Getting to Know Faith Harkey

We are excited to announce we have children's novelist, Faith Harkey, coming to The Bookshelf for a middle-reader event. Faith Harkey uses fiction to ennoble, enlighten and entertain! There will be copies of her book, Genuine Sweet, available for purchase at the store. Make sure to come there will be a sweet surprise! At the event, she will read an excerpt from her book, and we will have an ice cream bar and jewelry making with Emily from You're Maker. See you this Saturday (3/4) from 2-4pm. 

1. Genuine Sweet is a lovely name, how did you come up with it?

FH: Genuine is one of those amazing characters who arrived fully formed. I showed up at the page to write, and there she was - name and all! 

2. Would you rather have your wish granted, or grant everyone else's wish?

FH: Most days, I think I'd choose the power to grant everyone else's wishes, even if it meant I couldn't grant my own. But, like Genuine, I have days when I'm feeling a little selfish. Every once in a while, I might be tempted to sneak in a wish for myself... 

3. Middle-grade books are so important, especially because they are usually the first chapter books that children read. What is your favorite part about being a middle-grade writer?

FH: It's given me a way to turn magical realism into a lifestyle! I love working with the magic of story and imagination, nestling them into the framework of our (apparently) mundane world.  

4. What was your favorite book as a kid? Did it spark your interest in writing?

FH: As a very young reader, I loved The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone. (Perhaps as a result of its influence, I became a huge fan of meta-fiction!) 

I didn't know I wanted to be a writer, however, until the fourth grade. My class had read a poem about a dragon and I was so inspired, I wrote my own poem on the spot. My teacher encouraged me to start carrying a notebook and write any time I felt inspired. I've been writing ever since.  

5. What does your writing space look like?

FH: I have lots of books, of course, and inspiring things tacked up on the walls. But my favorite part - the writing desk - is fairly new. I'm most comfortable sitting on the floor, so my husband designed a floor desk for me. It's low to the ground with lots of room for my notes, thesaurus, teacup, etc. I use a meditation cushion as my chair. 

6. Do you like sweets? What is your favorite?

FH: I do, but I have a sugar allergy, which cuts down on my choices. My absolute favorite sugar-free sweet comes from the Cider Press Cafe in St. Petersburg, Florida. They call it a chocolate ganache tart. I call it nirvana.

7. What are you currently reading?

FH: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. He's one of my literary superheroes.

8. What drew you to write about a magical, small town in Georgia? Are you from Georgia?

FH: I've lived in several small towns, including tiny Tiger, Georgia, where I fell in love with the lyrical Southern accents and Appalachian culture. You'll certainly see that influence in the book. But beyond that, I love the hints of timelessness and magic that permeate small town life: the deep interconnectedness of the people, the respect for the cycles of life, the slower pace that leaves room for matters of the heart.

You can follow Faith on Twitter: @FaithHarkey

See you soon and happy reading!