Curbing curiosities with Jenna Black author of Night Magic (and a giveaway)


night magic

Night Magic (Nightstruck #2)

By: Jenna Black

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017


Jenna Black returns to the quarantined city of Philadelphia, where an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old has unknowingly unleashed a dark power that transforms the city into a monstrous hellscape in Night Magic.

Philadelphia is locked in the grip of an evil magic that transforms its streets into a nightmare landscape the minute the sun sets each night. While most of the city hunkers down and hopes to survive the long winter nights, Becket Walker is roaming the darkened streets having the time of her life.

Once, the guilt of having inadvertently let the night magic into the city―and of having killed her onetime best friend―had threatened to destroy her. But now she’s been Nightstruck, and all her grief and guilt and terror have been swept away―along with her conscience. So what if she’s lost her friends, her family, and her home? And so what if her hot new boyfriend is super-controlling and downright malevolent?

Mesmerized by the power and freedom of not having to care about anyone but herself, Becket is sinking ever deeper into the night magic’s grasp. But those who love her refuse to give up on her―even if she’s given up on them. If they can’t find a way to help Becket break the night magic’s hold, the entire city might soon find itself shrouded in perpetual night. But the last thing Becket wants is to be “rescued” from her brand new life, and she will fight tooth and claw to stay exactly where she is.

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1) Can you give us a short recap of NIGHTSTRUCK?


Becket accidentally opens a door to another world, allowing the magic of the night into modern day Philadelphia. At night, the city physically changes, inanimate objects turning into terrifying and malicious creatures. Some people are drawn to the night, losing their consciences and preying on others—these people are called the Nighstruck. Becket’s best friend, Piper, becomes Nightstruck, and the efforts she makes to draw Becket to the dark side have disastrous effects.


2) How do you write horror? What did you add to frighten the reader, how did you set up a scene to make it extra scary, and how do you structure the book’s atmosphere to make sure it was especially thrilling? What did you incorporate that frightened you?


Mostly, I just think about what frightens me. One of the first horror novels I ever read that really made an impression on me was WATCHERS, by Dean Koontz. I vividly remembered how scary the monster was when no one had yet set eyes on it—and how I personally felt less frightened by it when it was no longer hidden. Those feelings directly inspired one of the scenes in NIGHSTRUCK, where an unseen creature is trying to get into the house Becket and Piper are in during a blackout. I scared myself writing that scene!
3) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?


Piper was my favorite character to write, but then I always seem to enjoy the characters who wear the gray hats best. I love the complexity of writing about characters who are neither wholly good nor wholly bad. The one who probably gave me the most trouble was Luke, Becket’s sort-of boyfriend. (And Piper’s ex-boyfriend.) He was tough to write because I wanted him to be a true good guy without him becoming uninteresting or unrealistic. Becket is not an easy person to deal with—especially not after she becomes Nighstruck—so I had to let him get frustrated with her sometimes. Without making him a jerk.


4) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)? Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?


I’m most proud of a scene that did not originally appear in the first draft. Becket spends the first third or so of the book Nighstruck, completely cut off from her conscience. It was a tricky balance to write her without a conscience and have her not become totally unlikeable, and I hesitated to have her do anything really bad. My editor pointed out that I was being a bit wimpy about it, and I went in and added a scene where Becket confronts one of the bullies who tormented her in middles school. He is loosely based on a bully who tormented me in middle school, which made the scene hard to write—and perhaps just a little disturbingly satisfying.


5) If you could ask a character of your choice from NIGHT MAGIC one question what would it be?

I guess I would ask Luke why he put up with Piper for as long as he did. It’s something I would certainly have explored if I’d written any scenes in Luke’s point of view, but the subject never quite came up.
6) What are the top five things we should know as a reader before starting NIGHT MAGIC? (about the main character, their love interest, the antagonist, their world/home town, their situation, etc)

  1. The city of Philadelphia physically changes at night so that its regular features (things like street lamps and manholes and grates) become dangerous, malevolent creatures.
  2. The changes only happen outside, so those who are inside a building when the Transition happens are safe(ish).
  3. Some people are naturally drawn to the night, and if they are outside when Transition time hits, they become Nighstruck and lose any sense of conscience.
  4. Through no fault of her own, Becket is responsible for the magic having entered the city, and she is tied to it more closely than she knows.
  5. Becket is a hyper-responsible teenager who begins NIGHT MAGIC as a newly minted Nightstruck.

about the author

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she’s an “experience junkie.” She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

Concluding that this discovery was her life’s work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. Among her other experiences . . .

Ballroom dancing.
Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
Singing in a barbershop chorus.

Read the true story of Jenna’s first trip out of the country by herself at the age of 16: Jenna’s Zaire Adventure. And remember, insanity is a good thing for a writer.

She’s also a proud member of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and would love for her readers to support her fellow authors!

Find the author:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter


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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author info, image, giveaway, and more were provided by Jean Book Nerd Tours.

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