Today we get to meet Annie Harmon, author of The Argument:

back cover

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I have been dreaming of published novels since I was eight. Every day I would wake up with a new story idea in my head and I would write it down. The ideas were childish at first, but soon I came up with an idea that my mother said she wanted to read more about. By ten I had started my first “book”. By eleven I had finished the book, gave it to my mother… and she lost it. But I’m over that…seriously.

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
The Argument is the one just published, and that wasn’t as much a case of being inspired as it was a case of having always existed and just needed someone to put it down on paper. You know, one of those stories. My latest work (in the process of being illustrated), Genuine Alligator Shoes was truly inspired though. I was watching TV and a commercial for a flea market played: “…we’ve got everything from glassware to genuine alligator shoes!” I loved the way those words rolled off the narrator’s tongue and went around repeating it and wondering why anyone would need genuine alligator shoes. I loved the answers I came up with!

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I’d love to say I’m perfect and my biggest aspiration is to be able read to every child in every orphanage. (Which, of course is true!) But when I close my eyes and picture my ideal future, I have to be honest. I’m not that original. I see children lined up begging for my autograph, and when they do, I see myself somehow coming up with something witty and unique to say on the cover of each book. Then I see myself going home to my mansion and telling my maid I need another pillow for my tired feet. Being awesome is just so exhausting! But I guess for that to happen I’m going to have to ‘aspire’ to being much more prolific!

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
Most everything I have written has come from my children saying, “And then what happened?” And thank goodness, or every story I wrote would be condensed to “Once upon a time stuff happened, the end.”

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
I remind myself that writers write. I know I should be saying that I sign up for everything on the SCBWI, but the truth is I really do let life get in the way. Months will pass and then I find I have a story I really need to share but I’ve forgotten how to put the words down. And if anyone has gone a few months without writing they know how hard it is to tap a well that’s been left dry. When that does happen I remind myself again, writers write. Then I force myself to cover page after page with random words until I flush out all the decayed ideas. Until clean sentences begin to emerge. Once I’ve got a couple of pages like that I simply start following the neighbourhood kids around, offering them candy to listen to my recital. And when they start throwing rocks at me I know I either need to go write some more, or get better candy.

Thanks Annie,we think you are pretty awesome too! Wonder if your first story will ever turn up. In the mean time we look forward to reading and reviewing The Argument – will be posted later this week so watch this space. Keep reading, keep writing!

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