Me : Share something about yourself and your writing what haven’t told any fans before?
Jennifer : Okay, this is shameful, but when I was a teenager I plagiarized a Stephen King story for an assignment. Not because I couldn’t make up my own story, but I was just so in awe of this one particular story that I wanted to pretend it was mine. I didn’t get caught, though!
Me : The protagonist Mia was a lightning addict, what drew you to a subject such a lightning addiction?
Jennifer : I knew I wanted to write about a girl who was a human lightning rod, so I started studying real life human lightning rods. I read about the man who held the world record for most lightning strikes survived. He was a park ranger, and he’d been struck seven times. People actually started to avoid him because they didn’t want to be near him when he was struck. Reading about him, I started to wonder why he didn’t get a different job, one that didn’t require him to be outside all the time. I speculated on the reason, and thought, “Well, maybe he likes being struck. Maybe it’s like a drug to him, makes him feel alive.” At that moment, the idea of a lightning addict was born.
Me : Is there any particular thing inspired you writing Struck?
Jennifer : There were so many inspirations that snowballed into a story, but one of the early inspirations was actually Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina, scientists began talking about how natural disasters were becoming more severe. I live in LA, where we’re always waiting for “the big one” so this got me thinking––and worrying––about what it would be like if a natural disaster as bad as Katrina were to hit LA.
Me : What is the significance of The Prophet in Struck?
Jennifer : Even though Prophet is the villain of Struck, he occupies a special place in my heart. I’ve always been fascinated by villains, or more specifically how they become villains. To create Prophet, I studied a lot of real life cult leaders––Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson––and tried to find the common denominators. What was it that turned these men into monsters?
If you’re interested in Prophet’s origins, you can read this short story about teenage Prophet on Tor.com.
Me : If you were in Mia’s position and you had to choose one between “The Tower” and “The Lover”, what would you do?
Jennifer : I’d want to choose “The Lover,” but I would eventually accept the inevitable and go with “The Tower.” I’m selfish, but not that selfish.
Me : What is your favorite scene in Struck and why?
Jennifer : I love the scene where Mia goes to Tentville to get medicine for her mom on the black market and is attacked by the Dealer. For me, even though I’ve reread the book a million times, that scene still holds the same intensity as when I first wrote it.
Me : If you have to pick a theme song for Struck, what would it be?
Jennifer : I’m a little bit of a rocker, so I’d go with “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
Me : Struck is going to be a series, do you like to share words about it? Is there any other novel you are currently working on?
Jennifer : Actually . . . oh dear, I hate to break it to you, but at this point Struck is a standalone. I’d love to write a sequel, but it would be hard to raise the stakes high enough in the second book. Where do you go after the apocalypse?
I’m working on a book that I do intend to be a series, though. The first book will be titled, “The Knife Sharpener’s Daughter,” and it will belong to trilogy called “Tarnation.” The series is a post-apocalyptic, supernatural western. My main character is an incarnation of Calamity Jane.
Now, here is you chance to win a signed copy of Struck, and the giveaway is open internationally. Feel free to enter and spread the word.
Giveaway closed : July 20, 2012
Winner Chosen : Tiffany Drew
The winner will be notified within 48 hours of giveaway ends, also be announced on announcement page.
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