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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Jennifer Harlow

*Do you have a specific writing style?

For whatever reason, I like writing in first person present. I think it’s because they’re my favorite to read. Most people read to escape, to be transported to another world, to be another person. I know it’s why I do. While I have that book in my hands (or pen to paper) I am no longer Jennifer Harlow, I get to be a warrior. A singleton in London. Eleanor of Aquitaine. And since it’s in the present, it’s as if the action is happening right now. Of course what I like to read translates into what I like to write. Fast, funny, scary how a book should be.

*Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

I didn’t mean it to. I didn’t even realize it until I had finished my third FREAKS book (out next year) that my main character Bea’s life trajectory was following my own, though mine is minus zombies and vampire. I wrote the first FREAKS book Mind Over Monsters while I was in college. Deep down I was scared to death to have to go out into the world and get a full time job, to grow up. So my subconscious, who is far smarter than my conscious that’s for sure, forced me to subject my main character to the worst job I could think of. Nothing Jennifer Harlow could face would ever measure up to being attacked by hordes of zombies. This trend continued, still unknown to me, into the second To Catch a Vampire. When I was writing it I was in the process of moving cross country. Alone. So poor Bea had to leave the safety of her new home with an unknown element, Oliver, to face new challenges and meet new people, vampires in this case. I think maybe this is why so many people can identify with Bea and her adventures.

*What books are in your to read pile?

I’ve gotten so behind in my book reading. Right now on my Kindle I have two dozen unreads, including my friend Emily Kimelman’s mystery Unleashed about a sassy dog walker in NYC. I’m about halfway through it and love it. I also have to catch up on my Walking Dead comics, about three superhero books, and I’m slowly going through Agatha Christie’s cannon to keep up with my New Year’s Resolution on reading the classics.

*What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I signed another three book deal with Midnight Ink on top of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad books. The first in the Midnight Magic series What’s a Witch to Do? comes out 3/13. It takes place in the same world as the F.R.E.A.K.S., they even make a cameo, but is a stand-alone about a witch in a small Southern town who bands together with a secretive werewolf to find out who’s summoned a demon to kill her and take control of her coven. I got to write my first sex scene, which was uncomfortable as I did it in a library and was paranoid everyone knew I was being naughty. I just finished writing the second in the series and am editing it now. And I just handed in the edits on the third F.R.E.A.K.S. I don’t sleep.

*Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Here’s the elevator pitch: Special Agent Beatrice Alexander is still settling to a life as a F.R.E.A.K., wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats when she gets paired with the annoying yet gorgeous Oliver to go undercover as a married couple to infiltrate the vampire scene and stop a murderous vampire Lord of Dallas hell bent on exacting revenge. If you like flirting, humor, and boiling sexual tension you’ll like this one.

*Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Descriptions. I learned the basics of writing during my screenplay years, so dialogue and pacing are like second nature to me now, (helps that I’m a wise ass too). Descriptions, not so much. I either put in too much or too little. I hate writing them because I know I’ll have to go back a trillion times in the editing process to fix them until they’re readable. Show not tell is the bane of my bloody existence. I’ve written seven books, and I still have a problem with it.

*Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never. Give. Up. Getting to this point took me ten years, and I still have a long way to go. I’ve lost count of how many rejection letters I’ve received in that time, and they still keep coming. But I just didn’t give up. Remember The Help was rejected sixty times. Harry Potter fifteen. Just write, read, and write some more. If you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it, it will happen. I am proof of that.

*Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I grew up amid chaos. Even at night there was always some noise in the house so I don’t do silence. I always listen to music when I write, so at my website www.jenniferharlowbooks.com I include the playlist of every book. They’re either songs I listened to when I was putting pen to paper or a song that just fits in with the theme. Music really does add more to the writing experience, much like a movie score. So check out the website, you may just find your new favorite song.

September 1 Tour Launch 
Fang-tastic Books

Sept 1 review 
WTF Are You Reading?

September 3 Guest blog

September 4 Review
Nazish Reads

September 6 guest blog and review
Keeping Up With The Rheinlander's

September 7 Guest Blog and review
Urban Fantasy Investigations

September 8 Promo and review
whoopeeyoo :D

September 9 Interview and review
Book Maven

September 11 Interview
Sultry Storyteller

September 12 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

September 13 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 15 Guest blog
Just Another Rabid Reader  

September 18 review
Doctor's Notes

September 19 Interview

Sept 21 Guest blog and Review
Urban Girl Reader 

To Catch a Vampire
Jennifer Harlow
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #2

Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Midnight Ink            
Date of Publication:  9/8/12
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2711-0

Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 78,000


F.R.E.A.K.S. Do Dallas

Beatrice Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. When Bea learns about her “special assignment” investigating a series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover.

Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver's convincing public—and not so public—displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets.

Between contending with her fake husband’s ex-lover Marianna and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will, Bea discovers she’s not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver's old enemy, the Lord of Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.

About 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.

Visit Jennifer at www.jenniferharlowbooks.com

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Debby said...

Book looks great. Never read one before by you.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I like first person too- puts you right in the story, in the character's head.

All of my fave books are written from first person point of view.

That's how I usually write too.