Interview with Kitt Harrison

What do you read for pleasure?
For me, when it comes to reading for pleasure, nothing beats a good thriller. I loved the DaVinci Code mostly because of the tight pacing. But as a writer, of course, I'm constantly trying to analyze how I can use that in my own writing. I guess the muse never stops.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
This is going to sound a bit nuts, but I found I really like to download epubs, switch them to text files and upload them into Scrivener, and use the speech feature to play it back as I read it. For one thing, it keeps my mind focused on the content, so I don't wander off as I sometimes do when i read. The problem with this is, it is highly addicting. Oh, yeah, the other problem is DRM.
Describe your desk
It's very comfortable with a bunch of pillows, nice warm blankets, and a toasty comforter. Have you guessed it? It's my bed. I love to take my laptop and write in bed. Maybe I should think about writing romance novels. I'm certainly in the right place for it.
When did you first start writing?
When I was little I was always drawing these comic books and making up characters. Female superheros, complete with sidekicks and happy endings.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Wow. Good question. For starters, I'd heard all the horror stories about publishers and the huge percentage they take from the writer. The way the system was set up, it just didn't seem fair to me at all. Although as I thought about novels I'd like to write, I sort of accepted it as a necessary--although scathingly unfair--reality. In truth, think that was one of the biggest motivations for me NOT to become a novelist. It just didn't seem to be worth all the effort that goes into it.

I knew how difficult it can be to write a novel or even to find the time to write at all. But I'd attend these meetings of a writing group i used to belong to (no names mentioned) where these folks were so thrilled just to be accepted by a publisher as though it validated them as a writer, even though they were working their tails off writing and holding down full-time jobs at the same time because they couldn't afford to quit. But for them It was all about being accepted or validated. So when Indy publishing started up, I was a fan from the start. As far as the "stigma", I never even gave it a thought... well, until just now. :) But I don't care. The other big reason for me, is I am an artist, oil painter, pencil, etc--so, I loved the idea of having complete control over my creation from start to finish.

The other reason is I worked as a technical writer for many years, and technical writers don't work for free. So, I was already in the mindset that if I'm going to write anything, I need to get paid for it. It's not about greed. It's about paying rent, eating, paying bills. if you think it's about greed, you're drinking the wrong Kool-Aid. Greed is when you take so much of the writer's earnings that that writer can't even afford to stay home and write.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
For me, Smashwords provides an incredible outlet for writers to get their work out to the public and still make a decent profit while at it. I watched all of Mark Coker's videos and i was so impressed by how supportive he is of indy writers, and I thought, this is the type of person I'd like to work with. I guess it helps that he is a writer himself, so he knows what writer's have to deal with.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Watching a story come together. Getting a great idea for a scene or a character. Really, for me it's the whole creation process. This is what artists live for. I usually write about 2,500 words per day or 10,000 a week. But when I'm on a roll, I've been able to write up to 5,000 words a day, which is a little exhausting, but in a really good way. Gives me an excuse to treat myself to a piece of chocolate. When I write a scene or chapter that I enjoy reading myself, over and over-- then I know I'm onto something.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. I think it's a must for a writer. I learn so much from other writers. Sometimes I get good ideas and sometimes I get ideas for things not to do. But besides writing, I also like oil painting and drawing. What I rarely do is watch television. But that's just me.
What is your writing process?
When I get an idea from my "muse", I go for it. Lately, I've found my muse to be on-call, quite a bit so I've been taking advantage of that. Sometimes, I'll get an idea for a whole chapter, then I go to sit down and write it and it's like I'm downloading it from somewhere else, I can't write it fast enough. Sometimes, it's that natural. As far as whether I'm a "panser" or a "plotter", I'm probably somewhere in the middle. Perhaps that makes me a plot-ser or a pant-ter, I don't know. I usually start with several major key scenes that occur during the length of the story, so that's where the plotter comes in. But as I'm writing from one event to the next, I'll suddenly run out of story and have to come up with something on the fly. That's when the panser comes in. Suddenly, I'll get the idea to add a character, kill a character, add a conflict that wasn't there before, throw in a twist, etc. Whatever it takes to make it a better story. That's when someone in another room might hear me cackling like a fiend because I'm so into what I'm doing.

I've learned a ton about the process from Stephen King's book, "On Writing." He gives some excellent advice. For instance, taking a few weeks off after you finish the book before you go to edit it. If you can return to your book weeks later and still like what you've written, you may have something pretty good on your hands. If not, you may have found what you need to work on. Anyhow I highly advise any serious writer to get that book and memorize it.
How do you approach cover design?
For my debut novel, Young, Rich, and Undead at 27 or YR&U@27, I designed the cover myself. I was a graphic artist for many years, so I knew how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I looked at a ton of professionally done book covers to get ideas and I came up with the one I have. I like it. It works for me. The book has some elements of horror mixed with humor and I think the cover gets that across. I think font choice is crucial with book covers. Each font has a different feel or personality to it. The font chosen should be compatible to the feel of the book itself. The biggest mistake I see with indy book covers is that people will make extremely bad font choices.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a novel featuring some of the characters from my novel YR&U@27. I hope it will be out late 2014.
Published 2014-03-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Young, Rich and Undead at 27
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,580. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
When talent agent, Scotty Palmer learns of the overdose death of her client, legendary rock singer, Chance Knox, she’s terribly distraught. Not just because of his untimely death at age 27—but because she may be implicated in the tragedy, which would ruin her career in the music industry. However, the terrible secret she uncovers may cost her more than her reputation--it may cost her her life