Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Newly minted PhD, professor, pop culture junkie, voracious reader, and author of the Raised By Wolves series, Every Other Day, Nobody, and More

Anonymous asked: Is there a specific place you go to get all of these details about the psychology behind The Naturals's character's thoughts? Did you learn it from taking classes in psychology or did you use the internet? This is confusing, sorry, what I'm trying to ask is, you, as the writer, would have to have deep insight on the things that the characters had specialized gifts in, in order to write the novel. so is there a website a reader like me could learn some things like that as well? thanks <3

A lot of the psychology in THE NATURALS is just stuff I’ve picked up over the past decade, since I spend most of my non-writing time doing psychology-related things.

(I am a psychology professor, so I have a whole slew of degrees in psychology/psychiatry/cognitive science… and my job consists of (1) teaching psychology classes and (2) doing psychology research).

So to a certain extent, THE NATURALS was a “write what you know” kind of thing, rather than something I decided to write and then researched.

But! There are some great books and things to read on the topic. You might find some good starting place in this entry I did on researching the book.

Frequently Asked Question: Naturals 2

And the most frequently asked question in my inbox right now is…

And the answer is…

Yes! There is a second book in the NATURALS series. It is due out in November. We have a title for book 2. I have seen a mock-up of the cover. And I am signing off on the official book description right now. I should be able to share those things with you guys in the coming months. I can’t wait!

Also: thank you to all of you who have written to tell me you read the first book! It always makes my day to hear from you, and I cannot WAIT for you guys to get a sneak peek at book two…

laughingsmilez asked: Are the statistics in The Naturals accurate? I just finished it and it was amazing!

Sloane’s statistics in THE NATURALS were derived in one of two ways. Some of them are actual, verified statistics (such as, for instance, the fact that red-haired individuals require more anesthesia and are more likely to wake up on the table). Others are guesstimates I calculated myself (such as Sloane’s commentary while watching television). These two methods of deriving statistics actually match the way Sloane’s brain works: she remembers all of the statistics she reads, but her brain also continually calculates statistics and probabilities based on her own experiences.


I’m not girly little Caroline anymore. I can handle myself.

A handy set of pictures for why I used to get mad when people said Caroline of the Vampire Diaries only became cool in season two. I love a character who can be dismissed because they seem to fall into a shallow stereotype, but who is all along designed to have depth if you look closer. Because lots of people project lots of different personas, but they all have more to them than that. And even the traits people have which do fit into a stereotype should never be condemned.

(The bottom left is my favourite because she is human in season 1, and highly physically vulnerable, and we see her DASH in between two big strong guys in the middle of a physical altercation and hover protectively, using her comparatively vulnerable body and her social power—smiling, pretended obliviousness, seeming deference in the middle of actual defiance—because it’s the shield she has, and she’ll use it for others as well as herself.)


Caroline has always been my favorite (see also my ode to Season 1 Caroline, SWEET CAROLINE, in A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls).

(Source: queensmaker)

You might be a writer if…

I was just at a restaurant, working away as I ate, as is my habit. After several passes by my table, the waiter stopped.

WAITER: Do you mind if I ask, Miss, what are the dots for?

ME: What dots?

WAITER: *gestures to keyboard*

Me: *looks at keyboard, perplexed*

WAITER: *gestures again*

ME: Oh. Those actually aren’t dots. Those are just the spots where the letters used to be. I’ve type so much I’ve worn them off.


Houston we have a signing


Okay, Texas Gallagher Girls and Blackthorne Boys,

I am going to Houston!

I am going to be at Blue Willow Books with Jennifer Lynn Barnes (author of THE NATURALS) at 1:00 on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14th!

One of my favorite bookstores with one of my favorite people.


Come see us!!


Indeed! My BFF and partner and crime ALLY CARTER and I will at Blue Willow Books this Saturday! If you live in Houston, come out and see us. And if you don’t live in Houston, but would like to order a signed copy of the Naturals (for yourself or as a PRESENT), you can do so online 

What will Ally and I be talking about? Maybe the fact that her Agent Townsend and Michael from THE NATURALS have the same last name… and might possibly be related. Or maybe we will talk about how when I am on deadline, I write in her closet (the DEADLINE CLOSET). Or maybe we will simply discuss how good Elijah from THE ORIGINALS looks in a suit.

We will definitely be answering questions about our books!

Hope to see some of you there!


Anonymous asked: The name Lorelai in "The Naturals" does it have any connection to the character Lorelai from a TV show "The Mentalist" or is it just a crazy coincidence?

Crazy coincidence! Cassie’s mom’s name was actually inspired by my love of Gilmore Girls (though my Lorelai, fake psychic and con artist and all that, does not have much in common with her namesake!).

In honor of the CATCHING FIRE movie coming out (EEP!), I give you this quote from my TEAM KATNISS essay.

In honor of the CATCHING FIRE movie coming out (EEP!), I give you this quote from my TEAM KATNISS essay.

(Source: smartpopbooks)

When I love things, I make graphs for them.

When I love things, I make graphs for them.

The Naturals is OUT!

Today is the release day for my twelfth book (and the first in a new series!), The Naturals. It is, essentially, a book about teenagers using psychology to fight crime. (My PhD is in psychology! Yay, psychology!)

More specifically, the characters in The Naturals are using their insight into the way the mind works to profile and catch serial killers.

What people are saying about The Naturals

"In an intense CSI-type thriller… Barnes shows every card at just the right moment, catching readers off-guard at the final reveal. It’s a stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book, and it doesn’t disappoint." - Publisher’s Weekly

"This savvy thriller grabs readers right away." - Kirkus

"In this high-adrenaline series opener… Even a psychic won’t anticipate all the twists and turns." - Booklist

The Naturals is Criminal Minds for the YA world, and I loved every page.” -New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter
What is a “natural”?

Each of the five teens in the book is a “Natural,” meaning that they have incredibly honed instincts in a specific area. Each of the teens’ abilities is the kind of thing than can and does exist. There’s nothing supernatural about them—these are abilities that we all have, to a certain extent. The ability to read other people’s emotions, based on their facial expressions and postures. The ability to tell when someone is lying to you, based on what they say and how they say it. The ability to understand other people’s personalities and motivations based on their behavior and what you know about their backgrounds. The ability to turn experiences into probabilities, to know whether something is likely or unlikely—and just how likely or unlikely it is.

Some people are better at each of these things than others—and in the case of the teen characters in this book, you’re dealing with people who are in the top .00000001% of the population. We’re not just talking one in a million—more like one in ten million.

The Naturals explores what happens when you take five teenagers who fit this classification and put them in a single house. A game of Truth or Dare looks very different when there’s a girl in the room who can spot lies (and is also a self-professed pathological liar herself). Trying to figure out how you feel—romantically and otherwise—about someone is that much harder when the aforementioned someone can take one look at you and tell the exact mix of emotions you’re feeling.

Amidst all of this, narrator Cassie and the other Naturals are being taught how to use their abilities to crack cold cases. For Cassie, that means learning to use her understanding of human behavior and motivation to profile the dark and twisted psychology of serial killers. A lot of what Cassie learns comes from the actual science of criminal profiling—so readers can pick up some profiling tips themselves as they read.

And, of course, since this is a thriller, the Naturals aren’t just dealing with cold cases. There’s a killer out there now. And ultimately, no one is safe.

You can read the first 50 pages HERE.