Interviewer: Why do you write?
Harris: I love hearing a good story, and I want to connect with various groups of people. This is my way.
I: Is writing an emotional outlet for you?
H: Very much so. The characters are my little family during the writing process. I sit and type and tears run down when they do things that are good, or brave, or even very naughty. They are my people, my children. The actress Kathleen Turner does this in the movie 'Romancing the Stone'. It seemed unreal to me until I had the same experience.
I: Have you written all your life?
H: Until a few years ago I wrote reports - dry lifeless things. But I always loved books. My Aunt was a librarian in Alhambra, California. She brought me discarded books, hundreds of books. I loved them and lost myself in them. I hope readers are moved by my characters, that is my goal.
I: Do you pay attention the technical aspects of writing?
H: I write like I talk. I have always struggled with sentence diagrams.
I: What is your lifestyle these days?
H: I live on the western desert with my lovely wife Diane and the alleycat Watson. We try to be in harmony with our natural surroundings, and are only moderately civilized.
I: Do you write from your imagination?
H: Not too much. I try to write about things I have at least some direct knowledge of, and then weave the story with a small amount of imagination.
I: What do you want from your readers?
H: If my writing tranports a person to another place for even a short while, I would be pleased.
I: In Hiding Tree the protagonist is a talented but frustrated female. You are a male,what do you know?
H: During a long career, I noticed that a good woman was not treated as the equal of a good man. I tried to help, but the effect was limited. I treat some of these issues in Hiding Tree.
I: In Allegro's Secret, the protagonist is a decent man, but both he and his wife do horrific things. What point are you making?
H: You can never know all the facets of another person. Most people are capable of things they would never imagine. And as for Mandy, she is tough and focused. I like tough women.
I: What are you working on now?
H: A novel about aging parents, the sandwich generation, and choices. It's almost non-fiction. Whew!
I: Good luck.
H: Thank you.