Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Date Published: 04.11.2017
Mara Goodwin is a professional keeper of secrets, or that is what she intends to be. As a counseling psychology student at Northwestern, Mara’s ambition is unrivaled. She has the grades, the compassion, and the dedication, everything she needs to gain entry into the clinical psychology program.
However, after a traumatic experience leaves Mara in a state of mental distress, she finds herself keeping more secrets than she intended, most of them her own. Finding herself in trouble with the law, her dreams of being a therapist are jeopardized and as a consequence, Mara is ultimately forced into group therapy. While in therapy, Mara holds on to her secrets with a death grip, but when life comes full circle, her past is revealed and with it the potential to destroy her future career, her friendships, and ultimately herself.
Mara is a fighter, even if she doesn’t know it yet, but with each attempt to salvage what she can of her broken life, she is met with a consistent punch to the gut. After being pushed to the edge by meddling roommates, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and a potential new boyfriend, Mara comes to the precipice of her destruction. Yet with her destruction also comes her rebirth, and revelations of love, pain, and growth.
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
I want readers to understand that mental and emotional pain is very real, but it can be overcome. Pain is something that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives, and the way that we process it will vary greatly from person to person. With our lives being so busy it is easy for us to get caught up in our own little world but I hope that as people read the novel and connect with the characters, they also connect with the people around them, and think about what it means to be sympathetic and empathetic.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing is usually the most challenging part of my writing. I usually write about things that are very difficult to discuss openly with most people, but I have to make sure that I am not holding back in my writing. It is easy for me to read something I have written and want to take it back for fear of it being “too much”, but that wouldn’t be authentic. When I am editing I have to make sure that I am being honest, and not editing out the truth that makes the story a good story.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I have only written “27 Revelations” but I am currently working on my second novel and a novella, but I feel that my second novel may be my favorite because for me it is the most personal.
If You had the chance to cast your main character from
today, who would you pick and why? Hollywood
Ha ha! I honestly couldn’t tell you. I honestly don’t believe that there is an actress that is known that could effectively play Mara and successfully embody all of her complexities.
When did you begin writing?
I have always loved writing since I was a child but I didn’t seriously start writing until 2012.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
I got the idea for “27 Revelations” in 2013. However I didn’t actually start outlining and writing until 2014, and I finished the first draft in July of 2015. The fourth and final draft was completed in spring of 2016, then it was sent off for professional editing in the fall of 2016. So it has been at least three years from start to publication.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
I admire a lot of writers but there isn’t one who inspired me to write. I think that writing has just always been something that I have loved since I was a kids so it comes naturally.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Character creation. That is my favorite part. There is nothing more satisfying than writing and having a character take off in its own direction. I believe that is how you know you’ve done a good job with character development. When you don’t have to think so hard about what your character will do next because their personality and past actions drive the story forward naturally.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Honest, insightful, intimate, and revealing.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
I am currently working on my second full length novel “On Walnut and Kirkwood” (working title), and a novella, “Sugar Lane”. The novel will focus on two college sweethearts who have recently separated after nine years of marriage as they navigate their new relationship status after unfortunate circumstances force them to interact in the town of their alma mater. Then “Sugar Lane” will focus on a quiet residential neighborhood outside Memphis, TN where life isn’t as sweet as people want it to be as relationships between neighbors become strained due to jealousy and other personal indiscretions. I hope to release the novel at the end of 2017 or early 2018. The novella I hope to release shortly afterwards.
Harlow Hayes was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has always had a passion for writing and storytelling in its many forms, and when she’s not immersed in her writing, she enjoys reading both fiction and non-fiction, watching movies, and listening to music. She currently lives in Chattanooga, TN. 27 Revelations is her first novel.
Facebook: Harlow Hayes @harlowhayesbooks
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