Friday, January 22, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Molly Harper




Molly Harper has been writing since the young age of 8. With a writing office on the family couch, consisting of her mother's old typewriter and a toy phone she set to work telling the story of her class' trip around the world...and how they lost a kid in each town. To say the least she has a dark sense of humor, which is apparent if you've read her "Nice Girls Don't" series from Pocket.



Thanks to Molly's print journalism major at Western Kentucy University, she garnered a job at her hometown newspaper. For six years she wrote about school board meetings, quilting shows, and even a guy who faked his death by shark attack. While she liked the daily adventures, her schedule coupled with her husband's shifts as a cop didn't lend themselves to a family. So Molly took a church secretarial job and found herself with her nights free.


One evening, while taking solace from life's troubles with a book, nothing sounded good. So she sat down and started writing what she'd want to read...a must do for any author who needs an outlet for their passion. Especially when some of her favorite things are vampire movies and TV shows. Combine that background, and the most embarassing way to end up a vamp and you have the kernel for her series...and the birth of Jane Jameson, who's now the star of three books.





So how did I learn about Molly Harper? The cover of NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER caught my eye on a store shelf and I thought, "Hmmm, I haven't heard of her. Wonder if she'd be interested in doing an interview?" Just like that I sent Molly an e-mail after I got home, and to my surprise she said "Yes." From our correspodance, her humor is evident, as is her gracious personality. Though I've only known her a few short days, I can honestly say that her stick-to-it attitude is a must have in the industry. With her mix of wit, humor and voice she's going to have a lot more writing to do...and not about the people of her hometown, unless they're the basis for citizens of Half-Moon Hallow. Touche'!



How did you come up with the concept for your “Nice Girls Don’t” series centered around Jane Jameson? What prompted you to give the series a Southern feel and target it to adults?


I spent my "formative accent" years in Mississippi, then my parents moved us to Kentucky when I was 10. Seriously, I don't know what they were trying to do to me. I've spent my whole life in small Southern river towns. You just don't see a lot of romance novels set in contemporary small town Kentucky and I wanted to fix that. Most romance readers aren't from New York or LA, and we want to read a story that takes place in a familiar setting.

I spent a lot of time in libraries over the years. I was the quintessential bookworm growing up. I checked out those non-fiction "mysteries of the paranormal" books so many times that the school librarian sent a concerned note home to my parents. And when I took a reporting job at my hometown newspaper, the public library was right across the street. I took a lot of my lunch breaks over there and got to know the staff, a fantastic group of ladies.


When I started writing, I immediately decided my main character would be a youth librarian. It's a job that requires a lot of love and enthusiasm, but it's also a position that depends on public largesse. It was plausible that uber-competent Jane could lose her job for budget reasons. I picked up some of the lingo, mannerisms and frustrations/joys of a librarian during those misspent lunch hours, so it worked out nicely. In fact, someone forwarded me a copy of a Kentucky librarians list-serve message along the lines of, "OK, this Harper woman knows too much about the library system. Which one of you wrote this book anonymously?" That was humbling and flattering.




Since the first two titles hit shelves in March and August 2009, and NICE GIRLS DON’T LIVE FOREVER just came out this month, did you have all 3 ready to sell at once?


Oh, you're giving me a lot of credit. It took me about a year (2006-07) to write an acceptable draft of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, and then three months to find an agent. By the time super-agent Stephany Evans sold the books to Pocket a few weeks later, I had a good portion of the second book written. There were many, many... many drafts of NICE GIRLS DON'T DATE DEAD MEN. (Shudder) I finished up the third book, NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER in early 2009. I also wrote a non-paranormal romance, AND ONE LAST THING, somewhere in there.




Jane got to tell us about her international vacation, so would you like to tell us about your favorite place to visit? Or perhaps about a dream vacation you have in the works?


The only really outlandish thing we've done since selling the books is take a trip to the Bahamas. I would really like to visit Greece and Italy with my husband, but I think that's a "reward myself when I'm finally able to stop working full-time" sort of trip. I think maybe we're going to be able to visit London this Christmas, which will be great.

My whole family went to the Dominican Republic a few years back and had to rely heavily on my extremely mediocre Spanish, which wasn't a good idea. My husband loves the fact that whenever I study a language, I only excel at using the curse words. Sure, I can call someone a jackass in five dialects, but how helpful is that really?

So I think we're taking English-based baby steps toward European travel.




What does your “writing office” look like now? Have you splurged on anything new to treat yourself for a job well done?


I don't have an office or a desk. I write from my couch. I look forward one day having a soundproof office with a locking door, impervious to tiny fingers.



If you could put any character, not just your own, in the Character Graveyard, who would it be?


