Guest Author & A Giveaway: Jess Granger aka Kristin Bailey

Hi everyone! To kick of 2013 we have author Jess Granger visiting with us! In fact, to add to the fun we’ve got double the fun because beyond writing sci-fi romances, she also is writing YA! (And psst – Jess has this OMGHOT+GOOD side project that I’m really pushing for, but she’s too busy writing her other books. *sulk*). Jess is a riot, and I hope you enjoy the interview fun! Beyond that, it is also release day for her, so remember to wish her a happy release day!

1. Which sitcom would you most like to live in or be a part of? New or old.
Does the Muppet Show count?  Because I’m pretty sure that’s where I truly belong. If it isn’t crazy, colorful, and made of felt, I’m afraid I might be a little out of place. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I’d have my own personal chef (Bork!), music, since I’ve always had a thing for edgy drummers, and Pigs in Space. What more does a girl need?

2. What’s the best admonishment your mom ever gave you, or that you’ve ever given a kid? e.g. if you make that face it’ll freeze like that. or… if you walk from the kitchen to the table w/ a fork in your mouth you’ll stab yourself through the throat and die.
This one is tough, because I’m really bad at listening to advice. The one I remember is my mother sitting me down and telling me that yes, it is okay to sleep without underwear on because things need to breathe.  I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing after that one. (Gak!) It was good advice though.

3. What was your first job? Your most interesting one? (Aside from writing)
My first job was as a certified latex manipulator, otherwise known as a balloon artist. I used to work in restaurants for tips. I was good too, in fact, I still am. You should see my balloon lobster.  I used to play a game with people called “Stump the balloon girl.” I won every time, even when people asked for a water skiing dinosaur. My best night twisting balloons used my other talent for making up weird crap on the fly. A table of half-drunk people was trying to convince their buddy to go on a Snipe hunt. He grabbed me by the arm, and asked. “Have you ever heard of a Snipe?” looking for a neutral third-party to tell him his friends were pulling his leg.

Instead I gave him very detailed instructions on some sure fire techniques to catch the elusive Yellow-crested Snipe. He really couldn’t go wrong blowing into an empty beer-bottle as a bird-call while crawling on his hands and knees through a corn field with toothpaste smeared on his cheeks and peanut butter on the backs of his hands. I hope he caught one.

4. What two movies from different genres would you most like to see combined in a mash up?
I’m going to go with Zoolander and The Princess Bride.  Couldn’t you just imagine the really, really, really good looking dread pirate Westley? His “new look” is inconceivable, and more deadly than Iocane powder.  Then there’s his compatriot and rival, Hansel Montoya.  They can fight left handed-so long as no one turns that direction.

5. Did you ever imagine your stuffed animals might come to life as a child?
Are you kidding? My stuffed animals did come to life as a child. I can’t think of any other possible way for them to end up on the floor every morning, spread around my room like they’d just had a fluff-filled bender rave while I was sleeping.

6. Who would win in a fight to the death? A Mongolian Warrior or a Roman Centurion?
The Mongolian, no question.  A Centurion was nothing without the entire army of Rome behind him. The Mongols had to fight with a much more individualistic style, which made them very effective.  I don’t think the Centurion would have a chance.  Now a Mongol vs. a professional Gladiator would be a match.

7. Did you ever read under the covers at night as a child with a flash light or night light? [So your parents wouldn’t know you were awake?] Did you ever get caught and what did your parents do?
I am both a night-owl and a reading addict, so I think I spent more time in my bed reading when I should have been sleeping than actually sleeping. My parents ignored it. I think they knew I’d fall asleep when I was tired. This led to many an all-nighter with a good book.  I still love staying up reading all night.

8. What’s your favorite house chore? Least favorite?
I really don’t like chores as a general rule, but I do enjoy taking care of my garden.  I like weeding and seeing the garden go from overgrown mess to neat and well-tended. I also like cleaning my fish tanks. I absolutely hate cleaning bathrooms, and it is a vow that should I ever become well-off by any means, the first thing I’m going to do is hire a housekeeper.  If she did bathrooms alone, I would love her forever.

9. If you had to become a bear, which type would you choose?
Grizzly, no question. Like there is any other bear worthy of the awe and power of the bear’s greatest reputation. Polar Bears are awesome, but they’re nothing without the ice. A mama Grizzly can take you out, and doesn’t have to think twice about it and the only reason they’re threatened is because we’ve decided they are two awesome and scary to live too close to us. Black bears are jokes. My grandfather worked as a game warden in Alaska. He came back down and kicked a black bear in the ass because it was annoying him.  True story.

