Interview with novelist Jennifer Ott

Novelist Jennifer Ott joins me today to chat
about her new historical paranormal book, Desperate
Ott graduated from Albright College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Fine Arts.
She also studied at the Syracuse London Center, filmmaking at NYU and
screenwriting through Gotham Writer’s Workshops in New York and at Austin Film
Festival. Full length novel, Saying
was honorable mention of Best Beach Book awards for romance in
2014, and novella Edge of Civilization
received critical praise from the Vietnam Veterans Association. She has written
numerous books of several different genres from satire, historical fiction,
thrillers and literary fiction.
the real world, away from her writing, she works as a product developer in the
garment industry, which has offered her the opportunity to travel around the
world. When not writing or working, she enjoys yoga, meditating and relaxing on
the beach.
Welcome, Jennifer. Please tell us about your current
The story is about a woman
vampire who lived 600 years in Eastern Europe. During the mid-1800’s she meets
and falls in love with a naturalist scientist who takes an interest in
researching her vampire condition, and discovers an antidote to help cure the
cravings for blood. During her romance with the doctor and while trying to hide
her affair from her Prussian officer husband, she divulges her past to her
lover as a vampire through the centuries and all the horrors of mankind she has
What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing the book
nearly twenty years ago. I can’t remember what sparked the actual story, but I
was inspired by the song “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan, and there was a
handsome German painter I used for my muse.
Excerpt from Desperate
Standing in the
doorway, she glanced over his appearance
disheveled, his hair uncombed and his spectacles
fixed firmly on his nose. There was something about him that attracted her like no other man. Perhaps it was his
carelessness in appearance. He made no attempt to conform to society norms. Instead he lived by his own measure.
When desire flooded her body, she flared her fangs at him.
He looked at her
and asked with a chuckle. “Have you come to kill me?”
Katerina shook her
head slightly. “No. May I come in?”
Siegfried backed
out of the doorway and gave her a wide entryway into his office. “What can I do
for you, Countess?”
“Katerina,” she
corrected as she entered.
When he helped to
remove her cloak, he noticed she was only wearing her chemise and robe, hardly
dressed to be outside at this hour and presenting herself to another man. “Countess…Katerina,
I am not sure this is appropriate.”
She walked away
giving distance between them. “Nocturnal
like me, I see.”
“What are you
doing here?”
“You are not happy
to see me. I almost anticipated you would have company, unless you are
expecting someone.”
“No. No. I just
did not expect you or anyone tonight,” he replied and found a seat across the
room from her.
She tapped her
fingers on the arm of the chair. “It gets very lonely, you know.”
“I can understand.”
“I know you do.
That is why I came.” She looked past him to the books sprawled across his desk.
“So you are here
to tell me you are a vampire?” he asked.
“You do not
believe?” she questioned.
creatures of the night, no. Pathological killers, yes,” he said.
She shot him a
glance. “Is that what you think of me?”
“I am not sure.
Why do you not enlighten me?” He rose from his seat, poured
himself a
glass of wine and offered her one. “You killed the Mueller boy,” he said,
assuming her guilt.
He took a sip of
wine and responded. “The farm boy. Why
“I found my husband
fornicating with my loyal servant.” She drank some wine and looked to him for
the compassion she had been sorely lacking for her many years. “I want you to
know, I am not a monster, not more than some.” She crossed her legs and sat
awkwardly in her chair, meek for the demeanor of a vampire countess. “It is
ironic how many can accept the brutality of men and their wars, yet I am
considered a monster.”
Siegfried reclined
against the back of his seat and sipped his drink now more comfortable in
Katerina’s presence. “I happen to agree with you there,” he gave her a soft smile. “I do not think you are a
monster, just a woman who found herself with a rather unusual condition.”
“It is rather
unusual. I am rather unusual in a world of normal people,” she said.
Her comment
brought out a chuckle in Siegfried. “What is normal? I would hardly consider myself normal.” He retrieved his
journal. “Do you mind?”
“What?” she asked
“I want to
document your condition. I find it helps me understand fully. When I reflect on
a subject, I have something to refer back
to.” He laughed at himself. “When I can read my own handwriting.”
Katerina hesitated
fearful her identity would be exposed. “I do not know if that is a good idea.”
“Do not worry, Countess…Katerina,
I use initials for my patients. No one has to know it is you. I just want to be
able to understand you better.”
“Alright,” she
replied quietly.
“Tell me about
your condition.”
“I need blood to
exist and to thrive.”
“What happens when
you do not get enough?”
“I feel weak and
empty…lifeless.” She paused. “It is not what you think. I do not kill for
pleasure or power. I kill because it lessens a pain inside me. If I could find
any other way, I would.”
“Tell me when…how
did it happen?”
“Six hundred years
can create havoc in one’s memory.” She
smiled, her eyes drifting off to a distant time and place. “His name was Petru,
an aspiring poet.” She sat back in her seat. “Ironic how men use either words
or swords to woo a woman. Both are
equally dangerous.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am also currently
promoting the favorite book I have written, “Survivor of the Clan,” which is a
story about a Scottish doll maker who witnesses the murder of her husband and
abduction of her daughter. Taking matters into her own hands to reunite with
her daughter, she finds herself the focus of a battle between two genetic
scientist cloning master races. Personally, I have a fascination with cloning,
DNA and genetic memory.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I believe I always was a
writer. I always felt it, but I believe it was when I wrote my first novel when
I was twenty-four. It was terrible and was never published. I didn’t give up.
When I moved to New York City, I studied screenwriting for several years. The
biggest benefit to learning screenwriting for a novelist is to understand story
structure and character development, which I believe are my strengths as a
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
No. Unfortunately. I work
in the garment industry developing workout tights. LOL. I spend an hour at a
coffee shop writing before work, my lunch hour and of course weekends. I wish I
could write full time.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am a day dreamer and
often my head is way up in the clouds. I tend to be somewhat of an airhead,
which seems to entertain my friends.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Archaeologist. I wanted to
be a female version of Indiana Jones. I guess that would be Lara Croft Tomb
Raider. LOL. I loved digging in the dirt looking for treasures. I also love
ancient history.
Anything additional you want to share with the
Desperate Moon is a different take on vampire books. Years ago, I wrote it as a
screenplay and submitted it to a contest. Part of the contest was a
personalized critique. I had a guy rage against me for forty-five minutes
because “I broke the vampire rules”. I was shocked. I didn’t realize there were
rules for vampire books. What I attempted to do is humanize a vampire, in a
sense make mankind the monster. Something to think about.
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Thanks for being here today, Jennifer!

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