Jenny was born and raised in the Midwest and has since settled in Indianapolis. Once a Midwest girl, always a Midwest girl, she supposes. Not enough snow for her liking, but at least they experience all four seasons.
She loves: coffee, the smell of fresh cut grass, red wine, winter (mostly the snow), bonfires, summer concerts, rainy days curled up with a good book, tattoos, all the animals, the ID channel (it’s research!), the hubs and, of course, writing. Not necessarily in that order.
She hates: obscenely hot weather (sweating without exercise or a bathing suit is just awful), rude people (why?), and bad grammar (come on now). Also not in that order.
Thanks to a copywriting job that didn’t actually provide 40 hours of work, Jenny wrote her first book not long after graduating with an English degree from Indiana University. You can only play solitaire for so long. Since that fateful day, she hasn’t been able to STOP coming up with ideas and as such, has several young adult novels published (mostly thriller and fantasy). And new characters are forever poking her brain requesting that their story be told, so safe to assume there are always more coming…
Q & A with Jenny
A&RBC: What inspired you to write the sweetheart Strangler series?
JM: As with a lot of authors, most of my books come from asking “what if?” I began Every Breath You Take by wondering what would happen if a girl happened to be dating a guy or two and then realized she had a stalker. And imagining how terrifying it would be to not know who it was, who you could trust. It expanded from there to a freshman in college (always a vulnerable time in an adolescent’s life), and then I added in her sometimes crippling anxiety, which only contributes to the chaos in her mind.
A&RBC: What kind of research did you have to do for this series?
JM: I did a lot of research on the behavior of stalkers, when and why they escalate to more violent crimes, the legal aspect (what behaviors qualify as stalking), what law enforcement suggests to stay safe, what works and what doesn’t to get rid of a stalker, etc.
A&RBC: Are any of Harper Cunningham experience pulled from your own life?
JM: I attended Indiana University, so all the places, streets, etc. are real. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, although mine aren’t triggered by crowds. But no, I’ve never been stalked 🙂
A&RBC: One of the themes in your series is stalking of young girls, why did you feel it was important to showcase it in these books?
JM: It wasn’t necessarily intentional as much as it fit the plot line of the book, but I think stalking as a crime isn’t taken nearly seriously enough. It may seem innocent at first, but stalking is very difficult to prove and sometimes even harder to stop. The best thing anyone can do is be aware of the patterns and behaviors that constitute stalking and understand the laws in your area.
A&RBC: What do you want readers to take from the series?
JM: It wasn’t as much a conscious effort in the first book, but as the series progressed, I hoped readers would take away that they should always be cautious, aware of their surroundings, and just suspicious enough of people and/or situations that give them a weird vibe. Trust your gut! If something feels weird, it probably is.
A&RBC: Can you share any news on your upcoming book or books?
JM: Yes! I’m happy to announce that the second book in The Hellbound Trilogy, Hounds of Hell, is set to release on November 5th! It’s available for preorder now on Amazon.com.
A&RBC: Where can readers find your books and connect with you?
: If you’re local to Indy, I try to participate in regular signings/ meet and greets in the area. I post about all of those on my website (www.jennymedenwald.com
) and my social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram). You can find me @jmedenwaldauthor . And all my books are available on amazon (print and ebooks) and I’m working towards getting them all available in audiobook format as well.
A&RBC: What is two things you’ve learned about Indie publishing?
JM: There is never a point in time where you’re even close to knowing everything, so keep yourself educated (follow blogs, research trends, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, etc.), and make connections! That applies to more than just indie authors, but you need other people like you! Whether they’re indie or traditional), other writers are THE BEST. Most of my friends and family love to read but just don’t get the blood, sweat, and tears aspect of writing a book. Other writers are great for advice, commiserating, celebrating, getting together for writing sessions, editing help, beta reading, hosting events with, the list goes on! Writing is such a solitary activity that it’s so amazing to have the support of people who know exactly what it feels like.
A&RBC: What is your favorite part about being a indie publisher?
JM: I love the freedom that comes with being able to make all the decisions related to my books… how and when I release them, choosing my cover designer, editor, etc.
A&RBC: What drew you to writing young adult? And thrillers?
JM: The first book I ever wrote was actually more women’s fiction/ chick lit with a touch of magic realism. When I set that aside, I got the idea forEvery Breath You Take which, because of the setting, required a teenager as the main character. As I wrote it, I realized how much I enjoyed writing from that perspective… there’s so much DRAMA! And I love to read a good thriller, so that genre just made sense for me to write as well. Side note: the first book I wrote was She Dreams In Color, and after I realized that YA was my jam, I actually went back and rewrote the whole book with a younger protagonist! I also completely rewrote the ending 😏
About The Book
Sweetheart or stalker?
Most eighteen year old girls headed to college hope to win the heart of at least one handsome boy. College freshman Harper Cunningham has earned the attention of not one, but two upperclassmen: Caleb and Ryan – both eager to earn her affection in return. Before long, Harper realizes she’s being stalked by a secret admirer. Hidden notes in her locked dorm room, footsteps behind her on campus, even her name set on fire in the middle of the quad. Is it Caleb? Ryan? Or someone who’s managed to keep their identity a secret. Between lack of sleep, sheer terror and medication meant to calm her nerves, Harper begins having difficulty separating her dreams from reality. Who can she count on and who poses a serious threat to her safety? Will Harper make the right choice? Because her sanity – and her life – may depend on it…