10. What would you put in your ideal candy bar?
Cookies, definitely, and caramel corn with nuts covered in chocolate, like a Twix but extra crunchy with popcorn.

11. What’s the most unique/strange silly skill your possess?
I know how to skin a mouse. Don’t ask.

12. What is your secret plan for world domination?
First, my YA trilogy takes off and becomes a phenomenon, then I’ll be invited to be a part of Dancing with the Stars. Once I win because America falls in love with my adorable personality and enthusiasm, I’ll be invited to all the late night talk shows including Craig Ferguson’s.  Once I meet Geoff Peterson, who is the head of the robot skeleton army, I’ll let him know I was at least 1/200,00th responsible for his creation. Since he’ll totally owe me one for his existence, I’ll take over the reins of the robot skeleton army for a day and the world is mine! Simple really. What could go wrong?

13. If you were to become a spammer, what product would you peddle? And what would your message be? Come up with the most attention getting, creative, crazy thing. Yes, that’s a challenge.
I would peddle a service that allows you to send random cans of SPAM™ to spammers. That way, if anyone feels my Anti-spam Spam’Ogram is spam, they can sign up for my service and send me Spam, which I could then turn around and use as product to ship out to more spammers.

Or I could cut up some tomatoes, make a sandwich and prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

14. Did you ever wake up laying on the sidewalk in front of a McDonald’s in Tokyo at 5 am after a night of drunken debauchery? If yes what were you doing? If no – tell us – what do you imagine it would take for such a thing to happen?
Since I’m a member of the Intergalactic Bureaucratic Senate and intramural softball team, sometimes I get called up to act as an intermediary for matters of planetary protection and diplomacy.  And you know how space-aliens can be, everything has to come down to the very last second before we inevitably save the earth from destruction and/or an influx of pop-singers from Yagarlion 5. It’s a little known fact that the golden arches are actually portal gateways to the major space hubs on the far side of the galaxy. They needed the ones on earth to be pervasive and also innocuous, so they decided to hide them behind something no one would take too seriously, like a fast-food franchise.  Ronald McDonald’s real name is Rothiauld M’Domrat’ha, and that was an accurate portrayal of the first secretary of interplanetary transport with his native coloring and dress.

As I was saying, as a member of the IBS, if we do save the Earth once again from evil plots to vaporize all of mankind, or we win the coveted “Softball Masters of the Universe” trophy, usually a pretty big party breaks out, and Nillish Rum is really potent. Let’s just say it can be easy to jump back through the wrong arches.  It’s a bitch, but hey, it’s all in the name of good intergalactic relations.

15. Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions? Either for before you begin a book, while you’re writing it, or around the time the book is released?
I always write out a rough outline with every thought that comes to me about the book with a black pilot pen in a special notebook, then clean my desk and play the Sims for about four days straight until my eyes bleed.

Thanks for the awesome interview, Lime. I haven’t had this much fun answering questions in a long time.  Just a reminder to everyone.  THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF FUTURISTIC ROMANCE!!! (Said with that deep echoing Pigs in Space voice) is out today! I just read my copy through cover to cover and I enjoyed it immensely.  There’s a lot of action and romance and lots to love from some of the best science fiction romance authors out there.  You can check out my story Wasteland, but it is only one of many great stories in a fabulous anthology. I was particularly fond of Mandy M Roth’s, and Linnea Sinclair’s stories.

Also, if you are interested in the YA side of my writing persona, you can find out more about my new steampunk-inspired trilogy coming March 5th at my YA website

As a fabulous start to 2013, Jess is giving away three signed copies of Beyond the Shadows!!! (Did you see that cover?) 😉 Whee! So what fun and off the wall questions do you have for her?

19 thoughts on “Guest Author & A Giveaway: Jess Granger aka Kristin Bailey

  1. Kelly Bennett

    Happy release day Jess, you are funny I am going to have to get one of your books now. I am with you being on the muppet show would be fun love that frog. Who is your favorite alien Yoda or ET?

  2. Jess Granger

    Well, Yoda can teach you how to wield a light saber. ET will make a bunch of creepy government people show up at your house in haz-mat gear. For me, that’s a no-brainer. 🙂

  3. barbed1951

    Wow, what an awesome interview – and fantastic answers. 😀
    My question: what’s the strangest thing you collect, if in fact, you collect anything?

