Welcome back to NA Alley! It’s L.G. with you today in the Alley, and I’m here with a special guest: Heather Jensen.

Heather is the author of Blood and Guitars and Immortals and Melodies. Heather channeled her two passions—music and vampires—into these novels.

Blood and Guitars: When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she's only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood. 

Trey's band is recording a new album and with Aurora as his muse, Trey is writing songs like never before. After being hired by their record label to paint the cover of the new album, Aurora has a legitimate reason for spending so much time with Trey and his band mates. Aurora can't deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.

-From Heather Jensen’s website.

Heather published the first novel in this series last year and faced her own problems related to the NA category when it came to publishing and marketing the novel. The second in the series, Immortals and Melodies, was released in May of this year. 

Thank you, Heather, for joining NA Alley for this interview. It’s a pleasure to have you. Easily the most obvious question: what does New Adult mean to you, and why do you write NA fiction?
New Adult is the grey space between YA and Adult fiction. It has been completely overlooked until recently. I'm happy to see the category making waves and getting the attention it deserves. 
How did the NA category and views on NA in the publishing world influence the publication of Blood and Guitars?
I wasn't aware of NA as an official category a year ago when Blood And Guitars came out. I knew that my series didn't fall into the typical YA or Adult labels but without another option, I found myself having to market it as YA. It never felt like a great fit, but I didn't know there might be another option at the time.

Have you found a difference in how you marketed your most recent release compared to your first novel?
My approach is certainly different this time around. I find myself having to explain what NA means to some people, and I'm happy to spread the word and educate people about what New Adult is. I'm surprised at how many reader's I've come across lately who are interested in books that have characters in this phase of life. I'm happy to be marketing Immortals And Melodies (and the rest of the series) as NA.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what’s your favorite writing song? Music is an essential part of my writing environment. I had a playlist for Blood And Guitars, and some of those songs have carried over into the Immortals And Melodies playlist, but my favorite song to set the mood for my vampire writing is "Famous Last Words" by My Chemical Romance. Before the song is over I can be in writing mode and plugging away at the keyboard! Lol. 
Do you have your playlist for the novels posted anywhere online?

I did a blog post recently at Reviewing Shelf that has my writing playlist for Blood And Guitars:  http://reviewingshelf.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/guest-post-blood-and-guitars-the-music-behind-the-book/

It looks like there are some awesome songs on there! Do you ever find the music distracting when you write? 

Music is an essential part of my writing process. I find that it inspires me or at least helps me set the tone for the scene I'm about to write. I can't write without my music! I've tried, but I always have to do more re-writing when I write a scene without music playing in the background.

Which of your books was the easiest to write? Which was the hardest? What did you learn from each?

Blood And Guitars was difficult because I began writing the book more than ten years ago. It was originally a stand alone novel, but I was never happy with the ending and the finality of the story. I knew the characters had more in them than just that one novel. It was only three years ago that I was able to rewrite the ending and map out a series of three novels. Because of this, Immortals And Melodies was much easier to write.  

So, would you say that the novel changed substantially from its original course?

Yes and no. Aside from a few scenes that changed here and there, the essence of the book is the same now as it was back then.

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a panster? 

I'm a plotter. I've written books where I just let the plot form as I went but I think I write much better when I have at least an outline to work from. That doesn't mean that I don't deviate from the outline or change course while I write, but I find it easier to have a basic structure to help me get from point A to point B.

What is your favorite TV show or movie (or both)? I love the Vampire Diaries, although the show isn't much like the books. I have to have my weekly dose of Damon! My favorite movie is A Knight's Tale, although I'm eager to watch Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. Johnny as a funny vampire ... I'm not sure you can beat that!

That answer doesn’t surprise me! And A Knight’s Tale…*daydreams*…I totally get why. Before I get too distracted by Heath Ledger, how about one last question? If you had to choose one of your own books to have with you on a deserted island, which would you choose? 
I'd choose Immortals And Melodies. I write books that I would want to find in a bookstore and read, and I could read this one over and over. Being the second book in the series, the characters and the world are already established and you just get to watch their relationships grow and change as they face down the rocks you're constantly throwing at them. I love it.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the interview, and please check out
And you can buy both of her novels here.

Post a Comment

  1. Great interview L.G, brilliant questions. Heather, your books sound like a really original take on vampires, and I'm adding them to my "to read" list now. :)

    1. Thank you, Clare! And thank you for reading!

  2. Wow. Great covers! :) The books sound fantastic, Heather!

    P.S. Nice interview, LG!

  3. Thank you so much for a chance to be interviewed. I'm incredibly happy that you are bringing such an awareness to the NA category. I really enjoyed our interview, LG!

  4. Also, thanks to everyone for your great comments about the books and the interview. :)

  5. The book sounds great! Thanks for the interview!

  6. Great interview! And thanks for stopping by Heather :D

  7. This is a great interview!


  8. Heather's playlist has great songs on it. I love Famous Last Words! Music is such an integral part of writing for me, too. It sets the tone, helping to find those right words. Great interview! :)

  9. Thanks for this interview, L.G. and Heather!! I'm completely interested in reading this book, now. Right up my alley! (no pun intended...) ;P

  10. Great covers and the blurb sounds awesome! Kudos for sticking with NA! Woot!

  11. Well done on getting the second book out. i love your playlist!

  12. Thank you everyone for the great response. I'm so happy NA Alley let me be a tiny part of what they are doing for the NA genre. I hope you'll all follow me on Twitter and facebook so we can keep in touch. :)

  13. Great interview! I think I have similar taste in hot guys ;) Gorgeous covers!

  14. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Heather is a joy to interview!

  15. Great interview :) So glad to see good quality NA books now available. Very exciting. And I love the twist on the vampire theme. :)


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