, epic in my world) fantasy series titled Covenant of Thorns. Jeffe is also giving away one digital copy of any books in the series (winner’s choice) to one lucky commenter today! So, without further ado…
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Note: There are a few spoilers in this interview, so read at your own risk. 🙂
Amy: Thank you for stopping by the blog today, Jeffe!
Jeffe: I’m happy to! You know you’re one of my favorite readers and top fans of Covenant of Thorns.
Amy: What was your inspiration for the Covenant of Thorns Series?
Jeffe: Well, I trace it back to a series of dreams I had quite some time ago. I dreamed of being Gwynn – the scene with the Black Dog in the bathing chamber and of kissing Liam by the tents – along with other bits and pieces that worked their way in. The underwater scene in Rogue’s Paradise is another. There are more, too, which I think of as her later adventures, that I might write some day. I pieced it together from there.
Amy: How about Rogue and Gwynn?
Jeffe: Gwynn I kind of knew, from being her in dreams. She is also, more than any other of my heroines, the closest to being me. I don’t advise writers to do that, because in many ways it makes the job more difficult. As for Rogue – he was a total surprise. He walked in on Gwynn when she’s chained to the bed in Rogue’s Pawn and started talking. Of course, later I put the pieces together and realized he HAD been part of the story all along, I just hadn’t known it when I started.
Amy: How do you come up with the world building? Is it all in your mind or do you find inspiration somewhere else?
Jeffe: I’ve been an avid reader of fairytales and old fables for most of my life. I have a pretty extensive collection of books – the older the tale, the better. If I can find something pre-Christian, I really love it. The gorier or more bizarre, the better, too. So a lot of it comes from the stew in my mind. But a great deal comes from outside of me, too. From dreams or channeling from some other place. Mostly I rode around in Gwynn’s head and observed the world as she did.
Amy: Which character of the series was the most difficult to write? Easiest?
Jeffe: Hmm. I don’t know that one character was easier or harder to write. I alluded above to it being difficult to write a character who feels like your avatar. Writing Gwynn might be the most difficult because I have to find ways to demonstrate her character, to show who she is in a way I wouldn’t have to if she didn’t feel so much like me. I had to find ways that she ISN’T me, to create enough perspective to draw her personality. As for easiest, it might be Rogue, in truth – mainly because I don’t have to do anything. He just walks in and takes over. I just try to keep up!
Amy: You made us readers wait until the third book in the series for the intimacy to happen between Rogue and Gwynn. Did you feel extra pressure with those scenes since they were highly anticipated?
Jeffe: Yes! I really did feel that pressure from a number of very vocal readers (*cough*) who made it clear they expected some good stuff in return for the wait. Then, by the time I was done, I was kind of worried I’d gone overboard. But Rogue and Gwynn kind of dictated that. In the end, I try to stay true to what the story and characters want to do and not worry too much about the rest.
Amy: Do you have any favorite scenes from the series? Or do you have a favorite book of the series?
Jeffe: Favorite scenes? I love the flirting scene in Rogue’s Pawn, when they first agree on the rules and when Gwynn pulls the lightning bolt. For some odd reason I really like the sequence in Rogue’s Possession from when he meets her on the road after leaving the Inn of Seven Moons through their interlude at Castle Brightness. I also love the nightgown scene in that book. In Rogue’s Paradise, I like the negotiation over whether it’s love, their first time together, the scene where she talks about the elephant baby, when he gives her the diamond, the wedding and the post-wedding waltz. There are others, but those stand most vivid in my brain.
Favorite book is harder to pick. I might love Rogue’s Paradise best, because it feels the richest to me. But that might be because it’s the culmination of that story and so much comes together, or because it’s the most recent.
Amy: Are you as sad to see Rogue go as I am? Yes, I had to slip that in there.
Jeffe: YES. (I might not be done…)
Amy: There are a lot of ways the story could have ended in my mind. When you knew how it was going to play out, did you ever change gears or did you stick with it to make it work? Rogue and Gwynn can be pretty stubborn.
Jeffe: Well, I never really know exactly how it will play out until I’m done writing. I have ideas of what will happen. I had the idea that there would be a crossover back to the “real” world at the end, that the baby would be lost that way. I had the image in my head of Gwynn standing under the crystal dome, using the scepter to fend off Titania’s forces, alone and sacrificing herself. I knew Rogue would not escape Titania’s hooks easily, but I wasn’t sure how that would happen. I also had no idea how Gwynn would defeat Titania until it worked out. I almost changed gears on Darling’s transformation back to human form and the consequences of that, but I finally decided (and CP’s insisted) that it had to be that way. I’d be curious to know how else you think it could have ended!
Amy: What do you hope readers will take away from the series?
Jeffe: Joy? That sounds trite, probably. I don’t think I have expectations for what people take away. I hope they’ll love the books and tell friends to read them. 😀 Maybe take away an idea of Faerie as an alien place but with magic laws that apply to our world also. I’m fascinated by the concept of Changelings, so I like for people to be interested in that, too.
Amy: Thanks for joining us on So Many Reads!
Jeffe: Thank you!
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Jeffe is giving away one digital copy of Rogue’s Pawn, Rogue’s Possession or Rogue’s Paradise to a lucky reader today! Just comment below and let us know if you enjoy fantasy romance and if so, which book or author has been your favorite. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm, Friday, September 12, 2014. Winner will be notified via email and announced on blog.