Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Jennifer Roberson Interview - Sinners and Saints

Photo Content from Jennifer Roberson

At the age of 14, with the oblivious confidence of adolescence, Jennifer Roberson informed her mother she was going to write a book. Her mother, equally book-obsessed, told her to go for it.

​Roberson did. And submitted the manuscript. And received her first rejection slip.

Fifteen years later, DAW Books published Shapechangers, the first novel in the 8-volume Chronicles of the Cheysuli, and a career was born. In the 38 years since then, working closely with DAW's Hugo Award-winning editor and publisher Betsy Wollheim, Roberson has written three bestselling fantasy series, including the Cheysuli novels, the 8-volume Sword-Dancer saga, the Karavans books, and in November 2019 debuts Life and Limb, the first volume in the ongoing Blood & Bone modern fantasy series.

Roberson also collaborated with fantasy bestsellers Melanie Rawn and Kate Elliott on World Fantasy Award finalist The Golden Key.

Novels in other genre include three historicals from Kensington: Lady of the Forest and its sequel, Lady of Sherwood, reinterpretations of the Robin Hood legend with emphasis on Marian’s role; and a Scottish novel based on the documented 18th-century Massacre of Glencoe, Lady of the Glen.

Roberson has also published an historical romance, romantic suspense, and Western, and the fantasy short story collection Guinevere’s Truth + Other Tales. The DAW and Kensington novels are available in all formats including Audible recordings. Non-fantasy novels and the short story collection are available via e-book format.


Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Kansas City, MO, but moved to Phoenix when I was 4.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
A woman came to one of my signings to tell me how my first novel, SHAPECHANGERS, had supported her while she visited her terminal husband in the hospital. She said it offered escape, and she was very grateful. It was a moving visit and also eye-opening.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I was a diehard reader, so it was a natural progression. I wrote my first novel at the age of 14, one of your typical girl-and-her-horse young adult novels. I sent it out to publishers, but never made a sale. I continued writing, and after four novels I finally decided to try fantasy. I’d been reading the genre for many years but hadn’t written any because I felt I couldn’t do it justice. I developed a series, and decided I’d write the volumes for me even if I could never get any sold. In fact, that was the Cheysuli series, and it was indeed published beginning in 1984 with SHAPECHANGERS.

Tell us your latest news.
The latest is the publication of SINNERS AND SAINTS (yay!), and I’m currently working on SWORD-BEARER, the eighth Sword-Dancer novel.

Can you tell us when you started SINNERS AND SAINTS, how that came about?
SINNERS AND SAINTS is Book Two in the Blood & Bone series and is a direct follow up to LIFE AND LIMB. The first sentence of SINNERS AND SAINTS picks up exactly where LIFE AND LIMB left off. These are contemporary fantasy rather than the more traditional fantasy I have done in the past. I enjoy novels, TV shows, and movies featuring the paranormal, so I decided to take my own shot at it with a “buddy series,” two strangers who are thrown into the midst of the End of Days and must join forces to overcome tremendous odds.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I write for entertainment, but entertainment can consist of many elements, including true challenges, heartbreak, horror, and catharsis, among others. But one of the fun things about the Blood and Bone series is that it features two guys who are actually “fanboys,” and they often make pop culture references and toss well-known movie lines at one another.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Gabe and Remi?
That Remi, a Texas cowboy, likes to break out into singing country music at the drop of a hat, while Gabe absolutely hates country music. At the end of SINNERS AND SAINTS the reader actually learns the kind of music Gabe prefers. This element wasn’t planned but cropped up as I was writing LIFE AND LIMB.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
If you mean one of my characters meeting a character from another of my novels, I think it would be fun to have Gabe from the Blood & Bone series meet up with Del from the Sword-Dancer series. I believe he and Del could have quite a few interesting conversations. She’s a tough nut to crack, and he would enjoy the challenge.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
The major distraction around my house are my animals. I have two Cornish Rex cats, and two Cardigan Welsh Corgis. They make me laugh quite a bit!

