Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She’s currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.
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- Visit Kim Harrison’s website.
- Connect with Kim on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Kim at Goodreads.
About the Book:
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?
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Would you call yourself a born writer?
I would, though I started writing very late compared to a lot of people. I never intended to be a writer, almost falling into it by accident, actually avoiding everything but the most basic English classes in high school and college to pursue a career in the sciences. But I was an avid reader, and I think I picked up on the niceties of pacing, plot development, and character growth from the sf/fantasy masters of the mid 70s, early 80s. They have stood me in good stead, and I owe them a debt of gratitude.
What was your inspiration for The Drafter?
My story ideas generally evolve slowly over the course of years, making it hard to pinpoint the beginning of inspiration. Most of my series plots take two or three of these “I wonder if” concepts and mash them up together. I’m pulled to ideas that are experienced, be it joyful, such as finding an enduring love, or painful, such as in dealing with memory loss. The Drafter, incidentally, deals with both.
It’s no coincidence that the main character in The Drafter is dealing with similar issues as a person suffering from Alzheimer’s. I took Peri Reed’s coping techniques and a few of her gut reactions from the same. Her special skill destroys her memory, and though she occasionally regains it, she’s incredibly reliant upon those she trusts to keep her centered and herself. Her special ability make her very powerful, but it’s tempered by the vulnerabilities an Alzheimer’s patient deals with every day. I wrote The Drafter to say that those dealing with memory issues are still important, still worth considering, and still part of society.
Bu-u-u-ut, you can skip right over that and still enjoy it as an action thriller with a modified-human twist.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
The Drafter was the first in a series, so I spent more time than usual developing the world and possible plot lines. I’m going to guess I began digging at the core of the story almost a year before I started actually writing it, but that first rough draft took the usual four to five months to hammer out. Another few months to edit it for my satisfaction, and then a few more spent to rewrite it for my editor. Copywrite and page proofs took a few more weeks, giving about a year total? But I worked on other things during the same time.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
I’m a 9-5 writer, five days a week. I’ve recently been trying to get out of the office earlier so as to increase my activity level. It’s not going so well. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines . . .
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
It was incredibly difficult to divorce myself from the heartbreak of working with a protagonist who suffers repeated memory loss. I’ve delved into writing drug addicts, emotionally abused adults, and psychotic killers, but this one was the worst. The creative process demands you put yourself in another person’s skin, and the emotions I had to deal with had a tendency to linger longer than usual after I left my office. Alzheimer’s is an ugly, selfish disease, but I’m trying to find understanding with it through my main character, and there is a peace in living day to day with what is before you right now.
What do you love most about being an author?
I am creative every day in ways I never imagined. I can arrange my day as I see fit to take advantage of an odd bit of sun in the garden or an invite from my mother to go to lunch, or even take a day off to be with a sick child without worrying if I will have a job when I get back. I can invest my time and energy as heavily as I want without the fear of losing my time-investment due to downsizing. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people who know more than I do about this incredibly complex, markedly small world of publishing. I can touch the lives of people I would never otherwise, bring my thoughts to theirs, which is heady in itself, and a privilege that I have the greatest respect for. It’s a profession that goes all the way back to the fire at the mouth of the cave, and it centers and connects me. What more could you ask for?
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
I first found publication in 99, and back then, the only real option was traditional publishing. I don’t know if I’d ever make the jump to self-publishing, simply because I like being part of a larger team.
Where can we find you on the web?
I have quite a few outlets to remain in contact with my readers. Signing up for my blog is probably the most sure, but I’ll answer questions on FB as well. I’m more active on FB, but they don’t share much anymore and getting notices is chancy. My website is a great place for information on past and present projects.