Thursday, July 26, 2012

Deborah Harkness Stops by St Louis

Book 1 & 2 of the All Souls Trilogy

Last year I read this book, The Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness.  I enjoyed this book full of witches, vampires, deamons, and one very smart female protagonist.  Not only did I love the characters, and find the story compelling, but, annoyingly, it ended on a cliffhanger.  Fast forward to this evening, and I am sitting in an auditorium with Harkness' new book, Shadow of Night, in my hand, the author standing at the front of the room discussing her "adult fairy tale" while tantalizing us all with the hints on her as of yet not named finale to the trilogy. Whew that was overwhelming!

Deborah Harkness
My co-worker, Kim(who convinced me to go with her) and I were delighted as she regaled us with what inspired her to write the books.  She said she saw a display at a book store of all these supernatural books with half-dressed vampires on the cover.  After a few days of snarking with her family about the display, they made her buy a notebook to write down her thoughts on the creatures of the night.  One of the niggling questions that she kept going back to was what would a vampire do for a living?  She said when the answer came to her she realized she could write a book about career minded undead. I am so glad she was troubled by these thoughts and worked it out in books I love.

Deborah Harkness and Tempesttea
Harkness was gracious enough to answer several questions, even mine.  I ask her what her colleagues and students thought about her second career as a novelist.  Other than surreptitious confessions of academics to careers as hunky cowboy romance writers, she also admitted her students relentlessly bring up her reviews.  One reviewer graded the book as a B+.  Students constantly remind her of the grade to which she assures them great things can come of a B+.  However, she said she still wants an A, she said she is competitive that way.  All I can say is that my evening got an A for good company and spending time with a truly charming author.  (Thanks Kim for asking me to go with you).

And the signed copy of the new book

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