Gruesome rituals, a mysterious death, and a town full of secrets…what fun! The Last Harvest is coming out next week, and we were delighted to get a chance to chat with the author, Kim Liggett. You can get started reading the first chapter here.
What did you enjoy most about writing The Last Harvest, and what was most challenging?
I know this sounds wrong because it’s such a dark book, but it was such a joyful experience. From the writing, to the editing, to production, Tor Teen really gave me the creative freedom to carry out my vision. My original concept is nearly identical to the finished product, which is a pretty rare thing. The most challenging aspect was the placement of the clues. It’s a very fine line—leading the reader to some of the more obvious aha moments in order to deftly deliver that sucker punch you’ve been building to. That takes a lot of finessing—a lot of restless nights trying to figure out the exact right alchemy between too much and just enough.
I went down some strange rabbit holes on this book. Ancient symbolism, cults, semen guns, bull riding, blood rituals, and lots of football. My favorite bit of research was running around an abandoned barn in the moonlight, trying to find the best vantage point to peek in.
Which books are currently in your to-read pile?
Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn, NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, and Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
The friends I’ve met along the way. I have an incredible group of writing friends that I can lean on, in good times and bad. That’s invaluable to me. There’s also the not having to wear pants to work thing, which is a huge bonus.
Who are your literary heroes?
Shirley Jackson. Stephen King, Jean Rhys, to name a few.
What’s your favorite method of procrastination?
Cleaning the oven. There are times when you can safely lick the inside of my oven. Making every kind of stock imaginable. Running errands, weird things like— I think there might be a pair of boots in the back of my closet that need to be resoled.
Do you have any writing rituals?
It’s different with every book. And I’m often working on several books at once, so it’s vital that I have a way to differentiate each brain space. I rely on a specific soundtrack for each book, which I create before I start drafting. Every book has its own signature scent that I add to my diffuser while I work. The only constants are iced green tea, brisk walks with my dog, and endless hours hunched over my computer.
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(This is a rerun of a post that originally ran on the Tor/Forge Blog)