Thursday, July 18, 2013

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.

Do you write in different genres? If yes, which is your favorite genre to write?

 This is a hard one to answer. For the purposes of publicity I’ve been calling them urban fantasy, just instead of vampires it’s superheroes. But it fits in so many categories: romance, action & adventure, hard-boiled mystery, thriller. In other words, it has something for everyone, even men. I personally gravitate toward books that defy genre or even create their own. I can safely say nothing like this book has come out before, and if I’m wrong let me know because I’d love to read it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

When I set out to write Justice, I just wanted to write a popcorn book with a kick-ass heroine and lots of sweet, sweet action. I succeeded in both but somehow I transcended that. (My subconscious is an awesome motherf**ker.) You should never beat people over the head with morals but having something there under the surface separates the wheat from the chaff. With Justice it became about how apathetic we are as a society when it comes to the suffering of others. There was a case in the 1950s where a woman was murdered and an entire apartment building heard her screams yet did nothing, they didn’t even call the police. I am a firm believer that if you are in a position to help another person, you should. If you think something is wrong, speak up. That came out in the book. 

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

This year is freaking nuts. In March I released the first in my Midnight Magic Mystery Series, What’s A Witch To Do?, then in May I self-published Justice which was a huge undertaking as I had to do everything from getting an ISBN to covers and formatting. Next, in early August, the third F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad book Death Takes A Holiday is published, and I’m working on getting the second Galilee Falls book Galilee Rising out by the end of the year. Four books, one year. I’m exhausted.

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

The wolves are at the gate.
I count thirty police officers on my security monitors, including SWAT, all armed to the gills led by him. I always knew this day would come. It has been almost twenty years in the making, but now it’s here…this must have been how Nero felt as he played that fiddle. My Rome is burning. Soon my freedom will be gone and yet I could still manage a tune.  First things first.
Waverly, one of my loyal employees these two years, runs into the study. His fear does not inspire confidence. “Sir, what are we supposed to do? The police and—”
“Stop sniveling for one,” I say, taking a sip of my Scotch. I will miss this.
“Did Grace—”
The bullet I put between his eyes stops the rest of that sentence. I don’t have time to answer a million questions. Company’s coming. I down the rest of my drink as I run the electromagnet over my computer. Cleaner than the day I bought it. Must leave things tidy. I’ve already set the timers in the file cabinets. Thirty more seconds before, like Nero, all that remains of my empire is ashes.
The bombs detonate as I walk down the hall, no louder than gunshots but still rocking the walls sprinkling dust on my paintings. I wonder what will happen to my art. Probably sold for victim reparations. The Degas alone will cover the cost of the library we destroyed today. Smith and Rees are waiting in what is left of my living room. Just looking at it, especially what’s left of Bradley under that bloody sheet, I feel embarrassed for myself. I never lose control like that. I don’t know what I was thinking. I suppose I’m paying the price now.
“Sir, where do you want us?” Smith, a five year veteran of my service, asks.
I turn over the couch with a sigh. “Gentlemen, I want to thank you both for your loyal service through the years. You have both been invaluable. I wish things could have gone a different way. I apologize.” I fire a single shot into Smith’s forehead. Poor Rees is too shocked to even draw on me before he meets the same ending. The loose ends are no more. The rest is in the hands of the fates.
The last of my security doors fall, the sound of steel hitting marble echoing through the room. I cross my leg, wipe the speckles of dust off my costume, and put a smile on my face. The bane of my existence, the man I hate, who has consumed my life for years, super-speeds into my living room as if he owns it. And the press calls me arrogant.
            “Alkaline,” he says beneath that dark mask.
“Justice,” I say with a nod. We stare at each other for a few seconds, even now locked in battle. “Grace?”
“She’s safe. You can’t hurt her or anyone else ever again.” He pauses for dramatic effect, or to savor his victory. “Will this be easy or hard?”
For a moment, I consider an attack. It always gives me almost orgasmic pleasure when my fist hits his body and he cries out in pain. One last taste for the road? No, I quell this urge. My body has not completely healed from our fight a few hours ago and quite frankly, I need a break. Being the scourge of the city is exhausting. “You may take me to jail now.”
As I’m led out past the frightened police and gawking bystanders, I keep that smile on my face. Not because I’m arrogant, not to save face, because…I may have lost this battle, but the war has just begun.
Then Rome will truly burn.

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 ten books, and I still have a problem with it.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I couldn’t be more pleased with the cover for Justice. When I first got the proof from Damonza I was blown away. I seriously think it’s a work of art, like I want to have it made into a painting and hang it on my wall. The man is the best in the business for a reason.

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 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.

July 8 Guest blog
Mom With A Kindle

July 9 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

July 10 Guest blog
Addicted 2 Heroines 

July 11 Interview 

July 12 Spotlight
Mythical Books

July 15 review
The Speculative Salon – 

July 16 Spotlight
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

July 17 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

July 18 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

July 19 review
Turning the Pages 

July 22 Guest blog and review
Urban Girl Reader – 

July 23 Spotlight
Elfie Books

July 29 Interview
Storm Goddess Book Reviews

July 31 interview and review
Musings and Ramblings  

August 1 spotlight and review
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess

August 2 Spotlight and review
Queen of All She Reads 

August 2 review

August 5 Interview or Character Interview
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews 

August 5 review
A_TiffyFit's Reading Corner

Book One of The Galilee Falls Trilogy
Jennifer Harlow

Genre: Urban Fantasy (Superhero)

Publisher: Devil on the Left Books

Date of Publication:  5/13

ISBN: 978-0-9893944-0-6 ebook
ISBN: 978-0-9893944-1-3 print

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 100,000

Cover Artist: Damonza

Book Description:

It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic.

Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers.

After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.

At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.

About the Author:

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. 

She is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling  F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad and Midnight Magic Series. For the soundtracks to her books visit  Tales From the Darkside Blog

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