Pre-Famous Author Interview: Harley May

Harley May is different from all my other writer friends. You know why? Because I know her…wait for it…IN REAL LIFE!

I know! It’s so unheard of. But I promise, it’s true.
Before we get to her interview, here’s a little background on Harley. She lived in Korea with her parents, who were missionaries, until she was 17 years old. Then her family picked up and moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where Harley didn’t feel out of place at all.* She now lives in Florida with her husband and their three children, who all look like Gap Kids models. No, seriously.
As you would expect, Harley has a lot of spare time.** When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, she works part-time at a gym. She also enjoys staring at hardwood floors and running. Presumably not at the same time. Unless she’s running after a child who happens to be on a hardwood floor.
Harley is currently re-writing a manuscript that I have read some of and, quite frankly, believe will turn out to be brilliant. She describes this story as “a YA urban fantasy about a 17-year-old girl, Penelope, in a dystopian fairy colony. She meets a human boy whilst battling a demon uprising and struggles to find her place in a society she loathes.”
Harley also writes short stories which, she says, are rejected quite frequently. I don’t know this word she uses, “rejected.” I have never experienced this phenomenon.***

* Korea to Alabama? Yeah. Not an easy transition.
** Are you kidding me? THREE kids? When does she sleep, much less write?
*** There’s a possibility that this is a complete lie.

Now that you know a little about Harley May, let’s get to the interview. Enjoy!

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Anne: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Harley: England. I want to go to there.
A: If you could only have one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
H: That’s a hard one. I have an absolutely gorgeous edition of the Chronicles of Narnia. I make a point to re-read them every couple of years and started reading them to my children.
A: Gosh, I love those books too. C.S. Lewis is an absolute genius. Anyway, moving on. What would you say is your biggest quirk?
H: I bite things: books, steering wheels, people, anything. This has been an inconvenient quirk during the heightened flu and cold season. I’ve tried to sanitize when the urge rises, but this diminishes the spontaneity of the act and leaves a strange aftertaste.
A: I can imagine. Please don’t bite me, if you don’t mind.

H: If I want to bite you, it only means I like you.

A: Oh, okay then. What else can you tell us about yourself? Something unique or unusual?

H: I had brief career as a clown and hated it. I wasn’t outgoing enough and didn’t like making children cry. I still have the invaluable abilities to tie balloon animals, face paint, and perform mediocre magic tricks.
A: Yikes. Speaking of frightening things, is there anything you would never consider doing?

H: Swim with sharks. I saw JAWS when I was 9 and couldn’t take a bath for weeks. I’d probably do it if you paid me a million dollars and the sharks were swimming in a glass encasement of formaldehyde. And dead.

A: Definitely understandable. Switching gears a bit, what authors do you admire the most?

H: C.S. Lewis and Libba Bray.

A: Have you written a certain character that you identify with more than others?

H: This is an interesting question because if you’d asked me this when I was outlining the story, I would’ve said my protagonist’s best friend, Violet. Violet is quiet, reserved, and hates confrontation. After getting into 40k meaty words (written in the wrong point of view) I realized I am more like the protagonist, Penelope. Or at least I was at 17. At 17, I wanted to be anybody but myself. I was frustrated with where I was, and what I was doing. I found myself impatient for the next thing, even though I didn’t quite know what that was. So I understand where Penelope comes from. Now I am the typical mother you see in the car line and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Recently, I took a trip away for the weekend and certainly enjoyed the time to myself, but the best part of leaving was coming home to my family’s smiling faces.

A: What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?

H: By far, my biggest challenge is finding the time to write. It also seems I am a third person writer and anything I write in first just sounds like someone writing in third, saying “I” from time to time.

Do you see how wonderful she is? Do you see?? And not only is she a great friend and writer, she’s also thoughtfully promised to post something about our friendship on her blog, which can be found at the link below.

To connect with Harley, you can do any of the following. Or you can do all three, which I recommend.

And finally, be on the lookout for her book because one day it will be published, and then she’ll be famous!

If you would like to participate in the Pre-Famous Author Interviews series, please leave me a comment or tweet me @AnneRiley. I would love to interview you!

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12 thoughts on “Pre-Famous Author Interview: Harley May

  1. Sara McClung ♥ says:

    I'm already a huge Harley May fan 🙂 Thanks for posting this fabulous interview!

    PS Harley May, your novel sounds really interesting! And also, I would choose the Chronicles of Narnia too!!

  2. Simon C. Larter says:

    Hmm… Harley's an MK? Things are starting to make more sense now… 😉

    (I'm a PK. I know about these things.)

    And biting things? Er… I guess I'll take it as a compliment if you ever nip the end off my pinkie or something…

  3. harleymay says:

    Thanks for having me, Anne! This was fun to do.

    And Penelope, I've always, always, always, loved your name.

    Simon, don't know what you're talking.

    Thanks, everybody!

  4. Carolina Valdez Miller says:

    Love, love, love Harley!!! She's fabulous.

    And Harley, I totally feel you on Penelope. I think we must have been the same person at 17. Except, you know, I've never been to Korea (which is totally frigging awesome, by the way). But I have lived in England, and would highly recommend it. You wouldn't believe it, but hobbits live there right along with Harry Potter. There's also a portal to Narnia.

    Ok, that's a total lie, but you can visit the house where Harry Potter grew up (in the movie)–which I did, and you can visit the church/graveyard where C.S Lewis is buried. Man, I stood on his grave. It was freaky. And the tiny church he grew up in has a beautiful stained glass portrayal of Narnia. I hope you get there, Harley.

    Excellent interview, Anne!

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