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Indie Author Spotlight Interview: Harlowe Frost

Let us get to know you:


1. Where are you from? Does that have any impact on your writing?

a.   I am from Berkeley, California. I moved to Wisconsin when I was pretty young. I

think the biggest effect this had on my writing is I was brought up in the queer

community. I always wanted to read books where the LGBTQ+ wasn’t the main

theme of the books, just part of the background.


2. How old were you when you first started writing your own stories?

a.  Too old? I grew up being dyslexic. I became a high school math teacher and

then started teaching at a university. I started writing for my kids and realized I

loved to write. It became my favorite pastime. I picked up a pen name for my

romances because I teach, and the romances are spicy.


3. Do you enjoy reading? If so, who would you say is your favorite author?

a.   Yes, I’ve always loved to read. Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, James Butcher,

Kelley Armstrong, Katherine D. Graham, Kennedy Hope, and … okay, a lot of

authors.


4. Did you always want to be an author?

a.  As I mentioned above, no. It’s still a bit of a shock to me.


5. Do you have any hobbies? 

a.  Well, besides writing? I like to knit and crochet, read, do puzzles, bike, cook,

bake. I like to keep busy.


6. How many unfinished novel ideas do you have lying around?

a.  So, the thing is, I write really fast. I can get a book written in a week or two. So,

I’m writing two books right now. When I get an idea, I usually just do it, to the

chagrin of my critique partner and editor. I have several books needing to be

edited. Maybe three series that are in process. But … give me a month or two


7. This one is a bit personal, but you have quite a few sapphic and genderfluid characters,

are you a part of the LGBTQIA+ Community?

a. That’s an interesting question. I have lesbian moms, a gay dad. My sons are

asexual, and one is panromantic. I am married to a man, but I am probably closer

to panromantic than straight. When I got married I didn’t think about it as much,

but writing has gotten me to think about it a lot more.


8. May we have some book recommendations, please? Something you love that you think

your fans would too.

a. Ashe & Dez by Nat Paga, Heliacle Rising by C.C. Davie


A bit about your writing:


9. How do you go about writing? Are you a planner or do you just write?

a.  When I write in one POV I pants it! When the book has two POVs I do a bit of

planning, but not a ton, something in the middle.


10. How do you come up with your characters? Are any of them inspired by people in your

life?

a.  When I write, I try to think of scenes and fit the characters and characterization

into what I’m imagining. It usually isn’t people I know. It’s like a movie playing in

my mind.


11. Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? How do you think that affects your writing?

a.  I’m a part-time writer. Since I teach, I have time to write more during the

summer, and it isn’t that much different. I can spend time in the evening writing. I

have an hour commute, and I can think out scenes. I think having time away from

the computer, for me, isn’t the worst thing.


12. What do you find to be the most difficult part about writing? The easiest?

a. The hardest? Grammar! Ugh, those commas! The easiest? The story. I love

coming up with a story.


13. What comes first, plot or characters?

a.  Plot

14. Do you prefer writing and planning all digitally or do you keep some notes and drafts on

paper?

a. I do about a half page of planning on paper. I probably still have most of those

half pages floating about. Then I shift to digital. That way I can search for things

like characteristics, details, and spelling. I usually forget how to spell everything,

even my characters’ names.


15.  Is there any writing advice you would like to give to a writer working on their first novel?

a. Find your community. Though we all write alone, we can’t do it all alone.


16. You write both under Hannah Willow and Harlowe Frost, what is the significance of this?

Is the pen name reserved for a specific genre?

a. It took a long time to come up with Hannah Willow. Coming up with names is, to

me, the hardest part of writing. Can you imagine coming up with a pen name?!

Friends and family came up with suggestions, but they were all joke suggestions.

After I had Hannah Willow, I was told I needed a new pen name for fantasy.

When I selected Harlowe Frost I looked for a gender-neutral first name, a last

name in the top half of the alphabet, and a name that wasn’t already an author

name.


Book Specific:


17. Do you have a favorite character? Scene?

a. I like the first scene of Glass Witchling. The idea of this job is crazy. The outfits!

And in 1983?! When I came up with the book, the idea of that party started it off.

Just the insanity of it all. My next favorite scene is the last one of book 2 of this

series, I know, don’t kill me. I’ll talk to my editor, maybe I’ll push up the time line

of the books.


18. Were there any parts of Glass Witchling you found challenging to write?

a. Despite all the books that are published, this is the first book I wrote with spicy

scenes. I know, crazy. It was new and different for me.


19. Why the 80’s? Does it play a significant role for your books to have them placed in the

not-so-distant past?

a. Okay, so here is the rationale. I wanted to write a book about a modern vampire

but start with the back story. I thought about the back story, and a woman in an

alley with Boy George singing in the background popped in my head. And then

we had Casey.


20. So, Casey refers to herself as she, even when she changes her external sex, can you

tell us what you intended with this? As a reader I interpreted this as either an exploration

of trans identity or possibly gender fluidity but would love to know what your intentions as

the author were.

a. This was a long discussion with my editor and critique partner. It comes up again

in a later book and another character. The final decision came down to, Casey

thinks of herself as she/her regardless of what’s in her pants. So, because of this,

she is always referred to as she/her.


21. Can we get any hints on the sequel? You left us on quite a cliffhanger.

a. The cliff-hanger of book 2 is worse. Ironically I don’t usually go for cliff-hangers.

When a friend of mine read book 2 back in 2020 when I first wrote it, he said he’d

never been tricked by an author. He was completely blindsided by this book.

Okay, book 2 takes place three years later, 1987, and the prophecy is on

everyone’s mind. They all want to force it to come to fruition.


22. And lastly, is there anything you wished someone would ask you but hasn’t yet? If so,

share that with us.

a. I mean, I’d love someone to ask if they could make my books into a movie, but

I’m not holding my breath. Let’s see, I have cats, not dogs. I can bake most of the

desserts Casey talks about in the books. And I’m not sorry if you read and end

up hungry!

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