Kim Harrington is the author of Revenge of the Red Club, a new middle grade novel for kids. Her other books include Clarity and Perception. She lives in Massachusetts.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Revenge of the Red Club, and for your character Riley?
A: I wanted to write a book that I wish had existed when I was at that age. A period positive book with a lot of girl power, heart, and humor. But it would also tackle a lot of today’s important issues.
And I knew I needed a special character to make that happen. Riley is smart, passionate, but a little bit edgy. She’s not afraid to get in trouble if it’s for the right reason. She makes mistakes, but she learns from them. And I think that’s important.
Q: What do you think the book says about attitudes toward body image and menstruation?
A: The book is a pretty realistic portrayal of some of the issues kids (and adults!) go through, and I really wanted the result to be that the reader feels more body positive and period positive at the end of the book. We need to end the stigma, and the first step in that goal is to talk about these things.
Q: Riley is a young journalist--what do you think kids might take away about the role of the media from your book?
A: That it’s important! A free media is the key to a free world. I love how Riley uses her strength, writing, to change her world. She realizes that words are her superpower.
Q: Do you usually know how your books will end before you start writing them?
A: I always know the beginning and the end before I start writing, especially if there is a mystery component (which there is in pretty much all of my books). How I get to that end, I may not figure out for a while. But I know the endpoint I want to get to.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m always working on something, but I have nothing to announce right now. Fingers crossed that I get to keep doing this!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I am so proud of this book, and I appreciate people helping to get it into the hands of readers!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb