This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today I’m interviewing Harmony Kent, a British fantasy author who has also written in a few other genres.
Q. What’s the plot of your latest fantasy novel?
A.My latest fantasy novel is a Young Adult fantasy, and is the first in what will be a series. In Elemental Earth, we are introduced to 15-year-old Sarah, a teen with a rocky home life, and on the fringe of things at school. She has become disinterested, disillusioned, and angry. On a personal level, she is attempting to work out who she is, and what her relationship to her life is, as well as having to deal with her feelings of inadequacy.
Everything is mundane until a new girl shows up at school: Imogen. It’s hate at first sight, and when she sends Sarah notes that disappear as soon as they’ve been read, Sarah just gets more annoyed. Who is this girl, and what does she want with Sarah?
When she meets a boy much older than her, she agrees to go on a date with him out of a sense of rebellion. But he isn’t all he seems, and she ends up being kidnapped. The rescue party isn’t what she expects: a platoon of earth gnomes.
Garl, the king of the gnomes, has to be my favourite character. He has sass in buckets, and I love him to bits. He plays a pivotal role in bringing Sarah out of herself and helping her to adapt to her new life in an alternate realm of reality. Sarah continues to rebel, and resists the role everyone seems to be trying to pin on her. Meanwhile, her best friend is missing and big trouble is brewing. If only she’d stuck to applied math and the odd pillow fight.
Q. How do you balance being a multi-genre author?
A. Being a multi-genre author just kind of happened. I didn’t plan it. But then, I’ve learned not to spend too much time on plans: they’re just subject to change anyway. All we can do is to give life our best guess. The key is adaptation and flexibility. Going with the flow holds true in my everyday life as much as it does in my writing.
I suppose that my being a multi-genre reader has influenced my writing greatly. All of my books have an element of magic or the fantastical, except for my latest book, Finding Katie, which is my only book to date that is based wholly in what we call reality. The possible downside to being a multi-genre writer is that my readers can’t put me into any one box. However, on the plus side, they are also guaranteed surprises.
For me, the important thing is that no matter what I write, I pull my reader out of their seat and into the book. For some readers, genre is all-important, but there are more multi-genre readers out there than I had ever imagined.
Q. What are your fantasy genre inspirations?
A. My inspirations come from the classics such as Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern. I also fell in love with Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Summer Tree when I read this as a young woman (yep, I can just about remember then!) Basically, anything with magic in, or an alternate reality, piques my interest. Any book that allows me to forget I’m reading is an inspiring read. Lately, my top genre has become science fiction and dystopian fiction … especially when the book has elements of the two. I do have to confess to being a fan of the Harry Potter books (ahem); but no, I won’t admit to how many times I’ve read them
Q. Are any of your fantasy characters inspired by anyone in real life?
A. Characters in my books tend to be an amalgamation of lots of folks in my life. I haven’t, as yet, based a character on one person in particular.
Q. What’s the name of your latest project?
A. The name of my latest project is When Shadows Fall, and it is to be a sci-fi/dystopian novel.
Q. How have you changed as an author since you first self-published?
A. My writing voice is much stronger. I am much more confident than I ever was. Since I published my first book, I have undergone a steep learning curve in all areas of self-publishing. One thing I hadn’t expected was how much I would come to enjoy designing book covers and making book trailer movies.
Q. What are your most and least favorite activities as an author?
A. My least favourite activity as an author is the marketing and sales side of things. It just is not my forte at all. My favourite activity is writing when the characters have taken me over and invaded my mind. When that happens, they write the book and I just follow along for the ride. Of course, it’s not always so easy, but that’s when it feels truly great. I think the plot twists in The Glade take the readers so much by surprise, because they took the author by surprise too.
Indie Author Harmony Kent has written a number of books. The Battle for Brisingamen, her first novel, is a work of fantasy fiction and was approved by Awesome Indies within weeks of its release. Her second book, The Glade, shows her equally at home in the realms of mystery, suspense and thriller – with a dash of magical realism. This book has also been approved for the Awesome Indies List. The Glade was awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion in July 2014. Harmony’s third book (Elemental Earth) is Young Adult Fantasy Fiction, and was published 31st July 2014. With more books already in progress, she is well on her way to being a firmly established multi genre author. As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal and beta reading services. As well as reviewing and supporting her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena. She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.
Well, that’s the official biography… Harmony also has violent tendencies and forced me to add a not quite so official version…
Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself… she’s also, um, a writer… and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.
Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …
- Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)
- Really boring
- Has absolutely no sense of humour
- Biographer is a compulsive liar
- Reads … a lot
- Writes … even more
- Completely sane(in)
- Neighbours are nuts
- If you’re feeling extra brave she’s around
- Online …
You can connect Harmony and view her books via the following social media and book links:
Thanks to Harmony for being featured today in Fantasy Authors Unplugged. Please take some time to visit this award-winning author’s pages to learn more about her fantasy books. If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.
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