Thursday, June 13, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author Lady Harris

Lady Harris, Author

Author Sharea “Lady” Harris uses the misfortune of having had her identity stolen to bring us her newest novel IDENTITY THEFT—“ a drama, with a pinch of comedy and suspense.” The prolific Lady Harris also has written and produced plays; written and published two poetry collections; written a screen play; and plans to release her third book next year.

When she’s not writing or producing plays, her favorite past time is to go to the beach with her husband and two girls.

Don’t miss the excerpt following her interview.

Q: You are an author of novels, poetry, and plays and also a producer and director of plays. What led you to write your latest novel IDENTITY THEFT?
Lady Harris: IDENTITY THEFT was inspired by a personal experience: my Identity was stolen recently. I have found it easier to cope with certain situations in life by writing them down and creating your own ending. You will find in the book how I used a comedic edge. 
Q: Would you characterize IDENTITY THEFT as a thriller? Why? What makes it a thriller?
Lady Harris: I would characterize it as a drama, with a pinch of comedy and suspense. Mostly because "Island," doesn't catch wind that her identity has been stolen until it’s too late and she's fighting to get her life back.
 Q: Did you write IDENTITY THEFT primarily to entertain? Or did you have a message you wanted to deliver? Did you want to influence or educate? Are there lessons to be learned from your book about the topic?
Lady Harris: IDENTITY THEFT was written as a release for me and to raise awareness. There are many people who have had their identity stolen in a variety of ways... wether it be credit cards, bank fraud, filing taxes and receiving refunds or even as small as stolen ID's and impersonation. 
Q: How do you introduce and develop your characters to make your readers care about them?
Lady Harris: I introduce my characters with description and situations; their past lives and mannerisms build their personalities throughout the story. 
Q: What makes a hero? What makes a villain? Does IDENTITY THEFT have heroes and villains?
Lady Harris: A hero, against all odds accomplishes his goal of saving someone, or something in a story. A villain goes against the grain; the fighter for evil... depending on the situation. In IDENTITY THEFT "April," would be the villain, the theft. Island would be the hero. 
Q: How important is setting to telling the story? Could you have located the novel in any place at any time?
Lady Harris: Setting is everything in any story, it creates the atmosphere or tone of the story. If it were to storm at a football game the story would change, the field would be slippery. In IDENTITY THEFT the setting created the any other setting Island may have been safe from theft. Conscious to her surroundings and not so careless. 
Q: How do you make your story credible? Did you do research on identify theft? Do you have experience with it? Do you know someone either guilty of it or a victim of it?
Lady Harris: My credibility for IDENTITY THEFT is from personal experience. It took me two long years to get my life back and to prove I am...Me. 
 Q: What’s next? More novels? Plays?
Lady Harris: I just sent my third novel "Office Secrets" to editing hoping to release it early next year. I will also be producing my original play Confrontation with a new cast for a three-city tour Spring of 2014. 
 Q: Do you have plans for releasing IDENTIFY THEFT in e-book format? What do you think about e-books?
Lady Harris: With my publisher Publish America, I have to wait a couple months for the E-book version. E-books are great for the new school, lol but I prefer to sit in a hot tub with my paperback, with my kindle I would be afraid of the steam destroying it or carelessly dropping it in the water. 
 Q: Tell us something about you. What do you like to do when you’re not writing, producing, or directing?
Lady Harris: When I am not indulged in my crafts, I absolutely love the beach with the family—my husband and two girls. The get away is relaxing and satisfying. 

About Sharea “Lady” Harris

Sharea “Lady” Harris was raised in Buffalo, NY where she was introduced to poetry, arts and writing; and now resides in Charlotte, NC. She began writing her first novel “Betrayal” at the age of 19 and published it in 2010; since then she has published two poetry collections, and has just released her next novel entitled IDENTITY THEFT.  She believes in variety and diversity, and you can see this in her works. She never bores with the same subject but challenges her talent and reaches higher with each idea. She is now putting the finishing touches of her first Erotica collection of short stories entitled “Office Secrets”. 

