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!
Now, 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!