Ann Aguirre Guest Post and Blue Diablo Giveaway!

Blue Diablo

A Tale of Two Genres, by Ann Aguirre

One reader (credit to Bev/QB) coined a term for the Jax series: futuristic urban fantasy. I think it’s particularly apropos. If you had asked me before this all started whether I would ever write SF, I’d have said no. Seriously. I always wanted to write fantasy. Epic fantasy (which I have done), urban fantasy, you name it.

So how did my first sale wind up being SF? My story: let me tell you it.

Jax came full-fledged from a hole in my heart and she drove me to write about her. I didn’t think about genre. People have asked, why present tense? Well, because it’s Jax’s tale, told in her voice—and in her opinion, it’s not done yet.

Others have commented that my books seem like I’ve watched more movies and TV shows than I’ve read SF novels. I cop to that. I’m all about the character development, and for me, it’s been harder to find character-driven SF. Characters always feature prominently in the visual arts. I don’t think this background impacts my work negatively, however; a new approach is never bad. The genre is big enough to withstand concept books, tech-based books, novels about first-contact, and others about generation ships. I know most of the tropes, but I don’t have the technical expertise (or interest) to write any SF other than what I do.

At base, my Jax books are about a girl, who ran away from home to see the stars. She wanted to be more than an ornament. She wanted the whole universe instead of one man. She has a thread of chaos in her veins, and she carries disorder wherever she goes. But not all change is bad. Not everything can or should be quantified. She faces tough choices and heartbreak, and she grows along her journey. The bottom line is: if the reader cares about Jax, then my books will work for him or her.

People have asked me whether I gave SF an urban fantasy twist on purpose. Well, yes. I wanted to give SF the kind of spin that makes UF so popular. I confess, I’ve wanted to write UF ever since I first read Charles de Lint. When I discovered Simon Green, I was in heaven. My awe went up another notch when I found Jim Butcher.

So I was thrilled when I sold the Corine Solomon series. It grew out of my desire to incorporate what I’ve learned, living in Mexico. First off: people are more accepting of the supernatural here, and it runs in an odd lockstep with Catholicism. It’s not an either / or scenario, as it more often seems to be in the States.

You see, we took a trip to Puebla a few years back, and alongside the road, I saw a sign advertising a brujo. He listed his services, including hexes, removal of same, blessings, cleansings. It was an average neighborhood, too, nothing mystical about it.

That got me thinking about the what-if, which is the magic behind every book. What if magic was real? What if witches and warlocks could cast spells and they worked? What if curses were real? I did a fair amount of research on the subject before I started writing. I decided straightaway that I had nothing new to say about weres, vampires or fairies, so you won’t find any in my UF. Instead, I focus on the human (humans who can cast spells and gifted humans with extraordinary abilities), plus the powers above and below. Yes, angels and demons. There are also dark creatures, mostly summoned or created with spells: shades, demons, zombies, ghosts. Good times.

As for Corine, the heroine, well, I can best describe her by quoting a reader who already devoured her ARC:

“That’s when it hit me: not only did Corine’s thoughts and fears remind me of real life conversations, everything from those issues to the description of her looks, down to what she wore…

Aguirre managed to create a character who really could be one of us. Her power isn’t so bizarrely out there. I attended an intuition workshop that included psychometry. Each participant handled objects much like Corine does—granted, with far less success and none of the price our heroine has to pay. She’s kick ass without being able to kick everybody’s ass; in a combat situation, she’s better armed with a cell phone ready to call 911 than with a gun, but she’s no damsel in distress waiting for the big strong men to come rescue her.”

So dear readers, tell me what appeals to you about the series I’ve described above, and you could win a copy.

Here are the basic rules to win a copy of Ann Aguirre’s newest release Blue Diablo:

1) winner will be selected within 24hrs of this post (midnight March 27),
2) winner will be contacted via email by “Azteclady,” therefore a valid email address must be provided below for the comment to be entered in the giveaway.

Good Luck!

22 thoughts on “Ann Aguirre Guest Post and Blue Diablo Giveaway!”

  1. I’ve always loved urban fantasy, and I’ve read several Charles deLint books which draw on that very genre. So does Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry. Maybe Canadian writers, like Mexicans, are more in tune with the strange in our lives (might be our hard winters and looooong nights).

    What is more rare, and attracts me to your book, is the protagonist is a woman. A competent woman. A competent, comtemporary woman. I like that.

    All the luck with the book!

  2. I don’t need much of an excuse to read anything Ann writes. She is one of my favor authors. 😀

    I’m really looking forward to meeting Corrine. She sounds like someone I am going to enjoy getting to know.


