Interview with Author Chris Harmon

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed Chris Harmon about his writing and his soon-to-be released book, Jitters, a fabulously eerie collection of fifteen short stories, that explores themes of teenage angst, bullying, dysfunctional family bonds, alcohol and substance abuse, and friendship. (Read the review here.)

Chris Harmon is the author of JITTERS. He was born in Southfield, Michigan. He loves to write horror stories. He’s been writing since he was eight. Writing goofy stories to dark fantasy to horror stories. Chris also loves to swim, watch Netflix and take long walks in his free time. Check out more from this young author. This is an author to watch.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Oh, so many things inspired me. I just love reading horror stories and watching horror movies. I especially love the Scream franchise, starring Neve Campbell. That’s what got me into my love of horror. As well as my family being a big part of encouraging and pushing me to keep writing.

How did you come up with the title?

To be honest, the title just came to me. It just popped into my brain in the early stages of writing. I knew Jitters was the winner. It was short, sweet and embodied the mood and genre of my short story book.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I say, a person who played such a big role in my writing was my writing mentor, her name is Dr. Jones who read early drafts and gave me a ton of feedback. She really helped me get through writing this intensive project.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Oh boy… a lot of things were difficult. One being writing the endings to the stories. It’s hard to craft such the perfect ending without it being too predictable or too unsatisfying. I’ve had over 10 drafts of each story but the hardest story that was a pain to perfect is the very last one in the collection, titled, The Strange School. Second, me being a teen writing this book was a struggle. I had to juggle my schoolwork and extracurricular activities as well as writing. I had to find a nice window of time to write each day since my freshman year of high school.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

YEP! I did often during this project. What I would do is just take a week off from the work and then come back with fresh eyes. I use the week off to just get inspired by going outside and taking walks to help me find my flow again.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yep, even before I started writing Jitters, I wrote a bunch of short novels and other short stories. I remember one short story I had titled, The Farting Man, which was about some urban legend I made up where if you fart, the Farting Man will come and take you away. Mind you, I was eight years old when I wrote this and it was ridiculous! That’s staying hidden away. If people really want to see it, they need to pay me a whole lot of money lol.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I love to read horror books the most but I also love mystery and dark fantasy.

What is your favorite time to write, and why?

I love to write at night after I finish my homework during the school weeks. It’s the only time I’ve got since I’m busy with school lol. But I mainly prefer writing in the mornings on weekends because that’s when I usually get my best ideas. Plus, since I write horror stories, it’s way more comforting to write them in the morning than at night due to obvious reasons lol.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned to perservere. That’s something I realized I had to do when writing. This career is definitely not for people who get easily discouraged, I’ll tell one that. You have to have some sort of tenacity to write. Getting through those drafts, getting feedback from beta readers, as well as if you do attempt to get traditionally published, you have to find an agent which is hard to find. Once you get the agent, the agent will have to shop around to see if a publisher will take it and the book may not even happen if no publisher takes it. You basically have to regroup now. This intensifies what I said before. It’s definitely not a career for quitters. Even after the book is written, there’s still a long way to go.

What are your current projects?

Right now, I’m currently writing and planning to publish my first horror novel called Teddy. I’ve done my first draft and am now working on my second one. I would tell you more about the project but you’ll just have to find out later. Hehehe…

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