Friday, October 21, 2011

Dishing it up with Harper Alibeck

Today I have the pleasure of dishing it up with Harper Alibeck.

Harper is a former history professor who has published eight books and whose work has appeared in 17 others. She’s also a National Book Critics Circle member, with reviews published online and in academic journals. Her interests turned toward contemporary and historical romance - but with a twist. Read her new book, "Legs".

JET: Can you tell us about your latest endeavor?

Harper: I'm actually working on the prequel to Legs right now, titled Unfinished Business. The prequel focuses on the two main characters from the 1910s, Lilith and James, the people Seth and Jill keep dreaming about.

JET: What drew you to contemporary and historical romance?

Harper: I taught college-level history for 17 years, and I love Latin America, but haven't seen too many romances set there. I live blending contemporary and historical (with a touch of paranormal) as I have in Legs.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Harper: I have three. They are my children. Raising three boys is the biggest joy in my life, but definitely my biggest obstacle!

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Harper: When readers write to me to gush about how much they love the reincarnation(ish) element in Legs.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Harper: Madeline L'Engle, John Updike, Danielle Steel, Richard Wright, and whoever wrote those “Choose Your Own Journey” books in the Scholastic catalog!

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Harper: When I was very young, but I really hate this question, because I think saying “I knew I was a writer from the time I was 6 and published my first story in a school newsletter” is cute, but it's not when I knew I wanted to be the right kind of writer. Writing because you have a story is really, really great. But writing because you want to tell your story in a way that has universal appeal and that helps you connect to something inside other people – once I figured that out, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Harper: I asked my husband to help me with, um, research on how to make love to someone in a full leg cast. He refused to break his leg LOL, but did offer to rent a cast from a medical supply store. All in the name of “research.”

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Harper: Years ago I wrote a historical biography of Leif Ericksson for an educational publisher. Definitely my favorite!

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

Harper: READ. Read, read and read some more in your genre. It's as important – if not more important – than writing.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

Harper: Paper

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Harper: Steak

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Harper: Beach

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Harper: Rock!

JET: Leather or Lace?

Harper: Leather

JET: Angels or Demons?

Harper: Angels

JET: Paper or Digital?

Harper: Digital

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Harper: Horror!

JET: Twilight or True Blood?

Harper: True Blood

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Harper: Coffee!

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Harper: The prequel to Legs, and then a spinoff from THAT. Lilith visits a sexologist in the prequel, to understand why some of her sexual anatomy is behaving in ways that are, well, similar to Jill's in Legs (you have to read Legs to understand Jill's unique sexual...fluidity).

Dr. David Burnham has become so interesting to me as a character as I write him that I've created a series of novellas about him. The first is “The Sexologist's Curious Case of Saline Liquor.” I'm planning to publish the prequel, then Dr. Burnham's first story next.

And thank you!

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Harper Alibeck and her work at the following places:

Thanks for stopping in!

Until next time,



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