This Week at The Bookworm: Award-winning local author Jennifer Alsever
During these hot summer months, most people reach for a fluffy beach romance, a science-fiction adventure, or a page-turning thriller to whisk them away on a bookish vacation. Luckily local author, Jennifer Alsever, has written a unique, unputdownable thriller with supernatural suspense, which pairs well with that ice-cold drink and summer sun.
Celebrate the newest release from award-winning local author, Jennifer Alsever, “Burying Eva Flores,” at The Bookworm on Thursday, July 7. Perfect for adult and teen thriller fans alike, “Burying Eva Flores” unwinds the mystery of two very different rivals with text messages, documentary interviews and more. Alsever will discuss and read from her book, and follow with a Q&A session and book signing.
Alsever’s stories are inspired by the books she’s read, the people in her life, and the larger world around her. “Of course, my imagination takes flight in all of my books, but so much of what I take in around me definitely influences my writing. Characters are born from conversations with people on airplanes or at cocktail parties; scenes and scenery are taken from my own experiences,” Alsever says. “For example, the rock walls in Lime Park inspired the walls for ‘Ember Burning.’ And a trip down the river a couple years ago inspired a river scene in ‘Burying Eva Flores.’ I think approaching the world with curiosity has really aided in my work.”
Her experience with journalism also influences her stories and research. “My journalistic skills come in handy when researching topics or interviewing people about things I don’t understand,” Alsever says. “The experiments in ‘Extraordinary Lies’ were taken from deep research about the 1971 psychic experiments done at Stanford Research Institute. And I interviewed my friend’s daughter about how exactly she fixed up an old car.”
This is Alsever’s first of her five books that truly dives deep into the mind of teens, so she had to do some alternative research. “I paid attention to how my 16-year-old son, Brendan, and my oldest son, Jacob texted and snapped their friends,” Alsever recalls. “After I wrote the dialogue and messages, I went back to a large group of teens and asked each of them if they thought it was authentic. If I were to say the slang out loud as an adult, my sons would definitely cringe, but the book is officially teen approved!”
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Not only did Alsever focus on the dialogue in the book, she worked tirelessly on the format as well. “I tried to write the book in conventional chapter-by-chapter prose but it wasn’t flowing. So, I stopped to read many other books,” Alsever says. “I was inspired by ‘Daisy Jones and the Six,’ which is told through documentary interviews. I read ‘Good Girls Guide to Murder,’ and that had some unique storytelling devices as well. Once I realized there wasn’t one specific way to tell a story, I began to play and the story began to tell itself.”
“Burying Eva Flores” is a young adult novel, that suspense and mystery readers of all ages will stay up late at night to finish. It will also leave you thinking about the effects of social media on our relationship with the world around us. “My hope is that people are entertained by ‘Burying Eva Flores’ and that they really stop and think about the stories we tell the world and how we view each other,” Alsever states. “Social media has really changed how we present ourselves to the world, and it’s not always true. Do we judge each other without truly knowing another person’s truth and their real story? Are we as compassionate as we should be? Hoping for some fun, some surprises, and perhaps some reflection.”