Kim Harrington: Clarity Q&A Part 1

Posted March 2, 2011 by Sara | Novel Novice 3 Comments


We are SO excited to share part 1 of our two-part interview with Clarity author Kim Harrington today. Kim’s such a delight to chat with, and she was game to answer all of our questions (even replying in secret to a few of our spoiler-heavy personal questions … which we won’t share here!). So without further ado, here are the questions & answers we CAN share:

Police work. Murders. Newspaper reporting. Psychics. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I visited a few psychics to see their different styles (and for fun!). I also did a bit of research on how Gabriel could be involved in police work without relying completely on nepotism from his father. I found out about the Explorer program through some wonderful people on a criminal justice online forum.

What’s the hardest part about writing about a murder and visiting crime scenes?

The hardest part is maintaining a balance between realism and entertainment. I cut many passages during edits because they were “too CSI.” They may have been realistic, but we don’t need every detail. Another challenge is setting out enough clues to keep up the suspense without giving it all away too soon.

Everyone in Clare’s family has a different paranormal gift. If you were to have such a gift, what kind would you want?

I think I prefer being normal. I definitely wouldn’t want any of the Ferns’ gifts. But if I could stop and/or fast-forward time, I would love that ability!

The first chapter is really a glimpse at part of the climax. When in the writing process did you decide to “tease us” with this little tidbit? At the beginning, near the end, somewhere in the middle?

It actually happened during the first step of revisions for my editor. It went on submission with a completely different first chapter. Though chapter two is the same.

I love your descriptions of the settings and locations. It felt like I was actually there! So, if we were planning a trip to Cape Cod, what would be your “must sees”?

Here’s a list, with some TMI:

– Walk one of the boardwalks (totally different from the fictional Eastport boardwalk). My favorite is the Sandwich Boardwalk It’s a beautiful stroll through marshes to the sand dunes and Town Beach. And the bridge over the creek has a great view. (I jumped from this bridge once, I don’t recommend that. I got a bloody nose!)

– Go on a whale watch off Provincetown. (Though I threw up on one of these, so not if you get seasick).

– Take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard for a day. (I did not throw up on this.)

– Visit Plimoth Plantation, which is a re-creation of the original settlement of the Pilgrims. Actors dress and speak from the period and go about their daily routine while you walk in and out of their houses and ask them questions. It’s fun and educational!

– Definitely, absolutely check out the beaches—Craigville, Seagull, Sandy Neck, etc. What’s interesting is that they are all so different. One beach can be flat with soft sand, then minutes away there’s another with sand dunes and colorful rocks. Cape Cod beaches are beautiful.

All-time favorite Cape Cod treat?

I don’t eat seafood, and I don’t like salt water taffy, so much of Cape Cod’s wonderful food is wasted on me. But one of my favorite things to do is grab lunch at the Hearth N’ Kettle Restaurant in South Yarmouth. They have some tables with windows facing a pond, and you can relax, eat a fresh sandwich, and watch the ducks.

Um … Periwinkle? WHERE did that name come from?!?! There must be a story there …

I knew that their mother, Starla, named her children unusual names, but they hated them and took on nicknames. So Clarity goes by Clare (though that wasn’t her original name). I knew I wanted the brother to be Perry, and I flipped through a book of unusual baby names until I found one that Perry could be a nickname for. Kind of backwards!

You compare Yummy’s restaurant as Eastport’s version of the Peach Pit. Did you have a “Peach Pit” as a teen? Tell us about it!

We did have an arcade where the “cool kids” hung out. Alas, I was not one of the cool kids. 😉

Was it just me, or did I pick up some hints that Nate might have a little crush on Clare? (Or was that just me projecting my little crush on Nate? I work in news, I can’t help it — I love a newsie!)

*whistles innocently*

Oh curses, you & your innocent whistling! Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of our interview!

Sara | Novel Novice
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3 responses to “Kim Harrington: Clarity Q&A Part 1

  1. Elie

    Great interview. I think it is good she tried to keep it realistic. It would be easy to get carried away especially with so many of those kind of shows on the tube.

    Mmmm, salt water taffy!

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