Hard to get to sleep last night

Sleeplessness plagued me last night, but it was the sleeplessness that writers crave, not because you wake up bleary eyed and seeking caffeine, not because you stared at the ceiling all night listening to the clock tick, feeling every shift of the dog at your feet, not even because you used that time to get up and write–which I never do–the night is not for writing on paper but in one’s mind.  It’s the rare, almost never rediscovered enthusiasm that all writers start with.  The “I can’t wait to get back to it” feeling, the drive that our significant others might recognize but never understand.

Newbie writers have it and never know it for the gift it is, the one that gets us all through that awkward stage of seeking publication.  It’s worse than adolescence and just as heartbreaking, and if there was a word that meant gift and curse all at the same time, it would be appropriate to use it here. You can see it in them by the creamy tan stains on their shirt sleeves and that they know all the baristas by name–if the synopsis and first three chapters leaking out of the folder tucked under their arm didn’t give it away.

Seasoned writers have it, but it’s harder to see, a distant haze in their eyes that says that they’re working even though, or maybe because, they’re sitting in the stands watching their kid play T-ball or putting groceries into the cart.  But the drive has shifted.  Seasoned writers know that the story will wait for them, coaxed into existence by patterns and a writing toolbox that would rival Clint Eastwood’s garage in Grand Torino.  New writers have only a borrowed tool belt, a roll of duct tape, and a can of W-D oil.  And yet they get the same job done.

It’s a rare day that I’m not ready to sit at my desk in the morning, but I’ve not seen the sleepless night for a long time.  I know where it’s coming from, and as a writer who wants to do this for a lifetime more, I rejoice.    I have finally wrestled the rough plot of the last Hollows book into submission, finding in the doing more than a solid outline with the beginnings of a no-holds-bared, wild and wow ending I want to give you.  I knew I would, but I’ve battled more than just the story line on this.  I’ve fought a myriad of emotions that I keep telling myself are stupid, and yet they are real.

Will the next series be well received.
Are my numbers growing fast enough to keep interest high in NY.
Am I being foolish for intentionally letting this series slip away for a maybe and a chance to stretch my skills and continue to grow as a writer.

But it wasn’t the questions that kept me awake, it was the story.  My sleepless night was spent waiting for the sun, waiting to get back to this monster of a plot that tested me–and will continue to test me–in all directions.  The questions, I realized, don’t really matter.

I am a writer.  I will write.  Come with me.  I’ll tell you a damn fine story.

121 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

121 responses to “Hard to get to sleep last night

  1. Pingback: Kim Harrison - Facebook Statistics

  2. Sabrina

    Of course we will follow you. And no one is going to stop us.
    Sabrina

  3. Diva

    Sounds like the best sleepness night ever. Though the end of the Hollows is sad, none of us would ever begrudge Rachel her happy ending.

    To everything there is a time….

  4. Kim,

    You have been a stellar writer! Many tears will be shed because we will no longer be privy to peeping into the lives of these beautiful characters. Keep in mind that the hopes and confidence that your loyal readers have, hopefully, instilled in you as a writer, will be waiting at the next window to the world that you lead us to on this journey. Thank you for bringing us these much treasured characters into our lives for us to all enjoy. They may be dearly missed, but there will be more to come. We have faith in you!

    Teri

  5. No crisis, the world is ending…I will certainly miss Rachel Morgan and the Hollows and will probably bawl at the end of the series, but I am so glad you wrote them. The Hollows series will forever be one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing what else you come up with in the future. : )

  6. I finished A Perfect Blood. It was a challenge to stretch it out over the course of several days, I just wanted to sit down and read it cover to cover!! I loved it. Thank you Kim, for another amazing book.❤ I can't wait everything that is to follow…. I too am sad that Rachel's story is coming to an end, but alas, your words are true, you ARE a writer, and you will tell one hell of a story, wherever you take us, and I will assuredly be along for the ride. Thanks again, because it's always, one hell of a ride.
    V–V
    Faith

  7. jenn

    I’m so sad to see Rachael and everyone go. I feel Rachael has so much more story in her. As a fan I want to support you Kim and your need for growth. I am going to be selfish and say that I don’t want this to completely be it for Rachael. Maybe you could write some short stories for Rachael so we can get a Hallows fix every once in awhile.🙂

  8. Patricia

    It is very sad when something ends. Personally I get depressed when I finish reading a story.
    But I love you as a writer and even after The Hollows ends it will still be my favorite series and you will be my favorite writer.

