Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vanessa
- Be sure to read our review for Justice, book #1 in the Galilee Falls Trilogy here at OBS.
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
Vanessa: Justice is such a great original story, what inspired you to write it?
Jennifer Harlow: I hate answering this question because I can never come up with any story’s inception. I think it was when I saw Batman Begins but I can’t be sure. This book came from a lot of places. Comic books I read as a teenager, my own experience with unrequited love, various TV shows. They all get thrown into the pot, I stir, and out comes the story and characters. That’s probably why it’s a blend of many genres from urban fantasy to thriller to even romance because I enjoy all of those as well. Or it was divine inspiration. My Muse (or subconscious brain) gets all the credit.
Vanessa: The world you created is so vivid, did you base Galilee Falls on a real city?
Jennifer Harlow: Sort of. It’s an amalgam of superhero cities like Gotham and Metropolis, but for the nitty-gritty I drew on Baltimore. Right before I began writing it I was obsessed with the show The Wire. It really showed how crime affects a city and the unbalance of the haves and have nots. It even has John’s Hopkins Hospital, which is considered one of the best in America. I live near Baltimore and have been on occasion so that helped too.
Vanessa: Joanna is such a raw character and her heartache is so real, is she based on someone you know?
Jennifer Harlow: I have two sides, like anyone else. Joanna is my b**ch side. Beatrice in my F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Series and Mona in What’s A Witch To Do? are the most like me in that they take a lot on for other people and do their best to keep a smile on their faces (and quip on their lips). Joanna is how I wish I could be. Not caring what people think. Being a tough broad when the chips are down. I personally am sick of nice, perfect heroines. Give me Anita Blake over Bella Swan any day of the week.
Vanessa: How long did it take you to write Justice from concept to final draft?
Jennifer Harlow: I came up with the general story in college, but with school, then working full time and writing my paranormal books I didn’t get around to putting pen to paper for about four years and then it was another year and a half to finish. Then came the edits, and massive re-writes, then my agent shopping it around for about 2.5 years with the loveliest rejection letters I’ve ever read, before I finally decided to self-publish it. So…too damn long. But if you want to be a writer, or have no choice in the matter like yours truly, patience is a must.
Vanessa: A story about superheroes could have come off cheesy but your writing kept it honest and real. How do you feel you achieved that?
Jennifer Harlow: I’m just that awesome? Kidding. No, I just came at this book as a thriller that just happened to have a fantasy element, in this case superheroes. No matter the genre you must keep things grounded in the characters and story, which must be true to life. Even in a fantastical world with elves and dragons, the people reading it are human beings and must somehow relate to the characters. And let’s face it, anyone who spends their nights beating people up, even in the name of good, and has to keep an essential part of their lives from the people they love has a screw or two lose. That’s being honest.
Vanessa: The love story between Joanna and Justin is definitely bitter-sweet, will we see this change in the upcoming books in the series or is that chapter closed?
Jennifer Harlow: I can’t say too much or ruin the book, especially the ending, but I will say love comes in all forms. Their love story is very unconventional by design, but is as deep as any other out there. They are soul mates, but that bond doesn’t limit itself to a romance.
Vanessa: If you could go back and change anything about Justice, would you? And if so, what?
Jennifer Harlow: I did worry that Harry was just too good. He’s the perfect one in the book, far too good for Joanna. That plays out in the next book but still, I try not to make people too perfect because it’s not true to life. I’d give him more shades of gray.
Vanessa: At the end of Justice it seemed as though it could be a stand-alone book. Will the next books in the series continue to focus on the same characters or new characters?
Jennifer Harlow: No, it’s a trilogy. Joanna’s and Galilee’s trilogy. The plan is for her to have three books, then spin off into stand-alones with other people in the universe. I only have one mapped out but an idea for a second. It’s just finding the time to write all these! I have three books out this year, maybe four, I’m pooped.
Vanessa: Without too many spoilers, what can we expect from book two in the Galilee Falls Trilogy?
Jennifer Harlow: Joanna will be in a completely different place than where she ended up at the end of book one. Basically, she imploded, and the book is about her picking herself up with the help of another damaged man I briefly introduced in the first book. It’s more of a romance but a pretty dark one. And of course there’s a new threat to Joanna and Galilee. It’s all written but I have to edit the hell out of it. Right now it’s called Galilee Rising. I hope *fingers crossed* to have it out by the end of the year, but no promises.
Thank you to author Jennifer Harlow for an amazing interview! You can follow her on: