Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne based author who writes across many genres. All her books include the same theme of people who have the family they are born with and the families they make for ourselves. The protagonists all face challenges they’ve made for themselves as well as external threats that test them. They’re full of people who’ve made mistakes who seek to learn and to make better choices.
Your 10th book, Grounded, comes out on 20 March 2019, What was the inspiration for the story?
The idea came from a few different sources. I’ve enjoyed what in fanfiction is called wingfic – where stories are set in worlds where people have wings, though they’re not necessarily angels! I also wanted to create a story where the protagonists were facing their world with disabilities, but were at different stages of working through life’s challenges – and that’s where Clementine, an artist born wingless, and Benedick, a policeman who has only recently lost his ability to fly due to being injured in the line of duty, come in. Their relationships with their bodies, their place in the world and with each other spring from different experiences, and they need to learn how to see the world with fresh eyes and learn trust. The impetus to write characters with disabilities came in part through the experiences of some friends of mine who are constantly negotiating life differently to me because of mobility issues.
What project are you currently working on?
I’m working on Kiss and Cry, the next novella of my MM romance/crime series Duo Ex Machina (which I produce through Patreon). I am also doing background work on the third novel in my Vampires of Melbourne series, with a working title of Beyond Redemption, for my other publisher Clan Destine Press! I’m also thinking about doing another story set in the Grounded universe though.
What authors do you like to read?
Just as I write in different genres, I read in different ones all the time. My favourite romance authors are Anne Gracie, Emily Larkin and Erica Ridley (clearly I love Regency!). More broadly, I will always read anything by Tansy Rayner Roberts. PG Wodehouse’s comedies are my comfort read, and for Holmes/Watson romances, I love Atlin Merrick beyond all reason.
What is your favourite love story of all time, either book or movie?
I think Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing will never be old for me. You’ll notice I – ahem – borrowed a name from that pairing. 🙂 I will cheat and also say that whether you interpret Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as epic buddies or a quiet love story (I happily read them both ways), I will always and forever love their friendship and adventures together.
What would be the worst thing to put in a piñata?
Custard. Or kittens. Or custard *and* kittens.
In a world where flight is life, will two grounded people find other ways to fly?
When Benedick Sasaki’s wings are wounded in the line of duty, the former policeman doesn’t know if he has a place in a world where he can no longer fly.
Then he meets Clementine Torres, an artist born without wings and a vocal advocate for the flightless who has been subjected to recent hate mail and vandalism ahead of her new exhibition. As Clementine starts to teach Benedick new ways to appreciate the world on the ground, the threats against her art and possibly her life begin to escalate.
To survive, they will need to teach each other that not all beauty is in the air, and that both of them can soar without wings…