I was sent Nightstruck by Jenna Black by someone whose opinion I trust and after devouring it and loving it, I jumped at the chance to have Jenna on the blog! Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.
The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon.
Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents’ divorce. Her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents’ ambitious expectations of her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. That all changes the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong.
Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds. As dark magic trickles into Philadelphia, strange creatures roam the streets and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises each morning. The moment the sun sets, most citizens shut themselves in their houses and stay there no matter what they hear.
The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off her responsibilities and join them.
Sounds good, right?
1. Please give the elevator pitch for Nightstruck.
A teenage girl accidentally opens a gate to another world and the city of Philadelphia begins transforming into a horror show every night, streets and buildings literally coming alive.
2. Why do you love Becket and why should we root for her?
I love Becket because she’s a kind and decent human being but she is also flawed. She is always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt—sometimes to her own detriment. She’s also hyper-responsible, which puts her in a terrible position when she realizes she’s responsible for the changes that have taken over the city. She feels a desperate need to fix everything, even when fixing everything seems way over her head.
3. What was the weirdest thing you googled while doing research?
I can’t think of any weird research I did for this project. All the weirdest stuff is stuff I made up. I did, however, spend a lot of time Googling images of Philadelphia. I grew up in Philly, and so most of the landmarks are things I’ve seen in person time and time again. However, I’ve lived in North Carolina for *mumble mumble* years now, so remembering exactly what things look like required a lot of reminders. (I even had to look up photos of the Market Street Bridge, which I crossed every school day for five years but never really looked at.)
4. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
There’s a scene where Becket and her best friend Piper are in her house alone at night and some unknown, unseen beastie is trying to get in. To make things worse, there’s a power outage and they can’t see a thing. I believe I managed to make the scene every bit as scary as it felt while I was writing it.
Speed [ish] round:
1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.
Well, it started with me bursting into tears and scaring my husband half to death. But I had been trying to get published for more than 16 years at the time, so I think my reaction was warranted.
2. What three things would you take to a desert island?
- Books (of course)
- Knitting supplies (though I’m not sure how much knitwear I’d need on a desert island)
- My Zentangle “kit,” which consists of pens, pencils, erasers, blending stumps, and artist tiles. I can spend hours drawing every day, and I would be bereft if separated from those supplies!
3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?
That is an impossible question to answer! (But I’ll answer it anyway.) The answer would change constantly depending on my mood, but at this particular second, I’ll choose ARCHANGEL by Sharon Shinn. A beautiful romantic fantasy that I’ve read umpteen million times and would happily read again.
4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?
That it doesn’t ever get any easier. (Actually, I think people probably did tell me that, but I just didn’t believe them.) Every book is just as much of a challenge as the first, and even though you think being published is going to give you confidence, it just doesn’t work that way.
Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.
Concluding that this discovery was her life’s work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She writes paranormal romance for Tor and urban fantasy for Bantam Dell.
Huge thanks to Tor Teen for setting this up and to Jenna for taking the time. Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Now. Haven’t had a chance to get your greedy hands on a copy of Nightstruck? Tor Teen is so awesomely providing a copy for a giveaway. Contest is US only and additional rules are here.