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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I had an interview with author T.K. Harris. I asked her a few questions and read her book and then decided that I wanted to do this blog of that interview a little different than others, I have done.

So let me tell you her story!

T.K. Harris was born in California under a Gemini sign. She has lived a Gypsy lifestyle, some on her own but in her youth it was as a military brat. She has always written, her short stories can be seen in several magazines’ including an issue in Woman’s World. Phantom Dream is her first Novel.

She is a very busy woman, besides writing and traveling, being a mother, she works as Senior Solutions Architect and IT Instructor in Colorado.  She has a true love for adventure and one day still hopes to make the trip to Egypt she has always dreamed of.

I think her love of traveling goes hand in hand with her love of reading. Who doesn’t like to go on an adventure now and again? The only difference is one you travel physically and the other in your mind.  She began her travel through literature as a child reading mysteries. “ I think I read all the Nancy Drew books in my local library and wanted to grow up to be just like her.  Sophisticated, smart dresser, and intelligent!  (I accomplished one of the three.  Sometimes I'm just not sure which one though!)Then I read the Hobbit, I think it was in 6th grade, and spent the next  15 years reading Fantasy and then Science Fiction.  I made myself switch genres, for a while, and started reading the classics and even some romance.  Most recently I've been into crime books and witches, vampires, etc.  I'm loving the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Hollow's (Kim Harrison), Sookie Stackhouse(Charlaine Harris), Betsy Taylor Undead (Mary Janice Davidson) and the Parasol Protectorate (Gail Carriger) series.”

Traveling and adventures through literature has led her to the one she admires the most at this moment, when asked this was what she said, “I have plenty of characters, like Nancy Drew, I admire and would like to be like. I think right now its Alexia from the Parasol Protectorate series.  One because she's not your typical beautiful, sexy character.   She's actually rather plain and very pragmatic and yet always seems to be getting into one adventurous situation after another.  In a way, I relate well. I am very pragmatic and I could inadvertently turn a grocery trip into an adventure.  Seriously."

With her spare time limited with two jobs, two kids and a plethora of projects, she finds it hard to go hiking, traveling and reading at the moment. I asked her to tell me her story and she stuck with the same theme of traveling by saying this, “ That could be a whopper.  I guess, to keep it short, I'll say this.  Mostly I am a Gemini through and through.  I am always trying new things and rarely finishing what I start.  I have lived and traveled all over the world and I want to keep traveling (with my kids).  I want to keep writing and, I would like to be able to take all of the road blocks, bumps, and crappy experiences in my life and use them to help other people.  Help them to either avoid the same things or help them through it and let them know that there is the "other side" and they can make it.”

From reading her answers, you could almost say that we could have been related, I was born in California and lived a life like a Gypsy as my father was in the military as well. So I asked her about nicknames, since I grew up being called “Clercy Bell” and “Nini” and thought those were hugely embarrassing, her response has since changed my mind. “Ouch.  I wish I could say I never had one.  Um, well, sometimes it was Animal (like the one on The Muppet Show?)  And, the rest of the time?  Fish bait.  Ya.  I know right?  It's just wrong on so many levels…”

Being that we had a great many things in common I asked her what treats she would hide so that she could have it all to herself. Her response was, “Whatever chocolate of the month flavor I'm into and my Coca Cola in glass bottles.  Mine!  All mine!” and I laughed because I currently am hiding a glass bottle of Coke and chocolates in my filing cabinet.

Before delving into her book, I wanted to know a few silly things about her. One of these questions involved her last meal. This was her reply, “  Hmmm.  Good question.  I really have no idea.  I love food and my food choices change with my mood so I suppose I'd have to answer that when the time came.  Which I hope isn't anytime soon!  Knowing my luck though, I wouldn't have a choice and it would end up being something crappy like a McDonald's hamburger…”

I can tell you that I love her personality and all her answers made me smile and laugh. I especially loved when I asked her, “In life we all laugh at ourselves. Tell me a time when you laughed at yourself.”  And got this response, “ Pretty much every day.  Seriously.  I am either tripping over nothing, walking into walls, or saying something that sounds totally innocent to me but when it comes out, apparently is wrought with all sorts of second meanings if you get my drift.” 

Then I ventured into apocalypse territory and asked her to tell me what she would take with her, should she be forced to move to an alien planet and teach them about what Earth had been. This was the wonderful answer I got in return, “Books for sure!  Classics, fiction and history – hopefully the type of history books that tell why everything happened the way it did to lead to the wars and what could have been done to avoid them.  And they would definitely have to cover whatever it is we did to be driven from our own planet!  Plants would be my next thing.   I love plants!  Plants for medicine and food.  Plants that look good and smell good.  And, of course, one of the plants would have to be coco bean so I could show them the wonders of chocolate. And for me, I'd have to take things like pictures of my family, diaries, a few mementos and music.  Everything from classical to classic rock to bands like Seether and Cold Play.  I think that's about it. Oh!  Wine!  Lots and lots of wine and grapes for making wine and books on how to make the wine.  Ok, now I sound like a wino.  But seriously, with chocolate and wine, what more does a girl need to move to another planet?!”

I wanted to know something whimsical about her, and so I asked her what she would shift into if she had the capabilities to change form. Now I was expecting for her to answer the typical wolf, large cat, eagle etc… answer. I was pleasantly surprised when she told me she wanted to change into the wind, because “It can be gentle and calming or really pack a punch when it needs to.  And, it gets to travel everywhere!”

As a newly published author myself,  I wanted to know how it felt when she first released her novel for sale this was her reply, “Nervousness.  Doubt.  Elation.  Anxiety.  I felt like I was finally giving birth to a baby that had been gestating for years and wondering if she was going to have all of her fingers and toes and if anyone was going to like her!”
Her future plans as an author are, “Write some more!  I have two books started (one very near and dear to my heart) and one completed that needs a massive overhaul.  And, I want to help and encourage other writers, like people did for me.”
T.K. Harris is a lovely woman and a wonderful up and coming new author. I was honored to have been afforded the chance to do an interview and read her book Phantom Dreams. 

Here are a few links:







My review of Phantom Dreams by author T.K. Harris:

I have never ever liked murder mysteries, until I read this one that is. From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat, not stopping for anyone or anything. T.K. brought out the nervous, scared and frail portions of her character Kathy so well that it made her feel like a real person. Her portrayal of a frazzled, overworked and sometimes confused heroine made her truly believable.

When we were introduced to Jack the lead FBI agent in the story, he is almost the stronger male version of Kathy. They have issues sleeping, are overworked and stressed beyond belief, but the one thing that stood out to me was the fact that they both suffered from horrible nightmares.

T.K. has a wonderfully powerful writing style that led me all over the country. I loved that I recognized several places, including my old stomping grounds of Columbus GA.  I loved every moment of this book and was thrilled with the ending. I wish we could hear more about the romance that developed in the book, by characters that I won’t name, because it truly seemed like a beginning of another story.

I give T.K. Harris a 5 out of 5 stars for Phantom Dreams and I will be recommending it to everyone I know.


TKHarris said...

Thank you for having me today Leanne. I love the way you put the interview together!

I wanted to let you and your readers know that today I'm looking for 4-6 people willing to read and leave honest reviews on Amazon in the next 2 weeks. For the first 4-6 people who respond here, I'll send a .mobi or .epub version of the book for them to read!

Unknown said...

Hi T.K Harris!! I am looking forward to reading this....

TKHarris said...

Did you get your copy?!