Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Today, I get to do something new. I am pleased to have an author as a guest on my page of the world. Her journey as an author is very similar to mine and I can feel her desire to create when I read about her. Because we want to know more of what drives author T. K. Harris, we have a chance to listen.
What Inspired Me to Write Phantom Dreams
It started with a dream. I know cliché right? But it really did. I had a dream that I was walking through a large crowd of people, surrounded by white canvas tents. I am moving quickly but don't know why, when suddenly the crowd parts and there is a man in front of me, carrying a sword and it is aimed right at me. Then, just as quickly, the woman is no longer me and I am now watching. I woke up before the sword drove home. And that's how Phantom Dreams was born.
I wish I could say that I wrote it all down in a flash and everything just worked itself out. BUT, that didn't happen. First it percolated in my brain while I went about being a full-time mother while working a 60 hour a week job. (And that was a short week!). And then, I began writing down bits and pieces late at night in between trying to write and publish stories. Only to become more and more frustrated. First, the stories that I had sold to date were short stories. In fact, the first publication I had ever been paid for was a 1200 word mystery sold to mysterynet.net. But it is a very different skill set to go from short stories to a full-length novel. I was good at cutting to the chase, getting to the point and well, you know the rest. So, I floundered.
For the next few years I put most of my effort into my work, family, multitude of projects (I'm a Gemini and we can't help it), subsequent divorce, the 2008/2009 job fiasco, and the many other awesomely awful and wonderful things that life carelessly threw in my path and laughingly under my feet to see how many times it could make me fall. (I still have scars!) And, sometimes I would work on my book. And then, one day, I got frustrated for a different reason. And, then, I got mad. And, then, I got focused. I made myself sit down and write a list of what I wanted out of life. My ideal job. My ideal partner. My ideal finances. My projects. And I wrote those lists and decided to start focusing. My first project was paying of debt (still working on that!). The second was finishing the d*m# book! The right way. (Or is it the "write" way? – Feel free to groan.)
I put the book out to readers. Got feedback. And then began the arduous task of editing, rewriting and editing some more. And then began putting it out there on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, etc. I got a great review on Kirkus Reviews and started getting great comments. I have marketed, tweaked it, re-edited it and developed a new book cover since but I still remember my first "real" sell. Not the books that were bought by friends and family. No. It was that one sell when you realized someone you didn't know, bought it. And now, all I can ask myself is, why didn't I do this sooner?
T. K. Harris
SYNOPSIS for: Phantom Dreams
A scorned serial killer on an old vendetta.
An FBI agent who has been chasing monsters for too long.
A woman whose nightmares start invading her waking life.
FBI Special Agent Jack Matthews finds himself on yet another serial killer case, having barely recovered from the last disastrous hunt. Still stiff from a gun shot wound in his leg, under investigation for a botched job, and having lost his fiancée when she walked out on him, Jack is beginning to wonder if it isn’t time to move on to something new. But, for Jack, these cases are personal and he can’t say no.
Marketing specialist Kathy Gilliam leads a fairly boring life. If she’s not working or caring for her ailing father, then she is doing whatever it takes to avoid going anywhere near crowds of people. Her few distractions include her friend Margo Longfellow, occasional hiking trips, and her increasingly alarming dreams of women dying.
As her nightmares cause her to begin to doubt her sanity, the media releases news of the “Coast-to-Coast Killer” and Kathy discovers her dreams may be related. In a moment of panic, Kathy does something that places her on the FBI’s “persons of interest” list. Suddenly, her life is set on a collision course with Jack who must decide if Kathy is the killer or destined to become a victim.