October 18, 2011
Books That Go 'Bump' in the Night
Posted by Jennifer Archer
Hey Peeps! I’m Jennifer Archer and I’d like to welcome you to the TeenShiver blog. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing group of talented Texas YA authors, and I’m especially excited that we all write stories about characters that are a bit – or a lot – unusual, or find themselves in unusual situations. My debut YA novel, THROUGH HER EYES, is that kind of book.
Tansy Piper, the heroine of THROUGH HER EYES, is like any girl you might meet at school, or living in the house next door. But when she moves with her mom and her grandfather to a small Texas town and into an isolated old house, Tansy’s life becomes anything but normal. As Tansy takes pictures around the property surrounding her new home, through the lens of her camera she sees glimpses into the black-and-white world of Henry – the teenaged boy who lived in the same house decades before and whose ghost now haunts it. Henry, the local legend, is rumored to have killed himself at the age of seventeen, but he won’t rest until his true story is known. In Tansy, Henry believes he’s found his messenger.
It makes sense that I was drawn to write a ghost story. I love most things eerie, creepy, quirky, scary and weird. Halloween. Johnny Depp. (Well, okay, Johnny isn’t eerie, creepy or scary, but he is sort of quirky and weird!) Books that go 'bump' in the night. As a reader, I enjoy the kind of books that make me want to lock all the doors, curl up in bed under the covers on a rainy, or snowy, or windy night, and read. Moody, eerie, atmospheric books. When I set out to write THROUGH HER EYES, that’s the sort of story I hoped to create.
I also wanted to write a character I understood, and I can definitely relate to Tansy. Like her, I never stayed long in one place when I was growing up. In fact, I moved more than twenty times before the age of eleven! My family finally settled in the Texas Panhandle, where the book is set, when I was sixteen.
Although I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age, I didn’t know how to pursue writing as a career, so I pushed that dream aside for a number of years. I graduated from college with a business degree and worked in the business world for a while before reigniting my desire to write by enrolling in a creative writing class. Five years later, I sold my first book, then went on to publish eight more novels and three novellas for adults before THROUGH HER EYES found a home at Harper Teen.
Hmm, what else...? I, of course, live in the Lone Star State, in the flat and windy Panhandle, home of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world. I have two awesome sons, one fabulous husband, and two fun-loving, crazy-making dogs – Harry, a dachshund, and Marge, a proud mutt.
Okay, that’s me. Now I want to know about you. Watch the trailer for THROUGH HER EYES, then leave a comment to this post telling me if, like Tansy, you’ve ever had a ghostly experience, and I’ll give one of you an autographed copy of THROUGH HER EYES. Have a happy, safe and creepy Halloween!