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FIVE ON FRIDAY with Kim Harrison

Since her debut with Dead Witch Walking, author Kim Harrison has delighted readers the world over with her tales of the Hallows and her witch bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. This week her new book in the series, White Witch, Black Curse goes on sale. We’re happy to have her as this week’s guest for FIVE ON FRIDAY.

(A note to parents, teachers and librarians: while I write children’s books some of my guests on FIVE ON FRIDAY do not. Some of the authors featured here write both. The purpose of FIVE ON FRIDAY is to give all visitors an insight into the mind of writers and the writing process. So please make your own judgment regarding the age appropriateness of the books discussed here for your children, students or patrons. And as always thanks for visiting FIVE ON FRIDAY.)

When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer?

I can just about pinpoint the day. I didn’t go to school to work in a writing field at all, but I’d always enjoyed reading and making up stories in my head. It was as simple as one day becoming bored, picking up a pencil and a theme book, and starting to write. I wrote for about an hour the first day, then a little more the next, and it just grew. By the month’s end, I was hooked, and with a lot of encouragement from friends and relatives, I just kept at it. By the way, my grammar, punctuation, and spelling were really, really bad. I had a steep learning curve until my skill came anywhere near my drive, but I enjoyed it so much, that I just kept at it.

What book or writer do you feel influenced you the most?

There really isn’t one writer that I can point to and say “That one,” but the popular science fiction writers in the 70s and 80s were what I read when I was growing up, and I know that they influence me greatly. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury is my favorite book. It was here that I first realized that the monsters inside of us, both good and bad, are so much more interesting than the ones we make up.

What book or books are you currently reading or have recently read that you’d recommend to others?

I’m reading a lot of urban fantasy right now. Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodiac series is a favorite, and Jocelynn Drake’s Dark Days series is also top-notch. Rachel Vincent has a good WereCat series, and for something really biblical and thought provoking, Faith Hunter has a Mage series that I enjoy.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers (or illustrators), what would it be?

In a nutshell, it would be if you want to write for a living, write like you already have the contract. By that, I mean, intently, and with purpose. Sit down and write even when you don’t feel like it, because if you want it for a job, treat it like one, and do it even when you’re not in the mood. Chances are that after ten minutes, you will be.

Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?

Work wise, I’ve just finished the really ugly rough draft of book nine in the Hollows, and I’ll be setting that aside to do my editorial rewrite of book eight soon. As far as what’s coming out? I have three releases this year, starting with White Witch, Black Curse on February 24th. Following that, May 26th is the release of my first full-length young adult novel, Once Dead, Twice Shy. I’m really excited about this one. It’s a complete break from the adult series with a new universe and magic system where I’ve turned away from vampires and witches, and focused on fallen angels and grim reapers. I can’t wait to see how it’s received. Following that in September is an anthology of urban fantasy, Unbound, featuring myself, Vicki Pettersson, Jocelynn Drake, Jeaniene Frost, and Melissa Marr.

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