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Write a novel. Or at least begin one. Many people have marvelous stories inside themselves.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Receiving a telegram while at breakfast in London, England, on a foreign studies program in 1982, telling me DAW had bought my first novel. It changed my thinking from that of a wanna-be author to a professional one.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
Writing THE GOLDEN KEY with Melanie Rawn and Kate Elliott. It was a true collaboration of friends who respect one another’s writing and what we brought to this novel. It was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
My honeymoon, where my (now ex) husband and I spent our first three nights in various airports trying to get a military flight to England, as he was retired Air Force. At the Philadelphia airport, we slept under the pool table in the USO Club.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
If you’ve experienced heartbreak, you believe it might have been better not to have loved. But I think it’s better for a writer, because you can bring deeper elements to the work.

  • 1) I was a 3-time rodeo queen: Scottsdale Parada del Sol, Phoenix Rodeo of Rodeos, and Miss Rodeo Arizona.
  • 2) I worked as a newspaper reporter in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • 3) I show, and occasionally breed, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, the corgi with the tail.
  • 4) I was working in a B. Dalton bookstore when my first novel came out, and I was able to unpack, sell, and sign my own novel.
  • 5) My final semester of college was spent in London, England as an adult student on a foreign studies program.
  • 6) My college degree is a BS in journalism.
  • 7) I like anchovies, but not crustaceans.
  • 8) I make mosaic artwork and jewelry.
  • 9) I’m publishing a humorous illustrated book about dogs called IF ONLY MY DOG COULD TALK.
  • 10) I drive my beloved Honda Element, Fuji, who is 17 years old now and still going strong.
Meet the Characters
Gabe Harlan is an ex-con biker, while Remi McCue is a Texas cowboy. They are not related in the ordinary human way, because, as it turns out, they’re not exactly human. But they do bear some resemblance: both around six feet, dark-haired, but Remi has blue eyes and Gabe brown. Remi wears his hair short plus a Cowboy hat, while Gabe has hair down below his shoulders and wears motorcycle leathers. Gabe went to prison on a manslaughter charge when he shot and killed a drug dealer his kid brother was involved with; Remi grew up on a working ranch in Texas and rides bulls and broncs in rodeos on weekends. But Remi is not your average cowboy because he’s a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in Comparative Religion. Gabe, on the other hand, has a Masters in folklore and has taught on the college level. Remi is a storehouse for colloquial Texas sayings, such as a woman being pretty as forty acres of pregnant red hogs. (He is advised that perhaps he ought to retire that particular saying.) Gabe is a gun expert; Remi’s weapon of choice are throwing knives. Both are “fanboys” and love to quote movies, TV shows, and novels even in the midst of deadly challenges. Their roles now are to stop Lucifer’s special ops troops: demons, often wearing the guise of beasts out of folklore as well as serial killers.

A biker and a cowboy must fight the coming apocalypse in the second book of the Blood and Bone contemporary western fantasy series.

It's the End of Days, and Gabe and Remi--an ex-con biker and a Texas cowboy--have been conscripted to join the heavenly host in a battle against Lucifer's spec ops troops: demons who inhabit characters from fiction, history, myths, legends, and folklore.

But Gabe and Remi, still learning their roles, now must deal with one particular demon wearing the body of an infamous murderer: Jack the Ripper. Young women bearing the names of the murder victims killed during the Ripper's time are turning up dead, setting Gabe and Remi on a perilous path to save whoever they can, while also battling members of Lucifer's vanguard bent on killing them.

Sinners and Saints
is myth and magic, gods and goddesses, angels and agendas.

You can purchase Sinners and Saints at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JENNIFER ROBERSON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Sinners and Saints by Jennifer Roberson.


  1. "Where did you go on your first airplane ride?" Up in the air.

  2. Should you use a pie chart or a stacked column chart to visualize the data in your survey results report? Would a line graph or a bar graph work better? How to show survey results to communicate your findings in a way that people can visually understand, you need to choose the right types of charts and graphs.