Monday, 25 March 2013
Author Interview: Jennifer Harlow
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.
Tales From the Darkside Blog http://blog.jenniferharlowbooks.com
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
George R.R. Martin said authors are either gardeners or architects. I’m both. I always have the main characters and plot points in my head in advance but how I get from Point A to B usually changes because of the characters or logic gaps.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
I’m too much of a control freak to let that happen. I usually have all the major archs and plot points worked out so how they take me from point A to B is sometimes up to them, but I usher them there eventually.
What is your favourite food?
French fries. Lately, as I get older, they give me indigestion but I just cannot live without them.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I used to be a night owl. Even in high school I wouldn’t fall asleep until at earliest 1AM. Then I got a job after college and had to force myself to change my habits. Now I’m in bed by 10 even though I make my own schedule. Being a grown up sucks.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
As I’m a huge, massive, I might as well have a Union Jack tattooed to my ass, anglophile I’d love to go to England again. I went to London for three days a decade ago but am dying to return. I’d go to London to Haworth on a Bronte pilgrimage, then to Scotland, Ireland, Paris, and all of Italy. When I make my millions, right?
Do distant places feature in your books?
Not in this book, but in future ones, yes. I’ve done extensive traveling in America, drove across country twice even, so I focus on places I’ve been then change their names in the books.
Do you listen to music while writing?
I do listen to music so the books have soundtracks. You can visit my website www.jenniferharlowbooks.com to see them. With this book, since it takes place in the American South, it’s country music. Some people snub their nose at that genre, like I used to, but it’s really good. Y’all should give some of the songs a try.
It’s entitled, What’s A Witch To Do? and it’s the first in a new series called Midnight Magic. It’s an offshoot of my other series, the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad. This one follows the most powerful witch in America who, on the busiest week of her life, finds out someone wants to kill her and take over her coven. There’s romance, humor, Southern hospitality, and plenty of suspense. Sales pitch over.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
It takes forever to get a book published when using a traditional publisher. Over a year from when they accept it to when it’s in bookstores. And you have little control over the cover and title. They changed all of mine. It’s frustrating but you have to take the good with the bad.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I ask myself the same question all the time. I would have liked to delve more into the supporting characters in my F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series but it would have slowed down the pacing. Maybe in later volumes.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Everything influences my writing. The muse can strike at anytime in any form. Be it a conversation, a movie, a song it all goes into the pot when I’m writing something. Mix and Bake at 350, out pops a book.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Never give up, never surrender. Tenacity will win in the end. And when you get your rejection letters do what I do. Take a day of watching crap TV feeling sorry for yourself, then wake the next day, raise your fist to the sky and for some reason like a pirate say “FUCK YOU!!!! I’ll show you, ya bastards!” The Help was rejected 60 times. Charlaine Harris’ first Sookie Stackhouse novel was rejected over a hundred, but they didn’t give up and look at them now. It is beyond frustrating, it stings your soul every time, but if you want to be not a writer but an author it’s part of the game. Or you can self-publish online, but then you don’t get the joy of seeing your baby physically on the shelf, and let me tell you there is no greater thrill.
What are three words that describe you?
I wish I could say sex-goddess, genius, thin, but really it’d be witty, tenacious, and bright. Not too shabby.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I read so much I can’t really choose. The last book that got me super excited and I stayed up all night reading was A Storm of Swords the third in the Song of Ice and Fire AKA the Game of Thrones series. It was a masterpiece.
What's a Witch to Do?
by Jennifer Harlow
Available from: amazon | b&n | indiebound | amazon uk
Publisher: Midnight Ink
With her to-do lists growing longer each day, the last thing Mona McGregor—High Priestess and owner of the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia—needs is a bleeding werewolf at her front door. Between raising her two nieces and leading a large coven of witches, Mona barely has time for anything else. Not even Guy, the handsome doctor who’s taken an interest in her.
But now there’s Adam Blue, the sexy beta werewolf of the Eastern Pack who’s been badly hurt, warning Mona that someone wants her dead. Hell’s bells! A demon is stalking her, and Mona starts to suspect her coven members and even her own family could be responsible for it. With two attractive men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.
List of previous books if any:
Mind Over Monsters: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Series #1
To Catch a Vampire: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Series #2
Thank you, Jennifer and good luck with your books!
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.