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July 13, 2011

Guest Blog: Kim Harrison, Author of Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel

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Today, bestselling author Kim Harrison drops by GNR as part of her blog tour to promote her latest book, Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel (Del Rey; on sale July 11). Other stops for Harrison's blog tour include Fantasy Book CriticsSmart Bitches, Trashy Books and Comics Beat. Below, find out how Harrison's first foray into graphic novels came about and get a sneak peek at two pages of the book—as well as links to more preview pages from the other sites in the progressive blog tour!

Don't miss your chance to win your own pair of those sexy boots you see on the cover above. Enter here for your chance to win!

Alsowant to win a copy of Blood Work? GNR readers in the continental United States are eligible to win one of two copies of Kim Harrison's new graphic novel simply by emailing here. More details will be available in the next GNR newsletter (sign up here if you're not currently receiving the newsletter). The Blood Work giveaway contest has ended. Thanks to all who entered!

GIVEAWAY RULES:

1) The giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States only.

2) You must email your name and mailing address at the link above.

3) No purchase necessary.
4) Giveaway contest ends July 27, 2011, at 12 noon EST.
5) Winners will be selected by randomly notified by email.
6) Your email and mailing addresses will be kept private and not be used for anything else other than this contest.


Dipping a Toe into a New Pool
 

For me, one of the perks of being a writer is the chance to do something different every day within a framework of predictability, a mouthful that means I can research hang gliding one day, the smell of gunpowder the next, and the mythology of Greek temples the day after—as long as I put it to good use by actually writing something. It’s the writing process that can get tedious, and whereas an author can usually shake things up by changing voice, POV, tense, or whatnot by starting a new project, I had the good luck of having a long-running series on my hands.
 

I got bored. Okay, I got desperate for something new. The Hollows was a huge, wonderful world, but I wanted to stretch my writing muscles, a difficult task when cemented into an accepted framework, one I didn’t want to change. So when my agent came to me with the proposition of trying my hand at graphic novels, in essence telling a story with familiar characters in a way I’d never attempted, I jumped in with two feet and a life preserver named Betsy Mitchell. (My fabulous editor at Del Rey, who has kept it fun, and me focused.)

I had little experience with graphic novels, which meant a steep learning curve for me, one I’m still trying to get a handle on. Fortunately, I’d always seen the Hollows unfold in pictures while I wrote, so adapting my writing techniques wasn’t as hard as I feared. I’m tactile by nature, enjoying the chance to create a visual balance in color and texture, all of which are hard to convey in regular text, but here I could. The chance to play “director” was irresistible, and many of the shifts in perspective, angles, and even the sizes of the panels themselves were my suggestions. There’s a lot more to this than drawing boxes and writing dialog, and I still feel very much the newbie, trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t...and why.
 

It’s not hard to see my confidence growing as you look at pages four and five of Blood Work, where Ivy and her dissatisfaction are introduced, to six and seven, where I start to open up with some stunning visual representations of what the emotion of blood lust might look like, to pages eight and nine, where I start to experiment with flashbacks and transitions, and finally pages ten and eleven, where I began to relax and experiment with the power behind the closeup and the distant shot.
 

There’s a second graphic novel planned after Blood Work, so I hope to keep honing my skills and learning how to tell a story in a new way.

—Kim Harrison


About Blood Work
 

In Blood Work, Kim Harrison turns back the clock to tell the never-before-told story of the first meeting between witch Rachel Morgan and vampire Ivy Tamwood. It wasn’t quite love at first sight for tough-as-nails detective Ivy and her very attractive and frustratingly self-assured intern Rachel, assigned as partners in Inderland Security. But when a coven of murderous witches begins preying on werewolves, Ivy and Rachel hit the streets together to deal swift justice to the evil element among Cincinnati’s supernatural set. But there’s more to their partnership than they realize—and more blood and black magic in their future than they bargained for. The combination of Harrison’s sexy and suspenseful storytelling, and Pedro Maia and Gemmo Magno’s artwork, makes Blood Work a breathtaking visual and action-packed journey for any Hollows series fan.