Mind Over Monsters By Jennifer Harlow
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
How did you start your writing career?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been telling stories in some shape or form since I was a child, either through dolls or pen on paper. I never considered being an author until I was in high school and began writing screenplays. I was convinced I was the next Tarantino. When I couldn’t sell any (they were kind of crap) I moved onto books, really just to see if I could pull it off. I finished my first novel at age 21, then sent it out to agents and publishers half heartedly. I couldn’t admit it needed a lot of work so of course they all rejected it. Still I kept on writing because darn it I just couldn’t help myself. Still can’t. Finally after about seven, eight years of editing and attending pitch sessions and sending out query letters, I got an agent. About a year after that I got a book deal. A writing career is like running a marathon up Mt. Everest: treacherous, painful, rocky, but worth it when you reach the top.
What is the hardest part of writing books?
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.
What does your family think of your career?
They are over the flipping moon. I like to joke my father wanted me to be an FBI agent and my mother wanted me to be a writer so I split the difference, writing about FBI agents. There’s no question I’ve been blessed with wonderful family and friends. Not a one ever told me I couldn’t do this, and sometimes they were even the ones who convinced me to carry on. And now my book is out, they’re telling everyone. I have cousins I never knew writing to congratulate me and my mom keeps giving books to random people like the mailman or checker at her grocery store. There is no way in hell I’d be being interviewed by you now if not for all of them.
How would you describe your writing style?
The word that keeps popping up in reviews is “fun,” so I’ll go with that. I wanted to write something with a fast pace, witty dialogue, but scary at the same time. Apparently I succeeded. I read books to escape from the mundane, to be entertained, and I think most people are the same. I just hope I delivered.
Where are fans most likely to find you hanging out?
I’m a total homebody. I have to force myself to leave the house most days. Drives my friends crazy. When I do venture out into the world I go mostly to bookstores and libraries. I love hunting down specific books, going to as many stores as I have to to locate it. I also write a lot at libraries. In my acknowledgments section I thanked all the places I wrote Mind Over Monsters at, so if you really want to stalk me just read that.
Tell us about your latest release.
If you could give any advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 http://www.jenniferharlowbooks.com/.
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