# Introduce yourself and your book(s)
My name is Harris Kligman. I was born and educated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania fondly known as the “City of Brotherly Love.” I left Philadelphia in my early twenties and for the next thirty-five plus years I interacted with various military governments and business entities who dominated the spheres of influence throughout the Far East, Africa and South America. I am a linguist, a devotee to the Martial Arts, holder of a black belt in Hapkido, earned while living in South Korea, and I am a retired U.S. Army Intelligence Officer who is also cross-trained as an Infantry Officer.
I have written eleven novels, several short stories and three children’s books. To date I have four fiction thriller novels published on Amazon and distributed through Walmart.com – “The Profession,” “The Shaolin Covenant,” “Her Father’s Daughter,” and “The Dark.” A fifth novel is scheduled for publication in late June or early July titled “Life Impossible.”
Readers can obtain background information on my published books, updates on new releases and behind the scenes blog updates by visiting https://www.harrislkligman.com/
# Real Life story behind my books
My youngest son Rob wanted to know why I was away so much during his childhood. Between my Reserve military obligations and my civilian career, I was away approximately sixty percent of the year and for extended periods. I missed out on birthdays, anniversaries and a host of other important family events. I decided to encapsulate a brief background of why I was away so much of the time and the page and a half I envisioned developed into a three-hundred and seventy page novel, which has yet to be published. From that point on I continued writing and the rest as they say, “Is history.”
# What inspires your creativity
My writings are an outgrowth of my experiences during thirty-five plus years of living and traveling internationally – specifically the Far East, South America and Africa. The characters are based on real life people I’ve interacted with in government, business, and the military. Obviously their names have been changed but the events related to in the story-lines are tied to real events in part or total. Like a circus that acquires animals to perform, I’ve collected “people ” who become real again in the stories I write. Although all my books are classified as Fiction, many of the events, characters etc., are inspired by actual happenings and real people.
# How do I deal with creative block
I have never experienced a creative block. I don’t have an outline or plot made before I commence writing. I just sit down at the computer, select a title and begin to write. The story-line and characters flow effortlessly.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
For me it is assuming that the reader will understand “trade craft” (Intelligence) and be knowledgeable about the countries and locations that I use as background. I must assume that when I relate my story, and the characters in the plots/situations, that the reader is a novice when it comes to geography, intelligence operations, etc. I make sure that when I write something that could be confusing, I always place a clarification after it in the story so that the reader learns and is able to follow my story-line without becoming confused.
# Do you have any tips re. titles or covers?
I have a general idea of what I want to write about. I simply select a title that describes the overall message I am trying to get across to the reader such as the novel scheduled for June publication, “Life Impossible.” It is a story whose background is the present day conflict between Israel and the Arab world pitting a Jihadist, Muhktaar Saeed, from Gaza against several Israeli Mossad agents, as each seeks to dominate the other.
The covers are thought about after the book’s completion. I envision what I want and I work with a graphic artist to compose a cover which is compelling in its format and piques the interest of the reader to visit my website to get a more detailed story outline or a retailer such as Amazon.com or Walmart.com
# Negative feedback
So far my four published novels have had only positive reviews. If I were to receive a negative review I would be appreciative that the individual took the time to tell me, since I can learn from their comment(s). I recall something that Nelson Mandela, the South African politician once said. “I never lose. I win or I learn.” I feel the same way about my writing. and my life. I win or I learn.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
It is the same as it was when I began writing these novels 15/16 years ago. I never experienced difficulty writing whether in school or the military. I hold a MBA degree and my thesis was completed in seven months. Writing has always been an enjoyable process.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
I worked in what I termed “The Downstairs Dungeon” my basement, that included a bare floor, a computer desk that was too small for the average person, a chair that had an unstable seat and no back and an old Windows desktop PC that would use an operating system that would no longer receive updates from Microsoft. Sometimes I would doze off at the computer and wake up minutes later surprised and startled. The other thing that I encountered was when I initially attempted to get one of these novels published by a known publishing house, they were reluctant to take on “new talent” and would stay with established authors or new authors who are TV personalities who can promote their books on air for free.
The best moment in writing is when you reach the end of the novel and say to yourself – “it is a pretty good story…now on to the next one.”
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
In all my stories my principal characters are determined individuals who face a number of challenges and through determination, fortitude and skill overcome these difficulties to persevere. In my novel “Her Father’s Daughter,” the principal character is a woman, Kathy Longrin, a lawyer with an art background who faces a number of challenges and through her determination, and fortitude manages to survive a number of complex situations that would have defeated a less determined woman. I married just such a woman and she is the embodiment of Kathy Longrin.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
My emotions are an integral part of my characters. I “AM” these characters as I write. They are all real people I have encountered over the thirty-five years of traveling through the Far East, Africa, and South America. I change them to the degree necessary to fit the storyline but how they speak and act are exactly how they were when the interaction between us was happening.
# Creativity tricks
I have no creativity tricks. I have lived a very colorful life during my 20 years of Army service as a Reserve Intelligence Officer and my civilian career as a Vice President-International for a multi-billion dollar commodities company. The wealth of situations, people, countries have given me the background I need for all my stories and then some.
# Plans for future books
I want to get my back catalog of written manuscripts published. When this is finished, probably mid-2022, I will then begin to write the next novel…there is always one more story I want to tell.
# Quirky facts about yourself
I play the piano and have done so for years. I like to compose my own music and lyrics – usually melodic love songs about lost love, regretful times and women who have left a hole in their lover’s heart. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t sit at the piano and play. I find I can lose myself in music and return refreshed and invigorated.
I volunteer my time with physically challenged youths and adults. I find this rewarding in many ways and have tried to live my life believing that “One kindness can change a person’s life forever.”
I like to drink champagne – my favorite is Roederer
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