Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Harley now lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her significant other and their own mischievous motley crew of rescue dogs (aka the “kids”).
When not at her laptop, she is an avid hockey fan and lover of all things margarita. It’s also rumored she’s never met a green chile or jalapeño she didn’t like, regardless of whether it liked her back.
She is the author of the Mischievous Malamute Mystery Series, which first introduced readers to AJ and her Alaskan Malamute, Nicoh, in Gemini Rising. Beyond Revenge is the second installment in the series and Blood of Gemini the third.
She’s hard at work on a new six-part series of suspense novellas, called Six Seasons, as well as the fourth Mischievous Malamute Mystery Series adventure with AJ, Nicoh and Leah…plus, she’s got a few more dog treats stashed in her pockets. Stay tuned for more details!
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspires you to write?
From my earliest childhood memories, I think I’ve always gravitated toward creative outlets, whether through art, music, photography, etc. Writing is just another way to express myself creatively, even if I am only jotting down thoughts or ideas for myself.
What’s your writing process?
Oh, my writing process…well, that’s definitely a work in progress. Like my writing, it has evolved with each story. I tend to think of myself as a pantser AND a plotter. My initial ideas—that’s all pantsing. I scribble on anything I can find wherever I am, hoping I can make sense of it later. Once I get those initial ideas down, I have become better about developing an outline and determining where things fit into the overall story structure.
For tools, I use whiteboards, chalkboards, huge rolls of butcher paper, flip charts, index cards…you name it, I use it. As far as software, I use a combo of Evernote and OneNote for collecting research and Scrivener for outlining and drafting.
My characters tend to evolve throughout the drafting process and then I go back and add nuances—making them stronger, more sinister or more vulnerable, etc. In the end, my key—and something that I’m constantly working to improve—is to ensure that their mannerisms, tone and voice remains consistent and they stay true to their individual character.
Do you listen (or talk) to your characters?
What? You mean my characters aren’t real?
Yeah, I talk to them on a daily basis—after all, every writer needs someone to share her secrets with, right? 😉
What advice would you give someone considering a writing career?
Write because you can and never let doubt—whether from within or from others—convince you to do otherwise. Just get those words on the page—they matter.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Ahh…for me, this is more about “monkey mind” than a block and suddenly, I’m chasing all the shiny objects…lol. 😀
I find it’s best to push away from the laptop, or put down the pen and find something else to do. Sometimes, I take out my camera and shoot a couple of pics or pull out a coloring book, colored pencils and scribble both inside (and outside) the lines. More often than not, however, I tend to head outside for a long walk with my dogs, where we typically end up at the park and act silly for a bit.
Typically, one of the above works like a charm…but if it doesn’t, it’s best to call it a day and start fresh the next.
How about you? How do you maintain productivity or get back into the groove when you’ve hit a mental roadblock or monkey mind gets you off track, no matter the nature of your work? Please share!