Friday 2 September 2011


1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Caroline Barnard-Smith.  I was born just outside London but my parents moved us out to the beautiful Devon countryside when I was seven so that’s the place I’ve always called home.

  1. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is a dark fantasy about a hedonistic vampire called Jinn Nation.  Hmmm, a summary in less than twenty words, you say?  How about “A newly orphaned vampire meets a terrifyingly powerful woman in the desert and sets out on a murderous road trip.”

  1. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am currently writing a new book but it will be very different to Jinn Nation.  I left Jinn Nation open for a sequel so I may return to it in the future, but I initially designed it to be a stand alone novel.  However, the vampire Dylan also appears in my debut novel, Dunraven Road.  He was a character who demanded his own story!

  1. How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing and dreaming about getting published for most of my life, although I didn’t get really serious about it until I was at university where I wrote my first (firmly unpublished!) novel.  I think my mum initially inspired me to write.  She’s a fellow scribbler and avid reader so the house was always full of stories and books.

  1. How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I’m actually really bad at coming up with both.  I let titles come to me organically while I’m writing because I rarely have a good one in place when I start, and even then I’m often unhappy with them.  As for covers, I’m hopeless with any sort of graphic design program and was so happy when my lovely cover designer offered to help me.  Jinn Nation’s cover was created by a good friend, using my ideas and images I’d sourced.  I think having so much input into the design of your own book cover is one of the most satisfying aspects of indie publishing.

  1. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Not so much with Jinn Nation, but my first novel, Dunraven Road, was heavily influenced by my surroundings.  It draws from the street and the building I live in, and much of the action takes place in the church I can see from my window.

  1. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
A short while ago I would have argued there was nothing like the feel of a real paperback in your hands, but since getting my Kindle for Christmas last year I’ve changed my mind.  I think it’s the immediacy that’s hooked me.  Bookshops are closing left and right in the UK (particularly where I live) and it’s often difficult to find a particular book if you don’t want to order it from Amazon and wait for delivery.  With my Kindle, I can download the same books in seconds and even sample them first without getting funny looks from booksellers. 

  1. What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I think my favourite book is still The Lord of the Rings.  Some people argue that the characters are one-dimensional, but I’ve never had quite the same experience with any other book, that immersive feeling of actually being there.  I’ve always thought that Tolkien’s descriptions of various locations in Middle-earth were amazing.  When I first read about Lothlorien in particular it blew me away and I remember thinking that if I could write even 10% as well as that (I read the books at university), I’d be a very happy author.  I’m just starting to read them again, to my daughter.  She’s only four months old but it’s never too early to begin a healthy and lifelong appreciation for hobbits!

  1. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
I think Peter Jackson did a phenomenal job with The Lord of the Rings.  Much of it looks and feels just the way I’d imagined it when I read the books, and that’s something I wasn’t expecting.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with The Hobbit.  I’ve also always loved the movie version of Interview with the Vampire, which I think sometimes surpasses the novel.  Those are very rare instances though and most of the time, for me anyway, a movie comes nowhere near a novel.  One of the worst adaptations I’ve seen is Queen of the Damned.  While Interview with the Vampire was dark and lush, this supposed sequel turned The Vampire Chronicles into a shallow, disjointed music video.  It didn’t help matters that two 500-page novels had been ripped apart and condensed into one hour-and-a-half film.

  1. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m reading Cujo by Stephen King at the moment, for no other reason than a desire to return to Castle Rock :)  I’m really enjoying it so far, but I’ve seen that it has mixed reviews due to it not being a traditional King horror novel.  We’ll see how it goes.  And I’m reading it on my Kindle of course!

  1. Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I remember feeling stupid at university because I just couldn’t derive any pleasure from modernist literature (I was studying English Literature).  I felt I ought to be appreciating and even loving Mrs. Dalloway or To the Lighthouse, but instead I hated every minute and got annoyed that there wasn’t the meat of a true story in there.  While I struggled through the requisite Virginia Woolf books, James Joyce, and Ulysses in particular, was a step too far for me.  I think I ended up selling that book on, in pristine, unread condition.

  1. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I’ve been told more than once that the female characters in Dunraven Road were a bit too weak and pathetic at times.  I thought including a centuries-old female vampire with a streak of lunacy and a healthy disregard for humanity would offset that, but even so when I came to write Jinn Nation I worked hard to make Christa, my other central character, far more ballsy.

  1. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write what you love and write often.  Succinct but hopefully helpful!

  1. Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I would definitely consider it if I ever wanted to write in a radically different genre, although the thought of having to build up an entirely new fan base and internet presence is a bit daunting!

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site ?
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details?
And any other information you wish to supply?

You can now buy Jinn Nation as a paperback and an e-book!

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and allow us a look into your world of writing.

Once, Dylan, the vampire had feared nothing and no one. He had rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.

Then he finds himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, and Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn - a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.

Would you like to win a copy of Jinn Nation? Well Caroline has kindly said she will give 2 readers a free ebook of Jinn Nation!
All you have to do is; Be a follower of the blog and make a comment below, the winners will be chosen using on the 23rd of September.


  1. I'm interested in reading this book. Please enter me in the draw!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com
    GFC - Darlene

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I love stories about Jinn! I can't wait to read it.

  3. Vampires, jinn and fae? Sounds like an interesting mix!

    I can be contacted at: becca(dot)hobbs(at)neuf(dot)fr

  4. Haven't read much like this - but it sounds interesting!

  5. I would love to be entered into the draw. I haven't read many vampire books so I can add this one to the collection, maybe.


  6. I'm interested in reading this book. Please enter me in the draw!
    gfc: rogier


  7. The book sounds wonderful. I'm with you on the eBook thing. I used to be a hardcore defender of the paperback, but I, too, have become addicted to eBooks.

  8. Great interview! I agree with you about The Lord of the Rings. I loved the movie version of Interview with the Vampire more than book.
    Jinn Nation sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway.
    GFC follower as Diana

    artgiote at gmail dot com


    The Winners are Diana and Booketta