Women in SF&F Month Banner

Today’s guest is New York Times and USA Today bestselling fantasy author Jennifer Estep! She’s the author of the urban fantasy series Elemental Assassin, the young adult urban fantasy series Mythos Academy and Black Blade, and the paranormal romance series Bigtime (featuring superheroes/villains!). Crown of Shards, her epic fantasy trilogy beginning with Kill the Queen, was recently completed with the release of Crush the King last month.

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep Book Cover Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep Book Cover Crush the King by Jennifer Estep Book Cover

Greetings! Thanks to Kristen for asking me to guest blog. I appreciate it. 🙂

Over the years, dozens and dozens of people have asked me why I write books. Of course I love books, reading, writing, and storytelling, but I especially love the fantasy genre. Assassins, gladiators, superheroes, mythological creatures. I’ve written about all those and more.

Why do I love fantasy so much? Because of all the possibilities. As a writer, you can come up with any kind of magic, spells, myths, creatures, weapons, and more that you want. The possibilities are literally endless in the fantasy genre.

I also think that many of the books, movies, and TV shows that we love as kids influence our writing as adults. For example, one of my favorite TV shows as a kid was The A-Team, which is probably one of the reasons why I love writing action/fight scenes so much. I also loved the Wonder Woman TV show with Lynda Carter, which is probably why I like superheroes so much.

Some of the first fantasy movies that I ever remember watching are the original Star Wars trilogy. (Even though there are spaceships and droids, I still think that Star Wars is more fantasy than sci-fi). But one thing always bothered me about the original Star Wars trilogy.

Why didn’t Leia ever get to become a Jedi?

Don’t get me wrong. Leia was cool, smart, confident, and kick-butt in her own way. But I always wondered why Leia didn’t go with Luke to confront the emperor in Return of the Jedi. Why didn’t she get her own lightsaber? Why didn’t she use the Force as much as Luke did? Why didn’t she get to help turn Darth Vader back to the light? After all, he was her father too.

I used to imagine that Leia did become a Jedi, that she did go confront the emperor, and that she and Luke defeated the emperor together. Sometimes, I would even imagine myself as a Jedi, wielding a lightsaber and battling the bad guys. (For the record, I loved that Rey got to do all of those things in the new trilogy and that the audience found out that Leia did train as a Jedi with Luke.)

In high school, I read fantasy books by David Eddings, Terry Brooks, and J.R.R. Tolkien, among many, many others. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I wanted to write my own fantasy books and tell the stories that I wanted to tell. Why? Because part of me still wondered why Leia never got to become a Jedi.

So here I am, more than 35 books later. I write in first person, usually from my heroine’s point of view, so a big part of my stories is having female characters who are the heroes and who do get to use swords and wield powerful magic and who do save their friends, families, and kingdoms. And I plan on telling those stories for many years to come.

They might not be Jedis, but my heroines will always be warriors.

What about you all? What are some of your favorite fantasy books, movies, and TV shows? What fantasy stories do you want to tell?

Jennifer Estep Photo Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. Crush the King, book #3, was released on March 17.

Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Bigtime, and Black Blade fantasy series. She has written more than 35 books, along with numerous novellas and stories.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing yoga, and reading fantasy and romance books. She also watches way too much TV and loves all things related to superheroes.

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter. You can also sign up for her newsletter.