Monday, September 16, 2013

A Shot in the Dark by Jennifer Burrows: Interview and Excerpt


How did you start your writing career?

I used to write poetry when I was in high school.  I also wrote some songs for some of my friend’s bands.  I always had a passion for writing and I even started out majoring in English in college.  Unfortunately, I had an awful English professor my first year in college. And as a result, I put the pen down and didn’t pick up until about two years ago.

I was sitting in an airport one day waiting standby when I decided I wanted to write.  A story came to me and before I knew it, I had six chapters written.  Needless to say, because of my nursing job, I didn’t have a lot of time to pick up where I had left off.  About a year later, I decided to quit my job and stay home with my kids.  I have a huge type A personality and I needed something to do.  So, I started working on the book and I had it completed in about two months.  I found a publisher a couple of months later and wham!  Here we are.

Tell us about your current release.

My current release is a romantic thriller based in the hospital setting.  There is quite a bit of medical terminology and scenarios in the book.  But don’t let that deter you because the story is really about the characters who happen to work in the medical field.

There are a couple of story lines going on.  First is the young motor crosser named Skyler who is competing to gain sponsorship only to be almost fatally injured.  Laney is the nurse who is working in the trauma room the day Skyler arrives.  She is responsible for saving Skyler’s life and getting him to the operating room with any chance to survive.

A relationship begins to kindle between Laney and the handsome trauma surgeon, Dr. Stone, who has had a crush on her for a very long time.  Both story lines have twists and turns and issues to resolve.  There is a huge cliff hanger at the end but the epilogue gives a pretty good idea of where the story is going for the sequel. 

Tell us about your next release.

My next release is titled, Into the Light.  It’s the sequel to A Shot in the Dark.  Without giving too much away, it picks up where A Shot in the Dark left off.  I hate sequels that rehash everything from the book before.  I tried not to that in this one.  This story ties up all of the loose ends and there isn’t as much medical jargon.  There are some twists and turns to keep you guessing.  But, you really get a good look into how and why the characters are the way they are.

The book is already written and I’m in the editing process.  I’m going to self-publish this book because I felt my publisher listed my book at too high of a price and I think as a new author, books should be cheaper so readers can get to know you.  I hope to have it out around Christmas.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I usually write early in the morning.  I like to get up at five and write while I am drinking hot tea.  I usually prefer orange tea.  When I’m writing, I make myself write ten pages a day to keep myself on schedule.  If I don’t, I tend to forget what I have already written and the story doesn’t mesh as well.  That being said, I’m giving myself a couple of months between projects.  I already have my next three books planned out.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

When I was writing A Shot in the Dark, I listened to a lot of music while I was writing.  You can tell because I have songs referenced in the book.  I find music puts me in a certain mood.  And If I want to connect with my characters and be in a certain mood, I will listen to a certain kind of music that will get me there.  That being said, I listen to all genres.  I love music!  But right now, I’m listening to a lot of Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake (I just went to their concert at the Rose Bowl!), Fun and Maroon 5

Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?

Oh yes!  The big 4-0! It’s coming at the beginning of February.  I think I’m embracing my age.  I still get carded so I guess I don’t look like I’m forty.  But, it has really made me think about where I’m at in life, what I’ve accomplished, and what I want to do.  I’m hoping to go on a trip somewhere to celebrate.  Maybe sip a fruity cocktail on some tropical island somewhere.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

We all do and say stupid things as kids.  I’m no different.  My best friend in high school was a boy.  We did everything together.  One day I was talking to one of my friends who asked me if I’d ever consider dating my best friend.  I said no way.  He was like a brother to me and there was no way I would want to ruin that.  Well, she had a friend with her who overheard the entire conversation and went and told a friend who told a friend who told my best friend.  Needless to say by that time, the story was pretty jumbled and he got an entire different version than what was really said.  He hasn’t talked to me since.  And to this day, it eats at me.  I should have made him listen to the truth. Someday, I hope to be able to work it out.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

My best friend and I are reading junkies.  We have our own book club amongst ourselves and then one with our other friends.  Anyway, I let my friend read the first draft because she will tell me how it is and not sugar coat it.  Then, I go back and fix the holes and give it to her mom who does basic editing for me.  A Shot in the Dark was my first experience with the entire process.  I did give the book to several people to read.  However, I wasn’t happy with their lack of opinion or criticism.  When I give this to you, I want to hear your opinion.  I want to make it good.  So let me have it.

With Into the Light, I have already shared it with my friend.  But, I will begin looking for new people to review it soon.  I hope to make better choices and find people who will really give me their opinion!

Romantic Thriller
Date Published: 7/11/2013

Most of the patients that are brought to the trauma bay in the ER remain nameless, and for the most part, faceless.  For Laney Pearson and the rest of the staff, this makes it easier to move past the senseless death and destruction that they see on an almost daily basis.  But all of that changes for Laney when she finds herself trying to pump the life back into a young motorcycle rider who arrives by helicopter more dead than alive.
Skyler Smith has all the makings of the next great motocross rider, right up until he crashes while trying to perform the trick that will secure his future.  From the time his motionless body is lifted off the track, the question becomes not when his next race takes place, but whether he will live to see another day.  And now there is mounting evidence that the tragedy was no accident
Laney can never envision this boy’s crash and the ensuing investigation will have such an impact on her own life, but in the days that follow, she discovers a life within her she never knew existed.  While the police sort through the mounting evidence from the crash, Laney has to sort through her own feelings for the handsome trauma surgeon that she previously never gave a second thought.  Is he really as charming as he seems, or is there another reality hiding beneath the surface?  And just how long has he been watching her?   


As he got to the base of the jump, he noticed his front wheel was wobbling. His first instinct was to panic. Instead, he took a deep breath and counted to five to calm himself. All he had to do was make this jump. He knew he could do it. There wasn't a chance he was going to miss it.
As he watched the wheel become persistently looser, doubt filled his mind. This is bad. Maybe I shouldn't do this jump. This could end terribly. Man, you have to do this jump. This is what you have been preparing for. As he went up the jump and started his flip, he saw his front tire fall off in midair. A brief moment of panic surged through his body. He continued on not knowing what else to do as he tried to turn his bike around and land on the back tire. But the surprise of his tire falling off made his timing off. Instead, he landed on the ground with his bike falling on top of him leaving him in complete darkness.
Jennifer Burrows
Jennifer is a Registered Nurse, and she holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration.  She has 15 years of experience working in the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit of a major trauma center.  While she is equally adept at all facets of patient care, Emergency room nursing is her passion, and is the inspiration for this story.  Currently, she resides in Southern California with her husband and their three amazing boys.  This is her first published novel, with the sequel expected soon.

Twitter: @jenburrows234 




Jen Burrows said...

Thank you Laurie for hosting me. I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in an interview.

MAA said...

I recently read this book and absolutely loved it. This medical/romantic-thriller is a real page turner. It leaves you wanting more! Not in the medical field? Not a problem! The author does an AMAZING job explaining things that you feel as though you are there first hand. The twists and turns this book takes leaves you wanting more... I am not much of a book reader and I am awaiting this sequel!!

Jen Burrows said...

Thank you MAA for your nice comments. I appreciate your feedback and I'm glad you liked the book.