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ends 5.31

March 25, 2013

Writer Wrangler + Giveaway: Jennifer Harlow

Today we have funny lady Jennifer Harlow, sit down and chat with us about her latest novel
What's a Witch To Do
book 1 of her new series,
Midnight Magic
her F.R.E.A.K.S. spin-off novel and other fun stuff!



Braine: Hi Jennifer! Congratulations on WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO. Are you as anxious or excited about this as compared to the release of your debut novel?

Jennifer Harlow: It’s kind of like having children (I’d imagine.) You’re happy to have it, you love it like the others, but the thrill of the new experience is gone. It still get a thrill seeing my creation in a bookstore, even swell with pride, but don’t get misty eyed like when I first saw Mind Over Monsters on the shelf. I get jaded very easily.

Braine: WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO is a spin-off of FREAKS. So why a spin-off and not another FREAKS novel or a different brand new series?

Jennifer Harlow: Well, there will be more FREAKS novels, one is out this August, but I wanted to explore a bigger world. In the FREAKS world supernatural creatures live among us in secret. They go to work, the cheer on their football team, but they have to keep a large part of themselves hidden. How they interact with a world that would either chase them out of town with torches and pitchforks or hound them for life is interesting to me, and I hope my readers. 

Braine: Can you tell our Supies more about WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO? 

Jennifer Harlow: Well, it’s the first in a new series called Midnight Magic. It’s an offshoot of my other series, the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad. This one follows the most powerful witch in America who, on the busiest week of her life, finds out someone wants to kill her and take over her coven. There’s romance, humor, Southern hospitality, and plenty of suspense. Sales pitch over.

Braine: LOL But I have to agree, What's A Witch To Do did have all of those. Are you planning to write more Midnight Magic books? 

Jennifer Harlow: I have a contract for three as of right now. It’s different than a regular series, like the FREAKS, in that each book is a stand-alone but linked to the others. Everyone appears in each other’s books to expand the world and even go into the history of it and some of the FREAKS. The next one follows an event I mentioned in WaWtD when Adam got shot. He plays a supporting role but really it’s Alpha werewolf Jason’s tale of how he rose to power. The third, which I just started a week ago, follows former FREAK Anna West, the witch who helped Bea in To Catch a Vampire . It’s this huge, giant web of interactions that spans decades. I think I pull it off well, but we will see.

Braine: Thanks for making Mona a "normal" looking heroine in the sense that she's on the chubby side with the usual insecurities we see on ourselves, we need more accessible females in fiction. Despite her homely but magically charged character, what is it about her that readers can relate with?

Jennifer Harlow: She’s just a typical, modern mother, even though she didn’t give birth to the children she’s raising. In today’s world a woman has to wear every hat available, especially when she’s a single mother. Those hats get damn heavy. She has to earn the bacon, fry it up, clean it up, help the kids with homework, and find time to sleep. Mona’s is just an extreme example of this. She has her faults like any human but she still keeps it together like most women do. 

Braine: FREAKS 3, Death Takes a Holiday, is going to be released this year too. You've been busy! What should we expect from this installment?

Jennifer Harlow: Bea goes back to San Diego for Christmas and all does not go smoothly. She hasn’t seen her family in months since she almost killed her brother and disappeared into the night. She’s been lying to them for months about where she’s living, her job, basically everything. To add to that her crush Will seemingly hates her and has turned some of the FREAKS against her for the events in To Catch A Vampire, her ex-boyfriend wants her back, and she’s on the radar of the Lord of San Diego. Vacations don’t get much worse (unless you’re me.)

Braine: Sounds like Mayhem with a capital M! What's Favorite line from the Death Takes a Holiday?

Jennifer Harlow: “Don’t poke the giant, poisonous basilisk with a stick! Honestly!”

Braine: How many more FREAKS books should we expect?

Jennifer Harlow: In my head I have like eighteen, but as of right now I only have a contract for three. But even if they don’t renew the series I have 2/3 of the fourth written and with the power of e-publishing I’d love to reach the end. We will see.

Braine: Midnight Ink, please renew! I love Beatrice Alexander! Is she your alter-ego or is she based on someone else?

