A Bookish Conversation with Kim Harrison, author of ‘The Drafter’

Kim HarrisonKim 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.

For More Information

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 The Draftermakes 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?

For More Information

What made you decide to become a published author?

I almost hate to say this, but I became a writer almost by accident. I started writing later than a lot of authors, probably my mid-twenties, 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.

I first put pen to paper at the birth of my second child. I had decided to stay at home, starting a licensed family day care to be able to afford it. At that time, writing was the escape, not the job, so when the kids went home, I wrote to unwind. One hour became two, which became four, which became my weekends until I was able to quit and write full-time. It took about five years, but toward the last two, I treated writing as a part-time job, devoting four hours a day, every day, when I got home from my paying job.

Would you consider your latest book, The Drafter, to be a one of a kind?  How so?

Absolutely I would. Every book is one of a kind, even when they explore the same themes and follow the same directions as others out there. It’s the characters, not the plot or theme that make a book unique, and so as long as you’re not writing fan fiction, your work stands alone.

But from a more nuts-and-bolts view, I’ve never heard of anyone mixing rewriting time with memory loss framed by a strong nod to espionage. There’s a unrequited love in there too, which keeps me happy even as I’m blowing up buildings and righting the wrongs.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

My writing space has evolved as my career has, and what started as a small pressboard desk against a wall in my kitchen has grown over the last two decades into a stunning space in my small, city backyard. There are windows on all sides to let in the light and keep me connected to the passage of time. I can look up from the keyboard to my office garden complete with a koi pond and bird feeders. It’s always as warm or as cool as I want, as quiet or noisy as I want, and no one comes in looking for a cookie, or a Band-aid, or even a pair of socks. When it snows, it’s like heaven, and when it rains it’s even better with the damp air flowing over my desk. There is a couch for napping, that I never use, and a chair for my husband who spends the first half hour of our day together with me and coffee. I figured that if I was going to sit somewhere for 6-8 hours a day, I should be comfortable.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book.  What’s the first ingredient?


Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?

Yes, my family and I are learning how to graciously accept one of life’s ugliest bitch-slaps called Alzheimer’s, and where Peri Reed does not have this disease, many of her coping techniques and fears come from here.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m a really good knitter, going off pattern all the time to make my own creations. One of my greatest joys this year was to share the pattern I made to create Anna McCaffrey’s fire lizard. (I’ve included a picture if you want to use it.)

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Drafter, called The Operator, which is scheduled for a November 22, 2016 release. I’m also working on the rough draft for a fourteenth volume in the urban fantasy Hollows series which will probably come out in 2017. I’m also beginning to collect the ideas and elements I want to work with on a third, utterly new series that will have a more horror bent to it. I don’t expect that to see the light of day for several years, but anything worth having takes time.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s