Friday, January 20, 2017

Mette Ivie Harrison

Mette Ivie Harrison is the critically acclaimed author of eight YA books, including Mira, Mirror and The Princess and the Hound series. In 2014, she published her first adult novel, a mystery entitled The Bishop's Wife, about a Mormon bishop's wife who is drawn into solving crime when a young wife and mother in her ward goes missing. His Right Hand, book 2 of that series, is about a transgender ward member who is found dead in the church building. Book 3, For Time and All Eternities, is about an independent polygamous group where Linda is called to investigate a murder. Harrison writes a regular blog about faith and Mormonism at Huffington Post. She holds a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Princeton University and is an All-American triathlete..

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Harrison's reply:
I just finished reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, and it has inspired me to start posting regularly about my process. I believe in messy process rather than perfect, finished product and in what Austin suggests, which is that only ever showing the perfect product leads to aspiring creative types thinking that they'll never get better. This is completely untrue, and I'm a terribly messy writer. I went through 15 drafts of For Time and All Eternities (the latest Linda Wallheim Mormon Utah mystery) in 2016 alone. I'm not a good writer because I write flawlessly to begin with. I'm a good writer because I'm willing to do some very hard work when it comes to revision, and because I never prize a sentence above the purpose of my book. I can cut ruthlessly if that's what's necessary.

I also just finished Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. I went through a five year long depression after the loss of my sixth child and I've been interested in the different experiences of depression of others since then. Honestly, my experience was very different from Matt Haig's, but both of us ended up getting through without medication (not something I necessarily recommend). I dogeared a number of pages so that I can go back and use the book when I talk to friends who have depression, as well.
Visit Mette Ivie Harrison's website.

Writers Read: Mette Ivie Harrison (January 2015).

The Page 69 Test: His Right Hand.

--Marshal Zeringue