Kathy Harris is an author by way of a "divine detour" into the Nashville entertainment business. After graduating with a Communications degree from Southern Illinois University, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work with a well-known gospel music quartet. A few months later, The Oak Ridge Boys began their transition into country music, and Kathy had the opportunity to help build an entertainment empire from the ground up.
She worked her way to becoming a member of the Operations Management Team, eventually heading up the company's public relations and marketing department. A lifelong fascination for books and editing led to her working as a book agent for Oak Ridge Boys' vocalist Joe Bonsall. Joe has, subsequently, published three books, including his bestselling inspirational biography, G.I. Joe & Lillie.
For several years, Kathy freelanced entertainer biographies and wrote (as well as ghost wrote) news stories and columns for various music publications. In 2007, she sold her first Christian non-fiction story, "Walk on Water," which was included in Thomas Nelson's All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa. That fall, one of her devotions was included in The One Year Life Verse Devotional, published by Tyndale House. Kathy's writing is also included in Chicken Soup for the Soul Thanks, Mom. Her debut novel, The Road to Mercy, released in September 2012 from Abingdon Press.
An active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the publicity officer for Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, Kathy lives near Nashville with her husband and their two Shiloh Shepherd dogs, Glocken and Jazz. She regularly interviews literary and music guests on her blog at www.DivineDetour.com. You can visit her author website at www.KathyHarrisBooks.com or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KathyHarrisAuthor. Her twitter handle is @DivineDetour.
And here's my blog interview:
Kathy, can you write a description of yourself in six words?
Christian, writer, reader, dog lover, professional
You have an intriguing career in the entertainment industry. Do you find parallels between music and writing? How do you find time for both?
There’s an absolute parallel between music and writing. It takes perseverance and patience to succeed at both. Of course, that’s true with anything in life. We have to work hard if we’re going to achieve our dreams in any field. People tend to romanticize the music industry, as well as writing. The glamour is there. But there is just as much (often more) mundane stuff.
I devote almost all of my “free” time to writing. That means giving up lots of things, like sleep. LOL. I watch very little television and have set aside other hobbies (at one time I enjoyed art crafts and gardening), but it has been worth it to write the books I dreamed of writing as a child!
How do your family and your dogs fit in there? What do you like to do when you're not writing?
My family, which includes our dogs, and my friends, are very important to me. They’re Priority #1. I enjoy cooking for them. In fact, if I have another hobby right now, it’s trying to be creative in cooking to meet several dietary requirements for my family.
Who is your hero, and why?
My dad. He’s a strong man who has worked hard all of his life to provide for his family and to help others. He has a compassionate heart. I admire him.
And I’m grateful to God to still have my mom and dad with me.
Tell us about your novel, The Road to Mercy.
It’s a multi-generational story about forgiveness and triumph over adversity. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
Tragedy, love, and secrets meet on a journey of faith.
Dr. Ben Abrams, rescued as an infant from a fiery crash that killed his family, turned his adversities into success but lost his heritage of faith. Fifty years later, Josh and Bethany Harrison face a difficult decision that also tests their faith. A rupture in Beth's carotid artery leaves her on the brink of death, even as she's pregnant with their first child. While Dr. Abrams urges her to abort the baby to save her own life, she and Josh step out on faith and continue the pregnancy.
During the next few months, Josh, a contemporary Christian singer, struggles with his faith while Beth hides a secret that may destroy their marriage. She also discovers a decades-old connection to Dr. Abrams that could change his life forever.
Writing a novel is a huge accomplishment. How did you do it? Can you give some advice to those who are still trying to reach that magical "published" status?
Learning the craft should come first -- I wish I had learned more about the craft before finishing my first manuscript. It’s the foundation skill. After that, writing is all about focus -- and organization. I’ve found that it is easier for me to write in small bites of time. I wrote at least half of The Road to Mercy in thirty-minute sessions before going into the office in the mornings.
As an aside, for those reading this who are looking for a way to outline/organize your manuscript, Amy’s book The Story Template is great!
(Amy is a bit embarrassed here). Thank you Kathy for the shout-out! I'm hopeful people find Template helpful.
What is your next project?
Thanks for asking! Right now, I’m working on the second draft of a romantic suspense, which I hope to submit to a publisher this spring, as well as the first draft of another women’s fiction manuscript.
Anything else you'd like to tell us?
This week marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized elective abortion in our country. I tackled the issue of abortion in The Road to Mercy, and I hope you’ll read my testimony about this issue at http://www.divinedetour.com/?p=18516.
Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Amy!
Kathy, I'm delighted you were able to visit today, especially since today is the annual March for Life in Washington DC and other cities. Thank you for stopping by.
KATHY'S BOOK LINKS:
THE ROAD TO MERCY can be purchased at the following locations: