Harmony is famous for her laughter and has made quite the name for herself. As she says, she’s also “… um, a writer … and fairly well known for that, too.” She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours, and she refuses to admit to her age.
If you catch her at work, you’ll see she offers editing, proofreading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. She’s also passionate about supporting her fellow authors.
Let’s give Harmony a warm welcome, and check out her 15 responses, below.
Five Questions About Your Book
- How did you come up with the idea for your book?
My life has been an interesting one and has provided many challenges, as well as seeing a lot of change—both internal and external. It sometimes feels as multi-genre as my books! Along the way, many people have told me that I inspire them. Such encounters led to me writing a series of Monday Musings on my blog, which proved incredibly popular. Seeing this response, and how much my readers valued my musings, I decided to make them into a book, along with a ‘thought for the week’, and Jewel in the Mud was born. It is my hope that this reaches even more people and inspires them in their lives.
- What sort of research did you do to write this book?
The main research was shaving my head, donning a robe, and spending 13 years in a Zen Buddhist temple!
- How did you come up with the title of your book?
We each have a choice in life: either wallow in the mud of everyday life or find the jewel in that mud. It is up to us whether we choose the cup-half-full or the cup-half-empty. Much of this book is taken up with the many and varied decisions we make from second to second and how to utilize these to best advantage. Hence, the title focuses on finding the jewel.
- What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
After finishing Jewel in the Mud, I am currently working on a crime fiction series. I have written the first book—The Hunter—and now need to crack on and get the next two written. I intend to follow Sam Sorenson through her career as Detective Constable to Detective Sergeant to Detective Inspector. And, who knows, by then, we might even follow her into Detective Chief Inspector! She starts out as lacking in confidence, and then some nasty things happen to her right off the bat. Hopefully, she’ll learn some lessons along the way. 🙂
- If someone is brand new to your work, what book do you think they should start with?
Oh, now, that depends on what they like to read. Having said that, my top two picks would be The Glade (the scary one that reviewers have likened to a Stephen King type read) and Interludes (the naughty collection of short stories that readers do seem to love).
Five Questions About You As An Author
- What started you on the path to writing for a living?
I’ve loved to write ever since I learned the alphabet! Sadly, I didn’t have enough confidence or encouragement way back then. Only when I came back out of the Zen temple after 13 years, with my life transformed, did I actually sit and write a novel. As soon as I finished that first book (The Battle for Brisingamen), I dove straight into The Glade, and I’ve never looked back. For me, writing is like breathing.
- What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?
When I finished my first book and published it, I realized that I knew nothing! I had such a huge learning curve. For one, I had to do something about the awful book cover I had given it. Then I learned so much about editing and formatting and all that. And then, I had to set up my author platform and try to get to grips with advertising. Of course, I did it all backward. I should have set up my author platform, blog, etc., well before I published anything! It’s all been immense fun, though. 🙂
- What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? Least favorite?
My favorite part is when the ideas flow and my fingers fly over the keyboard so quickly that they generate smoke! My least favorite is the opposite, when I hit a slump and can’t seem to come up with one good thing at all. At those times, I just feel miserable.
- Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
Mostly, I’m a pantser! I have outlined in the past, but I ended up changing so much when I started writing, I wondered if it was worth it for me. So, a bit of a mix, but mostly I let the characters lead the stories.
- What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?
I read! Anything and everything … my reading reflects my writing-massively multi-genre.
Five Questions About You As A Reader
- Who are some of your favorite authors?
Susan EE, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth, Stephen King.
- Which authors of your genre inspire you?
Stephen King, Tana French, Tess Gerritsen.
- What are some great books you’ve read recently?
At the moment, I’m revisiting Stephen King and reading all his older works. I just love them. A book that has really stood out for me recently is The Trespasser by Tana French. Her main character ends up paranoid and not knowing who to trust, and I just could not put this book down until I’d finished it. It’s been a long time since a read had my heart racing like that.
- What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime?
Mystery/thriller. Crime fiction. Psychological suspense/thrillers. Horror—as long as it’s not too gory, lols!
- What are your top three favorite books of all time?
OMG, I can’t answer that! I have a favorite for a while, and then something else moves into the top spot. And it changes depending on my reading mood, lols! If you really coerce me into naming some, I might say at the moment it would be the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins—I’ve read that trilogy so many times, I’ve lost count. 🙂
So, there you have it. The fast fifteen from author Harmony Kent. Let’s show her some blog love and leave her a word of encouragement or ask her a question. In the meantime, here’s a peek at her latest work and links where you can find her.
Jewel in the Mud
Have you ever felt angry? Upset? Hurt? Overwhelmed? Not up to it?
This book, with its pithy teachings based in Zen, will help you find the jewel in the inevitable mud of life rather than wallowing in that mud.
Not only does each day offer us a new start, a chance to press reset, but so does each and every breath. It’s never too late to be who you were meant to be, and your history doesn’t have to keep you trapped. And nor do you have to waste endless energy on worrying about all that the future may bring.
Written in an engaging manner, Jewel in the Mud invites you to search within and make your world the way you want it to be. It doesn’t give you strict instructions or homework, but instead, invites you to dive deeper, search further, and question your assumptions.
The book has handy thoughts for the week and can be read in one go, weekly, or dipped into at random. In short, it has been designed to fit in with you and your needs.
Learn how to take control of your life with these Zen Musings.