Interview with Jeffrey Gunhus (Author of 'Jack Templar, Monster Hunter')

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
I wanted my favorite books to continue so I wrote the next chapter after they ended. I discovered it was even more fun than reading because the images were even stronger and the characters still surprised you by what they did.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Patience. There are always scenes or set pieces I know will anchor the piece, but that it only works if you build characters people care about. That takes care and time and it’s not easy to do.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
Keeping a reader hooked into the story once they start reading has always been a strength.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
I am working on Book 3 and doing minor tweaks to Book 2 of the Jack Templar series for the April release. I”m also working on a screenplay with a writing partner and a non-fiction book called Reaching Your Reluctant Reader.

Why did you choose to write this particular book?
My 11 year old son turned out to be a reluctant reader and I wrote Jack Templar in an attempt to get him excited about books. It worked and he’s now an avid reader.

Will you write others in this same genre? 
Yes, The Templar Chronicles is imagined as a 7-part series.

How important do you think villains are in a story? 
Villains are almost as important (maybe more so?) than the protagonist. It’s important than that are real and not cartoony. Someone once said good vs. evil is boring. Good vs. good is real drama. The villains need to have something about them that makes what they are doing (their badness) reasonable. Ren Lucre borders on cartoony in Book 1 with hints at a deeper story that gets elaborated on through the rest of the series.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? 
 I just read The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, a steampunk fantasy which is mind-blowing. Check it out.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? 
Reading Stephen King’s book On Writing is all you need. Read it front to back, then read it again. Then sit down at your computer and get to work.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? 
My kids don’t think I’m completely uncool. That’s worth the price of admission right there.

Connect with Jeffrey Gunhus:
Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him. 

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
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