  4. Jess Granger

    I collect squished pennies from those penny squisher machines you see everywhere. I started collecting them when I was 13, and now I have a collection of over 300 of them. My friends and relatives like to send me squished pennies from the places they visit, so now I have pennies from all over the place. I have some from Germany, and odd tourist stops all over the U.S. I can’t resist them. It may be because they’re shiny, and I’m defacing government property.

  5. Linda Thum

    What a riot of an interview; Lime & Jess you are both too funny to come up with such an unusual list of questions & answers!

    My question is: what’s your favourite hero type & what draws you to him?

    1. Jess Granger

      If we are talking about archetypes, my favorite are Lost Souls. I tend to mix them with professors, bad boys, swashbucklers, and the like, but I think every hero I’ve done has an element of Lost Soul in him.

      I’m not a real big fan of heroes that are pushy or too “alpha” you are MINE you must submit. I always feel that has a base of arrogance I don’t find attractive. All of my heroes need to be loved desperately, but they don’t really feel they deserve it for whatever reason so they convince themselves they are destined to walk the earth tragic and alone.

      They never demand the love of the heroine, because I think the deep love they feel for their lovers terrifies them, but it’s like fire. Once it starts to burn in their lives, they need it to survive. They realize they have been in the dark, and they’ll do anything to keep it burning forever.

      I find that so romantic. It may be because I’m a classic nurturer.

  6. flchen1

    Woot! Happy new year, Jess!! I didn’t know you were in the new Mammoth anthology–will definitely need to snap that up! And YA too?? Hooray! Sounds like good things from Jess/Kristin in the year to come!

    Jess, is Wasteland connected to either your Beyond stories or your new YA? Or does it stand alone? Any plans to revisit the Beyond world?

    No need to include me in the draw–I am completely thrilled that Jess’s duo is already on my keeper shelf 🙂

    1. Jess Granger

      Wasteland is an entirely independent story. I had to sneak it in while writing the second book for my YA trilogy, and so I had to go with the first thing that came to mind. I knew I wanted to trap my two characters someplace so I could believably force the romance in a short word count and I always wanted to do a Beauty and the Beast archetypical story, Wasteland is what came out of it.

      It is the story of Rexa who gets illegally thrown through a condemnation portal by her politically scheming brother to get her out of the way. She finds herself alone and in danger on a desert wasteland of a prison planet with no one to trust but a man who has been branded as a murderer.

      While the theme and tone certainly match my first two SFR stories, it doesn’t refer to anything that was in them, though theoretically it could take place in the same universe.

      Unfortunately, I can’t do anything with the first two “Beyond” books until my contract expires with Berkley. I’d like to revisit them when I have my rights back and gain better control of the series then expand it, but I really can’t say what the future will hold. I love writing SFR, but it has been difficult for me to gain traction in that market.

      If my YA, which is so far outside my writing “box” it isn’t funny, gains serious momentum, I might find myself too absorbed in maintaining that side of my career. I’m not the quickest writer and I have to expend my energy in the areas that seem to have the best return on my physical investment.

      But, if there is one thing I’ve learned in this business, it’s that you never know. I DO know that I would like to take Wasteland and expand it in the near future to include the hero’s point of view, go in deeper detail, and heat up the sexy times. If I can manage that sometime this spring, I’ll probably release an independent ebook with it sometime in the summer.

  7. Mary Preston

    The Muppet Show always counts. However having said that, you may need to leave your mouse skinning skills at the door. Just mice or is Kermit in trouble?

    1. Jess Granger

      Just mice. I used to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic for wounded birds of prey. As it turns out, Little baby owlets that fall out of the nest don’t do so well with the fur on the mice they need to eat. I have done some very disturbing things to small dead rodents in the name of caring for baby owls.

      I did use my raptor knowledge in Wasteland though. I love creating sidekick “pets.” I couldn’t resist it in this story as well. The hero, Taven, keeps an alien hawk he calls Wingman as his lookout and scout.

  8. Jess Granger

    That is a really hard question to answer, because I know so many of them up close and personally, and I love them for many different reasons. For pure adorable factor, it had to be the Barred Owl. They had enormous black eyes in soft round faces and touching their feathers was like touching a cloud.

    For sheer majesty and presence, it was the Golden Eagles that had me spellbound. For personality and intelligence, the Turkey Vultures were surprisingly charming, and for nobility and levelheadedness, the Swainson’s Hawks were fantastic to have on the glove.

    Of individual birds, I could tell you some fun stories about a little Burrowing Owl named Speo, a crazy Red-tail named Kal, and Fuzzy the Golden Eagle, (Short for Fuzzy Pink Bunny Slippers.)

    But I could go on about this all day.


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