What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Great question. I've always written for myself, for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, most of what I churned out was rubbish, of course, but that's part of developing your skill. I've only recently begun to think about publishing any of my stories. So to get back to your question, I think the most difficult part for me is when the story transitions from being a private hobby just for me to something in the public domain. It sound cliché, but it's like revealing a very intimate part of you to the world. And reviewers who can be unkind. [chuckle]
Can you give us a short synopsis of Prime?
It's the story of two boys growing up in a world that has been dominated for longer than anyone can remember by a brutal race of aliens. One of these boys, Toch, is the result of generations of genetic engineering—he's a messiah-like figure (the Prime) who can free his race. The problem is that his 'powers' won't emerge until his genes can mature. The story follows him and his friend─who is genetically engineered to protect Toch until he can come of age─as they try to avoid being captured by the planet's oppressors. Of course, they are found out and captured... and that's all I can tell without revealing too much.
What inspired you to write this book?
As I mentioned, I've always written as a hobby, for myself. This book came about from a single scene that just popped into my mind (where the aliens are searching for Toch), and the characters and story grew out from there. I sat down one summer day and just began writing. It really was as organic as that.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
Oh, it entirely depends—I'm very undisciplined, so I need inspiration to write. I have a real, grown-up job to pay the bills, and a young child at home, so grabbing time to write can be tough, and there are so many other distractions. Usually I just putter at my computer for an hour or two on weekends, during my son's nap-time. But when a story idea really grabs me, I can hole up for days at a time (to my family's dismay) to get the thoughts down on paper (well, down in a word doc). When I'm gripped by an idea, it becomes my sole focus—I'll take vacation days off work and just get it done.
Name your top five favourite books.
Wow. That's a tough one. In no particular order, I'd have to include the first three Martian tales (A Princess of Mars, Gods of Mars and Warlord of Mars) by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but I'll count those as one. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is definitely in there. To show my Canadian roots, I'll include Frenzied Fiction by Stephen Leacock—it never fails to break me up. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a classic that I've read zillions of times. And to prove that I read books written this century, I'll include the Wool series by Hugh Howey, which was actually my inspiration to try publishing something I've written.
What are you working on now?
I've never been one for writing a series—once I've finished a book, I'm tired of those characters and of their situation, and I want to move on to something different. So my next book will be quite different from Prime—it's a 'first contact' story that's all ready for my editor to whip into shape (I'm hoping to get it released around May), and after that, I have some alternate near-future tales that might be next. Who knows?
Author: Windsor Harries
Since birth, Toch has prepared for his destiny: to become the Prime, the being who would save his race from the oppressive Spidon. Perfected over uncountable generations, the genetic power that will free them lies dormant until he reaches maturity. Until then, with the help of his friend and Protector, he needs to stay hidden—and safe—from the Spidon.
Everything goes according to the Plan, until a traitor reveals the truth about Toch, putting the future of their entire race in danger . . .
Windsor Harries was born and raised in Toronto, Canada in the heady years between TV’s heyday and the internet revolution. He has been writing ever since he can remember. His early influences include Edgar Rice Burroughs and Doctor Who (Tom Baker, of course). For his mild-mannered secret identity, he works as a marketer in the financial services industry. He had written numerous books, but Prime is his first published novel.