About N.W. Harris:
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, N.W. Harris’s imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books.
N.W. Harris published his first novel—Joshua’s Tree—in 2013. It was no wonder that with his wild imagination and passion for all things word related, that N.W. Harris was named a quarter finalist in Amazon’s Break Through Novel Award Contest. In early 2014, N.W. Harris joined the ranks with Clean Teen Publishing when they signed his new young adult apocalyptic adventure series—The Last Orphans.
In addition to writing, N.W. Harris has been a submarine sailor, nurse, and business owner. His studies have included biology, anthropology, and medicine at UCSB and SUNY Buffalo. He lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. He writes like he reads, constantly.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always been an artist, dabbling in words, paint, clay, metal, plastic—anything and everything. Being one of those people who need to be creative as much as I need to breathe, art has been the one constant in my life. Eight years ago, when my son was born, I found that I had little time for most creative outlets. Writing was there me, the perfect solution because I could sit down for five or fifteen minutes and work on a story, then close the computer when my daughter (just 13 months older than my boy) and my son both demanded immediate and complete attention as is the right of every young princess or prince. Once the storm of bottles, burping and diapers passed, and I cleaned the barf off my shoulder, I could jump back on the computer and pick up where I left off. Incidentally, I discovered that writing is the art form I was meant to do all along—it provides me with the greatest satisfaction and the result takes up a lot less space! To answer the question directly, my children are the reason I write, then because there was nothing else I had time to do, and now because I want to show them that we can find success in any dream as long as we give ourselves over to it absolutely and persist like our lives depend on perfecting our craft.
Tell us about your writing process.
I typically start with a large piece of drawing paper and just brainstorm in a pseudo-outlining fashion. This is where I come up with the beginning, middle and ending (all of which can be changed at anytime), and I create the protagonists and antagonists in the story, establishing the main characters and secondary characters. I always intend to have a complete outline before I start writing, but it never happens. Typically, I start writing the book after a week of brainstorming and playing with the outline. If I hit a slow spot and need inspiration, or I get concerned that the story is getting off track, I return to the outlining process to help clear my mind. A rough draft takes me a couple of months to create, then I start revising. Revising takes at least four months, it’s the hardest part of creating a novel for me. You have to be willing to change large portions of the story to make it better. Sometimes I’ll have beta readers take a look at a portion of it (first quarter or half) of the story early on. Their feedback can really help to clarify things and make the finished product the best it can be.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do 🙂 I also put the characters on and try to live inside their bodies as I write the scenes. I catch myself speaking the dialogue I’m typing as if I were one of the characters in the scene talking to the others.
What advice would you give other writers?
I would say write what you love, take time to polish your craft (years), and persist. Don’t start writing with the idea of being published and getting paid as your primary motivation, you will go mad. Write because you love writing—success will come to those who never give up!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I set out to be published by a publisher from the get go. I wanted the support a good publisher can provide. I have nothing against self publishing as long as the writer gets a good editor, cover artist, etc, and I may self publish a book in the future just to try it out.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we are at the beginning of a new world for literature. There hasn’t been a compairable revolution in the way stories are shared since the creation of the printing press. I think the things we are seeing today, the ease of self publication and the number of small publishers coming into the game, are wonderful things. I expect we’ll see a few of the Indie presses gain the repute and success that was reserved for the big publishing houses in the past. I also think that the advent of the e-reader has brought more people to reading. I think there will be more books and more readers in the future, and I think a higher percentage of writers will be able to make a living off their craft than never before.
What do you use?: Dictated and got transcribed, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young adult, science fiction, post-apocalyptic
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print