It has been long road up a steep hill covered in ice and filled with potholes, lol. I started taking my writing seriously about ten years ago, started working toward publication. While writing my first novel, I joined the SCBWI and found a critique group filled with writers in the YA genre. We critiqued each other, and my novel evolved and became more polished. I optimistically started querying agents and publishers, and received hundreds of rejections. I kept polishing my book and my query and also wrote other novels and queried them. Eventually, I found a small publisher in Canada that took my first novel and published a second one for me as well (The Joshua’s Tree Trilogy). I was happy to be published, but wanted a better publisher, one that could sell more books. For that, I needed a better book. So, I took all that I’d learned along the way, and a year ago, I wrote The Last Orphans. I found my awesome new publisher—Clean Teen Publishing—because one of my critique group friends, Jennifer Anne Davis was published by them and was very happy with their performance. I queried them while in Maui on vacation during last spring break and had a contract in hand by the time I got home. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride!
What do you love about being an author?
I consider myself an artist. I like to paint, sculpt, build, anything that allows me creative outlet. Writing is the ultimate creative outlet for me. Like many artist, I’ve always dreamed of making a living by being an artist. I love that writing has the potential to fulfill that dream. I also love that I can create something that is will last forever. Someone might read and love my novels five hundred years from now—kind of makes me feel immortal.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’d have dinner with Captain Nemo in the library of the Nautilus. We’d eat whatever his submarine’s galley had on the menu that evening, as long as we’d just paid a visit to one of his undersea forest to harvest it. I’d love to fill him in on what has happened in the world since the late 1800s and see what he thinks of the future.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Shane would be done by Zac Efron—I know he’s a little old, but I think they could make him look young enough to fill Shane’s role, and he looks the part. Or a younger actor that has the same look.
Kelly would done by Dianna Agron.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I’ll take my vampires sexy, please!
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The 1950s. I think it must’ve been a time full of hope, and lots of great writers were getting published then. I’d love to visit with some of them and see what they were like at that exciting time during their careers.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Hard to say. But I can say that the advice I was given at a young age and wished I’d followed sooner was “Do what you love, and money will follow.” My dad used to say that all the time.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Dang! That’s a tough one. I guess I’d be Super Man (I know he’s an alien, does count). Why? Well first off, he’s super. He can do so much of what other supernatural creatures can do, and I doubt he could be taken down by a vampire or a zombie or anything like that. Also, I love how honest and nice he is. Such an admirable character in my opinion.
Where do you write best?
No place in particular. I move around while I write. Sometimes I start in my bedroom and when I get bored I move to another room in the house. I’ve also been known to write in the car (not while driving), at coffee shops, in restaurants, and just about everywhere else. When my children were little, I’d take them to the museum or the zoo, put the laptop onto of the stroller canopy, and write while I pushed them around.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
Red by Jennifer Anne Davis. I loved it and gave it a five star review. The True Reign series takes place in a midlevel setting, and I’ve always loved books set in that time. Also, there’s sword fights—love sword fights! Oh yeah and dueling brothers, an evil king. Need I say more?
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I like military stories, Tom Clancy stuff. Not sure I’d be good at writing it, but I grew up in a military family and was in the Navy for six years. I’ve started a story about a submarine captain who starts trafficking drugs, but it’s a long way from being finished. I really like what I’m writing now, and I’ve got so many YA stories banging around in my head and in rough drafts in my computer, not sure I’ll ever find time for anything else.
Where can fans find you online?
Just about everything with nwharrisbooks in the title is mine.