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FIVE ON FRIDAY with Kim Harrison

One of our Five On Friday favorites, author Kim Harrison, returns this week to talk about her new Young Adult novel Once Dead, Twice Shy. Already a superstar in the world of urban fantasy, Kim has now turned her considerable talents toward the Young Adult world. What can readers expect when they pick up a copy of Once Dead, Twice Shy? Read on and find out.

You’ve had a phenomenally successful career writing for adult readers. Were there any challenges you found in writing for teenagers that are different than writing for adults?

Challenges, no, but I did make some changes in my writing style when I shifted from adult to YA. I took out the sex, of course, while keeping a few kisses because YA does not mean dead, even if the main character is. 😉 I toned down the language a tad, but again, I didn’t make my characters unrealistically angelic, even if one of my characters is one. Because the YA audience likes a lot of the same things that an adult audience does, I’ve hopefully kept just as much action and surprises, and tried to make the magic logical. I’ve worked hard to make Madison a real person, with real fears, and real friends to help her. She makes mistakes, and she thinks on her feet. Sound familiar? 😉

Did you read any young adult literature in preparation for writing Once Dead, Twice Shy and if so what books did you find influenced you the most?

I did read a few YA’s to help me find my voice, but because they were mostly romance or “true life” stories, I didn’t take much but some pacing and dialog with me when I sat down to write. It was about three years ago, actually, that I did my “research,” and there weren’t as many YA urban fantasy’s out then as there are now.

More and more YA fiction seems to be attracting adult readers. What would you say to one of your adult readers who might be reluctant to try a YA Novel?

I would suggest that they might find an author that has previously done adult fiction and try them first. YA does not necessarily mean unsophisticated, but be sure you know what you’re buying. Just like urban fantasy, YA urban fantasy can tend toward romance (like the Twilight books) and others are more thriller-like (Kelley Armstrong’s YA, Darkest Powers series).

Did writing a teenage character bring back any particular memories of being at that age? How did you find that experience?

No, I didn’t have any major flashbacks. To be honest, I don’t feel much different now than when I was a young adult, myself. Yes, I am older, and believe me, I feel it, but what matters to me now, mattered to me then: friends, finding my place, learning something new.

Will readers see Madison Avery again in future adventures?

Yes! Madison is a three-book series right now, and the second one is on my desk even as I write this, being tightened up and getting ready to go back to HarperTeen next week. If I had a title, I’d tell you, but we are still kicking a few around.

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