Kim Harrington dropped in the virtual offices to chat about her debut novel, Clarity, which released this week. The fun mystery is in stores now. You can find out more about Kim by visiting her website or by following her on Twitter.
Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[KH] Writer, mom, nerd, shy, good friend, sometimes funny, always dorky.
Can you tell us a little about your book, Clarity?
[KH] Clarity is about a psychic teen who—along with her medium brother and telepath mother—does readings for tourists in her beach town on Cape Cod and tries to solve a murder when her brother becomes the prime suspect.
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[KH] I came up with the idea of a family of “paranormal freaks” first. Then I decided that they would live in a tourist town and run a family business doing psychic readings out of their home. Tourists love them but townies sort of scorn them. But then a tourist is murdered, the police turn up empty handed, and the town needs their help…. And the plot came from there!
What have you learned about yourself through your characters?
[KH] That it sucks to have a family of freaks. Just kidding! Love you Mom and Dad! No really, a lot of the book centers around family loyalty and that has always been and continues to be important to me.
What influenced you to write Clarity?
[KH] I had written three other books before that I now lovingly refer to as my “practice novels.” I was on the verge of giving up, but decided to write one more book. I decided to have fun with it and write fully for me. I wanted to write a book that I would have enjoyed reading both as a teen and now as an adult. And Clarity was the result!
Why do you think books with paranormal elements are so popular with readers? What do you like best about the genre?
[KH] My answer to both of these questions is the same. I think it’s because the paranormal is fascinating and thrilling—with a hint of danger. It’s pure escapism and fun.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[KH] The middle is always hard for me. Beginnings are fun. You’re getting to know the characters and their world. Endings are adrenaline rushes. But the middle is where you earn your writer’s stripes.
Can you share a little about your next project?
[KH] Sure! Up next is Perception, the sequel to Clarity. That will release in March 2012. And a few months after that, in Fall 2012, I will have a standalone supernatural mystery—a ghost story—coming out. I’m equally excited for both!
If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, what would it be?
[KH] I always read voraciously, from kindergarten on, but the book I clearly remember reading and feeling WOW was Pet Sematary by Stephen King. My parents let me read it when I was ten. Which, in retrospect, was a questionable parenting decision, but hey…I grew up to be a writer.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[KH] Spend time with my family and friends. Read. Fangirl over my favorite TV shows. Go to the movies. Travel. I’m obsessed with Disney World and have been there sixteen times. I also really love watching astronomy documentaries and rooting for the Boston Bruins.
Clarity is in stores now! You can grab a copy from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the handy widget below.