Author Harriet Arden Byrd lives in Arlington, Washington, where she owns a dog walking business. She has traveled widely in vagabond style, often with pack animals or by sledge. She has also been shaped by living all across North America, in Southern Mexico, in the Arctic of Northern Europe, and by traditional indigenous cultures. Yet she is sure, “My greatest adventure of all has been to join with my husband to raise our three wonderful sons.” Harriet started to write a fantasy novel at seventeen “but could only regurgitate Tolkien et al”. So, she made a vow not to read any more fantasy until she would write her own and unique work. She started writing a couple of chapters of “Aru’s Realm” at age 40, then took it up again in 2015, worked on it every day, and had the book published in 2020. Harriet belongs to a small authors group which she started after she finished writing “Aru’s Realm.” When Harriet doesn’t write, she loves to hike in the mountains or go to the beach at least once per week.
Which genres do you cover?
Harriet Arden Byrd: “Aru’s Realm” is a fantasy. My upcoming book has short stories from a variety of genres.
Which is the latest book you had published, and what is about?
Harriet Arden Byrd: “Aru’s Realm” is a fantasy novel written in artful, non-traditional form. Each chapter represents a different color through description, action, and associated emotion. For instance, in the white chapter we are enveloped in snow scenes with mountain goats and alabaster. A grand sparkling wedding brings hope, but then arrives the frosty breath of deathly solitude. As events unfold in the story, Aru learns that her unique traits have attracted the attention of an unknown master of magic. She pieces together the realization of his terrible plans which involve her, and learns she must foil him to save the people of worlds other than her own. Aru follows a path to gold and ends up far from where she ever thought she’d go. She’s kidnapped, misled, and kept in a tower, but the scariest part of all may be the attacks of terror which take place in her own mind.
At which book events can readers find you?
Harriet Arden Byrd: I don’t go to conferences. I enjoy street fairs because I can converse with my readers and it’s a lot of fun getting to know my audience. I sometimes do author signings.
Which book event connecting you with readers is your favorite and why?
Harriet Arden Byrd: I go monthly to the open mic at Village Books in Bellingham. I sometimes do open mics at street fairs. It’s fun to read and interact with the audience and to hear the other readers and what they have to say.
Do you have any specific messages to your readers and, if so, which are they?
Harriet Arden Byrd: I incorporate many messages into my stories. They are usually about perspective, how variant it can be, and how much attitudes can affect our outlook.
Which writer(s) keep(s) inspiring you and why?
Harriet Arden Byrd: Cervantes has been one of my favorite authors since I was a young girl. I’m interested in the subject of ideal versus the real, something which interested Cervantes too. His writing is engaging and thought-provoking.
Do you have specific writing habits?
Harriet Arden Byrd: I write from the beginning to the end, polishing each paragraph as I go. I’ve never had writer’s block.
What are you currently working on?
Harriet Arden Byrd: My work in progress is a book of stories featuring the dogs I walk. I have a dog walking business which I enjoy immensely. It’s the perfect occupation for a writer, as I take breaks from the computer to walk with dogs and think about my stories. The title of the book is “Nudges From A Wet Nose.” Each story is written in a different genre, but they all involve the characters of my dog friends in one way or another. I hope to have “Nudges From A Wet Nose” out early this summer.
Which book are you currently reading simply for entertainment?
Harriet Arden Byrd: I’m not reading for entertainment right now, because I am hard at work writing.
What advice would you give any aspiring author?
Harriet Arden Byrd: Write for enjoyment.