N.W. Harris is author of Joshua’s Tree, Muse It Up Publishing. He is one of our success stories from last year’s Query Con.
Check out the GoodReads “most anticipated” Summer Reads list. Second as of today!
Tell us about yourself.
I've been an artist for most of my life and had dabbled in writing for many years. When my son was born, I decided to take the craft more seriously. I wrote the rough draft for my debut novel, Joshua’s Tree, and joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators where I met a critique group and found the help I needed to take my book to the next level. Fast-forward six years and stumbling into Query Con on the Unicorn Bell website (last fall). Query Con helped me to polish my query and put it in front of acquisition editors from several publishers. Lucky for me, I got requests for manuscript submissions, resulting in my book being published!
Tell us about your book.
Joshua’s Tree is a young adult science fiction novel. When I started writing it, I noticed a void in the YA genre for books that would have a strong appeal for boys as well as girls. I wanted to address some of the emotions and issues teen boys experience, and my education and love of biology gave me a wealth of information to draw upon for the science fiction side of things. Joshua’s Tree is set in a future where a genetic engineering genius and megalomaniac has driven most of the life on the planet to extinction. The protagonist, Joshua, must team up with an overbearing warrior princess who believes he has come to save her people from annihilation, and kill the madman if he ever hopes to get home.
If you could only have one superpower what would it be?
Ha, good question . . . Um, I suppose I’d want to be super fast like the Flash Gordon. Being the father of two young children, running my own business, and being a writer—I never feel like there is enough time in the day to get everything done. If I could move at the speed of light—maybe I’d clear my to-do lists a little more often.
Who is your favorite character from one of your books and why?
Nadia, the overbearing warrior, from Joshua’s Tree is my favorite character so far. Despite her constant internal struggles, she presents as a strong and confident girl who never backs down from a fight. In her tribe, males are usually the warriors, and she manages to prove she is as good as any of them time and time again, yet she is still feminine when it counts. My daughter, a real live super-girl in every way, was the inspiration for creating Nadia.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently finishing edits for The Father, Joshua’s Tree Book 2, which will be published in December 2013, and I am writing The Truth, Joshua’s Tree Book 3, the final book in the series, slated to come out June 2014. I've written several other novels over the years that I like to pull out and tweak from time to time, though I’m not quite ready to reveal any of those.
What’s your favorite movie?
Tough question. I like lots of movies and books, new and old. I love picking apart the components of a story and figuring out what works. If I had to select one movie, I’d say ET (you know, Extra Terrestrial, that movie with Drew Barrymore from the early eighties). I think Spielberg was at the top of his game with that one, and I’ve watched it like a million times.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be come great.” Mark Twain
What genre do you write and why?
So far, I write Young Adult (action adventure, science fiction, fantasy, etc.). My teenage years were a bit turbulent, though loads of fun as well. To me, there is no other time in life where the changes, both physically and mentally, are so dramatic. I enjoy reliving some of those days through my characters and addressing issues that I think other works in this genre fall short of doing.
Name five things that are on your desk right now?
Cold cup of coffee, MacBook Air (my baby), crayons, book of Tae Kwon Do forms (I’m a purple belt), and a big freak’n mess of papers that should be recycled
Chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, apple pie, or pecan pie?
Chocolate cake please!!! (followed by pecan pie then the apple pie—you can have the strawberry shortcake, can’t stand the stuff)
How can readers find you?
The best way to find me is to go to my website/blog at www.nwharrisbooks.com. From there you can find links to my book, Facebook, etc.
Also, Joshua’s Tree by N.W. Harris is number 2 on the GoodReads 2013 Summer Reads List, and I love to get a few more votes to push it to number 1.
If you have the time please click this link and vote.
If you have the time please click this link and vote.
Joshua’s Tree Blurb:
When a skateboarding accident hurls 17-year-old Joshua Tyler into a dismal future overrun by flesh-eating mutants, he taps into the strength and courage hidden within him and manages to stay alive, only to discover his horrifying relationship to the scientific genius who brought all life on Earth to the brink of annihilation.
Aided by Nadia, a beautiful warrior student who believes he may be the prophesized savior sent to rescue her people, Josh learns to fight for survival. Terrified by the constant threat of a violent death, Josh wants nothing more than to get back to his own life. But the longer he survives in this strange place, the more he learns about its creation. Charged with the job of assassinating the enemy’s leader, Josh begins to uncover his connection to the army of cannibalistic monsters—a nightmarish truth that could prevent him from ever finding his way home.