In her fourth vampire book titled, “Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors,” it’s apparent that Paducah alumna Molly Harper has a sense of humor in her writing.
The 33-year- old Harper started her career as a full-time journalist at the Paducah Sun after graduating from WKU in 2000.
“I really enjoyed the work, because I never knew what would happen in my day,” Harper said.
Harper recounted a time when a pet bear had escaped its owner.
“For two weeks, we were on bear watch,” she said.
According to her friend and former Paducah Sun coworker, Leigh Wright, Harper always wrote the “funniest stuff, especially in her column.”
“She had this way of making fun of herself, turning bad things into really funny things,” Wright said.
Wright, now a lecturer at Murray State, said every day at lunch she would see Harper reading a romance novel of some sort.
“When I asked her why, Molly said she wanted to write a romance novel,” Wright said.
Wright said writing professionally is a struggle, “but Molly made it look effortless.”
Wright was not surprised by Harper’s success, because “she was also so driven and motivated.”
Harper left the paper to work full time as a church secretary after her daughter, Darcy, was born in 2004.
“My husband, David, worked weird hours,” she said. “It was a dependable schedule.”
As they were building a house, Harper and her family were living in the “apartment of lost souls, where small appliances went to die.”
“I knew it was temporary, but everything was wrong, and it was a ‘go crazy’ situation, so I wrote,” Harper said.
After working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the church and tending to her family’s needs during the evening, she would write from 9 p.m. to midnight and sometimes well after that.
“I wrote the most embarrassing way to die and be transformed into a vampire,” Harper said.
Once she finished her manuscript, she began the process of finding a literary agent. After 70 rejects, she found her ‘yes’ in Stephaney Evans of FinePrint Literary Management.
Harper said Evans understood her weird personality and was able to sell her book within a month, which she said is not typical in the literary business.
Harper has just released the forth book in her Nice Girl series that features Jane Jameson. The book is published by Pocket Imprints, a division of Simon and Schuster.
Abby Zidle, senior editor at Gallery and Pocket Imprints, is Harper’s editor. The two have worked together on Harper’s latest books.
Zidle, of Queens, N.Y., said Harper had a common experience of starting with one editor and then having to switch to a new one.
“She made it easy on me,” Zidle said of the experience. “She has this ability to blend humor and romance.”
Zidle credits Harper’s journalism background as a strong attribute of her writing, saying she always meets deadline.
Harper has nine books published, including a vampire series, a werewolf series and a stand-alone called “And One Last Thing.”
Zidle encourages everyone to pick up one of Harper’s books, saying, “she’s a great read.”