If I could put Terri Schuester, Mr. Shuester's crazy wife from Glee, under about six feet of concrete, I'd be a happy girl. I hate her. And not in a "love to hate" sort of way. I honestly loathe her with every fiber of my TV-watching being and can barely watch when she's onscreen. I love Glee.




What vampire or werewolf hunk from a book, movie or TV series would you choose to do a cameo for “Nice Girls Don’t”? Any secondary characters you wish you’d thought of?


I know it's weird, but I'm neither Team Jacob nor Team Edward. I'm Team Emmett all the way. He brought light and humor to a series that took itself very seriously. Also, Kellan Lutz is extremely yummy. I don't think Gabriel and Dick would be very happy about Andrea and Jane's reactions around Emmett. (Vampire drool is very off-putting.)

I'm so fond of my secondary characters, I don't know if I would replace them with anyone. But I do love Lafayette, or the TV version of Lafayette, from True Blood. His character regularly breaks the law and does somewhat shady business, but he's the most honest person in Bon Temps. And he's pretty damn funny.



Do you have any news or appearances fans should know about coming up in 2010?


I have a non-paranormal romance, titled AND ONE LAST THING, coming out in August 2010. AND ONE LAST THING is the story of Lacey, who responds to her husband's office infidelity by hijacking his mailing list and sending out a mass e-mail to his friends, family and clients, outlining his affair in stunning detail. A newly minted media punchline and the defendant in her husband's libel lawsuit, Lacey is exiled to a lakeside in the middle of nowhere. She meets her new neighbor, a grumpy crime writer with an unfortunate buttock-related nickname and a low tolerance for divorcee drama. Random nudity and romantic hijinks ensue.

The book will be released by Pocket Books under the pen name, Aline Harris.


If you'd like to learn more about Molly or her series, please check out http://www.mollyharper.com/! Molly has also graciously donated a signed copy of NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER to "raffle" to one lucky person who posts a question or comment!





12 comments:

Lilly Gayle said...

Nothing like a little comic relief to ease the nail-biting, er...neck biting? tension of a good vampire saga! I used to be a fan of Angel for that very reason.
Lilly

SiNn said...

ty for stopping in these books sound so fun and i soo soo want tor ead them loved the review and interview

donnas said...

Great interview. Sounds like a really entertaining series. Cant wait to read it. Congrats on the new release.

Skylar Masey said...

Hi All~

Forgot to add to post your e-mail addresses so I can contact you if your name is drawn. Have no fear, we aren't compiling them in a list for the vampire hit squad :0)

~Skylar

Anonymous said...

Molly you sound like a trip! I'm a certified glee-aholic and loathe Schuester's wife with all that fake baby hijinks! And ditto on your thoughts on Lafayette. It's been a dream of mine to see Europe, but given life's circumstances I doubt that will happen anytime soon. But one can always dream! Maybe I'll take a trip to Half-Moon Hallow...and pick up my own copy of Nice Girls Don't Live Forever if I don't win.

Kimberly
butterflyfairie@hotmail.com

Beth said...

I already have the first two books and Live Forever is on my TBB list. Love books with some good laughs in them.
Are you planning any more Nice Girls Don't books? How many and any idea when?

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the post and look forward in reading this series.

Thanks,
Tracey D

Marcia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcia said...

I stumbled accross your first two books on ebooks.com. What a find!! I couldn't put them down. When I got to the end of the second book I was so excited to see there was a third. I went to ebooks and they did not have it yet. Went to other electronic book sites and I couldn't find it the the format need by my ereader. I was on a mission! I emailed customer service at ebooks - no help. Finally I decided to contribute to the killing of a tree and buy the book. I went to 4 stores before I found it. Today was my lucky day, I can't wait to read it!! I hope there are more Nice Girl books to come.

In the meantime I look forward to AND ONE LAST THING and the Werewolve trilogy!

Keep doing what you do...making me laugh!

Marcia

SiNn said...

forgot to leave my email mortalsinn@yahoo.com


these books sound seriously awesome

Molly Harper said...

Marcia, I'm sorry it was such a struggle, but I appreciate your determination!- Molly

Molly Harper said...

Beth,

My agent is discussing future Jane Jameson books with the publishers, but nothing is concrete yet.

Right now, I’m working on werewolf romance series set in Alaska. It will be released in early 2011

In the meantime, I have a non-paranormal romance, AND ONE LAST THING, being released in August 2010 under a pen name, Aline Harris. It’s about a woman who finds out her husband is cheating, and responds by sending a mass email detailing his affair to his friends, family, and business clients. She’s exiled to a little cabin by a lake, where she meets her new grumpy crime writer neighbor. Random nudity and wacky romantic antics ensue.

Thanks,
Molly