Interview with Jennifer Harlow author of To Catch a Vampire

I’d like to welcome Jennifer Harlow.  Jennifer is currently promoting her newest book, To Catch a Vampire.  Be sure to check out my review of To Catch a Vampire.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I really enjoyed To Catch a Vampire.

How did you come up with the idea of the F.R.E.A.K.S?
I wish I could say it was divine inspiration, but really I’ve always been
inspired by other people’s works. I got the idea after seeing the movie
Hellboy.
I walked out thinking, “Hey, I could do that.” I also read comics as a
child, especially the X-Men, so the team dynamic they had also heavily
influenced the book. And since I’m a huge horror buff I wanted to play
with vampires, werewolves, and zombies so I added them to the pot. Stir,
sprinkle with my own fear of getting a real job after college, bake at
350, and out pop the F.R.E.A.K.S. I just added my own flavor with witty
dialogue and fresh characters.

I loved all of the characters.  My favorite has to be Oliver.  Which of
your characters is your favorite and who is your least favorite?

I do have to say I love Oliver the most too. He’s just so fun to write
because he is just fun. He has all the best lines because he can get
away with them. I’d never in a trillion years date him, but I’m not Bea.
(Not to say she would either.) He just makes my job easier. On that
front Nancy is my least favorite to write because I always have to do
massive edits on her dialogue because I haven’t been a teenager for a
decade. Luckily I have a teenage brother who has a girlfriend so I
listen to her talk and incorporate accordingly. Every other word is
“like.” Feels like I’m back in Southern California when I’m writing her.

Will we see more of a love triangle in the next book or will things finally be ironed out for Bea?

Nope. If anything it gets more complicated. In the next, Death Takes a Holiday
Bea returns to San Diego where two more contenders throw in their hats
for her affection. I love the thrill of the chase. The dance people do
when they’re feeling each other out through flirting. Happiness is dull
to write. Once you’re in a relationship it’s all having to shave your
legs everyday and doing his laundry. It will get resolved more or less
in the fourth book though.

Are any of your characters based on people you know or even yourself?

I wish. Bea has my sense of humor but that’s about it. If a horde of
zombie were coming toward me I wouldn’t go toward them, I’d run the
other way. She has far more patience than me too. No, once again I was
inspired by other people’s works. I used actors I liked (read want to
shag) or admired as the template, at least physically. So if I ever get a
movie deal and they ask me who I see in the roles I can answer
immediately. I don’t want to give away their identities but I will say
that Bea is proving her own as a doctor in Seattle, Oliver is gonna look
great in tights, and Will is a Geek God. Guess away.

What has inspired you to write Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance?

I don’t know where it comes from but I’ve always been drawn to horror and
the paranormal. My grandmother was worried I’d go over to the “dark
side” but they’ve always fascinated me. I like horror because it’s so
dramatic like riding a roller coaster. You get to touch that darkness,
that danger, but it can’t touch you back or hurt you. The paranormal is
the unexplained, and we fear what we don’t understand.  Plus with the
paranormal you get to have a little magic in your life, even if it’s
only in a book.

Do you have any authors you read that have inspired your writing?  

Without question Janet Evanovitch, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Stan Lee. From
Evanovitch I learned how to incorporate humor, mystery, and sexual
tension while keeping a quick pace in the story. Hamilton showed the
perfect was to combine two genres effectively, thriller and paranormal,
and that a heroine doesn’t have to always be a sweet, perfect woman. She
can have a hard edge and still be likable. From Stan Lee’s comics,
especially X-Men, hidden in the action scenes and love triangles was a
parable on prejudice and acceptance of self no matter how different you
are from the crowd. I can only pray I do my idols justice with my own
work.

Ok…now I am gonna ask you just a couple fun/silly questions.  Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I am the most boring person on the planet, I swear. There isn’t a single
skeleton in my closet. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.  Vanilla
aspires to be me. I do love The Real Housewives, true crime shows, comic books and video games on occasion. The older I get the more I become a teenage boy. Go figure.

Can you share with me three things that not many people know about you.

I’m a sex goddess, I speak five languages fluidly, and I’m a rocket
scientist. Lord, I wish. (The sex goddess thing is true though.) I do
have a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia where I worked
doing psych experiments and volunteering at a crisis hotline. I’m proud
of all that. I also worked as a Special Investigator for the government
doing background checks on people getting security clearances. I met
people from all walks of life, went to courthouses and police stations
for records, and even went inside the Pentagon, CIA HQ, and FBI HQ. My
mouth was on the floor the entire time.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

All I’ve ever wanted was to make enough money with my writing to live a
comfortable life. I don’t need millions just enough to write full time
and pay my bills without worrying about dollars. It’d be nice to be a
millionaire married to Ralph Fiennes who accompanies me to the premiere
of the movie version of Mind Over Monsters but I’ll settle for the comfortable dream.
Since you like horror movies can you name your top favorites that give you a real scare.

I’m so jaded now I went to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and was
rolling my eyes the entire time. Not scared for a second. But when I was
a kid I’d look at a movie poster with Freddy Kruger and have nightmares
for weeks. My favorite horror movies have to be the classics like The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead just to name a few. I do get a tad uncomfortable when I watch the Paranormal Activity movies alone in my room with all the lights turned off.

Finally, can you name any instance in real life that you really scared yourself
and wanted to run into your bedroom and pull the covers over your head?

Only when I get my credit card bills. Damn you Neiman Marcus and your awesome shoes!

Thank you again for stopping by and I really look forward to reading your next book.  ☺

I want to thank Jennifer Harlow for stopping by and Bewitching Book Tours for giving me the chance to talk to the very awesome Jennifer Harlow.

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