Jennifer Harlow: Bea is the me I wish I was in a way. She has my wise-ass, but that’s about it. I have no patience, I’d run the other way if a horde of zombies was coming my way, and I am nowhere near as nice as her. Mona’s actually got a lot of me in her. I take on too much, I have martyr syndrome, she has my intimacy issues and keeps her emotions bottled up like I do. She got my wise-ass too. It’s very wise, there’s a lot to go around.

Braine: I appreciate how funny and gritty FREAKS is. As far as killing off characters are concerned, do you have a method for that? How do you select which character is scheduled to bid us goodbye?

Jennifer Harlow: So far I’ve only killed off one core character who wasn’t a baddie. She had to go because everyone loved her and her death would send ripples through the team which play out in Death Takes a Holiday. This is a violent world filled with the most dangerous creatures ever conceived, there will be deaths when you go up against them. But really she had to go because she was just as if not more powerful as Bea. My girl didn’t need the competition. (To see of whom I speak, please read To Catch a Vampire. Please. I beg of you!!!) And if her death affected you just wait until the fourth. The hate mail I’m going to get.

Braine: Damn! I'll be bracing myself for this "hate". Back to Bea, she is so snarky! Where in the world are her lines coming from?!

Jennifer Harlow: As my Grandmother tells me, I’ve got a gob on me. I think I was Dorothy Parker in a former life. I learned very early in life if you can get people to laugh chances are they’ll like you and let you have lunch at their table. Through a lifetime I’ve honed my witty one-liners so now I just can’t stop them no matter how hard I try. I’ve gotten into some trouble but the positive has always outweighed the negative. 

Braine: Oh please don't tone it down. Keep 'em sharp and jagged! Do you still DJ? That's a very interesting gig. What is/was your show about?

Jennifer Harlow: I don’t DJ anymore. It was for a year at my college’s radio station. I had the Thursday 12-4AM shift. I’d go in the day of and record my four hours, which only took about an hour to do. It was actually soooo boring. They had a set way of doing spots where I just introduced the next song and did public service announcements. They did let me do this one thing where I introduced the two top movies opening that day as if I were introducing a boxing match. I was proud of those spots.

Braine: What a shame, with your wry sense of humor I bet you'll get a good following. What are you working on next after FREAKS 3?

Jennifer Harlow: This year is bonkers. Not only do I have What's A Witch To Do and the third FREAKS out but I’ll have a Kindle Single following teleporting FREAK Nancy coming out sometime this year and I plan to e-pub the first in another series called Justice about a normal police officer in a world filled with superheroes and villains. I don’t know when I’ll get around to it but it will be sometime this year. Then I have the edits on the next Midnight Magic book out March 2014 and writing the third. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. 

Braine: Great! I guess I won't be the only one saying we want more books from you! Can you describe What's A Witch To Do in one word?

Jennifer Harlow:  Bedlam.


Book read: Drinking and Tweeting by Brandi Glanville
Song listened to: Africa by Toto
Person you spoke with: My brother Liam
Thing you bought: Viva Blackpool DVD
Place you vacationed: Universal Studios in Orlando


Don't miss Jennifer's latest novel

Purchase What's A Witch To Do


And please check out her HILARIOUS Urban Fantasy series
F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
Read the reviews here

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 Virgina 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.


Fan Girls & Boys Welcome


Jennifer is giving away 5 print copies of What's A Witch To Do
(US/CA Only)

Good luck!

8 comments:

  1. Love the F.R.E.A.K.S. series and look forward to reading What's a Witch to do? Jennifer's writing is a fresh and fun take on Urban Fantasy!

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  2. HA! This interview made me laugh! Jennifer Harlow is so hilarious, and her books are amazing! Beatrice is one of my top 5 favorite heroines, for sure. Can't wait to read What's a Witch to Do!

    Thanks for sharing, Braine! =D

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  3. Great interview ladies. Loved the back-and-forth!

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  4. Congrats on your new release! And I loved the interview. :)

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  5. FREAKS sounds great! As much as I enjoy paranormal, even regular people can feel like Freaks sometimes.

    cc_clubbs[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  6. I think wise-ass, snarky writers are my favorite when that comes through in their characters!
    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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