A big welcome to Molly Harper who came by to answer a few of our questions and to celebrate the release of Better Homes and Hauntings, (published on June 24, 2014 by Pocket Books).
Interview with Molly Harper
All Things Urban Fantasy: While still paranormal, BETTER HOMES AND HAUNTINGS ventures into ghost story territory, which is a totally different than your other paranormal romances with vampires and werewolves. Was writing about a different supernatural phenomenon a challenge or a nice break?
Molly Harper: It was a really nice break. Ghost stories deal more with the feelings and perceptions of being in a frightening situation, rather than vampires/werewolves, which are all about the concrete issues connected to being frightened. (Blood, bruising, etc.) And since I’ve really only experienced the paranormal through those not easily quantified circumstances, (goosebumps, déjà vu, that feeling of being watched, etc.) it was a little easier.
ATUF: Do you have any spooky houses in your past that helped inspire Deacon’s family’s estate?
MH: Not in my family. But my grandmother always insisted that we attend the local historical society’s annual fund-raiser luncheon/tour at the requisite “big old spooky house.” I remember attending one year when I was a teen and feeling “off” in the house all day, despite the fact that I’d been there before. I was standing on the main staircase, listening to the tour guide, and I was suddenly very afraid to look up at the floors above me. I knew if I did, something was going to be looking down at me and I didn’t want to know what it looked like. It was only for a second and when I finally did force myself to look up, there was nothing there. For the record, I’ve never actually seen anything supernatural. But that fear of looking up, of what I would see, really stuck with me. And when I was writing about The Crane’s Nest, I hope I managed to communicate that dread.
ATUF: Would you ever write a sequel to BETTER HOMES AND HAUNTINGS?
MH: I totally, would, because I loved writing the ghost story. But I don’t know if I would feature the same characters.
ATUF: You’ve had quite a few books out lately – what is your day to day writing schedule look like?
MH: When the kids are in school, I get my husband and kids up at 7. I get the kids on the bus, do the housework I’m qualified for (not much), run to the gym, and write until lunch. I write for the rest of the afternoon until the kids get off of the bus. We do all of the things families do in the evenings. And if I’m on deadline, I will write after everybody else goes to bed, usually until midnight or so.
Now that the kids are out of school and home all day? It’s all panic and eating raw cookie dough from a tube.
ATUF: Historically, which have you found creepier, ghosts or vampires?
MH: Ghosts. With vampires and werewolves, you generally know the rules and the solutions. Silver, sunlight, beheading. They’re tangible beings. You can see them or hear them coming. Ghosts can sneak up from under your bed and drag you to the underworld before you even know what’s happening. And if horror movies are any indicator, even when you think you’ve banished them, THEY COME BACK for one last scare. Spooky.
When Molly Harper was eight years old, she set up a “writing office” in her parents’ living room, complete with an old manual typewriter and a toy phone. And she (very slowly) pecked out the story of her third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city. She had a dark sense of humor even then.
Molly Harper is the author of the Jane Jameson series, the Half-Moon Hollow series, and the Naked Werewolf series, as well as a contemporary romance series.
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Available on June 24, 2014 by Pocket Books
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!
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
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.
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