Monday, May 03, 2010

Welcome Special Guest: Kelly Harmon!

Kelly Harmon stops by today courtesy of Goddess Fish Promotions. Kelly's book, "Blood Soup" is a dark fantasy and sounds really great! I'm a fantasy fiend, so was thrilled to have her by. Please make her feel welcome -- and leave a comment, because you'll be entered to win a $25 Amazon or BN.com gift certificate!!

1. Tell me five things I probably don’t know about you and that most folks wouldn’t guess.

First, let me say, thank you, Marianne, for having me here! These questions were a lot of fun to answer, and hard! I find it difficult to talk about myself, so…

I’m an alien from the ice-planet Pluto. (Yes, Earthlings, Pluto is a planet!) I was sent here to infiltrate the planet and send information back to my leaders on Pluto. But I have become enamored of Earth, and its people, and now I am on the run from my own—as I refuse to spy on people who I now regard as family. The Plutonian leaders have sent their secret police after me to capture me and take me back. Please don’t tell them where I am.

I once saved a small Texas town from a large herd of stampeding bulls with only a spatula and ball of twine. They were charging for the center of town…and I’d just finished barbecuing. Perhaps they were angry with me for serving up their brethren? (I couldn’t help myself, as we have nothing like beef on Pluto, and I find it tasty!) I tied the string to the spatula and began swinging it around in a vertical arc, like a ferris wheel in front of me. To this day, I don’t know if it was the whine of the tool whipping around, or the sunlight glinting off the wide, metal bottom of the flipper which caused the lead cow to divert the herd and trample a local cornfield.

But seriously…

I’m a former member of the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band. I was there during the Super Bowl year, and also in the Presidential Inauguration Parade for George W. Bush. (I played Tenor Saxophone.) But I’ve always been a Band Wally: I marched for the University of Maryland (Go, Terps!) and my High School band, too: The North Harford Hawks.

I collect dolls…the more unusual the better. I especially like it when I’m traveling and can pick up local-hand made dolls. One of my favorites is a doll made in Bermuda nearly forty years ago. My aunt picked it up during her honeymoon and gave it to me when I was little. I also love my Living Dead Dolls (these come in little coffins with their own death certificates.) My favorite is a pair which come in a dual coffin: Sinister Minister and Bad Habit (they’re dressed as a priest and a nun.)

I can’t get enough of Heavy Metal music. I love Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, the Scorpions…all those metal bands that were so popular in the 80s. I’ve been known to drive as far as 500 miles to see a concert if they’re not touring in my area. (In fact, I’ve got plans to make a four-hour trek to see Iron Maiden in July…)


2. Fill In the Blank(s): My _______ has improved remarkably since _______.

My aim has improved remarkably since I stopped drinking. ;)

3. Any news you'd like to share?

Where to start?

I have a short story called “Selk-Skin Deep,” appearing the Bad Ass Fairies 3 anthology: In all Their Glory. Cade Owen is a selke (a Scottish Fairie who is a seal, but can shed his skin and become human.) who is also a Navy Seal. He’s been assigned duty on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. It was a stretch of a write for me, an alternate history about Vietnam – and I had to get some clarification of Naval terms from a friend who served (Thanks, Steve!). I’m glad it found a home so quickly. BAF3 is available in May. I’ll be at the launch party for the book at Balticon over Memorial Day Weekend.

My short story “Lucky Clover” will appear in the Magicking in Traffic anthology later this year. Lucky Clover is takes place on a road trip during which something mysterious happens. I’ll let readers decide whether it’s a story about magic or ghosts.

Later this year, I’ve got a non-fiction chapter being published in the book, “How to Write Parnormal: Undead, Cursed and Inhuman.” My chapter is about joining or forming a critique group and how to give a good critique.

My dragon story, “The Dragon’s Clause” is available in both Kindle format and HTML now. I’m stoked about that. More info is available on my blog: http://kellyaharmon.com/?page_id=1633 .

And, of course, the reason for the blog tour: Blood Soup is also now available in Kindle Format (and others: the publisher, B&N, Fictionwise, etc. Two chapters are available for preview on scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/27623529/Blood-Soup-by-Kelly-A-Harmon ) I’ve received two 5-star reviews on Amazon, and one on Scribd) for Blood Soup. I’m walking on air... I would love to know what your readers think of it…so please drop me a line if you pick it up.

Thanks again for having me. I’ve really enjoyed this!

A tale of murder, betrayal and comeuppance.

King Theodicar of Borgund needed an heir. When his wife, Queen Piacenza, became pregnant, he’d hoped for a boy. His wife, along with her nurse, Salvagia, knew it wouldn’t be so: with each cast of the runes, Salvagia’s trusted divination tools yielded the same message: “A girl child must rule or the kingdom will fall to ruin.” The women were convinced that the child would be a girl.

When the queen finally gives birth, the nurse and the king are equally surprised. The king is faced with a terrible choice, and his decision will determine the fate of his kingdom. Will he choose wisely, or will he doom Borgund to ruin?


An excerpt:

Theodicar looked down at the mewling infant in his arms, and felt the anger rise up. Even in death his wife defied him, the nurse ensuring her success. Women did not rule. He would not allow it. They had created a male child, and that child would take the throne upon his death.

“You can save the boy,” he said to Salvagia.

She slitted her eyes at him, her stare mutinous. Her words were loud and hard in the wake of Pia’s death. “I have the power to save one at the expense of the other, Sire. The girl is stronger. And eldest. She was born to rule.”

Theodicar watched the girl curl up in his arms, her birth fluids staining a brown patch on the dyed-yellow wool of his tunic. She burrowed into the crook of his elbow, trying to achieve the comfort of the womb.

“I will not hear those words again,” he said. “That absurd idea died with my wife. My son will rule.” He reached for the boy, thrusting the girl child back into the nurse’s hands. “There’s no need for a daughter. And no need for anyone to know of her.”

“So be it,” Salvagia said, wrapping the weary girl in a square of wool, covering her face. She reached for her basket.

“Kill her now,” said Theodicar.

Salvagia looked stricken.

“Sire, if we kill her now, she will be of no use to her brother. Once dead, the blood won’t flow, and we need her blood to strengthen his.

“Then drain her now,” he snapped. “I will not have her crying out when we call the witnesses back to cut the boy’s cord.”

13 comments:

MomJane said...

If your stories are as interesting as your comments today, I will have to start reading them. They sound fascinating.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Hi MomJane

Thank you for the kind words. It helps that Marianne asks such great questions!

Victoria Roder said...

It is fun to learn about the person behind the book. Great interview.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Thanks, Victoria. :)

Pauline B Jones said...

LOL! Great answers, Kelly! I love barbecue, too! And dolls. I'm always drawn to them at fairs and stuff, but have resisted collecting because of space. My books refuse to go away.

Love the "improved aim." LOLOL!

Kelly A/ Harmon said...

Hi Pauline!

Are you stalking me?

My secret to collecting dolls is to have a single cabinet to put them in. If I can't fit it in, I don't buy it.

Books....well, that's another story, as you well know!

Pauline B Jones said...

LOL! busted!

Good plan with the collection!

Yeah, books refuse to be corralled...

Booksrforever123 said...

dang, what a cruel man-glad I'm not his queen

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

looking forward to having tons of books from you

Tracie said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your humor and imagination!

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Hi Booksforever

Yes, he's cruel, isn't he? (I ask with glee, rubbing my hands together!) Makes for great reading (I think) but, you're right: not real life.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Hey Blackroze

Aww, you made my day! Thanks!

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Hi Tracie

I really believe humor is my weak point...I'm tickled you enjoyed it. :)