I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a finalist for the Space Kitties Anthology. Well, it’s published now! I haven’t had a chance to read the other stories in it yet, but I hope to soon. As part of the release, the authors are doing an author interview round robin. So today, Rachel Harris is here to answer some questions about her book and writing. Tomorrow, I’ll be over on Rachel Rossano’s blog with my interview!
What is the synopsis of your Space Kitties tale?
My story is called Star Hopper Engineer and is about the cat Pyxis aboard the ship The Jules Vern. This literature loving cat is disliked by the crew because she doesn’t real serve a function and gets in the way. One day, when the ship is damaged, she might be the only thing that will save them from suffocating in space.
What inspired you to write it?
I thought a little about the movie Apollo 13 and tried to use some general knowledge from that for the damaged ship. I honestly don’t know much about space ships and wish I had done some more research. But, one thing that inspired me to write this story was from reading the previous anthology. I remember having the impression that I wanted more the stories from the cat’s perspective so I used the cat as the sole narrator. I also used the literature aspect to make her snobby, like most cats are, and add a dimension to her character. It was fun to write and edit.
How long did it take you to write?
It ended up taking me more than a month to write. I had some things going on in my life that I didn’t have time to work on it and initially missed the first date the submissions where due. So, when I found out they had re-opened them, I jumped and finished the story, did a quick re-write of some spots, mostly the beginning because that is what cause me the most trouble. The first draft had choppy ideas for the beginning. I eventually had to stop focusing on that part and move on to a clear spot in my head for the story and write from there. If I hadn’t done that, this story never would have been finished. The second draft was really about creating and connecting the beginning to the rest and cleaning up areas.
Was there any music you liked to listen to while you wrote?
I sometimes listen to music when I write but usually I like quiet. But, when I do listen to music, I love sound tracks. It can’t have any words or else I got the ones I’m writing and the ones I’m listening to jumbled and I can’t think of what I want to say. Some of the sound tacks music I listen to is from August Rush, How to Train Your Dragon, The Water Horse and a couple others. Just a song here or there from these movies. I want to get a CD of Lord of the Rings.
What was your reaction when you found out that your story had been selected for the anthology?
It was really cool. I was excited. When I tried to tell my mom that I got in, she was talking about something else and it took a while to get a word in edge wise. But, when I told her, she was excited too. I even got a bottle of sparkling grape juice to celebrate. It has really been this time leading up to the release that I’ve been going, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be published and all my friends and family can read it.” It has really been hitting my more now.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
A little bit of both but I have found recently the more I try to plan the less I emotionally get into the story. I find I create better work when it is partially just comes up as I write. I have an idea for the story, beginning, some middle, and end, some basic stuff about the characters, and the point but then I discover the rest while writing.
What elements does your ideal story contain?
A deeper message for the reader to learn from than just having a fun story. Those are the type of stories I love and that stay with me. I also love humor so a story that can do both is my favorite. I think that is why I love Doctor Who and the How to Train Your Dragon book series. The both can be ridiculous and then become totally serious with you going, “Wow.” I would like to be able to do that.
Has there been an author or non-author person who has influenced your writing more than anyone else?
I think C. S. Lewis, who was one of the first fantasy authors I enjoyed and J. R. R. Tolkien which was the first fantasy author I read on my own and which really got me into reading. I can’t really pick out one particular person. I just read and listened to a lot of advice from many different people along the way and everyone has been supportive of my writing.
Have you written any other books?
I have not written any books that have been published. In the middle of several and one of my goals this year is to finish and edit one enough that I start looking for an agent. I have been published in my college’s literary magazine for a poem I have written. That was a fun day too and a lot of people love that poem.
The only other thing that I have written was never published but was “produced” in a way. My college did a stage reading of plays and mine was one of them. Working with a director and actors was fun as I got to see how putting together a new play happened. I also re-wrote the script a few times during rehearsal because things weren’t working or I thought it could be better. I think I re-wrote that play six times.
What stories can we expect from you in the future?
The main stories that you can see from me in the future are fantasy. I’m a fantasy nut but I also have ideas for fairy tale retellings, dystopias, mystery, and whatever other ideas might come up. I also have ideas for a graphic novel, plays, and film, all varying in length. My ideas are a bit across the board but I enjoy it.
About the Author
Rachel hails from Minnesota where she received her Bachelor’s in English and Communication Studies at St Cloud State along the Mississippi River. She was previously published in her school’s literary magazine and is working on several writing projects including her first full length novel. You can find her online at bookwormreading.blogspot.com or rachelannmichaelharris.wordpress.com.
Next contest: http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/p/space-kitties-anthology.html
If you comment on any of the blog tour posts, your name will be added to a drawing for an ebook copy of Space Kitties 2. (If you win the Facebook party giveaway, you are not eligible for the blog tour giveaway.)
June 4 – Facebook party 1:00 – 6:00P.M. Central Time
~ Tour kickoff and cover reveal at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
~ Interview with E Kaiser at The Splendor Falls
June 5 – Interview with Jamie Mortensen at Lesa McKee
June 6 – Interview with Lesa McKee at Bookworm Reading
~ FB giveaway winner announced
June 7 – Interview with Rachel Harris at Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
June 8 – Interview with Faith Blum at Rachel Rossano’s Words
June 9 – Interview with H.L. Burke at Jessica Greyson
June 10 – Interview with Aletha Bakke at H.L. Burke, Author
June 11 – blog giveaway winner announced and tour wrap-up at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog