Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ Kathryn Harris

Please join me in welcoming Kathryn Harris for this week's Fellow Author Friday! ~PA

Thank you, Phoebe, for letting me share my story on your blog. 

The bio on my blog says I have a one-track mind and an eight-track heart. It’s a pretty accurate description. My love for writing is tied tightly to the many afternoons I spent in childhood listening to my older sisters’ 8-tracks and vinyl records. Oh, to be a rock star in the late 1970s. It’s the stuff my daydreams were made of. I mean, how incredibly cool were the female pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll: Ann & Nancy Wilson, Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Lita, Joan and the rest of The Runaways, Carole King and Linda Ronstadt. What must it have been like to blaze the trails they set afire?

 To this day, I have yet to meet another six-year-old whose imaginary friends went on make believe world tours and (gasp!) got chased by invisible groupies. Alas, I had to grow up. My imaginary band broke up. Approaching adolescence forced me to face the fact that my chances of becoming a world-famous musician were as slim as the waistline of Bowie’s “Thin White Duke.” But I liked to write. In fact, when I wasn’t tuning my air guitar and getting ready to put on an imaginary sold-out show, I was plunking away on my mom’s old manual Smith-Corona typewriter.

One day – when I was about 10 years old – one of my sisters was watching “The World According to Garp” in the basement of our split-level home in rural Nebraska, and she made the offhand comment, “Who in their right mind would want to write a book? Talk about boring.” 
I glanced up from the old Smith-Corona and smiled at her. “I’m going to write a book someday.” I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe me. I could tell by the way her eyes rolled. 

Not too long after that, I had an epiphany: I was going to write a book about a trailblazing rock star trying to hide her past.
I started writing longhand; the “N” key broke off of the manual typewriter (quite problematic when your heroine’s lover is named Nick). The original draft – which will NEVER see the light of day – was 26 handwritten pages of drivel, but it provided the outline of the story that would – many, many years later –become my first novel. 

There’s no way I could’ve known when I started writing how much the story would eventually mean to me, how my main character’s struggle with cocaine addiction and alcoholism would not only provide a mental escape from the turmoil in my own life but also help me understand the mindset of a recovering alcoholic, the mindset of someone like my husband (who, incidentally, will celebrate a full decade of sobriety in July).

The Long Road to Heaven is a story about letting go of the past and finding a reason to forgive the unforgivable. It’s available in both paperback and for Kindle. (Kleenexes sold separately.) :D
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