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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kim Harrison's EVER AFTER tour, Raleigh, NC + giveaway

Feb 2 Kim Harrison’s EVER AFTER book tour stopped at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh, NC. This is the third or fourth Harrison signing I have attended and also the biggest. There were between 125 and 150 people! Being the person I am, I got there early and had a front row seat. Kim was her normal charming and personable self and this year was the first time I have seen her husband, Tim (of 25 freaking years!) take such an active role at a signing. He was hilarious and entertained the crowd with stories about him and Kim as we waited in line to get things signed. Unfortunately the Bunny Cam died before I got a hold of it. 

I have listed the questions asked by the crowd and Kim’s responses. This is very long, but there is some possibly new information in here for some of you. I hid anything that would be considered to spoiler-ish. 

Kim read page 209 of Ever After, which had one of my favorite Rachel/Trent moments.

Do I suffer as much as you guys do when a character leaves the series? 

 It depends a lot on the character. If Nick were to go I would be jumping with joy. If you haven’t read the book plug your ears. (You will have to highlight to read about the 2 deaths that happened in the series before Ever After) When Kisten went, that was upsetting but really necessary. (Tim makes lots of funny gestures) Matalina, I can’t read those pages at all. I can go back and read Kisten, but I can’t not read Matalina. I think it is because I am a mother and I would fight to the death to save my kids, so she is closer to me. So yes, it does bother me and I am usually miserable for a couple of days. (Tim rolls eyes and everyone laughs). end

Al’s story, where is it? 
Into the Woods (Tim does a Vanna White impression while showing the book) is a compilation of all the Hollows shorts and novellas that have been published up to date. It also has three completely new novellas not Hollows related which I might follow up after the Hollows series is done. Al’s does have a story in there called The Bespelled. It is Al and Ceri’s story.

I asked why a certain death in Ever After was handled off screen so to speak. The reader hears about it, but doesn't get to see what actually happened. 
Kim said that is really hard to answer without spoilers and to ask at the signing table. Which I did… (highlight if you have already read Ever After or don’t mind spoilers) She didn’t want Ceri and Pierce’s deaths to be the focus of the book. end

Are you going to do any novels from Ceri’s POV about the time she spent with Al? 
Probably not, no. All things are open because I have a small ship and I can turn fast if something grabs my attention. I need to break away from the Hollows a little bit. Just to stretch my literary muscles. After that who knows.

Who did you get on the “which character are you” quiz from your facebook page? 
Okay, next question! Based on the Meyer Brigg’s personality test that I worked up for the characters. I am not going to tell you who I came up as… no, no, no, no!

How do you keep the characters straight over 11 books? 
It’s not easy, I remember some because of all the rewrites. Does anyone have a Hollows Insider they can hold up? (I did! And Tim Vanna White modeled it!) This actually glows in the dark too by the way. This is a world book, actually more of a coffee table book it's got a lot of pictures, some of my fans helped me out with pictures and newspaper articles. It was a lot of fun to put together. I had to reread the whole series up to Pale Demon at that point. Because I did not take notes. I had to be sure I had all the curses and spells properly detailed out, I needed all of Jinx’s swear words. I needed every itty bitty piece of information so I wish I would have kept track. All I had was a character sheet on each character with height and weight, hair color. The spells and magic I make them all up. I try to base it on logic so when I make them up it makes sense to me. If I had been able to do it over again I would have taken better notes. Fortunately from book to book to book I only plot out the book I am working on. I do not and never have had a long range plot on paper. I had an idea of where I wanted to go and it was very malleable in the direction. 

Is your publisher going to reprint in hard back Fistful of Charms? 
Oh! I knew where you were going with this. Fistful of Charms was the last mass market released, after this one they were released as hardcovers. So they only did a small print run of hardcover of the first four books. Mostly for the library trade and they didn't expect collectors to want them as badly. Fistful of Charms has been out of print as a hardcover for at least a year. I have been getting complaints. I do not know if they are going to do another print run. They got to though. Know what you need to do? Go to the Harper Collins facebook page and complain there because that is where they listen. It doesn't matter if I complain, but if they see public outcry saying they would like another hard cover print run. They will do it. I know they watch facebook more than anything else. You put it there and they can’t ignore it.

When you create characters, do you base them on people you know; do you base them on your self or bits and pieces of you?
Let me just say I think it is unfair to know somebody and base a character on them because then expect that person to start acting like your character and that is totally unfair and will get you into trouble. I like developing a character as you would get to know a person. When you first meet them you get a 5 minute impression and that is what goes on the paper first, and then as you get to know them it gets more faceted and then they do something crazy and you don’t know why, then you find out why and then that is another deeper layer. That is how I like to create characters and when I do that I tend to either take bits and pieces of people that I know and mesh them into a character, but there is usually something from me that is in that character as well. I can’t say there is a character that is me in the book, because there isn't  but I swear like Jenks, I live my life like Rachel, I plot like Ivy, I connive like Nick. There are pieces of me in all the characters. (Tim makes funny gestures and Kim has to reprimand him). Tim says “All I can think is KuSox comes to mind!” Kim: That is me on a bad day.

In the first few books everyone called Rachel “you little coniqula” (I have no idea how to spell this word) where did that name came from? 
That is Latin for little dog. A little female dog. And back when it was spoken it was not a swear word, I haven’t used it very often. It is a swear word only the demons would use and they don’t swear at her much anymore.

Have you had from the very beginning in mind what happened at camp between Rachel and Trent? 
No, that slowly evolved. I wanted there to be a tie between them that neither really remembered. Trent remembers a lot more from camp than Rachel does but neither remembers the whole story. I didn't have that fully thought out. When we see the bus picture that’s when it really started to take off in my mind that this could be used as a plot device that would really work well to bring them together. I like working that way, putting lots of multiple things in and picking what will work best at the time when I get there. Which is cool, but I also tend to leave things and drop them and that is kind of hard to do.

Why did you have Ellasbeth tell Rachel that Trent had told her all about camp? 
That is really interesting. I only threw that in there to make Rachel uneasy. I wanted her off balance and when she found out that Trent and Ellasbeth had talked about her it made her very uneasy wondering what she is not remembering. She isn’t going to ask him because she doesn’t really want to know maybe.

Why killer tomatoes as the device to kill off humanity?
Maybe because I can never grow the darn things! Mostly because of the movie Attack of the Killer Tomato. Because the tomato was one of the first actual piece of produce that was genetically modified and they put it on the grocery store shelf and it flopped because of bland flavor.

Have you ever noticed that Rachel has straight hair on the covers of your books?
Yes! Would you like me to explain why Rachel doesn't have curly hair on the covers? I can make a pretty good guess. The last time anyone had a cover with red curly hair it died! The art behind the covers is very closely tied to marketing. They know what will attract you the genre reader. They know to a T, they've done studies on it, most of the time they are correct. It doesn't have to be what’s in the book they just need you pick it up because what’s in there is going to interest you. For a while mystery books sold 50% better because they had a tower on a hill and it sold even better yet, if there was a light on in the tower. This was like 20 years ago. They know what is going to get you to pick up that book. Rachel does not have curly hair, she never really has. In the first book she kind of had wavy hair. That cover is actually a painting. That is my only book cover that is actually a painting.

you will have to highlight this. It spoils Rachel's heritage for those who haven't read the series yet
Was Rachel always a demon? 
I am glad you asked. Rachel was born a demon. Every child born with the Rosewood syndrome is a demon. They just can’t survive it because of the Elven curse. What Trent’s dad did was wiggle in some genetics stuff so it will pass down to her children. I think it is very interesting that Trent Kalamack Senior caused the rebirth of the demons. The very thing his species was trying to eradicate.  end

I asked: Was that planned by Trent’s dad? 
I don’t know if it was planned, I really don’t. And it doesn't need be answered to have a satisfying story. At some point I would like to go back and write the story of Trent’s mom and dad going from Sacramento to Cincinnati in a war torn turn environment and we will find out then at that point. I think that would be very cool.

