I’d like to welcome Kelly Harmon to Perils of Pauline! We’ll have her interview, learn more about her book and there be prizes for some lucky commenter!
And on to the interview!
Why did you write THIS book?
Do you have a “story” about the writing of this book? Something fun, crazy or frustrating that happened while writing?
I wrote Blood Soup in 72 hours straight! (It only took months and months of polishing to make it ready for publication.)
Name four of your favorite, must-read and/or strongest-influence authors.
Several authors were influential in forming my literary tastes: Robert Heinlein, Carole Nelson Douglas, and most particularly, Terry Brooks. I was reading Heinlein in grade school, thanks to a librarian who steered me in that direction. I read the others in high school.
I remember a friend handing me the hardback version of Brooks’ Sword of Shannara over the high-backed seat of the school bus. The dust jacket was missing, the black, cloth binding showed a lot of wear. Obviously, it was well-loved. I loved it, too. (And don’t tell Charlie, because I think I still have his copy!)
Dean Koontz is another favorite. He had me hooked at Whispers. I love his Odd Thomas books. I read the first one in one sitting.
My new favorite is Alan Campbell: Scar Night sucked me in from the first page and wouldn’t let me go.
Who or what did you want to be when you were eleven? Were you right?
This sounds like a cliché, but I’ve always wanted to write. I was penning novels in grade school.
I harangued my parents continually for an electric typewriter. (Typing was so hard on my parents’ manual Royal!) I finally got my typewriter for my 12th birthday. That’s when I really started churning out the words: no more longhand for me!
I’ve had a few career detours along the way, first as newspaper reporter, now in the tech industry. But I continued to write even then as I do now.
If you could have a super power, which one would you choose?
Oh, boy… I’m torn! Here are my top three:
Time Travel: I’m an avid genealogist. I would love to be able to go back in time and interview my grandparents. (While I was there, I’d tell my Dad to invest in NetScape, Microsoft and a few other tech stocks.)
Teleportation: For convenience’s sake, this one would win out over Time Travel. I’d enjoy skipping my 2 hour + daily commute… It would also be very useful to be able to bring along anyone I’m touching at the time of departure.
B.S. Detection: It would be awesome to know whether someone was telling you the truth or not.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Blood Soup is about murder, betrayal and comeuppance.
I’m working on two novels concurrently. The first is near and dear to my heart: a story of an honorable man who falls into the company of a dishonorable woman. I force them to work together to complete a job. It’s not a love story, but they become strong friends. He unbends a little, and learns that there is a lot of gray between black and white. She loses a large chunk of the chip on her shoulder. It’s a fantasy, full of magic, corrupt politics, encroaching armies…but I’m not sure there’s a market for it.
I’m in the final edit stages now.
The second is a dragon tale. Once again, there are politics involved—a sand kingdom—dragon burial grounds, mayhem, mischief, and death. There’s more to it, but to describe it I would have to know the ending….which yet confounds me. I’ve got a forked path to trod, and I don’t know which way to go. (This is what happens when you plan for something, and your characters decide you’re wrong.)
About Blood Soup:
King Theodicar of Borgund needed an heir. When his wife, Queen Piacenza, became pregnant, he’d hoped for a boy. His wife, along with her nurse, Salvagia, knew it wouldn’t be so: with each cast of the runes, Salvagia’s trusted divination tools yielded the same message: “A girl child must rule or the kingdom will fall to ruin.” The women were convinced that the child would be a girl.
When the queen finally gives birth, the nurse and the king are equally surprised. The king is faced with a terrible choice, and his decision will determine the fate of his kingdom. Will he choose wisely, or will he doom Borgund to ruin?
But he’d never met them, and they meant nothing.
“Mother,” he whispered, trying to feel the relationship. He touched her loose brown hair, satiny in death, as if it had been oiled. Mummified flesh clung to her skull, her mouth hung slack with decay. But he could make out her features, even in abstract.
Piacenza’s arms crossed her chest, holding onto the baby she’d died birthing. The child lay on her stomach, her face turned out to the corridor. Smooth in death, the babe’s skin was stretched taut across her skull, her tiny mouth open as if searching for a breast. He couldn’t picture this small babe as his twin.
“Sister,” he said, failing to convince himself of an emotional connection to the babe. He smoothed a thumb across her forehead, touched a finger to her puckered lips.
A scowl wrinkled his forehead, and he felt a tightness behind his eyes.
Now that he knew about them, how long would he continue to feel the emptiness that knowing them should have filled?
Had his father confirmed his sister’s existence in order to wring sympathy from his heart? Didn’t he realize that a man who had never known the loving touch of his mother nor felt the bond of his long-deceased sister would find nothing but apathy amid these moldering bones?
Amalric gazed at the wispy hair, the withered skin, and suddenly, he made a fist and drove it into his mother’s side. He felt her ribcage shatter beneath his knuckles, and saw his sister’s small frame sink as the bones of his mother failed to support her. A puff of dust rose above his sister’s head like a small halo in the torchlight.
He laughed, finding sudden humor in the situation. He should be rejoicing, he thought. Perhaps he should feel some harmony with his sire—the man who removed all obstacles from his path to the throne.
How pathetic of him, thought Amalric, if he felt any pride at all for getting rid of these women. Women! Who should be seen and not heard, who should do the bidding of their husbands without fail, who are required to take the brunt of a man’s anger and return it threefold with a submissive demeanor. Women, he thought, who are frail beyond measure and easily subdued. How pitiable that Father should take pride in such an achievement. And worse, how contemptible that he might think my seeing the mortal remains of these women would create in me a sudden change of heart.
Kelly will be giving away a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.