"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ABA AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER HARLOW


What is your favorite genre to read?  I like to joke that I’m a fighter not a lover, so I tend to gravitate toward mysteries, thrillers, and horror. I love trying to piece together the puzzle, discovering new facets of the evil mind, or getting a vicarious thrill of being in danger from the safety of my home.

Who is your favorite author?  My literary idol is Janet Evanovitch. I learned all about pacing, sexual tension, and mixing humor and mystery from her. One For the Money is one of my all time favorite books. I read it in high school during class and got my only detention because I couldn’t put it away. So worth it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  I don’t really have one I’m sad to say. The books that had the most impact on me had to be One For the Money and Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. I haven’t read either of them in years though, but I learned so much from both about writing and storytelling from reading them.

What is the best book you’ve read in the last month?  Right now I’m obsessed with Charlotte Bronte and her life, so I’ve been devouring both fiction and non-fiction books on her life. The book that started this obsession was The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Bronte sisters or a gothic love story.

What are your reading habits?  If there were a reading Olympics I’d probably place Bronze. My record was three books in one day, so in a week probably seven to ten depending how busy I am. Most of the time I start reading in the evening after all is done in my bed with the television going as I can never do one thing at a time ever. I have a Kindle, and do use it on occasion, but still prefer the print books. I’m old fashioned that way.

Out of all the book you’ve written, which is your favorite? I can’t choose! Okay, yes I can. The next in the series, presently called To Catch a Vampire, out 10/12, was the most fun to write. My main character Beatrice is forced to go undercover in the vampire world with her teammate Oliver, who has made it his mission to seduce her. For whatever reason when I put those two together the words just fly. They play off each other so well, trading witticisms and sexual tension like an old 1940s comedy.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?  I wish I could say I had divine inspiration, but really I’m inspired by other people’s work. Mind Over Monsters is a mix of X-Men, the Anita Blake and Stephanie Plum series, and movies from my childhood like The Monster Squad and Night of the Living Dead. (I was a strange child.) I threw them all into the pot of my imagination, stirred, baked at 450, and out came Mind Over Monsters. I can only hope that one day my books inspire others too.

Which is easier, dialogue or action?  Definitely dialogue. Before I wrote novels I tried my hand at screenplays. I’m a total wise-ass who throws out one liners like beads at Mardi Gras, and that’s reflected in my dialogue. I still really have to work at descriptions and transitions, going back a dozen times to add or detract if I was trying too hard.

Is there something about you I didn’t ask but you want people to know? My writing process is weird. I have insomnia. Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep so during that time is when I come up with my stories. It’s like a movie in my head. I even cast actors. I work out the basics like characters and the main plotline then. I have all the F.R.E.A.K.S. books in my head right now, along with a whole host of others. Hope I never get amnesia.

What is your favorite costume you’ve ever worn? During the 2008 elections I went to a friend’s party dressed as a Republican. I wore my best business suit, a “McCain/Palin” sticker, fake devil horns and tail. I was the belle of the ball.

Favorite costume on the opposite sex?  I like costumes where a guy puts some thought into it. He didn’t just buy it off the rack or go for shock value. He puts some time and effort into it. That shows he probably does the same in other areas of life.

What is the scariest costume you’ve ever seen? Little or teenage girls dressing in next to nothing. That scares me more than any vampire or zombie around.

What is your favorite Halloween movie? I am something of a horror movie connoisseur so that’s like choosing my favorite candy! The movie that traumatized me the most was Tremors, (pausing for the laughter to die down). I saw it when I was eight at a sleepover and had to sleep on the top bunk for years in case the underground worms popped out of the ground to eat me. I’ve always had an overactive imagination.

What is your favorite treat? Come on! Okay, I guess Kit Kat bars. No, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. No, Nestlé Crunch Bars. I can’t decide.

