The Chronicles of the supernatural by JM Hart is a brilliant series about a battle between good and evil. The series begins with The Emerald Tablet, followed by Realm of Lost Souls, and most recently, The Devil’s Harvest, with another installment set for next year. I dove in to The Emerald Tablet after receiving a review copy from Voracious Readers Only at first I was unsure of what to make of it. I rarely read books set in a modern time or actual world, but figured, hey why the heck not? What do I lose? I enjoy a pleasant read. I stepped in to it expecting some kind of cliche supernatural fantasy. What I got was an epic story of good vs evil spanning a decade! The story has a bit of everything, adventure, fantasy, horror, but most of all, the characters are fantastic.
The characters are entertaining, believable and relatable. The author does an amazing job of bouncing between characters and slowly building up to the meeting, and once that happens, the characters work well off of one another. The fate of the world is resting on the shoulders of young people with extraordinary gifts. Sure, it sounds like every cheesy superhero movie you’ve seen, but it’s so much better!
The story progresses in Realm of Lost Souls, this one follows Jade and Kevin on a search for her father who had gone missing after the events of the first book. The Squeal to The Emerald Tablet, Realm of Lost Souls by JM Hart, is a lovely follow up to the first of the series. It follows Jade, the nerdy and seemingly out-of-place character who is introduced in the first novel. It was nice to see the character fleshed out more as she begins to come to terms with her native heritage and what her skills are. Sure, her intelligent insights help her friends out plenty, but there is so much more to Jade than she knows.
The Devil’s Harvest is another amazing installment by JM Hart. This book follows Shaun and Rachel on their quest to find her family who she left in Israel after the events of the first book. It takes place at the same time as Realm of Lost Souls. Hart further creates an amazing world for their adventure and the character development for Shaun in particular is brilliant and worth the read alone if you wish to see how far the troubled boy from The Emerald Tablet has come. Plus, learning more about Rachel is definitely great! Though this one has some pretty dark implications and I had trouble reading it before bed. That does not mean it is a bad read though, this fantastic novel has an almost Lovecraftian feel with its villain of biblical proportion.
Now in case I have not made it blatantly obvious. I. Love. This. Series. It’s my new favorite. I love it so much I wanted to reach out to the author herself. Now, this was a bit nerve-wracking because let’s be honest, a person is always nervous when they reach out to someone whose work they admire. Even though it says in the book’s back matter to reach out if you feel the desire, it’s hard to get over that bump. But I reached out to JM Hart hoping she would answer a few questions and was more than pleased to hear back from her!
I asked her the questions by email and was pleased she responded with wonderful answers that I am sure you will all enjoy as much as I did! Let’s just say, she sounds like one badass grandma.
What drew you to writing?
I’ve always enjoyed storytelling. My mom was my biggest influence. Every week she took me on a bus into town to borrow books from the library. Once a month on a Sunday we would get comics from the newsstand. When we didn’t have a book, we would curl up in bed and make up stories. In school I wrote Macabre stories which the teachers frowned upon. It didn’t stop me. I did the same with my children while my mom and I shared every book under the sun. My mom started to go blind. We didn’t have kindle or Audible; we had cassette tapes she would sometimes listen to, but she loved to read. So I started writing stories just for her with extra large print. She’s gone now, but with each story I write I can feel her on the edge of this world reading over my shoulder.
How do you come up with your stories?
I love learning about strange and unusual things, about ancient history, mythology, spiritualism, occultism and the unknown. I’m curious and often think, what if? I have a list of ideas I would like to turn into stories. Ideas come to me while reading the bible or hearing snippets of the news, or even from within my dreams. When I’m ready to write a new book, I’ll sit in front of the computer poised ready to write, and I wait for inspiration. I’m always surprised at what comes.
Do you have a favorite character in your Chronicles of the Supernatural series?
Wow, that’s a tough question. They’ll are special to me, with their own unique gifts and personalities. It’s really hard to say, It’s like asking me which is my favorite child. If I had to pick one character, I might say Shaun, because of how much he has changed. He also has some exciting connections happening with the power of the sacred stones, which I’m looking forward too. But I love Casey’s telekinesis abilities. I’d love to move things with my mind and levitate like he does. When I was a kid, I would try to open and close doors with my mind — I never succeeded. Exciting things are unfolding for all the characters as the series progresses. It was emotionally tough writing book four, and I couldn’t write it at night—it was too scary for me. Lol.
I noticed in the ‘Also By JM Hart’ section of your latest book that you have a fourth in the making. How do you produce these so quickly? Do you have a backlog or just love to write?
I wish I had a backlog, but no, I don’t. Writing is something I’ve always done and enjoyed. I started writing book four while book three was with the editor. Book four, Separated by Evil featuring Casey and Sophia, needs months of work and copy editing until the ARC is ready for the advance reader’s team. Comfortably, I can write two books a year because I still work part time, I’m constantly interrupted by my cat Benny, and I have two gorgeous grandchildren to love. And I won’t mention the Harley Davidson Sportster I get to ride around the highlands on weekends. 🙂
Do you ever get writer’s block? And if so, how do you deal with it?
If I have writers block, it means the seed planted in my subconscious isn’t ready to rise into my consciousness. The story is not ready to unfold and I need to be patient. I know some wonderful authors that can produce a book every couple of months—as much as I’d like too, it’s just not me right now.
How did you decide to use JM Hart instead of your full name? I am just always curious how authors decide what they want to be known by.
JM stands for my first and middle name. Both are long and would take up too much room on the front cover. And Jeanette often gets miss spelled, so I thought it would be easier to use my initials.