KIM HARRISON talks Inspiration for The Peri Reed Chronicles (#Giveaway)

Before we get to the really good stuff, a quick note: the entire The Penton Vampire Legacy (4 Book Series) is the Kindle Daily Deal today, meaning each book is only $1.99 for Kindle. Great for gifts or to pick up the ones you haven’t read, right? Let’s move those vampires up the Amazon charts!

draftercoverNow, on to business–good business. I’m thrilled to welcome Kim Harrison to the blog today! I think I speak for most of us when we say we’re huge fans of the Hollows series, in particular, but I’ve quickly become a fan of the Peri Reed Chronicles too. If you missed them, my comments on the prequel Sideswiped (Kindle Single) (The Peri Reed Chronicles) ran on Tuesday and on The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles) ran yesterday. Next Wednesday, I’ll be reviewing a new short, Waylaid (Kindle Single), set in the Peri Reed world. The second novel in the trilogy, The Operator (The Peri Reed Chronicles), will be out on Nov. 22 and is up for preorder.

But now let’s hear from Kim, and I’ll give away a print or digital copy of The Drafter to one commenter; open internationally, of course!

The Inspiration Behind The Drafter

by Kim Harrison

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.

It wasn’t until the birth of my second child that I put pen to paper. 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.

This was back in the late 90s, and back then, the only real option was traditional publishing. I don’t know if I’d ever make the jump to self-publishing even today, simply because I like being part of a larger team.

The inspiration for my stories generally evolve slowly over the course of years, making it hard to pinpoint the beginning of them. Most of my series plots take two or three of my current “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.

Thanks, Kim! That makes me love the stories even more, as I have witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s, and I’d never considered Peri’s memory losses in that light.

Enter to win The Drafter here and leave a comment for an extra entry. Has your life been touched by Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory loss? I have lost two aunts to Alzheimer’s and now have a first cousin with early-onset. It’s such a scary disease and helps me empathize even more with Peri Reed’s feelings at losing big chunks of her memory–and admire Kim’s ability to turn an issue with such emotional impact into one helluva thriller!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

27 thoughts on “KIM HARRISON talks Inspiration for The Peri Reed Chronicles (#Giveaway)

  1. My MIL has Alzheimers. I’m not a person with patience but I’ve certainly learned to be patient with her. She was always the sweetest lady and it’s very frustrating to see her disappearing before our eyes.

    • I’m so sorry, Sue–going through it with my aunts and now my cousin, it’s made me appreciate how much our memories make up who we are.

  2. Unfortunately, I believe my mom has early stages of Alzheimer’s. She knows it too and it scares her.

    • Oh Liz, I hate to hear this. I can’t imagine a scarier diagnosis. Since it runs in my family, I’m totally paranoid about forgetting anything.

    • Mine too, Susan! I can’t imagine much worse, so I thought it was a really fascinating way of looking at this series of Kim’s–it makes me even more sympathetic toward what the character Peri goes through trying to rediscover who she is.

  3. No Alzheimer’s, yet. Kim Harrison has always been number one on my favorite author list. Have been to two of her book signings at Anderson’s in Naperville. I have seventeen of her books signed. Thanks Kim for introducing me to the wonderful worlds of Urban Fantasy.

    • The Hollows was probably the third series I read. Simon R Green had the dubious honor of being my first, with his Nightside series, followed by Butcher. Then I can’t remember if I read Hollows first or Mercy Thompson–they came pretty close together. And those are still among my favorite all-time series, with Hollows led only by Dresden. Now, if we could just get Rachel and Harry together…..

  4. my father didn’t had alzheimer but the symptoms at teh end were quite similar…and it changed his personnality so much it was terrifying

    • I’m sorry — from what I understand, Alzheimer’s isn’t a disease per se. It’s just a collection of dementia symptoms that can vary from person to person. One of my aunts became sweet and docile; the other became violent and nothing like the woman I knew. No matter what you call it, it’s horrible for the family.

  5. thank you for such a thoughtful post! We are very lucky that no one has been touched by Alzheimer’s yet in my family. I think that is a very interesting way to approach amnesia! I really enjoyed her previous series and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • I was really touched by this post as well, not to mention how she managed to imbue what is really a first-rate futuristic thriller with such thoughtful undertones. Hat’s off to Kim Harrison!

  6. My mother-in-law has not been diagnosed but the marked inability to recall recent conversations and facts has made me wonder. I work in an assisted living community and have watched as a resident and their family face such a diagnosis and how they interact. Am intrigued with the series concept.

    • It is a very interesting concept, both the idea of changing the past but also the price the drafter has to pay for it, by losing time from their own lives, then having to depend on another person to fill in the gaps….and hope they’re telling the truth. And what is truth? The original past or the recreated past? Really interesting questions!

  7. My grandma has Alzheimer and I believe my parents both are somewhat showing early signs of it. Scary stuff.

    • Sorry about your grandma. Maybe your parents are just getting more forgetful as they get older. (I know I sure am!). Very, very scary stuff.

  8. Congratulations to Kim on her new series! I am a big fan of the Hollows series and look forward to reading the Peri Reed Chronicles. Fortunately I do not have any family members who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

  9. My MIL suffered a stroke 3 years ago and was diagnosed with Alzheimer not long after. When she passed away last year she could not even recognize the faces of her own children, it’s super scary.

    Super love your work Kim, can hardly wait to read The Drafter, fingers crossed.

  10. My FIL had Alzheimer and at 92 lived with us most of his last year. It was really sad him not remembering most of his family as he had a bigger than life personality and good health for most of his life.

    • So sad, Lisa, and kudos to your family for taking care of him his final year. I had some of that with my aunt and it is not an easy thing to do.

  11. My father had Alzheimer’s. Towards the end he didn’t know us at all.