Trent’s waffle recipe? 
Oh, my goodness, the waffles are actually my husband’s recipe. He has been making this for almost 25 years. That is the only waffle we will eat. The recipe is in the Hollows Insider Guide.

Why Cincinnati? 
Why not? <G> All about location. When my editor came to me and said this is a great story but we need to put it in a city, just for marketing purposes. I looked at the map. I wanted a city the size that would have mass transit, but small enough you could still get around in a car. I wanted a river to run through it, I wanted a certain latitude so we could talk about summer, fall, winter and spring. It couldn't be on the coast because the magic is broken by salt water and I needed it to be in the east because I knew the east better than I did anything west of the Mississippi. You would need to know about the desert and the history there. Cincinnati was the only city I could pick. At that point the only thing I knew about Cincinnati was that we drove past it on the way from Michigan to Florida. But it is fabulous. The tunnels are really there and the park is really there. Carew’s Tower is really there. There isn't a restaurant at the top but it is still there. The city is rich in history.

Will the Ever After be repaired? 
I can’t answer that because that is what the last two books are about.

Do you get paid more for different versions of your books? 
I am not sure about audio, because that hasn't been a big seller up until the last couple of years. I get paid a little bit more for ebooks, but you know what? I would rather have you guys buy a paper book if it is all the same to you. Go to your local book store and get one because if you don’t shop local, they will go away and I really like bookstores they are fabulous. But get what works for you. My ebook sales are phenomenal, they are incredible! I love seeing ebooks come through and I see “oh, Charliane signed this too, Jim Butcher signed it too!” Very cool. I think people take more chances with ebooks.

What about the role of science in your books? 
I actually went to school for a science degree, biology. And of course, I am writing books now. I like science and genetics. I think almost every book I have written has some genetic thing in it. I like to bring that logic to the magic systems I create. It helps me remember them and if it makes sense to me then I can go off and press the envelope of believability a little more. I took the bare minimum classes in English. Seriously, and when I started writing I had a very steep learning curve. I just kept at it till my skill met my enthusiasm.

The Latin in the spells and curses? 
I had help on the one that is more like a poem. Everything else I had a dictionary of Latin and a source book and I just leafed through and when I need something. I look it up and say “well, that looks good” and I’ll just throw it in. If I wanted to do a pain charm, I would look up something that meant break or sunder or shatter and that is it. That is really all I do. It takes me 5 minutes.

Who inspired me to become a writer? 
I read a lot growing up. I had a teacher that told me I didn't know how to spell so I figured she was right. And she is right, I don’t know how to spell. It encouraged me to go into a different direction and I didn't actually start to write until my late 20’s. I read a couple of books in a row I was not happy with and I said “ppft… I can do better than that.” I.Could.Not do better than that! But I started writing and I fell in love with the process, it suits me very well, my personality, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It wasn't that anyone inspired me, growing up books were my friends and I felt very comfortable with them and when I was reading I was learning pacing, character development and what makes a good story and I had no clue that was what I was learning.

Have you decided what you are going to do next? 
I do have some ideas. 3 of them are in the Into the Woods. So if you want a peek at what might be coming they are in there. I also might be doing more of a thriller. I was really excited about an idea that I had so I wrote out a manuscript and I haven’t shared it with my editor yet and I think she is getting kind of anxious for it. I keep teasing her with it. But whatever I do it will be urban fantasy, from a female perspective, faster paced than the Hollows because that is what I enjoy, attention to romance, but not a romance… attention to relationships. We are talking about a book that won’t see the shelves till 2016.

I asked: why you were putting together the insider’s guide did you have any *headdesk* moments? 
Other than the fact that I did say Kisten has blue eyes in one book and brown in another. That was the only one. I work so far ahead of my work schedule that it enables me to go back and fix something. That’s how I get my foreshadowing in that early. It’s not that I planned it, I am just so far ahead of my schedule I can go back and add it.

Will Ivy be independent from her Masters? 
That is her happy ending of sorts and I am working toward happy endings for all the characters who survive! Ivy deserves her happy ending. She has grown as a character, she has become healthy mentally and is stable and I cannot break that just to have her and Rachel together. They may be together but it will be a very healthy stable relationship.

