This is it. This is the big one. Kim Harrison’s bestselling “Hollows” series kicked off with 2004’s Dead Witch Walking and yesterday saw the publication of the concluding thirteenth novel, The Witch with No Name. Harrison has come through town on her tours for many of the previous books, most recently just back in March for The Undead Pool, and NC writer/editor Sharon Stogner reprises her role as “Coming to Town” interviewer ahead of Harrison’s next local appearance, this Friday (September 12) at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books as part of her full tour which includes events nationwide.
Interview by Sharon Stogner:
Q: Hello and welcome back to NC. This is your second visit to NC this year to promote a Hollows book. How have these last six months been? And how does an author celebrate the release of their final book in a successful series?
Thank you, Sharon! I always like getting back to Raleigh, though this time it is sooner than I had anticipated. I just couldn’t ask the readers to wait an entire year for the last book, and since it was already turned in, we went for it. Being the last book is very much a double-edged sword. Some of the readers are feeling the sting of it, and if the truth be told, I had a very hard time writing it. But the best way to get over the last book blues is to start right in on what comes next. Getting out and giving the readers a chance to say good-bye to the Hollows is going to be a great way to send Rachel off on her happy ever after, and Harper is going all out with a midnight kick off and final good-bye party the night before Halloween, and lots of stores and events in between.
Q: You will have a few double signings on this tour with author Richard Kadrey and have just done a Reddit Q&A together. Does The Hollows and Sandman Slim books have the same fan base? Whose idea was it to combine the promotional tours?
The idea to combine Richard and my tours was my publicity person’s idea, and it’s one that has been around for a while. YA often sends authors out to help promote each other’s books and gain new readers, and it’s the same idea here. Both Richard I have a lot of overlap in readership, but there’s lots of room to add to it! I think that is the hope here.
Q: Which book in The Hollows series are you most proud of professionally and personally?
You might laugh, but the Hollows title I’m most proud of is the world book, The Hollows Insider. My editor and publisher wanted a simple world book with character descriptions and all the fun stuff that had been building up over the years, but I went above and beyond, making a new, independent story line that strung all the books to date together, making all sorts of documents from birth/death/second death certificates, early-hour runner passes, wedding announcements, walking tours through Cincinnati, email threads, magazine and text-book additions, and other correspondence. I even hired an artist to do some of the character photos and got the readership involved to submit photos of themselves for the newspaper articles.
It was far beyond my usual day-to-day writing, and I loved it. My editor pushed hard to make it a full-color production, and it became everything I envisioned, and then some.
Would I ever do it again? Probably not without some help this time. That it glows in the dark is the icing on the cake.
Q: With the publishing industry changing every day, hybrid authors are becoming more common. Do you think you might become a hybrid, maybe under a pen name?
Hybrid as in self-published and big six published? No. I like the things that a big six publisher can give me. It frees me up to do what I got into this for: writing.
Q: In our last interview in March I asked you about ending and starting a series so I thought we’d get more personal. Don’t be nervous! You stared creating crochet animals. What prompted this hobby and most importantly have you made Bis?
I’ve been a knitter since I was twelve, but it’s only been recently that I’ve picked it back up again, mostly as a way to relax outside of the garden (which I can’t do in the winter) or kitchen (which is making me fat.) I’ve since learned that it’s great for keeping your mind nimble and alert, especially if you go off pattern as I do.
I first started making white steeds for my “heroes” in the publishing industry, each branded with a big KH. Every hero should have a gallant steed, right? But after knitting up a paddock of them, I turned my attentions to making dragons from my own pattern, not one tweaked or borrowed, but created by me right down to the toes and the crochet ridge line. The first thing I ever wrote was about telepathic, shape shifting dragons, and the first knitted pattern I ever created brought them to “life.” I’ll be giving one of my dragons away for charity while on tour at the Buns and Roses event, and I’m nervous about it.
Q: Something readers might not know about if they’ve never been to one of your signings is the Bunny Cam. Would you tell everyone about the tradition? And yes, I always participate.
The bunny cam! How I have been using the bunny cam has shifted over the years, but it’s basically a camera that I set loose in the audience during the signing, giving the readers a chance to take a picture they want me to see. Most of the time it’s of them and the book, or their favorite passage in the book, or them and their buddies. Occasionally I’ll get a YouTube of a question. This year, I think I’m going to station it at the Hollows backdrop, but it’s always a surprise when I get back to the hotel and upload everything to the website. The bunny cam pictures generally stay around for a year before they “hop” away, but some have stayed with me to this day.
Q: When you toured the tunnels in Cincinnati you said it smelled and sounded like you described it in the book. Did you find anything you didn’t expect?
I did! There was fungi and a lot more forgotten trash than I would have expected. The beautiful graffiti was unexpected as well.
Q: Thank you again for talking with us. I look forward to seeing you at The Quail Ridge Book Store signing, and like a good fangirl, I’ve got the t-shirt.
It was my pleasure, Sharon! I’ll see you there, and thank you!
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Sharon Stogner is the co-creator of the quirky multi-media reviews and interviews site I Smell Sheep and a freelance editor though her Devil in the Details Editing Services. A stay at home mom for a 12 year old daughter and an 18 year old daughter (who will be going off to college in 2014) and married for 21 years, she has a BS in Biology from UNC Chapel Hill and a Masters in Microbiology from NCSU. She and her family currently live in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area of NC.