Interview with Molly Harper author of Better Homes and Hauntings
Please welcome another new to me author, Molly Harper. When I heard this title I knew I had to invite her to the blog. I can't wait to open my own copy. So sit back and enjoy learning about Better Homes and Hauntings, a little about Molly (and how her neighbors know when she's on deadline) and her other novels too! Molly go on make our day, haunt us :)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 6/24/2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!
Molly HI, Welcome to
The Reading Frenzy Tell my readers a bit about Better Homes & Hauntings
This is my first standalone paranormal romance
and my first haunted house story, so I am super excited about it! I spent
a lot of time researching and “mind-building” The Crane’s Nest.
Basically, it’s a combination of my “mind palace” and every Scooby Doo episode
I ever watched as a child. The Crane’s Nest comes with the requisite murder
mystery and inevitable stories of hauntings and family curses followed the
“Whitneys” throughout the generations. Deacon Whitney, a social media mogul who
has managed to rebuild his fortune, wants to restore the house to its former
glory and finally put the supernatural rumors about his family to an end. The
team of experts he assembles to remodel the house is contracted to live there
over the summer while the work is completed, a measure he had to take after
mysterious noises and cold spots chased away previous teams.
Landscaper Nina Linden is hired to rehabilitate
the gardens and she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after
being cheated by her unscrupulous ex-partner. She never expects that her new
client would see more in her than just a green thumb. But Nina shows no signs
of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions
herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s
faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like
his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she
can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in
true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry
spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.
That is a great,
Was it your brainchild?
What made you pick this title?
It’s all mine! I claim it! This is one of the VERY few titles that has made it from manuscript to final cover for my books. I have a very complicated titling process that starts with my original manuscript title. My agent will gently tell me it’s not awesome, so I’ll put another title on the revised version sent to my editor. My editor will tell me that maybe we should think of an alternative. I’ll come up with a list, none of which makes my editor happy. I come up with more suggestions. Nothing. We asked the interns at my publisher’s office. Nope. I throw out a desperate, last minute suggestion and my editor says, “Love it! Let’s go with that!” And that is my process. It works for me.
Molly is this a
stand-a-lone or maybe the start of a new series?
For now, it’s a standalone, but I wouldn’t rule
out writing more ghost stories.
Tell us a tiny bit about your two long running series, Half-Moon Hollow and Naked Werewolf (I’m chuckling as I’m writing these down).
The Half-Moon Hollow books are my
Kentucky-based vampire series, which started with NICE GIRLS DON’T HAVE FANGS.
I was pretty shameless about writing from a character’s perspective very
similar to my own in western Kentucky, which is where I’m from. (They say
to write what you know…)
The Naked Werewolf books are the opposite, set
in a place I‘ve never been, Alaska. I started with HOW TO FLIRT WITH A
NAKED WEREWOLF, about a woman who flees her intrusive hippie parents in
Mississippi, moving cross-country to Grundy, Alaska. While most people
see short order cook Mo Wenstein as a welcome addition to Grundy, she runs
afoul of local hunting guide Cooper Graham. Cooper’s grumpy and taciturn and
just happens to show up on Mo’s front porch, naked, with a bear trap clamped
around his ankle. As she gets to know Cooper, Mo explores the community
of werewolves in the nearby Crescent Valley, much like the humans in subsequent
titles, who end up mated to valley wolves.
Molly Tell us a bit about your Bluegrass series.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
Actually, the Bluegrass series started in 2012
with MY BLUEGRASS BABY and is ending with SNOW FALLING ON BLUEGRASS in
September 2014. These are novellas, so I can write them in about 4-6
weeks, depending on the plot. With full-length novels, as long as my kids
are in school, I can write them in 8-12 weeks. Again, it depends on length and
Molly I know that
non-fiction authors spend a lot of time doing book research.
How does one research for paranormal romance?
With my werewolf and vampire series, I change
my mythology to fit my plot. Every once in a while, I’ll look up a random fact
for Jane Jameson to cite, but other than that, it’s off the top of my head.
With BETTER HOMES, I did quite a bit of research on the Gilded Age and Newport,
Rhode Island so I could capture the architecture, the clothes, social
attitudes, etc. Most of it involved reading non-fiction books and looking
up information from the Newport preservation society’s web site.
Molly I love your start in the writing biz story on your bio.
What led you to want to write this story about loosing all your 3rd
grade classmates on a trip around the world?
I have no idea! I didn’t dislike any of my
classmates! But I had just read a couple of Babysitter’s Club books about the
girls taking a ski trip with their class and I guess it made me speculate about
what would happen if my class traveled together.
Molly, I’ve heard stories from
other authors who during their “deadline delirium” they become very single-minded and totally focus on their writing at the expense of all around them.
Does this describe you too?
My neighbors know I’m approaching deadline when
they see me wandering around Wal-mart in pajama pants with one of those shih
tzu ponytails on top of my head, clutching a new toilet wand and coffee to my
chest like a newborn. It gets so ugly around the house, but better now that I
have an office and the kids don’t have to see me decline into this state.
Molly, your office
when you were eight was in your parent’s living room and included a manual
typewriter and a toy phone.
When and where do you write now?
I’ve written all previous books from my couch.
We just finished a garage addition that includes an office space for me. I have
an awful sense of color, so I have never really put my foot down about
decorating. But since it was my office and I was the only one using it, I
controlled everything from paint to furniture to knickknacks. Jane Austen as
far as the eye can see! And more importantly, a door that closes. And locks.
Molly thanks so much
for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with this new novel!
Molly Harper is the author of How to Run with a Naked Werewolf, A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses, and The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires as well as many other paranormal romances. She also writes the Bluegrass series of contemporary ebook romances, most recently Rhythm and Bluegrass. A former humor columnist and newspaper reporter, she lives in Kentucky with her husband and children. Visit her on the web at MollyHarper.com or at SingleUndeadFemale.blogspot.com.