Monday, July 29, 2013

Interview with Jennifer Harlowe

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain? Okay, not really. I hate getting wet. Um…I’m the Amazon Bestselling author of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, Midnight Magic and Galilee Falls series, I’m single, I live in Northern Virginia, and I spend my days thinking up ways to kill people. Just your typical gal.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, first screenplays then books. Currently I have five books in “print”: My F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad (Mind Over Monsters, To Catch A Vampire, Death Takes A Holiday) my Midnight Magic Mystery Series (What’s A Witch To Do?) and the first in the Galilee Falls Trilogy (Justice) out now. They’re all urban fantasy, but Justice is about superheroes instead of vampires.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
The first book I ever wrote was a plain old serial killer thriller. What’s great about urban fantasy is they’re really a blend of genres, thriller plus fantasy with a little romance to boot. I’d love to write a plain old horror with ghosts or zombies or even a romantic comedy. I’ve got a lot of years left (hopefully) I’ll get around to them.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I have the main characters and the major plot points worked out years before I even pick up a pen but sometimes those can change so I’m both a pantser and planner. I think most writers are.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I wake up, make the long five step trek to my desk, then spend ten minutes staring at the blank page before getting coffee for twenty more minutes of staring. Eventually the muse gets her ass to the office to help me (she’s in an abusive relationship with procrastination right now and really needs an intervention.) I listen to music while writing, and only occasionally get up to walk around. Writers are a boring bunch.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I go though phases. One year I devour cozies, then the next year I can’t stand them and I move onto horror. I stopped reading paranormal/urban fantasy when I started writing them because I was afraid I’d OD on vampires and werewolves. I do love humorous memoirs like those of Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro, and biographies on great women like Charlotte Bronte and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Really, no matter the genre, if it catches my fancy I’ll give it a whirl.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d love to be able to make enough money to support myself with the books. I’ve been at this since I was eighteen, published at 28, and by the end of the year I’ll have six books out. Should be doable, right? God I hope so.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Time travel. I’d love to see what life was really like in the past and what it will be in the future.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
A dragon so I could claim the Iron Throne.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
It’s entitled, Justice, and it’s the first in The Galilee Falls Trilogy. Basically, it’s about a hard-boiled female police officer who lives in a world filled with superheroes and villains. One villain escapes and targets her, though she doesn’t know why. That’s the plot, but really it’s about unrequited love, betrayal, accepting yourself and your life just with superheroes kicking ass around it. I’ve been asked the genre, but it doesn’t really have one. It’s a thriller, a hard-boiled mystery, action and adventure, romance, allegory for modern apathy. I can almost guarantee you’ve never read anything like it. (And if you have, e-mail me the title so I can read it. Seriously.)

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
Television. I’ve managed to avoid most of the addictive substances in life but I am beyond addicted to television. I really need an intervention.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I’d love to get to a place in my career like James Patterson where I write out the outline then give it to someone else to do the heavy lifting. I am just naturally lazy.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
Oscar Wilde. That’d be an interesting conversation.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I’m basically a teenage boy now. I play video games, read comics, and watch crap TV. God, I’m boring.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
I’d love to see a biography on Charlotte Bronte. She had an amazing life that was better than anything in fiction.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I’d love to have Game. I have no game, I have no mojo, no matter the Spanx or push-up bras I am totally awkward or downright invisible to men. If awkwardness was seductive, I’d be freaking Angelina Jolie.

Favorite color? Pink

Weather: Hot or cold? Cold

Favorite place to read? Hyde Park in London

Favorite meal: French fries

Favorite non-alcoholic drink. Mocha frapacchino with whip cream

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go? Nathan Fillion’s bedroom, as for what we’d do, use your smutty imagination


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.

“‘Can you be so cruel?’
Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.’”
-Paramount Picture’s The Heiress (1949)

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.

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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