Saturday Surprise II: Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison visits Grand Rapids

So after our Indian dinner, Cory asked if we could stop at Schuler Books so he could spend a gift certificate. Being an overly indulgent uncle with time to kill, I said, “Sure!” So while Cory shopped for Manga, I wandered around and looked at books and movies and comics. And while I did, the loudspeaker announced that Kim Harrison would be wrapping up her Perfect Blood Tour in the Studio in the back of the store at 5 p.m. This was at 4:30.

Now I have to confess: I’m a Hard SF junkie, so I knew zero about Ms. Harrison’s work. But when a chance to hear from a pro author comes on a silver platter like that, what kind of aspiring author passes it up? So since I knew Cory’s family were likely to be delayed anyway, I planned to attend. So I got one of the fans to tell me which book to start with, and I picked it up to get an autograph.

And then Cory told me, “Mom will be so jealous.” It turns out that Anita (or “Mom” as Cory calls her, silly boy) is a fan. So that meant I had to get a hardcover of A Perfect Blood as well and get it autographed for Anita:

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So I sat, and waited. And waited. Eventually the store rep informed us that Ms. Harrison and husband Tim had driven to the wrong Schuler’s location, and were on their way back. Given traffic at that time of the day, the only possible result was more waiting.

But finally they arrived to a Studio overflowing with fans. Very loyal fans with lots of detailed questions. I was a complete outsider; but in between the story-specific questions, she answered a handful about her writing process. A lot of it repeated lessons from other writers, but it never hurts to get some reinforcement. And her answer to me was a little surprising. I asked who her First Readers were, and what she looked for in a First Reader; and her answer was that she mostly doesn’t rely on First Readers any more. She left her original First Readers behind when she started working at a pro level and they weren’t critiquing at that level. She said her “First Reader” these days is really her editor, although Tim (a.k.a. “The Guy in the Leather Jacket”, as she refers to them in her book) also gives her feedback sometimes. I’ve gotten so used to authors discussing the importance of their First Readers that I never imagined this answer.

As a newcomer to her works, I was mostly in the dark regarding the story-specific questions she answered; but she did pass along one thing that should interest her fans: the CW network has purchased the rights to produce a series based on her Hollows series. She suspects it will be called simply “The Hollows”, but she has almost no information at this point beyond simply the fact that the deal has been made. She mentioned a “Smallville” writer doing the script, but I don’t remember the name.

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One Response to Saturday Surprise II: Kim Harrison

  1. Pingback: Saturday Surprise III: John Carter | Old Town Tales

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