Interview with Jeff Gunhus: 'Every book is hard...which is what makes it fun'



Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.  
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About the Book:

Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.
The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.

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  • Night Terror is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Night Terror is the sequel to my supernatural thriller Night Chill. Both books explore the lengths to which a family can both be torn apart and also brought together by adversity, in this case the abduction of a child. As the father of five, there is no greater nightmare than one of my children being threatened. I used my fiction to work through these fears…and hopefully tell a good story in the process.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Every book is hard…which is what makes it fun. This book was tricky because I knew I wanted it to be some period of time after the events of book one, but I wasn’t sure how much time. Because Night Chill revolved around Sarah Tremont, age five, the decision on when to time the new book changed everything. The solution came (as it usually does) when I decided what part of the human experience I wanted to explore. Once I realized I wanted to see a teenager go from being a child protected by her parents and become someone willing to sacrifice herself for her family, then the decision became simple and I set it ten years later. For other authors, understanding what you want to explore through your characters can help make the thousands of choices in front of you more manageable.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Following the trend of many authors, I’m a hybrid with books both published by traditional houses and through my own imprint, Seven Guns Press. I enjoy both the creative control of being self-published and the teamwork of working with a large publisher. Both Night Chill and Night Terror are self-published.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first book of fiction was Jack Templar Monster Hunter, a book written in an attempt to get my 11 year-old reluctant reader son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born in the process. What I’ve found surprising is the connection the book and my story with my son made with so many parents working with their own reluctant reader. It’s been an amazing experience to become involved with literacy issues as a result of my fiction.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves (Book #4) comes out October 15th, 2014 and Killer Within will be re-released by Thomas & Mercer in February 2015. Jack Templar #5 will be released October 2015. I’m also working on a sequel to Killer Within.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Goodreads is a great place to talk books.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The core message is that we are not defined by our circumstances or the events of our past. We wake up every day and make a decision about the kind of person we want to be in the world.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

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