“Rachel has been managing her own firm to help police the supernatural aspects of Cincinnati long enough to learn how to stay alive, but she’s gained some hefty enemies with her snap solutions to past problems,” Harrison said in an interview. “The city has been besieged by a series of murders perpetrated by an extremely rare, apex predator able to disguise his feeding as natural death. When her officer buddy survives the latest attack, Rachel becomes involved, recognizing that this is magic, not medical mayhem. Tracking down the serial killer leads to finding some answers to her own heartache of her murdered lover, giving Rachel some closure to an open wound and allowing her to live again.”
This is the seventh book in the Hollows series, and by now, the story is really growing from what has come before. “But what really excites me is that the original story arc has closed, and I’m starting to lay down the threads of a new story line,” Harrison said. “New characters are coming on the stage, bringing with them new ways to complicate Rachel’s life. The pain of her lover’s death is finally put to rest, and a new array of possible love interests are cringing in the wings, hoping to escape her notice.”
Although the stories of the Hollows are set in a world clearly not ours and the characters that inhabit them are the stuff of fancy and horror, the emotions that drive them, the search for power, love, revenge, or understanding, are very real, Harrison said. “I draw on personal experience for much of Rachel’s reactions,” she said. “I’m not saying that I dream of battling big-bad-uglies with a pixie on my shoulder and a spell in my paint-ball gun, but I want the same things she does: a secure place in the world, recognition for my skills, and friends to share the good things with. Rachel strives for these things because I do, and when she comes out on top, I’m right there cheering for her.”
Because this is the seventh book in the series, the world is pretty much set; but now the difficultly in building the world now comes from trying to bring in something new without breaking a rule that has been set in a previous book. “I get around that by trying to focus a cluster of books on a particular species,” Harrison said. “The first few books focused on the wide sweeps of the world and the vampires. The next couple explored the werewolves. Elves were my next focus, something that continues as I begin to explore the demons. Making it all mesh has been a true challenge that keeps me interested and at my keyboard.”
Up next for Harrison is Once Dead, Twice Shy, the beginning of a three-book young adult series involving fallen angels in high school. “This is my favorite audience to write for, and I’ve hopefully given it just as many surprising plot twists as I do in my adult work,” Harrison said.