Book Nerd Interview
Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
What a lovely question. For me, it’s everything. It’s a means of escape, a way to dream, a way to communicate and understand the world around me… and beyond.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
To move on and write your next best thing. I think it’s easy to get bogged down in the business end of writing, but I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people that help me focus on what’s important. It’s all about the work.
In your new book; THE LAST HARVEST, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
It’s very old school horror. It’s terrifying, but there’s also a really tender family drama going on underneath. I think people will have a lot of fun trying to unravel the mystery—tracing all the threads to the shocking ending.
For those who are unfamiliar with Clay, how would you introduce him?
He’s really salt of earth- hard working- the strong silent type. But when he accuses the town’s most prominent families of devil worship, he finds himself way out of his depth.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Tyler?
In a weird way, I found him to be surprisingly sympathetic. I always feel a little sorry for people who appear to have everything. When you strip away the accouterments…the bravado, you’ll often find they’re desperately trying to cover up for something. In Tyler’s case, it’s the fear of not being good enough-- for the team, for Ali, for the council, but most of all for his dad.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Jess to Colby and Bev from The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. They could take her on the road…far far away from Midland, Oklahoma.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on the sequel to Blood and Salt and another standalone with Tor Teen that I’m ridiculously excited about. I also just sold a book to St Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books called THE GRACE YEAR.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Your life is what you make it. Whatever you can dream, you can achieve. It might not turn out exactly as you imagined, but you’ll never know unless you try.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
One of my best friends. Writing has given me the most amazing friends.
What’s your most missed memory?
I don’t think I have one. I have a lot of great memories, but that’s what they are—in the past. I try to keep present. Try to look forward.
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I’m pretty whimsical when it comes to breakfast. Depends on what kind of mood I’m in when I wake up.
What is your favorite room in your home and outside environment?
I love my tiny writing space, which is located under a loft bed in the laundry room. I live in NYC, so every room has at least two purposes. Outside? I love an open field. Where I can stretch out my arms and scream at the top of my lungs.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The late fifties, early sixties would’ve been a fascinating time. The birth of rock and roll. Peace and love.
If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
Besides assassinating Hitler, I would go back to March 18th 1986 for reasons that are my own.
When was the last time you cried?
I cry all the time. It’s a superpower and a curse. I cry when I write a sad scene. I cry when I see something breathtakingly beautiful. I cry when a piece of music moves me. I have an over-abundance of empathy, which makes me highly susceptible to all the tears. I get pretty embarrassed by it at times, but it’s just the way I’m wired.
Where can readers stalk you?
Instagram is my current favorite—kim2legit2quit or you can follow me on twitter kim_liggett
Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.
Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.
Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.
PRAISE for THE LAST HARVEST
"A tense and suspenseful drama" and Booklist said the book is "atmospheric and frightening and delivers the goods on its disturbing premise." --School Library Journal
You can purchase The Last Harvest at the following Retailers:
PEOPLE CALL this God’s country, but you can’t have God without the Devil.
I see it in the cutworms threatening to take over the crops and the katydids with their bright-green wings fluttering as they drown in the troughs.
When I’m riding the combine like this, watching the sun rise over the fields, I can’t help thinking about my ancestors who claimed this piece of shit parcel in the 1889 land rush. The majestic display of color and light must’ve felt like God himself was rising up to pass judgment on them every single day. I know it’s just a bunch of particles making the light rays scatter, but it still gets to me. An Oklahoma sky will make a believer out of anybody.
I pull my sleeves down over my frozen knuckles and concentrate on annihilating the wheat in front of me. The last harvest of the season. Man, I hate wheat. It’s so old school. Soybeans—that’s the wave of the future. I kept telling Dad, but he was too stuck in his ways. Now he’s really stuck. Six feet under.
I glance at the Neely Cattle Ranch on the western edge of our property, and a sick feeling twists my insides. I tell myself it’s only an abandoned barn now, but I swear I can feel it pressing in on me, like it’s trying to suffocate me. I’ll never understand why they didn’t burn it to the ground after what happened. After what Dad did.
“Just keep it together, Clay,” I say to myself as I twist my cap around and crank up the music. We need the money and I’m already behind schedule. I had a hard time getting the combine going again this morning. Dad’s the one who was good at all this. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about what my life would’ve been like if it never happened. I’d still be playing football, looking at colleges, going down to the quarry to drink beer with my friends.
As I make my last turn to head back home and get ready for school, I catch a glimpse of something moving low through the wheat. I rise up in my seat, peering through the dusty windshield, watching it move back toward the house, when I hit something solid. The cutting blades grind to a halt, making the combine rock forward and stall out.
“Come on,” I groan as I pull out my earbuds.
The sound of screaming guitars fades as I slide out of the cab and trudge toward the front of the harvester.
Hope I didn’t run over my little sister’s bike. I’ve been looking everywhere for that hunk of junk. I thought about getting her a new one, roughing it up a little, telling her I found it out by Harmon Lake, but Noodle’s sharp. Dad put it together for her sixth birthday last year—wasn’t worth a dime, just a bunch of scraps from mine and Jess’s old bikes. Guess it has sentimental value.
As I lean down to look under the cutting platform, a musky copper smell flares in my nostrils. There, stuck in the blade, is a gnarled hoof. My stomach lurches; my throat feels so thick I can barely swallow. Frantically, I dig around in the discarded wheat stems to uncover the rest of it—a newborn calf, throat slit wide open, bright-red blood splattered against golden fur. My eyes well up as I try and find a pulse, but it’s no use. It’s just a heap of warm blood, bone, and fur.
“Jesus!” I stagger back, tearing off my work gloves to try and get away from the sweet repulsive odor, but it’s all around me … inside me.
Pacing around the combine, I scan the fields, searching for an explanation. We don’t have any cattle around here, not since Mr. Neely shut down the ranch last year. Did I do this or did somebody kill it and ditch it here for me to find, like some kind of sick joke?
Bracing my hands against my knees, I stare down at the calf, its eyes black as tar, and all I see is Dad lying on the breeding floor, arms outstretched, his last breath rattling in his throat.
“I plead the blood,” he whispered.
He looked terrified—not of death, but of me.
The wind rushes over the crops, pulling me back. It sounds like sandpaper scraping against skin.
I take off running back toward the house.
I know it’s only the sun chasing my shadow, but I swear, it feels like the Devil himself is right on my heels.
Copyright © 2017 by Kim Liggett
You can purchase The Last Harvest at the following Retailers: