5 Questions with A.M. Harte

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.) I've been writing for far longer than I can remember, but I honestly never seriously thought of myself as a writer until recently.

I started out as a voracious reader. I lived books, breathed books. Writing was something I did on the side, for myself, a clumsy attempt to emulate the books that gave me so much pleasure. A way to get those characters rattling around in my head out onto a page, to live out my dreams.

Throughout my late teenage years, things changed. From emailing chapters to my sister, I progressed to posting work online. I gained readers -- readers who came back every week for more. Their encouragement and support made something click in my head. It confirmed to me that I wanted to be a writer, wanted to keep writing and sharing stories.

That's when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

See, despite the romantic ideal of the lonely author locked up in a cave somewhere, inscribing words on a stone tablet fuelled only by alcohol and caffeine, I ultimately believe that writing is for readers. If you don't want someone to read that story one day, why write it down? I think that's why I only recently began to think of myself as a writer, because previously I wasn't really writing to share.

Are you a writer if you don't have readers? If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.) Finishing!

You start off in that wonderful honeymoon phase, where your idea is wonderful and amazing and smells like roses. Then halfway through you hit that slump. It hasn't met your expectations, it's horrible, you're wasting your life with this writing malarkey. You can't possibly inflict this crap on anyone. This is when a lot of people give up. But you need to persevere, dig in your heels. If you don't finish the book, it'll haunt you.

You muddle your way through to the end of the book, and finally realize that it's not so bad after all. Sure, not as amazing as you'd originally thought, but passable. Phew.... Except you're not done yet. Then comes the dreaded revision. Edits. Rewriting. The story loses all meaning and becomes a string of words.

Finally, finally, you hand the book over to your readers. Then you start the next book, and go through the entire cycle again.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Exuberant and incredulous... and also really relieved. I feel that way with every release, to be honest.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.) Reading. Chocolate. Yorkshire puddings. Roast potatoes. Food in general, actually. Mmmm, food...

I love languages. As a child, I was shunted around Europe a lot, so I speak four, in varying degrees of fluency. I'd like to pick up a fifth at some point...

I'm also editor-in-chief of 1889 Labs, and pretty passionate about all the crazy things we get up to.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.) To Neil Gaiman: Would you give me your brain?

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.


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