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Jen Conley Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Cannibals (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Trouble in the Heartland(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lockdown(2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jen Conley
Author Jen Conley was born and raised in New Jersey, growing up in Manchester Township, which is also known as Lakehurst, where the Hindenburg crashed. It is the northern end of the Pine Barrens, a big forested area that makes up a huge chunk of central and south Jersey.

She lives in Ocean County, closer to the beach. She has a pretty strong accent, drives like a madwoman, a pizza expert, and usually wears a lot of black. She enjoys classic rock, even if a lot of it is overplayed, and spending time with her son and fiance. She loves debating politics, television, movies, and music. Her pet peeves include people that drive the speed limit in the left lane, cave crickets, and her ex-governor.

Her favorite activity when she isn’t writing or reading is going to New York City with her son. He loves the city, doesn’t complain if they walk too much, and enjoys exploring new streets. She finds it is rather rare to find somebody that loves wandering around the streets like she does. She enjoys gardening, too, even if half her plants end up dead.

Jen cannot remember a time when she didn’t want to be a writer. She didn’t tell a whole lot of people because she didn’t want them to laugh at her. Jen was writing stories since she was a kid, only stopping during her twenties because she didn’t believe she had what it took to write. She didn’t believe she was smart enough, or clever enough, since she wasn’t ever a stand-out student. She didn’t get into honors classes, so self-doubt plagued her for a few years.

Her stories kept on coming and after she settled down, got a teaching job, had a son, and figured motherhood out, her desire to write came back like a bear. Although it took many years of self-training by reading a huge dose of literary fiction and taking part in a good NYC writing group that was run by Karen Heuler, she started gaining confidence. By the time she hit her late thirties, her stories were getting published.

Since she is a music fan, it has influenced atmosphere and tone for her. She also enjoys film and great television, anything that tells a fantastic story with style. Jen was obsessed with Mad Men for a bit, particularly with the DVDs where Matthew Weiner would explain the choices in different scenes, etc. She finds that every episode of Mad Men is a great short story and she listened to just about everything Matthew had to say.

But mainly, she read and read through the years and found that The New Yorker usually can be counted on for a good, high end tale that can help with technique.

Jen’s always been interested in Southern Gothic tales. She’s read all sorts of genres, not just crime fiction, but she’s very drawn to any story that takes place somewhere rural, whether it’s in the south or not. She likes stories where a lack of money is present. Lack of money puts the characters in tough situations and makes them have to make decisions between survival and morality, things that she finds incredibly compelling.

Jen never writes by the seat of her pants. She will loosely outline. She just waits until an idea grows in her mind and when she has the arc, particularly the beginning and conclusion, she scribbles it all down in the small black book she’s got. Jen needs the arc before she can begin writing. She used to just write by the seat of her pants but found that she either wasn’t finishing or if she did finish, it was no good because it was forced.

Her short fiction has appeared such places as: Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen, Crime Factory, Thuglit, and Needle, as well as many others. Jen is one of the editors of Shotgun Honey and has contributed to the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Jen’s debut novel, called “Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry”, was released in the year 2019. Her work is from the young adult and thriller genres.

“Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. Danny Zelko, who is thirteen going on fourteen, has to get rid of his mother’s boyfriend, named Harry. The guy’s a creep. He locks Danny out of the house, drinks far too much, and gets up in Danny’s face and calls him Danielle.

Of course everybody blames Danny. It is his fault he cannot control his own anger and gets in fights at school. It is even his fault Harry is such a jerk. Danny is not such a bad kid, as he makes his own dinner, has his own lawn business, even takes the garbage out, and closes up the house without even being asked.

All he wants is for his mother to be like she used to be, a real mom that acted like one. Because Harry makes her dumb. When she gets around him, she forgets all about her children. Vanishes with him, and does not stick up for her own son. The prospect of spending another day with this guy makes Danny feel broken and helpless.

So when Lisa, Danny’s sister, says that Harry and their mother plan to get married, Danny (who was never the one to cower) decides he’s going to do something. One way or another, he’s going to get rid of Harry. Set in New Jersey in the year 1983, the book is packed with a few fist fights, Danny’s foes and friends, heartbreak, fury, and a bit of humor too.

This is a heartfelt, dark, and tough to put down novel. Jen’s realistic and stark prose takes the readers back to a time and place when we were each thirteen going on fourteen, and creates the sort of young adult novel that feels incredibly unique and real with a healthy dose of noir thrown in. it tugs at your heartstrings while it makes you laugh out loud. Her prose zips along, the dialogue and story are stunningly authentic.

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