FEATURED AUTHOR: Kathleen Harryman

Today we're featuring a multi-genre writer, KATHLEEN HARRYMAN.
She writes historical fiction, and stories about psychopaths, and poetry.
Interesting, don't you think? Psychopaths and Poetry?

Let's get to know this wonderful writer in an interview.

1) Tell us something about the woman, Kathleen Harryman. Who are you?

Talking about ones self is often a difficult thing to do when asked. There are many factors which makes each one us unique, but how to put this on paper, to capture the essence of what makes the person who they are is not as easy as it sounds. Of course I could talk about my qualifications, and accomplishments; but are they me, the woman? When we introduce ourselves do we make a point of listing our educational accomplishments, or are we looking for something more from a person. Something we can identify with? And therefore if I were to sum up the woman I wouldn't list my academic achievements but speak instead of the person. Kathleen Harryman is stubborn, loyal, passionate and imaginative; but above all that I place kindness, to people and animals.

The stubbornness is inherent; a gift from both my parents, and one I have learnt to balance. There is a time and place for stubbornness. The words ‘you can’t’ or even ‘impossible’ can be seen by a stubborn person as “I’m going to prove you wrong’. That is me. 

My imagination and passion comes from my father, who breathed life into his paintings and turned blocks of wood into wonderful carvings. I have channeled my imagination and passion into my writing, and the blank page has become my canvas. The canvas is not always my friend, and there are times where we do not agree, but issues do become resolved. There is a feeling of awe and pleasure taken when as an author I look back at my work. 

Nature is a powerful resource and ideas are often formed during long walks, where my mind can stretch.

2) And who's the writer? How did you become a published author?

As a child I have always loved reading. Enid Blyton was my favourite author. The adventures of the Secret Seven and Famous Five took me on an incredible journey, one that inspired me to want to write. Many years later in 2015 I wrote and published my first novel The Other Side of the Looking Glass. It was a wonderful achievement to see my childhood dream given life. 

Nervous and with no prior knowledge of the publishing world, I chose to use what was at the time a small publishing house; which has since grown. For a first time author it seemed a safe option. I have now grown in knowledge and self-publish all my books, having taken control back from the publisher. 

When so many chase the dream of being signed onto a major publishing house, I have chosen to remain self-published and not to submit to agents. Whether this will change is hard to say, but for now I enjoy creating my own work, and making all the decisions, from writing to book cover. Utilising the professional skills of an editor, cover design experts and formatters, my books are as polished as those submitted for sale by publishing houses.

3) Which of your book is your favorite and why?

Favouritism is fickle in my case. I tend to become so absorbed in a new book that it quickly becomes my favourite. Hidden Danger is my latest novel, and one that I enjoyed writing, because the main character Rita Jackson is so very different. She is a child and a killer. 

This said, I have recently republished by first two books The Other Side of the Looking Glass and When Darkness Falls, having them re-edited and with new book covers. The journey of having these books reissued has taught me a valued lesson. To fall back in love.

The book that I hold dearest to my heart is The Promise, as this was written and pays tribute to my grandfather, who fought and lost his life in World War II. This book shall always hold a special place for me, as an author, granddaughter and daughter, for it made my father incredibly proud.

My father died before The Promise was published, but he was able to see the almost finished novel, and it is the smile on his face when he saw his father's photograph on the inside of the book that shall always live on in my memory.

4) You have psychological thrillers about Serial Killers. How did you come up with those stories?

Human nature fascinates me and so does forensic science. My first psychological thriller was born from one sentence: “What’s wrong with being a psychopath?” Exploring this sentence I looked from the view point of someone who holds no emotional attachments, and When Darkness Falls was born. There are areas of conflict between the two main characters which I found enjoyable to write. The most important part of writing When Darkness Falls was to make the killer likeable, and therefore there had to be circumstances in which the reader would find amusement within the killers thought process.

Hidden Danger tests the idealisms we hold towards children, and Rita Jackson, a child serial killer was born. Rita is young, and while she is a killer, she is still developing and learning, not only how to kill better, but she is also on a personal journey of finding her true self. Rita’s emotional journey is one of the key factors in Hidden Danger, it also allows for many twists to form, adding to Rita’s unpredictable nature.

With any thriller I write, I like to add in areas of humour to break the intensity of the story and allow the reader to smile, and perhaps laugh. I often feel that thrillers are like rollercoasters, they need the high and lows and the in-betweens to give them substance and to keep them real.

I always conduct masses of research so that what I write is as probable and realistic as a fictional story can be. 

5) What inspired you to become a writer?

Reading books has always been one of my favourite hobbies. To step outside of the real world for a brief time and to become absorb into another is magical. It is what has inspired me to become a writer. To be able to pass on the magic so that the reader connects to my books long after they have closed the book is amazing. In a book review for The Promise someone said they ‘weren’t ashamed to admit that they went to bed a dreamt about it.’ I was and still am immensely happy and grateful to them for sharing this, as it represents everything a book should be. To make someone feel so connected that the story lives on is magnificent.

6) Are you releasing a new book anytime soon?

Yes, the stories never stop coming, and I am looking forward to releasing my first supernatural book later this year. Hunted is book one in the Vampwitch series.

7) What do you love about being an author?

Writing is the freedom to be anyone and anything at a given time. It is about becoming a person that you would never be, and in some cases never wish to be. But still as an author you embrace them. This is the best bit about writing and I love it. To see a small idea turn into a story and for the characters to develop until they make you smile, laugh or cry is a powerful emotional journey.

8) What is your message to readers?

Thank you for reading, without you a story would never be heard, and the magic would fizzle away. You are the most important element of any story.

Book reviews are incredibly important, not only to the author, but to a fellow reader. The few minutes it takes to write a review is immeasurable in the significance of its meaning. Please write a book review and pass on the magic and never let it die.

Connect with Kathleen Harryman

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