RAMONA PORTELLI speaks with Author ERIN HARRIS
ERIN HARRIS is a a genealogist, marketing/technology nerd and a professional bat crap crazy dreamer. She resides in Denver, Colorado, but originally from Dayton, Ohio. She is a freelance marketing professional working with small businesses all over the United States.
In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors by hiking, swimming, OCR and traveling.
With the crazy dreams she experiences in her subconscious, she often see parallels dreams to real life with various situations of déjà vu. After years of just thinking things were just a coincidence, she started to take them more seriously as they’ve helped her personally and professionally which has led her to exactly where she is today.
Tell me more about your latest book
In recent years, my dreams have evolved to include situations involving my ancestors and my genealogy research. One recurring character is my second great grandfather, Joseph Klump. He’s not famous and didn’t come from money. He was just a person that lived and died during the late 1800s and into the early 1910s. His only claim to fame is that he died after the famous flood of 1913 in Dayton, Ohio and that people would come from miles around and wait for hours for him to tend to their horses.
I’ve found his life story mysterious and incomplete. While there is much mention of him in newspapers in the region, he’s also left a black hole of emptiness which often leaves me with more questions than answers. However, in my research for Joseph, I’ve learned about my ancestors that were directly involved in his life; grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. that I may have never researched if it wasn’t for my obsession with Joseph.
I could talk to people all day about Joseph and the theories that I have regarding his life.
In my dream that the book discusses, Joseph visited me and warned me to stop looking for him. I’m a stubborn person, almost too stubborn. Instead of heading the warning, I’ve dug deeper into my research. The book illustrates and tells the story of what happens when I side with my stubbornness as opposed to warnings from the great beyond.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m writing about genealogy as a hobby as well as somewhat of a suspense thriller. In genealogy, you find people with varying skills and levels of interest. If a religious genealogist were to read my book, they may be a little off put that the main character is seemingly communicating with the dead. A professional with some training might look at some of my main character’s research methods and write her off as unprofessional and would discourage others from researching as she does.
I also realize that not everyone is interested in genealogy or their family’s history so there’s the attempt to overcome the audience with this disinterest. I try to overcome that with normal, everyday activities as a millennial and even throwing in some social drama.
What motivated you to become an author?
While I know I’m an average person, I still feel like I have an interesting life with situations I’ve been through, people that I’ve met and within my various hobbies and interests. People often thing they aren’t interesting and they don’t have a story to tell but you don’t know until you try. I thought writing a book would be a neat little experience.
What brought you to write your latest book?
I felt like writing a book would give me a voice to tell an interesting story that someone, somewhere would enjoy and maybe even relate to.
I wrote this book as somewhat therapy after the recent passing of my father. It’s loosely based on my genealogy research and the dreams that follow. My father gets involved because as I learn more about Joseph Klump, the more similar he seems to my father. I even have a sketch of his father that has a high resemblance to my father.
How many books have you written so far? (name them on by one)
I have just the one book: Conversational Influences of Dreams and Faces Unknown
My plan is to make it a three-part series. The second book is in progress and ties in more dreams and advances the mystery of the elusive Joseph.
What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I honestly don’t read much as an adult. In school, I enjoyed reading R.L. Stine and watching Stephen King movies. When I read now, its books that make you think about why and how things are such as “Freakonomics”.
How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?
I’m a freelance marketing professional and I make my own schedule. As long as I have access to the internet, I can work. With recent family events, I wouldn’t have the time to have a traditional 9-5 job so I work when I can and in between, I write. Even with freelance, maintaining my projects and writing is a hard balance but it works.
Erin Harris can be contacted directly on:-