# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Narrelle M Harris, and I write across a range of genres – crime, fantasy, adventure, horror and romance. My most recent books are Kitty and Cadaver, about a rock and roll band that fights monsters using music as magic, and The She Wolf of Baker Street, an alternative, contemporary take on the Holmes universe, centred on Mrs Hudson, werewolf, which is being serialised on my Patreon. I’ve also edited my first anthology recently, a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories called The Only One in the World.
# What inspires your creativity?
My home city, Melbourne, is a constant source of inspiration and I’ve set several books and a novella series in this wonderful place. I travel a lot of am inspired by the cities, landscapes and cultures and people I encounter on the way. I love music, and several of my books feature musicians. I also love to juxtapose the paranormal with the everyday, and I’ve written a lot of Sherlock Holmes-inspired works.
My work usually also reflects the themes I find endlessly fascinating – found family, the nature of love and redemption, and all the different ways we have of being human.
# How do you deal with creative block?
A lot of the time, I can work through a knotty problem when I’m walking or swimming. Pretty much anywhere I don’t have a notebook handy! But it’s true – getting the body moving also frees up your thinking.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
To second-guess what you think people want. You need to write the story that you want to tell. If you’re passionate about writing it, you’ll find your readership.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I am terrible at both, so my tip is to seek suggestions for the first, and to trust your cover artist to interpret a broad idea for the second.
The Only One in the World is full of stories about Holmes and Watson from the perspective of ‘what if they had been born into a different culture?’. We have Holmeses and Watsons who are German, Viking, Indian, Australian, Irish, Polish, Russian and even Ancient Egyptian! For the cover, I knew I wanted to convey the idea of portals into different versions of Sherlock Holmes. The cover artist, Judith Rossell, created a stunning wraparound cover of all these different doors and windows representing the countries in which the stories are set. Judith took my suggestion and created something absolutely stunning – so many people have commented on it!
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Working with the writers – several of them award-winning and best-selling authors – really gave me an appreciation for working with professionals. We worked together to polish the stories, and they were all courteous, thoughtful and timely in reviewing my suggestions and making edits we thought were necessary. No tantrums!
I loved how each writer found a different facet of Conan Doyle’s original characters to explore in the context of their new cultural backgrounds. This means that every story has a different tone, theme and feel while still tapping into the wonderful original stories we all love so much.
# What are your plans for future books?
My next project will be the third novel in my Vampires of Melbourne series, which began with The Opposite of Life and Walking Shadows. My publisher at Clan Destine Press has also accepted my pitch for a new anthology so I’ll start work on that in July.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I spent three years living overseas – in Poland and Egypt – teaching English as a second language.
Because of Kitty and Cadaver and my Duo Ex Machina crime- romance novella series about two musicians, I’ve written a lot of song lyrics. I’m now working with a band called Bronze as well as a music producer and the singers he has on his books to produce some of those songs! The songs to date are all at dangerouscharm.com.au.