Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Nerd Girl Official Author Talk

Nerd Girl Official Logo

Nerd Girl Official Logo

Nerd Girl Official is hosting me today for an indie author talk.

Here’s the link if you want to check it out: linky.

(You should really check it out…there’s a COVER REVEAL for Book 2 of the Charm City Darkness Series!)

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Interviewed by Author Morgen Rich

Head on over to Morgen Rich’s blog to learn about how I wrote Stoned in Charm City…

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Author Interview: Ripley Patton

I read the first chapter of Ghost Hand, and was instantly hooked. So hooked, I invested in the Kickstarter project, because I wanted to read this book as soon as I could! The book is finally ready, and I don’t want to put it down – just when the plot was getting good: it got even better.

And lucky us! Author Ripley Patton agreed to answer a few questions below. I hope you enjoy…

Do pick up Ghost Hand when you get a chance. It’s terrific!

~ Kelly

Why did you write THIS book?

The short answer is: an agent told me to.

The long answer is a bit more complicated than that.
In 2009, I had been writing short stories for about five years, and really enjoying it, and I’d even won some awards and contests, but I wasn’t making much money. I had thought about writing a novel and had started a couple, but I always lost interest a few chapters in. I was beginning to doubt I could even be a novelist. Then, out of the blue, a New York literary agent contacted me on Facebook. She had read one of my short stories online and wanted to know if I was working on anything longer. After I picked myself up off the floor, I told her I wasn’t, but I could be. What followed was three weeks of frantic writing and outlining. I don’t think I even slept. All in all, I managed to prepare four different novel synopses with sample chapters for her to look over. She read them all and gave me feedback on what she liked and what she didn’t. And of Ghost Hand she said, “I could sell this. Write this one.” And so it began…

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, by the time I had Ghost Hand done, the agent had quit the business, so I ended up publishing it myself.

Do you have a “story” about the writing of this book? Something fun, crazy or frustrating that happened while writing?

Ghost Hand took me three years to write, so yeah, a lot of fun, crazy, and frustrating things happened during that time. Probably the craziest thing was that my home city was destroyed by two devastating earthquakes. I was living in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time, and in September 2010, we had a 7.1 earthquake that, among other things, took down a wall of our house and we had to move in under six hours. Then in February 2011, Christchurch was hit again by a 6.3 which was actually much more devastating than the first one because it was shallower and hit smack in the middle of the city. This time our house wasn’t damaged much, but my neighbor was killed, my husband lost his workplace, and my daughter lost her high school. After that one, the city was under a national state of emergency for three months while we suffered the 7,000 aftershocks. Water, food and fuel had to be brought to us by our friends in the safe zone for several weeks. It was a harrowing experience for me and my family, and many other people, and I have a feeling that someday I will have to write a book about it. But at that time, Ghost Hand was my escape into a world a lot less shaky than the one I lived in.

How much of the book is realistic?

All of it. Every last word is as realistic as I could make it. If a girl did have an ethereal hand that could reach into people and pickpocket their souls, I’m pretty sure it would look and act exactly like Olivia Black’s ghost hand does in the book. That being said, it is a paranormal thriller. It is fantasy. I personally don’t like books that are too realistic. If I wanted realistic, I wouldn’t read fiction. I’d just step out my front door.

Perhaps one thing that people might find too realistic is that my teen characters do swear. Honestly, I debated that, taking words out and then putting it back in again. Ultimately, I asked my own two teens what they thought and they said, “Mom, teens swear.” To them, it wasn’t authentic without some swearing. But I’m sure it will bother some people.

What books do you love, and what authors have influenced you?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked this. Probably my two favorite YA books in the last few years have been Lisa McMann’s Dreamcatcher series (Wake, Fade, and Gone), and Neal Shusterman’s Unwind. Both are grungy and dark, have amazing plotlines, and are a unique take on your typical YA story (no werewolves or vampires). Those books heavily influenced Ghost Hand. And Neal has just come out with a sequel (promising to make it a trilogy) to Unwind called Unwholly. Which reminds me, I haven’t bought it for my Kindle yet, and I don’t know why. I shall now go and do just that.

What’s next?

When I first started writing Ghost Hand, I didn’t know it was going to be a series. But as I wrote the book, the story grew, and I soon had a three book plot arc that I was really excited about. I love to read books in a series because then you don’t feel as sad when you finish the first book, knowing there are two more to look forward to. So, what’s next is book two of the PSS Chronicles, which I will start writing in earnest in January. I’ve already done research for the book, which takes place mostly in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I have the basic plot line in my head. Given the fact that scenes have already started to write themselves, I don’t think it will take me three years this time. I’m shooting to have the first draft done by summer, and release book two of the PSS Chronicles in fall of 2013.

