Q&A With Kristin Harmel
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Q&A With Kristin Harmel
Hello everyone I am doing a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling author Kristin Harmel. Many of you have read her novels “The Room on Rue Amelie,” “The Winemaker’s Wife,” “The Book of Lost Names,” “The Forest of Vanishing Stars,” and “The Sweetness of Forgetting.”
Q: I discovered you for myself in 2018 when your book “The Room on Rue Amelie,” came out and after that I’ve read almost book from you. If you had to choose out of all the books you wrote which one was your favorite?
A: Thanks, Bianca. That’s so kind of you! It’s very hard for an author to choose a favorite book, I think, because they all contain a piece of our hearts and souls. But I like to think that I am still growing and becoming a better writer with each subsequent book (I hope that I continue to do that for the rest of my career!), so my most recent book is usually my favorite in the moment, simply because it should represent at least a small step forward in my development as a writer. In this case, I’m probably proudest of The Paris Daughter (coming June 6, 2023) right now, as it is the one I’ve completed most recently. But The Sweetness of Forgetting, my first WW2 novel, which is being reissued as a special 10th anniversary edition on October 4, will always hold a special place in my heart, too.
Q: I know in the past you told me Hollywood has the rights to a few of your novels. I can honestly see your novels becoming a movie. Can you spoil which books they have the rights to and which ones are currently in development?
A: There’s not much to tell at the moment. Most of my books have been optioned—that’s not the tough part. But it’s a very, very long road from the option to the actual first day of filming. Here’s hoping that we’ll have news to share soon!
Q: What were your favorite novels you read so far this year?
A: Oh, that’s impossible! I read so frequently, especially being that I’m one of the hosts of Friends & Fiction, a weekly show in which I (along with New York Times bestselling authors Kristy Woodson Harvey, Patti Callahan Henry, and Mary Kay Andrews) interview other authors each week. I’m constantly reading or listening to a book. I just finished an early copy of Lisa Scottoline’s Loyalty, which will be out in March. It was incredible, and I can’t wait for the world to read it. I also loved her Eternal and What Happened to the Bennetts. Of course I’m in love with Kristy’s, Patti’s and Mary Kay’s most recent books; they’re some of my favorite people and my favorite authors. Kristina McMorris’s The Ways We Hide was also quite good, as was Kate Quinn’s new short story Signal Moon. I loved Nita Prose’s The Maid, too. But I’ve also ready dozens of other books I loved this year. I can’t choose a favorite; those are just some that come to mind!
Q: What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to be a writer especially in your genre of historical fiction? What’s your advice to anyone who struggles with writers block?
A: I think it’s vital to read as regularly as you can, both in your intended genre and outside of it. I think you can learn from every genre; the more well-read you are, the more tools you’ll have in your own writer’s toolbox. I also recommend outlining if you’re writing a first novel; it gives you a roadmap and prevents writer’s block, because you always know where you’re going. Finally, set small goals for yourself. If you write a page a day, you’ll have 365 pages by the end of the year – and that’s a book. Don’t set goals that position you for failure; take it slow, go easy on yourself, and try to sit down every single day and write, even if you just have time for a page.
Q: I read the synopsis of your next book “The Paris Daughter,” which comes out next year. While it’s a historical fiction novel during World War II what makes this one different from your other novels is it has a mystery to solve this time around. How did you come up with the idea for this one?
A: I don’t think of it as a mystery, actually; I think the biggest thing that makes it a bit different from my earlier books is that this one is very much a story about motherhood, which is very personal to me and which I haven’t addressed as directly in the past. What would it feel like to lose a child, as one of the characters does in the book? That was a very hard road to go down as a writer (and as a mother myself), and bringing that to life on the page was difficult some days. I hope readers will enjoy the return to Paris and the twisting tale of loss and redemption that spans two decades and two continents, from WW2 Paris to 1960 New York.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little about it?
A: Since The Paris Daughter won’t be out until June 2023, it’s a bit too early to be talking about the next book, but rest assured, I’m busy outlining it now! I’m sure I’ll have news to share in 2023.