Thursday, July 1, 2021

Q&A with Kelly Harms



Kelly Harms is the author of the new novel The Seven Day Switch. Her other books include The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. A former editor and literary agent, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


Q: What inspired you to write The Seven Day Switch, and how did you create your characters Celeste and Wendy?


A: Celeste and Wendy created themselves. I personally don’t know any full-on workaholic crazy moms or Pinterest-perfect stay-at-home moms, but Celeste and Wendy just stepped right up and introduced themselves and I sat up and tried to get it all down on paper.


Q: What do you think the novel says about motherhood?


A: If I do my job right, women are going to come away from this book a little lighter, a little happier, and maybe looking at the woman in front of her in the carpool line a little more curiously.


Read this book if you want to feel like the best mom ever—you probably already are. Read it if you want to laugh about the things we sometimes take far too seriously. Read it if you’re locked in the bathroom hiding from your kids right now.


Q: The writer Maddie Dawson said of the book, "Think Freaky Friday with two grown women who dont much like each other." What do you think of that description?


A: That’s about perfect! I love that movie, don’t you? Both versions make me laugh. There are zillions of body swap movies out there—I certainly didn’t invent the idea—and there’s a reason we want to keep exploring this idea. Isn’t reading, after all, the act of swapping brains with someone else for a little while?


Q: What do you see as the role of humor in your novels?


A: I am not in control of the humor. It comes out, and I hear about it from readers, but I don’t remember writing any jokes. Of course, I wrote this book during lockdown so I don’t remember much of anything.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Oh, just you wait. You thought this one was madcap? Just you wait.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Please come find me on and drop me a line. I aim to respond to each and every note personally—that’s me, not a Kellybot or an assistant.


And if you’re feeling shy, start with Instagram where I can look at pretty pictures of books and see ads for waterproof baseball hats and no-show socks. I’m @kelly.harms and I look forward to seeing what you’re reading and how cute your cat is! 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Kelly Harms.

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