Kim 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 a Hollows prequel, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home or in the garden.
QM: Is Kim Harrison just a pen name or is she also an alter-ego?
Kim is a pen name. I'll admit that when I get out to promote, it's as if another side of me flips on, but it's not an alter-ego. As a raving introvert, being in the spotlight does not come naturally. I've had to work hard to make it look easy, and you don't see the two hours of collapse-time afterward. If anything, Kim has become more of a job title, as in "I'm doing a signing tonight. I need to get my Kim on."
QM: When did you realize you wanted to write?
I came late to writing, almost in my mid twenties before I ever put pen to paper. But before that, I read constintly. You can see the shadows of the SF/fantasy writers popular in 70s and 80s in my work if you look for it.
QM: How does it fell being the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list?
It felt pretty darn good. Having hit rock bottom again with The Drafter, the drive to hit that number one spot has lost a lot of its agency. Don't get me wrong, it would be nice to be there again, but the world didn't end when I fell off the lists from trying something new and failing to find an audience with it, and there's a lot to be said for having the freedom to write/explore what I want now instead of the pressure of writing what a publisher knows how to market. It's nice to have that freedom back.
QM: Why did you choose genetically modified tomatoes for the cause of a pandemic?
Long story short? Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I've got a weird sense of humor, and I'm always putting stuff in the books that no one will ever find funny but me.
QM: When will your next book be out and what can you tell us about it?
At the time of writing this, the second book in The Drafter series, The Operative, will be coming out in all formats on November 22, right before Thanksgiving. I'm writing the third one now, The Agent, giving the entire series the monogram DOA. (See, humor that no one but me will ever get.) The Turn follows after that, February 7, 2016, and after that, I don't know. I may not publish anything for a while while a contract issue gets sorted out. I'll be writing, though. It either piles up in my head, or piles up in the cabinet under my desk.
QM: Do you have a favorite character from any of your works?
It's usually the one who keeps changing, but as I work myself into a new series, I'm seeing a recurring character in different guises: Algaliarept, or Big Al. He's my hero. Not because he is all powerful, but because he is changing, growing, becoming better even as he fails to live up to what he thinks everyone expects from him. It bothers him, which is why he keeps trying.
QM: For fans who would like to meet you or get a signed copy of one of your books, where will they have the next opportunity?
For readers in Michigan, I'll be in Ann Arbor for Shop Small Saturday at Nicola's. (11/26) It is the only place to get a signed Operator. If you can wait until February, I'll be hitting Ann Arbor, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, and Cincinnati. Times and dates at the website. http://www.kimharrison.net/Events.html
QM: Whose work do you most enjoy reading?
I like reading new authors, though I don't get a lot of chance to do so. The last person I read was Colin Gigl, The Ferryman Institute.
QM: Just one word of advice for aspiring authors?
One word? NaNoWriMo. Do it. That's three, I guess.
QM: What frightens you most about the future?
Losing the people I love. I've done that before, and it really takes it out of a person.