Inside the Author’s Cranium: Kim Harnes

Kim Harnes learned to read at the age of two and has never looked back. Growing up as an avid lover of horror novels, campfire stories, and the obsession with ghost towns and cemeteries, it only made sense that her own writing would incorporate the paranormal, the bizarre, and the unexplained. Her debut novel STILL PHOTO has spent eight months at the #1 spot at and has received rave reviews. She is an award-winning songwriter, an Active member of the SCBWI, and currently lives with her family and numerous pets in Sparks, Nevada. And now in her own words, the one and only, Kim Harnes!

1.What’s your favorite word? Apoplectic.

2. What’s your least favorite word? Can’t.

3. Describe your style of writing: I’m not really sure I have one. Of the five books I’ve written, I can honestly say I didn’t write one the same way twice. I have outlined and planned and researched and pantsed. I have had a story idea that played out exactly as it was intended and I’ve had one that took an entirely different path. I guess that means my style of writing is to let the story go where it needs to go, and realize that it may change at any given moment.

4. Describe your work ethic: My work ethic waxes and wanes comparatively to the amount of time I devote to Facebook.

5. What is your main writing fault/flaw? I tend to try too hard to make the writing perfect the first time around, completely forgetting I can always go back and edit.

6. Any tips on how to flesh out a character? I think characters have to be believable, and must continue to grow throughout the story. Make them likeable, of course, but also make them flawed. No one is perfect, and your readers aren’t going to be invested in the story if your characters fall flat. Give them attitude, give them obstacles, and then raise the stakes. Give them a past, and give them a future—neither of which has to be glamorous. And make them kiss a lot.

7. Any tips on developing plot? Just like with your characters, the plot has to be believable—even if you’re in the made-up world of Higgledybloob and its inhabitants have forty-seven eyeballs, the plot still has to be something to which your readers can relate. If the only issue in your three-hundred page story is that Higgledybloob has a missing Butterflutter named Flickitt, you’ll lose your reader on page two. But if that Butterflutter is the last of an endangered species that belongs to the Evil Head Honchorian and it was captured by the More Evil King Picklefickle of neighboring Planet Floggledybobber and its Flutterdust contains the main element that keeps Higgledybloob from falling into the Crack of Donnalobrius and your main character Galdoran is the Butterflutter Netmaker who must design a special net and then face imminent peril to find and return Flickitt to the Head Honchorian and save all of Higgledybloob from certain disaster and if Galdoran refuses to do this his family will be scroffled in the Baldasmooker, well, then you have a page-turning plot. And a really long run-on sentence.

8. Who are your favorite prose authors? This creepy chick loves Stephen King.

9. Who are your favorite poets? Dr. Seuss for all the joy he gave me as a child. Linda Boyden, I truly love your poetry. I also admire the verse of the person who got me involved in the SCBWI so many years ago, Ellen Hopkins.

10. Who are your real life heroes? My brother and sister, who both have sacrificed more than any twelve people should simply because it’s in them to do so.

11. What intrigues you? I like anything creepy: the dark, cemeteries, cemeteries in the dark. I also like to contemplate the powers of the mind and body.

12. What annoys you? Liars, hypocrites, and cliffhangers.

13. What profession other than writing would you like to learn? I’d like to either be a criminal pathologist or a sushi chef. Or both.*insert evil chuckle here*

14. What profession could you never handle? There is no way I could ever be a teacher, and I have the utmost respect for those who have chosen that path.

15. What natural talents have you been gifted with? Is sarcasm a natural talent?

16. What is your favorite writing motto/mantra? Never. Stop. Writing.

17. What motivates you? Constructive criticism. I thrive on it. If I don’t know where my writing is going wrong, I can’t fix it, and I can’t become a better writer.

Photo courtesy of Christian Aragon Photography. To learn more about Kim, visit

About Linda Boyden

Teacher. Author. Artist. Storyteller. Poet. I write a poem a day. A picture book each month. I write novels for kids. I color in and out of the lines. I help young children love words and stories. I believe laughter comes straight from the Creator who put us on this fine Earth so we can help one another do our best.

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