Saturday, April 2, 2011

These Hellish Happenings

Today on the blog we have Jennifer Rainey. She is dastardly creative as well as darkly humorous. I'm very glad to have her here on the blog. So, without further ado, take it away Jennifer.

Thanks again for this opportunity!


Jennifer Rainey was raised by wolves who later sold her to gypsies. She then joined the circus at the age of ten. There, she was the flower girl in the famed Bearded Bride of Beverly Hills show until the act was discontinued (it was discovered that the bearded lady was actually a man). From there, she wandered around the country selling novelty trucker hats with vaguely amusing sayings printed on front. Somehow, she made enough money to go to The Ohio State University for a major in English.


What is your earliest memory of writing?

My earliest memory of writing is having to write a piece of creative fiction when I was eight years old in second grade. We had about an hour in class to do it, and I constructed this elaborate adventure about a friendly, talking lion taking me into the jungle and asking me to be his friend. I was, for some reason, incredibly proud of that story, and I remember being absolutely heartbroken when my teacher didn't leave me any comments on it. I got an A, but everyone else (who wrote boring stories about, God forbid, things that could happen in the real world!) got comments and stickers on theirs. Such are the trials of being a second grader!

How does it feel being published?

I love it! When I got the first proof for These Hellish Happenings, which is my first novel, I was absolutely beside myself with glee. Giggling like an idiot, dancing around the living room. I must've looked insane, but then, I suppose writers tend to be a little nutty, anyway, don't we?

When did you decide to be a writer?

When I decided that I wanted to be poor for the rest of my life! Haha! Really, though, I've been writing in one way or another for most of my life, from scribbling stories as a child to entering writing competitions in middle school and high school to writing fanfiction as a teenager. However, it was when I won a statewide writing competition my senior year of high school that I first gave serious consideration to writing as more than just a hobby.


Do you get writer's block? How do you combat it?

I've never had long-term writer's block, but I've definitely had short-term. Who hasn't? We all get constipation of the brain sometimes. I combat it by speaking through the offending scene out loud. Possible narration, dialogue, everything. I even have specific voices I use for certain characters. Sounds crazy, but it really helps in getting a first draft down.


Where do you write? Do you write longhand, typewriter or computer?

I use a computer because my brain moves too quickly for my hands to keep up if I'm just writing. I tend to lose ideas if I can't get them down fast enough.

Tell us about your Latest Book.

These Hellish Happenings is a dark comedy about demons and vampires and Hell that has quite a lot of social commentary in it, as well; it's got a lot of satire. The book follows Jack Bentley, the vampiric main character, as he is taken from Earth in order to work at the Registration Office of Hell after making a deal with The Devil. He's essentially St. Peter but down below. The Hell he lives in is very much like Earth. It's not your typical fire and brimstone. As he lives down there, he gets involved in Hell's society and politics, he faces some issues from his past, he gets involved romantically with a demon, and he really begins to sort of find himself after centuries of not being able to on Earth, all against the backdrop of this very Aldous Huxley-esque Hell.

The first in a trilogy, it's a very darkly humorous book, but it definitely comments on some greater issues, as well. Many of Hell's residents hold Jack's vampirism against him, for example, allowing the book to comment on discrimination, among other topics.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I see this common "hot off the presses" mentality in a lot of young writers today. They want to capture the heat of the moment, we'll say, and not dirty their work with excessive editing. Unfortunately, many then completely ignore the editing process altogether or give the piece one quick surface edit and say it's ready to go. I'll tell you right now, it is not ready to go. Don't be afraid of editing! Embrace it. It's your friend. Take it out to dinner and a movie. Get cozy with the editing, and I promise you will be rewarded.


Amazon (Kindle):

Amazon (Paperback):

B&N (Nook):


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Lots of good advice in that interview. Best of luck Jennifer, way to go. The cover is really cool, kind of reminds me of BEE's Imperial Bedrooms, but better!

Jennifer Rainey said...

Thanks very much, Sean! I'm glad you like the cover; it recently underwent a facelift and so far it's gotten very positive responses. :)