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Criminal justice Ph.D. writes paranormal romance book series

Courtesy of Jennifer Webster

Courtesy of Jennifer Webster

Jennifer Webster (pictured) is assistant director of integrative studies and also has two published books, with a third in the works. She will host a workshop Jan. 29 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

Brook Clifford, Staff writer

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Jennifer Webster is a woman with two sides—one is an assistant director of integrative studies at Northern Kentucky University with a Ph.D. in criminal justice, while the other is a creative writer with two published books.

Webster studied criminal justice and psychology as an undergraduate at East Tennessee State University and achieved her masters and doctorate at the University of Cincinnati. She began working at NKU in 2003.

Webster began writing at age nine as a hobby. Her first book was published in 2009, titled “Through A Glass Darkly” and it was written in two months. The next book in the series was published in 2011 and is titled “Ashes for Beauty.” She is currently in the manuscript process for her third book which will be an addition to the series. The books are on the subject of paranormal romance and have been referred to as the “Twilight for grown-ups.”

“One day I just decided I was going to write my own stuff,” Webster said. “For the first novel, the idea just popped into my head and it came so much easier than things I’d written in the past. It was like the main character was telling me her own story.”

In April 2010, Webster was invited to be the keynote speaker at Minds Wide Open: A Celebration of Women in the Arts in Richlands, Va., her hometown. In 2009, her publishing company, Black Rose Writing, named her Author of the Year based on sales and promotions they had done for her first novel.

Webster sent her first novel out to three different publishing companies through a website called writersmarket.com. She had taken a class at NKU a few years before that taught how to market yourself, send query letters, etc. Black Rose Writing was the first one out of those three who contacted her and she then signed a contract with them.

“I have a great relationship with them,” Webster said. “They don’t have tons of money to do marketing but they’re very personable. There is a real sense of ‘we’re in this together’ and you know that they’re there for you.”

Webster was featured in her alma mater’s (ETSU) alumni magazine in 2009. She also regularly conducts creative writing workshops for elementary school kids in Virginia and in Boone County, Ky.

On Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in Joseph-Beth Booksellers (in Crestview Hills, Ky.), Webster will be hosting a creativity workshop with information, interactive problem solving exercises and creativity exercises to help people relax and cultivate creativity.

Her two published books are available online through Amazon and are accessible through the Kindle and the Nook. They will also soon be available at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Crestview Hills, Ky. The books as hard copy range from $18-19, but if purchased electronically they are much cheaper.

“Even now, four years out, I still have people contacting me saying they’ve read the first book,” Webster said. “I definitely think it’s word of mouth and the availability of the books.”

Webster strongly believes that if someone has enough passion and the will to do something, they can. She encourages anyone who has a dream, to follow it and she mentioned that dreamers are definitely welcome at NKU.

“When I was younger I had a narrow mindset,” Webster said. “I thought you got educated, then a job and that’s how things went. It didn’t occur to me that talents, hobbies or passions could be something you make a life at. You don’t have to be limited to a particular career or profession. I do enjoy what I do, but I also love to write creatively.”

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Criminal justice Ph.D. writes paranormal romance book series