Guest Interview: TK Harris, Author of Phantom Dreams

Today I have the pleasure of hosting TK Harris. I asked her some questions in order to not only get to know her a bit, but to have a better understanding of her writing process. I must admit that I have yet to finish her book, but I am really enjoying it thus far! I hope you enjoy her interview and will check out her book, Phantom Dreams.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer? I grew up as a military brat and traveled and lived all over the world when I was younger, and later for work.  I am a Gemini through and through, split personality and all!   I think it helps me with my writing, which I have been doing since I can remember.  Before Phantom Dreams, I sold several short stories to anthologies and magazines, including Woman’s World.

I love to travel, hike, eat chocolate, drink wine, and spend time with my family!

2. What is the genre in which you write? Phantom Dreams is a mystery/suspense/thriller.  My next book may have more of a conspiracy twist to it.  The reason I say may is because I have a few other books I’ve been working on, one with a sort of fantasy twist along the lines similar to the Kim Harrison Rachel Morgan series, and the other is more of a general fiction along the lines of Dan Brown’s Angel’s and Demons.

It’s not that I’m wishy/washy or anything; I just really like the flexibility of writing what I want to write.  And I hope that doesn’t turn off my readers but interests them instead.

Right now my problem is trying to decide if I should go with a mystery/conspiracy book or a post Revelations zombie hunter book…

3. What is the book you recently had published?  Phantom Dreams  What is it all about? Phantom Dreams is about a woman whose nightmares start to become reality.  She dreams of women dying and soon discovers that somehow her dreams seem to be connected to a monster who the media calls the Coast-to-Coast Killer.  But instead of her being just a weird, sort of off-to-the-side kind of witness, she becomes a prime suspect.

4. Have you published or written any other works?  Yes.  I’ve had several short stories published that I sold to various anthologies and magazines.  You can find some of them listed on my website under publishing credits.

5. Name the top three favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.

Jack, the FBI agent in Phantom Dreams.  He’s vulnerable but tough, and cares a lot about his job and the victims.

Drea from To Date a Corpse – my post Revelations zombie hunter book.  Mostly because she’s a young fairly ordinary kind of gal, whose just made a deal with the Devil.  Literally. But not the kind of deal you’d expect.  And she is facing a world of serial killer zombies and dealing with it but not with extraordinary powers—just who she is as a person.

Norah, an assassin turned nun, turned back to assassin when her daughter is kidnapped.  Mostly because she can kick ass. J

6. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? Yes. Yes. Yes and yes!  At first I floundered.  I had been writing so much I had “dried up my well” so to speak.  So, I took a break and then later read that writing leads to writing.  So I started just writing every day on my book and, eventually, it went away!

7. How long did it take to finish your first novel?  If I had done it all at once?  It would have taken a year.  But, I let life detour me.  So it took 7.  I won’t let that happen with the next book!

8. What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?  How to do it?  If I was going to go Indie or look for a publisher?  Where was I going to find an editor?  Did I need an agent?  Mostly answering all of those questions and then figuring out how to do what I needed to do for the path I chose.

9. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre? I have used my website, www.tkharrisonline.com, Facebook, a blog tour, placing ads on ebook sites.  Things like that.  Some have been more successful than others.  I think I’m still trying to figure out the right “formula”.  If there is one!

10. What does your writing process “look” like?  Write. Write. Write.  Chaotically.  Try to get organized. Write some more.  Try to edit.  Get frustrated with editing.  Put the book aside. (Usually in a tantrum).  Suck it up.  Pull out note cards and create a story board.  And then edit.  Put the book in front of beta readers.  Edit some more.  Turn in to professional editor.  Done.

11. What projects are you currently working on?  Besides the books I mentioned above?  Putting a story together for a fantasy anthology, working on a patent I have, and trying to get my life in a much more organized state!

12. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? When Phantom Dreams first came back form the beta reading they all said the same thing.  Kathy – the main character – was boring.  Ouch!  What has been the best compliment?   That, one reader got to a point in the book where she couldn’t put it down and had to sit in her car outside of her gym to finish it.  How cool is that?

13. What advice can you give to aspiring authors? Don’t shirk the hard work of editing and, go for it.  Just go for it.  Even if it means self-publishing.  Just do it!

14. When can we expect to see another publication of your work?  Fall of next year.

15. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers? I have fans?  Won’t that be cool?  To my readers?  A) I hope you liked Phantom Dreams.  B) PLEASE leave feedback using the Contact Form on my website! C) Which would you rather see next: A conspiracy novel or a post Revelations zombie hunter mystery?

16. What’s are some cool (or nerdy) facts about you that you’ll share with us? I started riding motorcycles (crotch rockets) when I was 37 – I recently sold my Ninja 650 so I can buy a Yamaha FZ1. I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol when I was a kid. And I’ve lived and worked in 7 countries.

17. Finally, how can we find you? What are your social media sites and where can we purchase your book(s)? 

Website:

http://www.tkharrisonline.com

Facebook:

http://on.fb.me/Qf9nZP -OR- http://on.fb.me/WnL8XC

BIO
T.K. Harris, who currently lives in Colorado, is a Solutions Architect, teacher, and full-time mother. She has been a story teller since she could talk and has had several short stories purchased by professional magazines such as Woman’s World.  She is excited that her first novel – Phantom Dreams – has now been published.

Synopsis
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.

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