You can read the first five chapters of Ghost Hand using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. Go there now, click on this link to read!

Where can you find Ripley and her books? Right here:

Ripley Patton’s Web Site:

Kindle Version of Ghost Hand:

Paperback Version:

Barnes and Noble:


Ripley Patton on Twitter:

Ripley Patton on Facebook:

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Many Genres, One Craft: Writing Conferences, Part II

This is the second of a 3-part interview series of authors from the book Many Genres, One Craft recently published by Headline Books. Many Genres, One Craft is an anthology of instructional articles for fiction writers looking for advice on how to improve their writing and better navigate the mass market for genre novels.

While the book encompasses many aspects of writing, this series of interviews is all about coordinating and attending writing conferences.

Lucy A. Snyder Lucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent and Shotgun Sorceress and the collections Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines.

She has a B.S. in biology, an M.A. in journalism and graduated from the 1995 Clarion Writers’ Workshop. Since 2005, she’s directed the Context Writing Workshops. She currently is a Seton Hill MFA mentor. Lucy was born in South Carolina, grew up in Texas, and now lives in Ohio, with her husband and occasional co-author Gary A. Braunbeck. For more information, please visit

What’s it like being a conference/convention coordinator?

It’s a busy but highly rewarding volunteer job. I coordinate the writing workshops track for Context, a convention in Columbus, Ohio that will be taking place the weekend of August 26-28 ( It’s steady work across the entire year that gets busier in the months leading up to the convention. Right now we’re getting very busy with convention planning and preparations. It’s always great to see your efforts pay off in a well-attended convention where you can see people having fun, making new connections, and learning new skills.

Book cover of Switchblade Goddess by Lucy A. SnyderWhat are the key skills for your role?

To be a writing workshop coordinator you need good organizational skills (scheduling and keeping track of course signups is a big part of what you’ll do), persistence (things won’t always go right the first time), and good problem-solving skills. And of course communication skills are critical. Knowledge-wise, you need to be able to reach out to good instructors, and you need to know how to be able to evaluate potential instructors.

What’s the best thing that’s ever come out of a conference for you? What about for someone else? Was it luck or planning that made it happen?

For me, the best things that have come out of conferences and conventions have been book deals, or preliminary discussions with editors that resulted in book deals. Luck always plays a distressingly large role in publishing, but in each situation I had done a lot of pre-conference planning (in terms of who I wanted to meet and what I was going to present to them) that I think vastly improved my chances of success.

Why should a person attend a conference/convention?

There are a whole lot of reasons to go to a convention. Many people go as much for fun as they do for business. It really depends on where you are in your writing career. If you’re unpublished, you might want to focus of conventions that offer a strong writing track and the chance to talk to small- and medium-press editors, who are often more receptive to new writers’ work. If you have been selling short stories and have just finished a novel, you might want to look for conventions that offer the opportunity to pitch to book editors and reputable literary agents. And if you’re a working writer, you’ll probably be looking for larger conventions that offer the best networking opportunities with editors and other writers as well as a chance to expose new readers to your work.

How can you decide (before you put your money down) if a conference is right for you?

Take a look at the guest/attendees lists — do you see the names of people you’d like to listen to or chat with? Take a look at the programming schedule, which might not be posted until a month or so before the conference. Do the panels and workshops and other events interest you? Now, look at the costs of attending the conference, not just the registration fees but also the hotel, air fare, etc. Can you afford this?

What if you get there, and find it’s not right? How can you make lemonade from the lemon?

Even a well-planned convention can end up with problems due to hotel errors, or high-profile guests may have to cancel at the last minute because of unexpected travel snags or illness. Because of this, it’s best to not pin all your hopes for a convention on a single guest attending or a single workshop, etc. Do your homework first and try to choose conventions that offer a wide range of events that will interest you.

Book cover of Spellbent by Lucy A. SnyderIf you arrive at a convention and at first it’s not what you expected, give it a chance. If you’re looking for the pro author guests and don’t see them, check the hotel bar — this is the prime hangout location for writers. If you came to meet other attendees and find the panels under-attended, check to see if there are going to be room parties later that people may be resting up for. Try to set aside your expectations and be open to what the convention has to offer.

But if it simply isn’t working for you, take a look around and see what other opportunities present themselves. If you’re in the middle of an unfamiliar but interesting city, take the opportunity to do some sight-seeing. You might be able to forge new friendships with other attendees who are similarly disenchanted with the conference.

