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An Interview with Kim Harnes upon receiving an offer of representation.


Kim Harnes (KimHarnes on QT) has signed with agent Linda Scalissi of 3 Seas Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
PSYCHIC a YA Paranormal Suspense is the story of a girl who, through visions and nightmares, is forced to watch from inside the mind of a serial killer.

I don't really know what inspired me to write it, other than I really like creepy stories, and I like to mess with people's minds. :)
How long have you been writing?
I started writing stories as far back as I can remember. I wrote my first "picture book" when I was in the third grade.
How long have you been working on this book?
Ten years. Yes, ten. Keep at it!!
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I think every writer has that feeling, yes. I have a wonderful family and a great circle of friends who kept me on course.
Is this your first book?
No. My debut novel STILL PHOTO was published in March of 2014.
Do you have any formal writing training?
Nope. Just the love of writing, the desire to write, and the inability to see myself doing anything else but writing.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
Unfortunately working a full time job, being a wife, a mother, and a grandmother all tends to get in the way. I don't have a set schedule, and am only able to write when everything else is done. It might take longer, but I still trudge ever onward.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I lost count, and then I did it one more time.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
I did! I have a great group of friends, fellow writers, and former teachers who all helped me with this book.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I've never written a book the same way twice. Of the four I've completed, I've pantsed and plotted, outlined and graphed, I've gotten to what I thought was the end and in a huge plot twist wrote another 30,000 words. I let the book go where it wants to, and it's always more satisfying that way.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
This is actually the second time I've queried this book. The first time it was definitely not ready and I'm ashamed I tried to pass it off as such. I did a complete rewrite and then rewrote that rewrite before I queried it again.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
94 this round.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Through QueryTracker's excellent databases, I was able to filter out agents by genre and sub genre. I started off with agents who not only represented YA, but also thrillers and suspense.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
I made sure to personalize each query, yes. It's always the best idea to research submission guidelines. Also, to those agents whom I'd met at conferences, I made sure to mention that, as well.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Follow submission guidelines. And don't give up. I queried my first book and was rejected 200 times. If I hadn't tried for 201, I wouldn't have a published book.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Sure! Here it is!

Dear Ms. Scalissi,

PSYCHIC, an 82,000 word YA Paranormal Suspense, is the story of a girl tormented by visions and nightmares that force her to watch from inside the mind of a serial killer.

18-year-old Mulysa Mitchell can’t explain why she is psychically connected to the monster who is terrorizing Washoe County. She also can’t explain why his victims are connected to her—distantly at first: someone who worked at her school, her childhood dance instructor. And then closer: the girl she fought with in the parking lot, her next door neighbor, her crush’s girlfriend.

And she certainly can’t explain how their blood ended up in her car.

With too much knowledge of the murders and overwhelming evidence pointing to her involvement, Mulysa is now faced with the possibility that what she’d thought were visions and dreams of the attacks were actually memories. Could she have done this? Everyone else seems to think so.

And when this is all over, Mulysa may think so, too.

My debut novel STILL PHOTO, a YA Psychological Thriller, was published by Evernight Teen in March of 2014, and has received excellent reviews. It has been in the top 5 in sales almost since publication, spending 11 months at #1, and has been a finalist for several awards. I am also an active member of the SCBWI.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kim Harnes