Please welcome the fabulous Jennifer Walkup to the blog today! Jennifer is a good friend and fantastic author, with her debut novel, the recently released Second Verse. Let’s find out more about this intriguing book and the lovely lady who wrote it.
When Jennifer isn’t writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel.
Please read on for more about Jennifer and Second Verse!
Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.
Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it’s begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.
Murder Yet to Come
But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny’s past and their own, and how closely the two are connected. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.
Now let’s shine the spotlight on Jennifer!
Maer: Jennifer, I’m so excited to have you on the blog today to tell us about your new book. What is the funniest or oddest thing that has happened to you as an author?
Jennifer: Well it’s probably not odd for most authors, but it was a pretty surreal (not to mention an incredibly fun) experience when I did my first book signing. It was at BEA (Book Expo America) and it was fun to be in the midst of so many book people. We had a great crowd in line for Second Verse (we even ran out of books!), and people seemed excited about it. It was awesome, and definitely surreal!
Maer: That sounds like fun and yes, exciting! Do you use beta readers and, if so, what qualities do you look for in a beta?
Jennifer: Yes! I had many, many beta readers for Second Verse in all its stages. I like a beta reader who is honest and not afraid to rip my manuscript apart. I think all betas bring their own strengths to the table. Some are plot betas, some dialogue betas, action scene betas, micro betas, macro betas. Invaluable, every single one of them!
Maer: Jennifer, what is a one line synopsis for your book?
Jennifer: A disembodied voice in a haunted barn leads teens Lange and Vaughn to investigate an unsolved murder and perhaps stop another. Unless the killer finds them first.
Maer: This book sounds so interesting. Is this a stand-alone or part of a series?
Jennifer: It’s two parts – sequel soon to come!
Maer: Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! Which character, other than Lange, is one of your favorites to write and why?
Jennifer: That’s a tough question. I’d have to say Vaughn, the love interest in the book. He’s a musician and I’ve always been fascinated by people who can make music. Researching his character was really fun, and inspiring.
Maer: If you had to pick a color to describe Lange what would that be and why?
Jennifer: When I think of Lange I think of a dark red. It’s a serious color, and Lange is put through quite a few trials in Second Verse. It’s also a passionate color, and Lange is nothing if not passionate and willing to fight for what she cares about and believes in.
Maer: So, who are your favorite authors to read?
Jennifer: OMG – an impossible question! Hmmm… I keep coming back to this one, but I can’t for the life of me even come up with a short list. I think my answer would be longer than my novel…
Maer: LOL. Fair enough. Can you share a bit about the project you’re working on now?
Jennifer: Right now I’m working on finishing the next draft of the Second Verse sequel (still untitled).
Maer: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Jennifer: Lots of stuff. I’m a mom with two small kids, so I’m pretty busy with family stuff almost always. My boys are awesome, and they definitely keep me on my toes. I also work part time, freelance edit for a few publishers and a literary magazine, and teach creative writing for children and adults.
Maer: What influenced you to write in your genre? Do you write in others?
Jennifer: I started out writing for adults many years ago. I still write short fiction for adults, but all the novel length fiction I’ve written has been young adult. I’d like to try to write in other genres within YA – so far I’ve tried my hand at contemporary, romance, paranormal and mystery.
Maer: That’s a lot of diversity. What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing?
Jennifer: I listen to music before sitting down to write and also when revising and when doing read throughs. I have a comprehensive playlist for each book that puts me in the “mood” for that particular project. I have the Second Verse playlist posted on the extras page of my site. Check it out! Jennifer’s Playlist
Maer: Jennifer, thanks again for joining me today and sharing about your novel. Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Jennifer: Thanks so much for having me!
Maer: It was my pleasure!
You can buy Second Verse at Amazon!
You can find Jennifer at the following links: