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Spotlight on... N. K. Harrison (dystopian fantasy author)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Developing the imagination one might expect of a fantasy author, Guernsey writer N.K. Harrison has always loved creating stories. Studying business, media and film at A Level but finding her ideal career in the travel industry, alongside writing novels, Nicki runs her own business as a travel counsellor.

Her travels and experiences strengthened her love for creating immersive characters and unique worlds, hoping to take readers on the only type of journey she cannot create in her day job. Supported by husband, Shaun, family and friends (and of course the dogs), Nicki hopes that her writing will provide a fresh escapism for every fantasy lover.

About you...

What book (or books) are you currently reading?

The Witcher series, Traces of Two Pasts, On the Way to a Smile, and the Shadow & Bone series.

What genres do you like to read? Are they the same genres that you write?

My favourite genre to read is dystopian fantasy, which is also my favourite to write. I also really enjoy magical realism, historical ficton, sci-fi, crime and murder mystery novels… and have a soft spot for well-written romance sub plots within those genres.

What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?

Cassandra Clare. She managed to take magical realism to a whole new level, across several time periods and create a fantasy world within our that I can only wish was real.

How do you define the difference between a writer and an author?

Being either is fantastic but for me, an author completes the story/stories that’s on their minds or close to their hearts. Their passion becomes a book, memoir, series or even an anthology while a writer will enjoy any form of creative writing. Santa letter, pen pal, blogger… writing is a joy, no matter what the message is.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?

Yes… and I very nearly did use a pseudonym. My desire for anonymity, however, quickly came face to face with the pride I felt at completing my first book. I decided in the end that I wanted the world to know that the Encia Trilogy was my story.

How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

You can never please everyone. Some people revel on creating and spreading negativity and it always hurts. I usually try to consider the concise critism and use it to improve… but if what’s been said is just brutal, I’ll sob quietly in the corner or bend a friendly ear to two for comfort (or both).

Do you ever model characters based on people you know? Why / why not?

In a way. I think there is always a little bit of people I know and myself in my characters. A mannerism, a hairstyle, a common phrase or expression… I find it helps to develop interesting characters if they have relatable traits. That being said, I’ve never created a character to completely resemble anyone I know… there’s always a twist.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Your voice is what’ll make your story unique, regardless of what publishers or the internet tells you is “correct”. Tell your story, your way.

About your books...

How many books have you written and which is your favourite?

Two and a half (I’m going to count the semi-completed plot of my third book, haha). My favourite to write is (currently) the second. It just felt thrilling to continue the story but not get so bogged down with developing the world or characters and focus on the events.

Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?

Rylie Auren. I adore that she’s an approachable, cheerful person (which I try to be) but also very supportive and caring to her loved ones. She’s far from perfect with and oblivious nature and confidence issues (both traits that I share) but she’s also got the determination to face her fears and better herself.

What inspired the idea for your book?

I was mostly inspired by several of the Final Fantasy games and books, most notably 7 & 10.

If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

Thank you!

A bit of fun...

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

I’m always cautious about meeting popular people… especially those who have inspired me. I couldn’t handle it if they were actually horrid (haha). I’d much rather spend time with an awesome person… and if they’re an author/writer, even better.

What’s your favourite writing snack or drink?

I’m highly inclined towards murder without my daily dose of vanilla latte!

Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favourite?

Yes and I love so many different styles. It depends what I’m writing I guess (battle scene, romance, devious antagonist… the music usually reflects the moment).

If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?

I have over 50 characters so won’t bore you with a huge list but if I could pick a few, I’d love Henry Cavill to play Nate Auren, John Boyega as Morgan and Logan Lerman as Harrison. Maybe Hailee Stienfeld for Rylie…

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

Yes… and I’ll almost certainly do it again! #sorrynotsorry

Click here to explore N.K. Harrison's website and get updates on her upcoming books!
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