 Jennifer Harlow
A Machete is a Girl’s Best Friend

Mind Over Monsters
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
By Jennifer Harlow

ISBN-10: 0-7387-2667-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-2667-0
US $14.95 • CAN $16.95
Trade Paperback Original • 53/16 x 8 • 288 pp.
October 2011

Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut.

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher
with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing
and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing
her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and
Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and
other monsters threatening humanity.

Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training
to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural
members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire
determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty
zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

Praise for Mind Over Monsters:

“A wonderful debut! Jennifer Harlow has written a gritty, dramatic police-procedural with a compelling heroine and a fascinating group of sidekicks. Looking forward to the sequel!” —KAREN CHANCE, NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF CASSANDRA PALMER SERIES

“Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun!” —KAT RICHARDSON, AUTHOR OF THE GREYWALKER NOVELS

“Monstrously fun! Monstrously suspenseful! Monstrously good! Jennifer Harlow's debut novel had me laughing and gasping from start to finish!"“ —VICTORIA LAURIE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE GHOST HUNTER MYSTERY SERIES AND THE PSYCHIC EYE MYSTERY SERIES

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart.com, IndieBound, Amazon.UK, Amazon.CA
        Twitter: jenharlowbooks
        E-mail: jenniferharlowbooks@yahoo.com

Giveaway
5 copies of Mind Over Monsters are being given away tour wide 
Open to US Shipping 


Excerpt From Mind Over Monsters:

Oliver is oblivious to my plight. He’s busy with the veritable wall of walking dead surrounding us. The moment he knocks one into a tree or tombstone another seems to take its place in the line like a zombie Pez dispenser. Two of them, one a man and the other unidentifiable, grab Oliver but he pushes them away. Another grabs my arm and tries to bite, but I kick it away. My martial arts trainer would be so proud. His buddy behind me grabs the other arm and chomps down on it. I scream. The gun in the other hand reaches her forehead and a second later, her head is nothing but puzzle pieces. Enough of this.

Something I’ve never felt seizes control. My body turns warm then hot in an instant, like someone’s switched on my boiler. My breath becomes ragged and then stops. The breeze stops moving and everything but the dozen soldiers surrounding us turn black. There are no screams, no moans, no Oliver. The air moves toward me, inside me, through every pore of my body. What feels like two hands squeeze either side of my brain, but it doesn’t hurt for once. I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I like it. I close my eyes and feel the blood trickle out of my nose. I release. Power explodes out of me like a fiery gust of wind in a hurricane. It knocks me on my back. Several daggers plunge into my brain. I cry out, clutching my head. Oh God, it hurts! Just stop it! Hands grab my shoulders.


“Trixie!” a familiar voice shouts. I know that voice…who… “Open your eyes!” I do. It’s blurry at first, but I blink until I see Oliver kneeling beside me. God, he’s good looking when he’s worried. “My dear, can you speak?”

“Huh…”

“Never mind. Can you walk?”

“Um…” Without letting me finish he hoists me up by the arms, my injured one throbbing. When I’m up the sight before me draws a gasp. Oh…my…lord. There’s nothing left but the kind of destruction I see on TV after a tornado. Trees lie on their sides, tangled roots above ground. Every headstone within forty feet around rests on its side, a few older ones are now nothing but pebbles and dust. The zombie horde is literally nothing but pieces. Twitching legs, arms, jaws still trying to make their way toward us litter the grass. Every piece bigger than a foot still tries to continue on their mission, but I doubt any of them is a threat to us anymore. A few fresher corpses remain intact but shuffle far in the distance.

“Did I…”

“Remind me never to anger you,” Oliver says, serious as death. I’ve scared a vampire. Holy heck. And we take off running.


About Jennifer Harlow:
Jennifer Harlow earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She has been a bookseller, radio DJ, lab assistant, and government investigator. She lives in Northern Virginia and is hard at work on her next book.

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.

Jennifer is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Sisters in Crime.
Visit Jennifer at www.jenniferharlowbooks.com


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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.