  3. I am definitely interested, too. And will review and recommend (as appropriate). I am especially interested in UF and strong (but realistic) women characters. I am looking forward to reading this book and would be thrilled to win a copy.

  4. Frankly, if you are inspired by Charles de Lint, then I am in!!!…

    The ‘What If…???’ aspects of fiction is what keeps me interested… and you clearly bring that to this novel…

    I can’t wait!!!

  5. Hi Ann,

    I read a lot of series with vamps and werewolves so the fact that there are none in your series will be a nice change.

    Also, the reviewer’s comment “She’s kick ass without being able to kick everybody’s ass”, I find I enjoy a book more when the goods guys don’t win every battle.

    And it sounds like I need to read Charles de Lint. 🙂

  6. Wow excellent post. I’ve been reading SciFi Chick for a while now but this is the first time I’ve ever been compelled to reply to a post. Some might say that I’m just trying to get a free copy of a book or a free copy of a book that introduces me to a branch of the SF genre I have had very little experience with. I do love the strong female character driven stories though. I guess the ones I can think of off the top of my head would have to be the Vatta’s War series by Elizabeth Moon; or most recently that I’ve read I guess would be Arkfall by Carolyn Ives Gilman, a story that truly led me to connect with Osaji. Do any of these fit into the Urban Fantasy branch of the genre? No, but they are just examples of stories or series in which I have really felt a connection with the main characters who happen to be women; stories themselves that I would consider very much character driven. Why do I bring this up? Simply to state that by reading your post and digging into your blog I already want to get to know this character you’ve created. I’m glad I’m discovering this series in it’s infant stage. It is a lot more satisfying to watch a character grow as the author develops the character then it is to try and catch up to where the author has brought the character. That issue not withstanding, I look forward to you introducing me to SF Romance as well through your Jax series, Grimspace should be waiting for me at Barnes and Noble tomorrow afternoon. My only regret, that my blog was ready to start publishing posts, in hopes that I might be third runner up on your own blog contest. Good luck with the Corine Solomon series. I look forward to getting to know her.

  7. You know, there is never just one thing that appeals to me about a novel, but the one thing that generally does it is either the cover or the back blurb. It has to hook me.

    Although, neither of those options hooked me on wanting to read Blue Diablo. What hooked me was Sirantha Jax. I’m not a huge SciFi fan, so when I got hooked on that series, I knew that I had to read Corinne Solomon (even though it’s UF and not SciFi).

  8. I havent had the chance to read one of Ann’s books yet but this sounds like a great one to start with. I love paranormal/UF type books and this quote from above makes me want to start this one as soon as I can.

    “people are more accepting of the supernatural here, and it runs in an odd lockstep with Catholicism. It’s not an either / or scenario, as it more often seems to be in the States.”

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  9. Thank you Ann! I LOVE your Jax series!! Jax is so honest and likable with her smart-alecky remarks and that great combo of bravado cased in fragility. And then there’s March. Good old crazy March. *sigh* This series definitely plays havoc with my nerves but I love it. I am excited to try out your newest!


  10. Both paranormal and urban fantasy stories tend to be my first grab lately, picking either one just depends how much romance I am in the mood for. Though I already have Blue Diablo on my wish list, An’s review tweaked my interest even more. Love this one, “in a combat situation, she’s better armed with a cell phone ready to call 911 than with a gun, but she’s no damsel in distress waiting for the big strong men to come rescue her.”

  11. Thanks so much, Michelle! I think you’ll like Corine as much. My assistant put together a cool interview with another reader, and she’s collected a number of comments, wherein the consensus seems to be that Corine is pretty “normal”, despite the weirdness that surrounds her. Which is what I was aiming for!

    Cathy, I really liked her review too. She totally got the book and the character.

  12. What appeals to me? A lot of things. I’m a sci-fi fan from way book, and I love urban fantasy, so I love the idea of combining them. I love strong women getting to have their own adventures and be more than ornaments, especially if they don’t even have any superpowers. 🙂 Women I can relate to.

    What also appeals to me is that I enjoy the author’s books, and she has great taste since she loves Charles de Lint!

  13. What appeals to me the most? I think it is those very twists and the answers to the “what ifs” along with focusing on humans that appeals to me. Part of what I love about science fiction and fantasy and their derivatives is how different authors bring their spin and keep things new. Plus I love her Jax series :).

  14. I Have never really read any Urban Fantasy, preferring the usual type of Fantasy but I must say the interview has made me curious.

    So please enter me in the giveaway.
    Thank you.


  15. Sorry if I was meant to pick a winner sooner. Yesterday I had a mishap and wound up in the ER & now I have a lovely blue cast.

    Without further ado, the winner is…

    C.R. Ausmus!

    Email azteclady1 at gmail dot com with your mailing info.

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