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan.

About the Author:
Kim Harrison, dark urban fantasy author of the New York Times best selling A Perfect Blood, was born and raised in the upper Midwest. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She's currently developing what comes after the Hollows between working on the Hollows books and a Hollows-based graphic novel. Kim is a member of The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. When not at her desk, she's most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home.

because I love you guys so much, I am giving away my signed copy of Ever After.
(sorry but US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hmmm, Jenks is so awesome I think I'd like to be a pixie, but then I'd be so tiny I couldn't leave the yard. Maybe a Elf? That would be cool.

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  3. I think it would be neat to be an elf!

  4. I just want to be a witch...either earth or lay line... don't care which. I have a copy of Ever After sitting on my TBR pile that I got from the library. I'd really rather own my own copy. Wouldn't you?

  5. Not entering the contest. Ever After is my current read. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing all the info.

  6. I would totally love to be a pixie...or a witch..ley-line not earth though :)

  7. I think elf- they seem to have the best powers. Definitely not vampire; the 'rules' of being a vampire in The Hollows world don't seem so fun.

  8. I have this on request from the library queue position 33, available copies 10 - witch

  9. I'm in the process of reading the series, and I think I'd want to be a witch since Rachel is so awesome.

  10. Thanks for sharing the great info about Kim and her series. I have looked at her books often, but never quite got the nerve to try them. Will have to fix that now ;)

  11. I would love to be a fae or a pixie...both seem like cool creatures to be and I really got to get moving on this series. I have three books still to read. Thanks for the wonderful post on her signing.

  12. Ha, I'm not particularly awesome but if my wife was an author I think it might be fun to go out on the book tour with her. We like to travel together, I think we'd have a pretty good time. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. I LOVE this series! It's by far one of my favorites. I would have to go with a witch or a vampire, but probably witch. What kind, I'm not sure - maybe ley line or earth. Thank you SO much for this awesome giveaway! You're so lucky that you got to go to the event and meet Kim!

  14. I'm a huge fan of the series, hmm, the demons are fun, but I would not like being stuck in the ever after, so maybe a witch.

  15. I would definitely like being a witch.

  16. Pixies!!!!!! I love this series! I'm almost done with this book and it's awesome!!!!!!!! Thanks for the awesome post and giveaway!

  17. I just started the series but I think I would want to be a witch.

  18. I am trying to win this book for myself. I am just starting this series. I would have to go with a witch or a vampire.

  19. I've read all the books in the series so far. I think I would choose witch.

  20. Thank you so much for this post! I wish I could have been there. I am going to enjoy my copy of Ever After when it arrives here.

  21. I just wanted to start out with letting everyone know they are free to enter this contest and turn the prize over to me I am totally open to these RAKs LOL Seriously, I love this series and will read it regardless of winning or scraping the shekels from the budget gods' cold albeit unconscious hands. ;) I would love to be a witch, vamp, or were; however, Jinks is a hoot and if I could get a sense of humor, be able to run around pixing those who ticked me off, and lets face it his vocabulary is awesome, who could ever forget the first time they hear Tink's ####### and choked with laughter. Wonderful post, I am going to be so sad in a couple of years, but I am glad KH is going to keep writing UF - I always need a fix of good UF. Thank you for sharing with us.

  22. I have not read this series, but it sounds like one I should start. Also, I live in Michigan and moved from Cincinnati, so there are two common demoninators right there!
    Bonnie Hilligoss/

  23. I have just started this series as Ms. Harrison will be at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival that I plan my vacation around every year this March and I like to read things by the authors attending before I go. Even though I just started reading, I think I'd want to be a witch! Thank you for inviting me to check out your blog & this Q&A via Goodreads :)


  24. I've read most of the series, but somehow got behind-- I need to catch up with the last three books. I love the series, and I think I'd have to go with an elf or a witch. Hard Choice:)

  25. I would love to be a witch!!! Hope I win!