    Can’t wait to read your next stories (but, please, first give Rachel her deserved happy ending ;D )
    Thank you!❤

    • Robert weagly

      I will cry when the last Hollows book is out. For me it started in 2004 right after I went through divorce I was in the book store and picked up this paperback book with the back of a women facing a church. The title had witch in it. I am Pagan so I thought maybe this is good. It was one of my fav’s you let me fotget my depression for a while so I can properly heal. I did and every year I look forward to the new book. I tease my friends on Facebook that I will be ofline till Rachel, Ivy and Jenks are on the last page. Thank You Miss Harrison for your gift.

    • Robert, that is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with me. Sometimes, a healthy escapism is exactly what we need to heal and cope. Thank you for allowing my work to be that for you.

    • Thank you, Patricia. I really appreciate that. I think the Hollows will always have a shine for me as well. Rachel will get her happy ending. No one dies is my motto for the last one. 🙂 We’ll see.

  9. Ed The Puppetman

    I have read all the “Rachel Morgan” books, except for “A Date From Hell” (???). Dead Witch Walking was read out of order but I read it and those after it. Read “A Perfect Blood” more than a week ago, and loved it. Can’t wait for more “Rachel”! Perhaps there will be a ‘spin-off’ series? Guess I gotta be like everyone else and just wait.😦 Peace!

    • Hi Ed. Thanks! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books. A spin-off series is always a possibility, but not until I get something new across my desk first.

  10. Deanna

    As much as I have loved and will continue to love your Hollows novels, I am thrilled that you will be doing something else. I can’t wait to read your new heroine. And the Hollows will always be there if you choose to return to it. So will its loyal readers.🙂

  11. AKR (Trinidad)

    ….. ohhhh so this is how you stock the cabin of awesomeness ….lol

  12. Heather

    You haven’t just created a series, you’ve created a world. You’re characters and their experiences stay with me long after I’ve finished reading one of your stories. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

  13. I have been a fan of your work since I first read “Dead Witch Walking”. I loved all the characters and the stories you weaved around them. But it is not just the books and characters that I love, but your style of telling a story. You have a great talent as a writer and you are one of my favorite authors. I have stopped reading some series because the writer has stayed at the party too long. The characters and who they are and what they do grew too thin. I will hate to see the day when you stop writing this series, but as a writer you know best when it is time to wrap up the story of a saga and start a knew one. It can be scary for a writer who has found sucess in this world. But you have the talent to create a new world to let your talent and imagination soar. Trust yourself and your fans will follow you into the next step of your writing career. Until then, thank you for the wonderful writing you have given us, and the wonderful writing yet to come.

    • Thank you, James. I feel like the Hollows has stretched me as far as it can, and I need to move on, but I can always come back for a weekend, yes? 🙂 And thank you for your words on my style. I really appreciate that.

  14. I loved A Perfect Blood, and I’m sure will love the next books as much. You’re not only a writer but you’re a good writer. What makes it for me it’s the writer’s ability to make you live the story as if you were in it, or what’s even better, make you feel like you’re the protagonist.
    In my case is very simple, if the book does not trap me, I keep putting it away and never finish it. In the case of the Hollows I read them usually in 3-4 days. That’s how much I like them. Then I re-read them and enjoy of discovering new things, new angles, new PoV.
    I’m sure we’re going to love the next series. We’re there with you. =)
    Flo.

  15. Brandy

    You always know how to get us excited, Kim ;D
    Your awesome!

  16. W-O-W! You’re in a mood today, Ms. Kim!! That was a super read! I can guarandamn-tee you that no matter how amazing the ending is, I’m going go ball like a baby and miss the hell out of this series. But yet I still REALLY want to see it!

    You’re a fabulously talented writer and Urban Fantasy is your calling, so I have every bit of faith that your next work will be wonderful.

  17. Fran

    *Applause
    Well said Kim! We will wait and we will rejoice with you in the most awesome ending! Proud of you!!

  18. Great post! I am a newbie and i know what you mean but I do get up and write mine down. good luck Kim! I bet writing the last hollows book is bitter sweet!!

  19. Reading that gave me goosebumps. No matter what you do Kim, you will do it well.
    Cheers to your success and also your new beginnings!

