I wrote my first novel, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, as a way to encourage my reluctant reader son to read. It worked. He’s now an avid reader and Jack Templar Book 4 comes out in October. After the first book hit the Amazon bestseller lists, I was encouraged to revisit my love of horror and thriller novels. Night Chill was my first adult novel, pulling on an experience I had crawling through the limestone caves in Western Maryland and my love of supernatural/horror novels by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. The response was fantastic and a year later I decided to write the sequel, Night Terror.
Book #2 picks up the story ten years after the events in Night Chill. The main character, Sarah Tremont, has powers that attract people who are hunting her down to take her power for herself. The first book tracks the relationship between a father and his five-year-old daughter and the lengths to which he will go to protect her and his family. As a father of five, I pulled on my own ideas of what my responsibilities as a father and my own deep fears of anyone trying to hurt my kids. In book 2, the daughter is now a teenager, so I explored how a father/child relationship evolves because my own kids are on the edge of the teenage years. So, basically, I use my fiction to work through my own parenting issues!
Ultimately, I think great stories come from some truth in the author/creator of the story. The old adage of “write what you know” can be about setting, but more importantly it’s about trying to use emotional truth when developing characters and pulling that from your own life experience. Even in something like a supernatural thriller or a book with serial killers, readers respond to the emotional truth and credibility of the characters. I hope this shows in my work.
Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
His latest book is the thriller/horror novel, Night Terror.
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