Also, once the weekend is over, you might want to send a polite, non-judgmental email to the convention chairs to let them know about the things that didn’t work for you or created problems for you. Again, politeness is key here; the organizers are likely unpaid volunteers who worked as hard as they could to put on a good event. They’ll want to know what went wrong for you so they can do better next time, but they won’t be receptive to your message if it’s disrespectful or ends in high-handed demands. Many conventions will offer membership refunds if there’s been a genuine at-con disaster.

If you’re pitching at a conference, what do you need to do?

Make sure you know the rules of the pitch session going in, and make sure you’re following those rules. If you know who you’ll be pitching to, try to learn a little about the agent or editor and his or her tastes, and adjust your pitch accordingly. Practice your pitch on friends, and prepare pitches of different lengths. For instance, it’s always good to be able to describe your project in 30 seconds or less, but you’ll also want an intermediate and longer pitch that you can use depending on the circumstances. And it doesn’t hurt to have a back-up pitch prepared in case the agent or editor says “I don’t think that project will work for us, but do you have anything else?”

When should a person consider NOT going to a conference?

Conferences are wonderful, but if you’re behind on your novel deadline, don’t go, unless there’s a truly compelling reason. You should also reconsider your attendance if going to the conference will send you into debt, or deeper into it. And if you have the flu, please stay home; the virus that gave you an annoying cough could land someone else in the hospital.

If you decide you must cancel and you’re scheduled to participate as a panelist or on other programming, be certain to let the organizers know as soon as possible so they can adjust their scheduling accordingly. It’s simply the polite thing to do.

Many thanks to Lucy A. Snyder for answering a few questions about attending writing conferences and coordinating them. If you have others, please post in the comments. Lucy will be happy to answer them!

More information about Many Genres, including author information and other interviews is available on the Many Genres blog.

Please visit next Monday for the third (and final) interview from Many Genres, One Craft. Part 1 with thriller-auther KJ Howe can be found here.

Order information for Many Genres, One Craft.

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Fascinating Author, I Am

More newsy-news!

I was interviewed at the “Fascinating Authors” Web site a few weeks ago and it’s finally posted!

:: Exciting!! ::

They requested a written interview and then called me for a phone interview which has been recorded for the ‘net.

Here’s a link to the recorded version. This version is fun because you get to know what I *sound* like. The interviewer asked me some interesting questions and talked about how transparent I am on my Web site.

Here’s a link to the written version. Here I give advice to aspiring authors and talk more about Blood Soup, and I reveal what I do in my day job.

I’ll admit that I haven’t gone back to see what they’ve edited — if anything — for either of the interviews.

(Because I’m a chicken. My hometown newspaper did a piece on me over the summer and the paper is still sitting here unopened on my desk. What if it’s awful?)

And who really likes the sound of his own recorded voice?

Meh. Please, go listen and tell me how it is.

:: Still jumping, though… ‘cos it was a lot of fun! ::

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Sleigh Riding and Interviews…

Sorry, the two aren’t connected.

I’m heading out to go sleigh riding today….well, there’s no heading out really. The hill in my yard is steep enough, long enough and wide enough to accommodate all kinds of sleds, toboggans, skis and whatnot…

So, I just need to walk out the door.

I’m just waiting on the invitees I’ve asked over to arrive (a little later today) and then we’ll tackle it.

It’s snowing again (!) — more than flurries, but not quite with the vigor of Wednesday which left us with more than a foot.

I’m so excited! I can’t remember if I’ve been sledding during a snowfall. Whheeeeee!

In the meantime, I leave you with an interview of me (if you’re so inclined) over at Nerine Dorman’s Blog: Toads Corner. She’s called it, “Tea with Kelly Harmon,” which I absolutely love.

Please let me know what you think.

Nerine is an author and an editor, too. (And I was just tickled that she asked me for an interview.) She writes dark fantasy and romance and annually participates in the HorrorFest Convention near her home in Cape Town, SA. She’s really cool. You should check her out Nerine Dorman’s profile to see what I mean.

Happy Weekend!

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Of Me, Advice for Writers and Pajamas…

I’m flattered that Annette Bowman from the blog The Stars are Not Made of Fire was interested enough to ask me a few questions about me, my writing process, and advice for beginners.

I find Annette to be a fascinating person who likes to live in her pajamas — since they’re the most comfortable clothes in the world. (Of course!) I heartily agree, and if I could, I’d spend my days in pajamas just like Annette. Alas, the working world frowns on this.

PJs not withstanding, Annette’s blog is an interesting read. Visit just for that, even if you’re not interested in hearing me blather on.

On the other hand, if you’d like to read the interview, please visit Annette’s blog for the scoop.