  20. Sarah Jackson

    Yes. Yes, you will. And do. And hopefully will continue for as many years as I can find glasses strong enough to read with! : ) You are indeed a damn fine storyteller and I will be perpetually tickled pink to enter any universe you care to spin. Wish I had the ability to birth something as compelling and seductive as your work – but since I don’t, I can applaud your creativity and beg for more as nicely as I know how. Keep ’em coming!!

  21. Lisa Fenley

    Thank you for your bravery in choosing to end a successful series. I’ve seen too many writers take a great series and ruin it by milking it for the cash cow that it is. Rachel deserves better and I’m so thankful that you’re planning her exit with the parting she deserves. THANK YOU!!!

  22. Lacy

    You always do tell a damn fine story & all of your fans are thankful for it. It is sad that Rachel’s story is coming to an end, but it will be a pleasure to join you on the next adventure with your new character.

  23. tattoolady

    I have loved The Hollows since the day that Dead Witch Walking landed in my lap and i will continue to love them for many years to come,right up to the bitter end. i respect and even enjoy the fact that you will stop the hollows where it needs to,instead of dragging it out until the characters have worn thin. i look forward to whatever you do in the future. i am sure that i will love those characters as much as i have loved all those in The Hollows,yes even Trent, the miserable,manipulative, sod.you are an amazing writer, and person. your gift means so much to us readers and i thank you for sharing it all with us.

  24. Kim F

    I truly hate to see the Hollows series end. I would rather that you let it sleep, but leave an opening to let us see how Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks are doing sometime in the future.

    I understand the wanting to move in a new direction and where it take you and I applaud you for doing that. On the other hand I am very selfish and hate to lose the characters I’ve come to love disappear. I have all the Hollow books and while I can re read them (I must say I was quite angry with you when Kisten died) It’s just not the same as looking forward to the next chapter in their lives.

    I will be looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    Kim in Minneapolis

    • Going back is always a possibility, Kim, but it is so far from my mind that it feels like the ending that I want to give her. Thank you. I think you’re going to like Peri.

  25. I love the Hollows series, but I’m sure another equally fun and intriguing story is out there waiting to be told. Looking forward to it!!!

  26. I have been a fan since the first page of ‘Dead Witch Walking!!’ I LOVE the “Hallows” series…sad to hear the end is near. I will follow you! And so will countless others! You rock!

  27. Bel

    Wow! You are some one on a mission! You go girl! In all seriousness I got interested in your stories from the Madison Avery anthology. From there I found Rachel Morgan and now I can’t wait for the next one, and the next one. I’m hooked!! So if you want some one to listen to your story, I definately will. I know it will be just as good or even better. I’m here to stay behind ya all the way!! Bel Samples

  28. The Bree

    Kim, I completely respect the fact that you are ending the series – and what an ending I’m sure it will be! I read this blog everyday, but this is first time I’ve posted because I am so excited that you are taking the giant leap to end the Hallows series and begin something new. I absolutely agree that you tell a “damn fine story” and I will be there to read anything you write.

  29. amandadgrinstead

    Your series is one of my absolute favourites. I love how my feelings towards the characters have changed over the course of the series so that those I thought were evil and irredeemable have become beloved.

  30. I’ve never written as more than a pastime, but I’ve acted and I’ll say I have JUST that experience when a character snaps into focus for me. Many a sleepless night spent realizing what is REALLY going on in his head.

    I’m truly excited at the (sad) news that you have an ending laid out. I never want the series to end, but all along I’ve figured you were heading someplace, and the clearer that target is, the truer the path to it. I’m thrilled at the prospect of following you on that path!

  31. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms. Kim-its Jim from Warren. I love the series,gets me out of the grumps when I gotta get going. I got a good idea (from my rabid sub-conscious,of course) Why don’t Rachel and the gang get vibrating tattoos? Nokia has patented the ink, and any tat master can do it. then you Know your cellphone wants you,specially if its on some of the naughty bits,as in the were girls in Bloodwork.

  32. Missy

    The Hollows Series is definitely one of my favorites. I will follow your work no matter what direction you take it, because I like your writing. You could write about peanut butter crackers and it would be interesting. I can understand your torn, but change is not always bad. Depending on how you end the series maybe you could come back to it at a much later date. If your heart is not into it anymore the series will suffer, and I would rather see Rachel go out blazing than hang on and fizzle out.
    By the way……Who is the guy on the cover of A Perfect Blood behind Rachel?