 Since her move to Charlotte she has expanded her talents in visual and performing arts. Producing her first stage play at the African American Cultural Center in 2004 “Confrontation”, and went on to produce her second stage play “Games” in 2012. Between writing and putting on stage plays Sharea has also produced poetry contests, MC Battles, and her live sketch comedy series entitled “Skitz,” at venues in Charlotte and Monroe, NC  including but not limited to “The Neighborhood Theater”, The CAST Theater; The Rendezvous Lounge, Upscale Lounge, and The Venue. 

 Sharea continues to write research and explore new ideas to further her writing career. She has completed her first screen play entitled “What You Don’t Know,” and plans to shoot it in the near future adding another notch to her belt.

She lurks behind smiles and friendly gestures, seeking angles and loop holes. She's clothed in insecurities and misery; but you'd never suspect a thing. She's intentionally watching your every move. She knows you better than you think. While she laughs with you she jots down everything; with her photographic memory. She slides right between conversations baiting, faking and gaining access to all aspects of your life. She is plotting, watching, learning and becoming. Soon you'll see when someone steals your IDENTITY.


     She undresses and walks towards the shower, physically and mentally exhausted. She reaches down and turns both knobs hot and cold the same way, with the exact same degree of turn. The lavender scent from the fresh towels relaxes and soothes her while she waves her hand under the shower head from left to right, testing it until the water feels just right. She shakes the water off her hands pulls her shirt over her head and steps in the shower. The day washes away as the pressure from the water, like a million hands, beating and thumping at her tired frame. Standing there, she conjures up her next plan; she wonders what the game will be this time around.  She finishes up and steps out of the shower, releasing a cloud of steams into the tiny hotel bathroom. Then she wraps the large white towel around her dripping wet body. She taps her face with the white towel and tucks it under her arm, making sure that it’s secure; then grabs the soapbox from off the sink area, opens it and lets the small box of soap slide into her hand. She turns on the water and rubs her hands quickly together. Once the lather builds, she drops the soap and washes her face.  It was the same routine in every new city.  
     She finishes her ritual and stares at her reflection in the half steamed mirror. She smirks, letting out a whimper of a sigh. “Time is money”, she states as if she was not the only one in the room. She learned to talk to herself years ago, as she could only really trust three people. She stood by the quote, “Me, myself, and I”, and she used it often. Looking at the bags she so messily left thrown across the bed.  She sighs again and continues towards the bed. As she straightens up, she rips off the airways tags that revealed the location of her last life.    
     I won’t need these anymore. She tosses them onto the bed and opens each bag. There were three bags total, not including her pocketbook.  She begins to fumble through their contents. She searched for about five minutes before finally coming across a fully packed, old wallet. She exhales and kisses the large black leather wallet, they had been together for so long. She flops down onto the bed with ease, her feet lifting slightly off of the floor while her body bounced twice from impact on the pre-made hotel bed. 
     She opens her wallet and flips through its contents. There are so many different possibilities, sizes, names, and ethnicities. Who will it be this time? Who deserves a role in her evanesce life? She crosses her legs, becoming frustrated with the thought of becoming someone else all over again. This game was becoming increasingly old. What she needed was a retirement plan. One big shot to live and never have to leave again. These were her thoughts, but she knew that day would never come. That day was just a fantasy in her world. 
     This was her life, her life for so long. She created rules along the way from mistakes. Rule one you should never leave money in a hotel room after a job. Never get caught with more than one ID on the street; work alone, and last but not least never get too close to them, make the mark your friend but never ever catch feelings for a mark.
    “Let’s see here, hum.” She pulls out three choices, folds the wallet back up, and places it safely beside her.  She spreads the three driver’s licenses in her right hand as if she was playing spades and really needed these last books to win.  She stares at the ID’s, tilting her head back and forth, slowly analyzing her next identity. Pulling the center card out and sitting the other two cards down, she continues to stare with a sneaky smirk on her face. 
     “Tajanae’ Winters’ it is.” She stands up and holds her hand out as if to give her ID to a greeter. “I’m Tajanae’ Winters. I am here to visit some guests.” She pauses, and moves her hair around while staring in the mirror over the desk. “I could easily be a Tajanae’. My friends could call me Taj.” Smiling, she turns her attention back to her luggage. “Now what would Taj want to wear today?”


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