BestSelling Reads is proud to announce to new members are bringing their talents and their books to our ranks. Please join in welcoming them.
Jennifer Harlow writes horror and urban fantasy with a definite helping of humor.
“I am so proud to be a new member of BestSelling Reads. I should warn you all, the snark is strong in this one. (I apologize in advance.) My characters get their wit, smarts, and humble demeanor from their creator. I hope to both entertain and help any of you future authors out there any way I can in equal measure.
“I’ve always been a storyteller in some manner. First, it was making up tall tales to get my little brother in trouble. Sorry, Ryan. Then it was lying to my parents so I could stay home from school to play with my dolls. They went on wild adventures and were spies and fought monsters when not acting in movies. You could always find me in my bedroom with those dolls.
But then I got too old to play with dolls. So I tried my hand at screenplays (horrible screenplays, but still), which led to books (much better books). And here I am. A writer is just something I’ve always been, I guess.
When I was about nineteen, in my screenplay phase, I thought, “Huh. I wonder if I could write a novel.” So I did. It took almost fifteen years to get Beautiful Maids All In A Row published, but I never stopped writing. I’ve either traditionally or self published over a dozen since.
“I hope to make you think and entertain you in equal measure.”
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Elyse Salpeter crosses the boundaries between supernatural, thriller, mystery and horror with her supernatural thriller Kelsey Porter series and Flight series.
“My journey to becoming a writer actually started with an emotional incident. I used to write as a child and even have some of the pages of a horror story I wrote when I was nine years old. In ninth grade, I was in an honors English Class and wrote (what I thought) was an amazing English extra credit project.
“I was supposed to do a plain book report, but I decided to make it a newscast where the newscaster interviewed the main character. Well, my teacher at the time was never positive about anything I ever did. Ever. I remember clearly her returning my creative writing assignment, with sheer glee in her eyes. There was a big fat red Zero on it, and she announced to me, and the entire class, “that this was the worst piece of writing she’d ever seen.” I was crushed and did not write again creatively until I was 20.
“I would tell my young cousin fantastical stories and he’d ask me to continue them. Well, I took a deep breath and told myself that, “I wasn’t going to let that horrible teacher dictate my life any longer,” and that was how my first fantasy novel, The Ruby Amulet, came about.
“To be fair, the story line was great, but the novel itself was terrible. I knew nothing about drafts, grammar, editing, POV, showing and not telling, or proofing. I found a fantastic editor who was also a teacher and that is how my real writing journey began.
“When I do book talks now to children, I show them the pages of the horror story I wrote when I was nine years old. I show them fantastic pictures I drew. I tell them about my teacher. I stress that in life you will meet supportive people and some that are not, but if something gives you joy, you need to do it. Be strong because this is your journey and no one else’s.”
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“Why did I start writing? It’s an easy question to answer, but the response probably gives little satisfaction to the curious reader: I started because a teacher made me. Like most everyone else, picking up a pen and putting words to paper began in grade school; I specifically recall a story written in grade 5 with the enticing title “The Mystery of the Blue Marble.” It involved a small blue orb that turned out to be an invader from space who killed everyone with a laser blast. What did you really expect from a ten-year-old boy?
“Really, the question is why did I continue writing? Also a simple answer: because I love it. The act of creating fills me, brings balance to my life in a way that little else does.
“Making up people and worlds is an act of mental health maintenance, a release of emotions and frustrations, an opportunity to add something to the world.
“Pretty much everything I’ve written—with the exception of a couple of early short stories—has fallen under the umbrella of speculative fiction. Mostly it’s been fantasy, but there is a smattering of sci-fi and some horror mixed in as well (Icarus classifies best as dark urban fantasy, so he carries the weight of my horror leanings).
“Being raised on the likes of King (Cujo was the first “grown-up” book I recall reading) and Tolkien (because, duh), my propensity toward spec fiction seemed natural. The old adage ‘write what you know’ isn’t just about your lived experience; it’s about your read one, too.”
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