    • Thank you, Missy! I never seem to end a series with an ending that can’t open back up. But in this case, because I’m ending it on my terms, I think it’s done.

      I have no idea who the guy is. 🙂

  33. Shana Zimmerman

    Not a doubt in my mind.🙂

  34. Abby

    You are an AMAZING writer! Please don’t end the series! Who cares about what New York thinks, your fans LOVE YOU! I feel like we are just finally getting to know Trent and I REALLY like what I see! (I know what romance I want the series to end with.) No matter how well it ends tho, I will forever want more…

  35. Jenetta

    Kim, This series has had something in it that’s grabbed me from page one and kept me going back again and again. It’s got all the elements I love in a story and you continue to throw refreshing twists and surprises in that never get old. I just want to thank you for all the hard work you do because it’s meant so much to me. I truly believe there are great stories hidden away in this world and all they need is the right person to discover them and write them down on paper for the rest of us. Thanks for discovering this treasure and writing it so well and sharing it with all of us. I will be a forever fan!

  36. Now I’m really torn. I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters that I’ve come to know, respect and love but I’m even more impatient for that book to come out. Like everyone else, I’m sure dealing with the loss of such great friends (even if they be fictional) will be greatly assuaged by reading the new series.

  37. Jenny

    What an eloquent and striking blog you have today, though I enjoy them all!
    I am definately looking forward to your new and different works, although I too will miss the Hollows. I am definitely coming with you.Thanks Kim.

  38. Shari

    I read your post and my heart sank, for you, myself, and all the Hollows readers. I understand the need to bring it to an end and to start anew. The pain and sorrow of saying goodbye to a friend who has been with you from the beginning, having to, no needing to, end that friendship, and make new ones. I know you understand the analogy even if others don’t.
    I have come to love Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Trent, even Al. They have brightened my days and nights. Inspired me in my own writing. I will miss them, but I can always revisit them when I feel the need for an adventure, inspiration, or just to visit an old friend. I have also read your teen series Once Dead Twice Shy and I love it. I look forward to reading more.

  39. Rich Z

    I can relate to the sleepless nights. Mine don’t usually start that way but Stella, my muse, manages to shake me from a sound sleep with an idea, a character’s face, a place, some horrific event or any number of other visions and once that happens I’m awake. The eyes may close but the mind is up and roaming, plotting, wandering.
    On the Hallows, well having grown up in that area you may close them but they never leave. They disappear in that summer mist that only Ohio valley humidity can conjure.
    Thanks for the great reads from there.

  40. Candace

    Love this post🙂 I’ve been following this series for so long- it’s both sad and exciting to know that it’s coming to a close in a few years. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for Rachel and the gang!

  41. I love your work! I’ve been going back and forth with myself on whether or not to write you. For me, you are absolutely amazing. The talent it takes to write the way you do and keep the readers interested… I must say I would love to see what Rachel and Trent could do not only professionally but personally as well. I think to have an elf and a witch/demon team up would make the book explosive in the best possible way! Good luck in your writing!
    ~Carmen~

  42. Rebecca V.

    Love you Kim and your writing. I will follow as I have since the beginning through thick and thin. You continue to amaze me and always will!

  43. Wow. What a great post. Just wow.

    But don’t tell yourself that your emotions are stupid–they’re perfectly normal reactions to a big change you’re making. In lots of ways, what you’re doing is analogous to someone leaving a successful job to go and do something else when they’re not sure exactly what they’ll be doing or if they’ll be able to find a job or if they’ll really like the job once they do find it. I’d worry more about you or anyone in this position if you didn’t have some doubt and concern along with the excitement and thrill of the new. I think the questions you ask matter, they just can’t be the deciding factor when your heart and gut and other vital organs are telling you to go for it.

    Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox. Now I’m off to grab my duct tape, borrow a tool belt, and write my beginning chapters!

  44. Kim

    It will be a sad day when it ends, i hate when series end especially when it is this good. But reading the last book and discovering how the story ends is awesome yet sad. Which is why i’m glad i am able to re-read all your books.

    I myself have been attempting to write my own novel, or at least novella. Sadly i am far too much of a procrastinator to do this, i have the sleeplessness thinking i cant wait to do this and i get a load of ideas but the next day i don’t do any writing lol.

