Five Authors and the Five Books that Inspire Them –
Five by Five, May 7th – 11th:
Jenn Bennett is the Atlanta-based author of the wonderful Arcadia Bell series. She is also a visual artist, a Tiki bar expert, and a dark fairytale enthusiast. Now, this totally explains the inspiration for Cady Bell and her world. If you have not read this series, please do. Jenn has a knack for creating characters you really care about, living in a world you want to explore.
Here are five things I love about the Arcadia Bell series:
1. Diversity? Why, yes.
A forty-something, divorced love interest with a biracial teenage son, who has a married same-sex couple as caretakers when dad isn’t around? This is fantastic. This is real. This is my world. These are people I know. Drop some magic into this, some fantastic paranormal elements, and you have an urban fantasy I can relate to. I’ve been known to go off on a rant about the lack of diversity in the genre as a whole, but Jenn Bennett rectifies this by embracing diversity in her world and I can’t tell you how much I love it.
He’s so damn cute. What a cool kid. Jenn channeled her inner teenage boy and created an endearing character that you want to spend more time with. A movie buff myself, I want to hangout with this kid, give him a camera, and help him produce a remake of some horror classic.
3. Lon and Cady Sitting in a Tree
Arcadia is just…cool. Smart and funny; clever with her magic, independent, tough, and loyal. Lon is just…cool. Sexy, older, pirate mustache and all, strong, silent type. These two together is just right. They have a chemistry that jumps off the page. I count them as one of my favorite UF couples. Please, Jenn, don’t break them up! Ever. That is not meant to sound threatening. Nope. Not at all.
4. What a Wonderful World
Arcadia lives in a world of magic and demons. Demons that look like you and me, called Earthbounds, and those living in the Aethyric plane. Earthbound demons have special abilities like reading minds, sensing or manipulating emotion. Arcadia is a magician with strong powers and the ability to call and banish demons back to the Aethyric plane. She also has come into new powers which she is just starting to understand. This is a wholly unique world and an totally original magic system.
5. She Makes Me Laugh
There is great, clever writing in the Arcadia Bell series. And a lot of the humor is spot on. From the back and forth between Lon and Jupe, Jupe and Cady, to worrying about losing a vintage Zippo lighter when investigating a booby-trapped grave site, Jenn has a knack for finding the funny in tough situations while also creating humorous dialogue that feels authentic and unforced.
(I’m reading book two now so stay tuned for a review of Summoning the Night!)
So, without further ado…Jenn Bennett!
Five Books I Love Oh-so-dearly
I write urban fantasy slash paranormal romance. Horror-tinged, demonic, sexy, funny, weird occult stuff. You might imagine that a list of my five most influential books would be dark and dangerous. Well, some of it is. Kind of. Because if you’ve read my books, you also know that my work is very character-driven. Less about action and the apocalypse and more about the experience of getting to know the people who inhabit my worlds through an unravelling mystery. Maybe knowing more about where I come from as a reader will help you to understand the strange—but charming, yes?—world of Arcadia Bell.
5. Henry and June by Anaïs Nin
For those of you who don’t know, Anaïs was a French-Cuban writer who is famous for her affair with Henry Miller. She’s been accused of being egotistical and a whore. She published erotica in a time when it wasn’t hitting the bestseller lists. She lived her life as she wanted, independently, boldly, and without shame. This book is taken from her unexpurgated diaries (the sex isn’t censored). It made me want to have a torrid affair with a literary giant and then out-write him.