Hello and welcome to the next interview of 2021! To read past interviews, click here. Today’s spotlight is on debut author KJ Harrowick. Let’s dive in.
Two years ago you did an interview for this series. What’s changed since then? Do you have any bookish news you’d like to share?
Yes! A lot has changed since then. In 2020 I was chosen to work with RevPit editor Carly Hayward on my science fantasy novel Bloodflower. As we were working, it became clear that readers were really excited about my story, so after a lot of research and soul searching, I made the decision to publish my own stories. In the Fall of 2021, Bloodflower will release as the first book in The Hidden Flames Artifact series.
So far, what’s been your favorite part of the publishing process?
It’s the teamwork. Other writers have also made the decision to take their stories directly to readers, and we’ve been working as a cooperative team to bring each book on its final journey from that first spark of an idea to paper and bindings (or a digital screen).
Having that team makes the process so much easier. We’re all learning together, helping each other grow, and becoming stronger friends and business partners.
How long did you query BLOODFLOWER? Did you ever have that “why am I even doing this” moment? What kept you going?
More than two years. Bloodflower has been through six full rewrites and a dozen more revisions over the last decade, and it’s finally showing the true power of the story I wanted to tell.
As for querying…. Those “why am I even doing this” moments happened a lot more often than I care to admit. What kept me going is the passion I have for the worlds I created and the characters who reside there. Each story I write holds a piece of my heart, and stepping away from the traditional path has given me the freedom to explore this passion more thoroughly.
What are some of your favorite genres to read? Did you find any new favorite authors this past year?
Give me anything that travels the realms of science fiction, fantasy, portals, steampunk or grimdark set in secondary worlds. Add some spicy romance and a dash of revenge coupled with weird and twisted landscapes or cold, derelict starships and you’ll have my heart.
Do you feel any differently knowing your favorite authors are now your peers?
It’s a bit of a surreal feeling, honestly. I grew up idolizing voices like André Norton, Julie Czerneda and Ivan Cat, and there’s something both magical and humbling when you understand the depth of hard work and creative passion they put into each and every story. Knowing I’m on the same path now helps me see a future I never could have imagined… one where I might stand in their place one day and become an influence to the next generation of writers.
Was BLOODFLOWER the first MS you seriously queried or were there others before it? If it was, did querying the others before it give you more confidence?
I have a fantasy romance I queried first. I wrote it after Bloodflower, but it became my training wheels manuscript. I went through a lot of heartache querying this fantasy romance, but after reading the story again recently, I’m so glad this book didn’t find the right home. Not only does it have several problems, but it’s really telling the wrong story. But I still think the overall story concept has a lot of value, and once it’s repurposed I hope it finds a home in readers’ hearts.
And now for some fun! Answer the first thing that pops in your head with these either/or questions:
Cruise or Cabin: Yes
Ocean or Mountains: Yes
Chinese or Pizza: Tacos
Avocado Toast or Fancy Omelette: Neither
Peppermint or Spearmint: On chocolate, right?
Thanksgiving or Christmas: Summer Solstice
Cafe or Library: Neither… too many people.
Typewriter or Keyboard: I’m still waiting for the technology to transform my brain waves into words.
Shabby Chic or Modern Vibes: Dragons
Caffeine or Sleep: Yes
Okay, so once again that was more than five questions; everyone is having fun with all the questions this year! Many thanks once again to KJ Harrowick for participating in this year’s interview series.
Check back next week, Wednesday, March 31st to meet author Janna G. Noelle!
Interested in being interviewed? Message me here.
K. J. Harrowick is a fantasy and science fiction author with a strong passion for twisted stories blending grimdark worlds and futurist technology with threads of romance and revenge. With a passion for red beer and tacos, she’s brought this obsession to Writer In Motion, sharing her love of community with those around her.
She’s also contributed to Dan Koboldt’s Science in Sci-Fi series with the article “Erroneous Code in Fiction,” and is a 2021 convention panelist in the WriteHive community. Her debut novel Bloodflower is slotted for fall 2021 where she hopes to capture readers hearts by casting a grimdark lens on what might happen when a woman who craves peace is thrust into a world of death and revenge.
Write without limits, edit with purpose.KJ’s advice for fellow writers