  45. roxy

    Kim. You will write and i will read it! I love The Hollows series and would love for the series to keep on and . But I will reread them and support your new series! You need to trust your instincts! The only thing I can hope for is that none of the main characters die or their lives are dismal.
    Also, thank you for all your writer insights and home/garden updates! You are a great gift in my life! So, drink some coffee, eat some dark chocolate, get some fresh air, hug your fur babies, and get to writing!!

  46. Rita Lockwood

    It’s like the birth of a child. You care for it and nurture it through it’s growing stages. And we, your readers, all get to watch it mature! I hate to see Rachel go but I can’t wait for the new child!

  47. Emily Wright

    Well Kim Good For you🙂, We All Like Reading Your Stories, But you don’t want to last few books to be over done like they should have finished awhile ago, I will be sadden that Rachel and the crew will be no more, but i will reread them to feel them still there, you got me into reading and keep me reading with your books and the books of your friends, Thank you Kim, You are a great lady and author and I will still follow you even if the books stop coming out😀 Have a Good One

  48. I agree with Colleen, while I’m sad to see the Hollows ending it would be worse to let it become stale. Its upsetting to have a series I loved turn into something I can’t wait to end.. or worse just finally give up on. I’m excited to see what you do next.

  49. Kim, that was a truly wonderful description of a life that is totally alien to me, though now I feel i understand it even if just a little. I have been a big fan of the Hallows, and have even gotten my daughter hooked as well. We both mark the calendars after finishing one of your books in anticipation of the next, That being said, I really hope you do take the risk and experiment with other stories. I’m sure that you have a lot that need to be told in a voice other than Rachel’s

  50. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    The Hollows has shown us that you’re a wonderful story teller. I’m sure Peri’s story will every bit as good and loved by us as Rachel’s was.

    I just hope you don’t share the same fate as the author in “Misery” did.😉 That would be a cocka-doodie shame.

    V^^^^V

  51. Mina

    I love you as a writer, and i well keep reading your books, even if you are coming out with a new book! i sure many of your fans will do the same! believe in yourself!

  52. Fashion loves coffee

    Kim, I absolutely understand this feeling, but with me, it is not through writing, it is through art. and I’ve been through those sleepless nights when i cannot wait to get up with the sun and create something beautiful I’ve had stuck in my head. I am so happy that you are feeling this way about this book, that just makes me, and I’m sure many others, all the more excited to read it. Even though it will be awhile ahead of us, and is a little bittersweet, i cannot wait to see what happy ending you have giving all of our favorite characters. Have a great day of writing Kim!

    Jennifer Mi

  53. Victoria

    We have complete faith in your gift.

  54. I am in love with The Hollows and everything you write. I can’t wait to see where you take Rachel! Will continue reading the series over and over, even after you let it go🙂 Can’t waitttt to see what new series you will have in store for us too!!!

  55. Jayme Clem

    Oooooo even your blog catches me. How could I not follow you onto your next adventure? Of course I shall join in the adventures to come.

  56. As much as I love the Hollows I appreciate you letting it go. I think more authors need to end their on-going series and do something new and fresh. I have given up on more than a few of these series because, as much I liked them going in, they are getting stale. Stick to your guns and your instincts. This is were I should insert “if you write it, they will come” 😀

    • Noreen

      I couldn’t agree more. I too have abandoned series because they just get repetitive and stale with no ending or conclusion in sight. When you come to really like the characters you want to see them come to some kind of happy or sometimes not so happy ending. I really enjoy authors who can incorporate new characters and spin off into new and different related stories but you still have that connection to the original stories you love so much.

    • I’ve found sticking to my instincts serves me well, Colleen. Thanks!

  57. bookluvr

    You have my complete faith that you will do just that! I enjoy following your drama box just as much as the stories you write. You are a VERY gifted storyteller! I don’t post often and tend to lurk around in the background and just absorb the ambiance. I will gladly be along for the ride as anxious for the new begining as I am sad to see that Rachel’s story is complete. I know you’ll get us and her where she needs to be! So go get ’em!!!

  58. Kelley Donaghy

    Can’t wait Kim! I’ve felt that way about work (not a writer, chem professor) and you are right, it is both a gift and a curse. Thank you for putting such elegant words to such a strange and intangibly exhilirating feeling!