Sunday, April 17, 2011

Author Interview: Jennifer Archer

I’m excited to have Jennifer Archer visiting the blog today! Welcome Jennifer!

TFE: When creating a main character for your books are there certain characteristics you find you like them to have?

Jennifer: Every story is unique, as are the characters in them. A character whose personality fits Book A, might be entirely wrong for Book B. That said, I do think it’s important that the main character of every book be someone readers will care about enough to want them to succeed at whatever goal or struggle they’re tackling throughout the course of the story. Even if he/she is very flawed in the beginning and displays unadmirable behavior, the reader needs to feel that the character is a good person at heart, and relate to him/her in some way. They have to believe that such a character is redeemable and deserving of their caring. 

TFE: You moved around quite a bit as a child/teen. Do you feel the places you’ve seen, and the people you’ve met help your writing?

Jennifer: Moving was such a factor in my upbringing, that there’s no way it can’t influence my writing. I have lived in several states throughout the southwest. I moved the most between the ages of one and eleven. Even though I was very young, the memories of the communities I lived in, the friends I made, and the teachers who taught me have definitely remained vivid, and I often see glimpses of them in my work. Occasionally, I have set all or a part of a book in a location with heavy similarities to a place I lived as a child. However, the feelings associated with all those moves shows up more in my work than do places I’ve lived or people I knew. I see evidence of the impact moving had on my personality in many, if not all, of the stories I write. In Through Her Eyes, for instance, Tansy has also moved frequently throughout her life. The sadness she feels over leaving old friends and the apprehension she experiences about starting over in a strange school, were once my own emotions.  

TFE: I love a good ghost story. Should we expect Through Her Eyes to induce goosebumps?

Jennifer: I certainly hope that as the story unfolds and readers begin to make connections between certain elements in the book and the mystery, they will experience a few chills! Several of the scenes gave me such an eerie feeling when I was writing them. I don’t want to give too much away, but two in particular – one involving a mulberry tree and Tansy’s grandfather, and another involving the farmhouse neighboring Tansy’s– really made the back of my neck prickle. And then there’s another scene where Tansy sees a guy on the bridge . . .  I’ll shut up now! My oldest son, who is working on his Masters in English, was one of my early readers, and he told me that he definitely had goosebumps while reading certain parts of the book. He’s a very critical reader, so I was pretty pleased by that!

TFE: I have to ask. Have you ever had a ghostly experience?

Jennifer: A few years ago I was working on a book in which one of the characters was a fortune teller, and I decided to have a “reading” by a local psychic. To be honest, I thought all psychics were con-artists, so my intentions were strictly to do research and have a little fun. The woman came to my house and we began by sitting at my kitchen table and chatting about a few general things. After a few minutes, she became very quiet and looked past me over my shoulder, as if watching and listening to someone – or something – behind me. The psychic then asked me if a family member had “passed” recently. I told her ‘yes,’ and she began to relay messages, supposedly from this person, about research I was doing for another project involving the Dust Bowl that I had not discussed with anyone. According to the psychic, my family member said he would be “tickled” if I used his family stories about that time period for my research. The word “tickled” was one he used while alive, and I had been looking through my office closet just the week before for my written copy of his family stories. Talk about inducing goosebumps! As you might guess, I’m a lot more open minded about psychics now.

TFE: Describe Through Her Eyes in just three words.

Jennifer: Wow. I spend such a long time working on a book that it becomes my “baby.” It’s difficult to describe my baby in only three words! Early readers have told me that Through Her Eyes is creepy (in a good way), funny, and unique. I like those descriptions, but I also hope the story speaks to each reader in a different way.   

TFE: Anything else you’d like to share about yourself, or your up and coming release?

Jennifer: I am currently working on another novel for teens called The Shadow Girl, which is possibly the most difficult story I’ve ever written. It involves a love triangle, more than one mystery, and a girl with very unusual abilities who is unraveling a web of secrets about her family and her own identity. I’m really excited about the book! It takes place in the mountains of Colorado in a setting very similar to the Spanish Peaks area where my husband and I have a cabin. Because it’s such a beautiful location and so many intriguing and mysterious legends surround the Spanish Peaks, it was the perfect place to set The Shadow Girl. I did take a few artistic liberties, though, and fictionalized the book’s setting to a certain extent. 

Thank you for having me on your blog; I’ve enjoyed it! I hope you and your readers will stop by my website and my blog to say hello. And if they read Through Her Eyes, I’d love to hear about it! In the meantime, take a look at the brand new trailer

Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! My review of Through Her Eyes can be found here!



  1. Goosebumps? Cute question. Great interview.

  2. Great interview! I loved this story...I hope a lot of people will find it and love it too!


  3. Thanks for the interview - It was awesome to read. I still need to pick up Through Her Eyes - It looks stellar.

  4. Excellent interview, Jennifer and TFE. Of course, I might be partial because the book ROX so much.

    Anyone who hasn't read it, needs to! Three words I would use to describe it? Atmospheric, haunting, and romantic. :)