Harper Bliss is the author of the novel At the Water’s Edge, the French Kissing serial, the High Rise series, and several other lesbian erotica and romance titles. She is the co-founder of Ladylit Publishing, an independent press focusing on lesbian fiction. Harper lives on an outlying island in Hong Kong with her wife and, regrettably, zero pets.
Harper has a brand new novelette out called Piano Lessons (link: http://www.harperbliss.com/piano-lessons/).
1. What’s your first memory of enjoying reading?
In the house I grew up in we had large, wide radiators on which I could actually lie stretched-out on my belly. During cold winter days it was pure bliss to burn my skin on these things while being engrossed in a book. No scars were created during this activity. ;-)
2. What are you currently reading?
The Position by Meg Wolitzer, which is blowing my mind more with every chapter I read.
3. Which character you’ve created/written do you wish you could spend a day as?
I’m still very much in love with Kay Brody from At the Water’s Edge. To possess Kay’s level-headedness, easiness with life, confidence and spectacular abs for just one day would make me very happy indeed.
4. Which character that someone else has written do you wish you could spend a day as?
I would like to be Flannery Jansen from Pages For You by Sylvia Brownrigg on the day that Anne Arden first seduces her. Oh, I would give a lot of money for that.
5. Have you created any characters you don’t like?
Of course! Many! Sybille (that treacherous bitch) from French Kissing comes to mind… She’s just a minor character though. My main characters tend to be quite likeable (and have really well-defined abs.)
6. What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think, “I want to be a writer”?
I wish I could say the poetry I wrote as a teenager as a result of an unrequited straight girl crush, but that was atrocious. I did enjoy writing it though. ;-)
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, not because of a particular story I wrote, but simply because I’ve always enjoyed doing it so much more than anything else.
7. Do you edit as you go or as a full process after a first draft?
I try to hammer out first drafts at a ridiculous speed, with no filters and certainly no editing. I then go through several rounds of revisions (which I don’t particularly enjoy, but it’s all part of the process) before my manuscript goes off to the editor.
8. Where do you write? And what do you need around you?
I write in my home office, preferably when I’m home alone. We’ve just moved to an outlying island (aka the countryside) in Hong Kong and it’s so quiet here, I don’t need my noise-cancelling headphones anymore. I tend to write in short bursts of twenty minutes, total concentration, going full speed ahead (even though I’m the world’s worst typist and I only use two fingers) (but I use them really well!) and in those twenty-minute intervals I can’t bear to be disturbed. But, since I do come out of ‘my zone’ every twenty minutes, that’s not too much of a problem. Other than that, I just need a few cappuccinos a day. (And the Anti-Social app to keep me off the internet!)
9. Pen and paper, typewriter or computer?
The story goes that as a child every teacher I ever had tried to teach me how to hold a pen properly and I was so stubborn that none of them succeeded. It might be hard to believe, but to this day, I can’t hold a pen properly so, if I can avoid it, I don’t use pen and paper. I’m a Mac girl, and I’m lost without my writing software Scrivener. I can’t even write a shopping list that is legible, so computers all the way. ;-)
10. Were can we keep up to date with your news?