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Interview with Jeff Gunhus, author of ‘Night Terror’



Jeff GunhusJeff 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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About the Book:

Night Terror 2Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.

The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.

For More Information

  • Night Terror is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Jeff. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I am a multi-published hybrid with self-published and traditionally published titles. That makes me sound like some kind of mutant from the X-Men, but that’s the state of publishing today.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My first book was a non-fiction motivational career guide for college students called No Parachute Required, published by Hyperion. Based on that experience, I chose to self-publish my first novel, Jack Templar Monster Hunter. This middle grade fantasy was written in an attempt to get my reluctant reader 11-year-old excited about reading. It was too personal of a project to give up creative control. It’s been very successful and I’ve been happy with my decision. I’ve recently sold one of my self-published books, Killer Within, to Thomas & Mercer. I’m interested to see how this partnership goes. So far, working with the T&M team has been amazing.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Thomas & Mercer purchased Killer Within in August and they are re-releasing the book in its new form in February 2015.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was amazing. With No Parachute Required I took my wife to a nice dinner. With Killer Within, I took my wife and our five kids to a nice dinner. That give you a sense of how much time has passed between those two events!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

For No Parachute Required, I did a radio interview. I was totally under-prepared and the radio host had obviously not read the book, so it got off to a slow start. Once I relaxed I remember I was the expert on the subject so I got into my groove. Now I always prepare before interviews.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

My dissatisfaction with my own writing has increased over time. I stand in awe of the masters of my genre and I read them often to keep my ego in check. My work gets compared to Stephen King a lot in reviews, so I start to believe I write like Stephen King. Then I reread The Stand or The Shining and all those thoughts get wiped away…but page two or three! It’s humbling but it also keeps me hungry and pushes to me to attend workshops, read more, ask for critiques and just generally try harder. I think it’s a positive thing.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The rise of the self-published author has been a disruptive force in what many view as a stodgy industry of insiders. I’ve been surprised how very established authors (not all) have risen up against the new models, sometimes with a lot of vehemence and invective. The Amazon-Hachette dispute is an example of this with the James Pattersons of the world on one side and the Hugh Howeys on the other. It will be interesting how it all sorts out.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Connecting with readers. I love getting emails from readers who have enjoyed the books…or even if they haven’t. The idea that someone chose to spend hours with a story I wrote is humbling to me.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Read Stephen King’s book, On Writing, once every six months. Pay attention to when he says that to be a writer you must write a lot and read a lot. Do both of these activities every day and call yourself out for the liar you are when you claim not to have the time. Either do it or don’t. Simple as that.

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