FAN Friday’s Teen Writer: Kara Harris

Please welcome KARA HARRIS and be her fan!

 I’ve known Kara since she was about five-years-old, when her reading skills were just developing. Now she’s a voracious reader who loves to write. She’s a sophomore at Warsaw Community High School, in Warsaw, IN–my home town, and plans to go to college to major in secondary education. She’d love to teach middle school, high school, or at the college level. She hasn’t decided what subject to minor in. Will it be English? The verdict is still out.

She likes to read adventure and fantasy stories and has written a fantasy novel, titled OMNI: The Hunted. It took her four years to write it, and it’s 59 chapters long. Her favorite part about writing is creating the story. The most difficult part is editing and correcting grammatical errors. Her next novel will be the sequel, OMNI: The Resistance. I doubt it’ll take her four years to finish that one. (There’s your challenge, Kara.)

Kara is a pantster–a writer who “goes with the flow” (as she says) or writes by the seat-of-her-pants, without outlining beforehand. This isn’t rare though. Many authors prefer to write this way.

When Kara isn’t reading or writing you can find her biking, camping, drawing or buying manga. (Buying Manga? Is that with a capital M or not? I have to ask Kara because I don’t know what this is.) She currently has 56 Manga and says she’s an anime/manga fan girl. (Okay… I have a confession to make. I did NOT know what manga were so I had to ask Kara. Do you know? Below is her description:)

WHAT ARE MANGA? “Manga first originated in Japan and they are basically Japanese comic books, but they are also called Graphic Novels because they look more like books (and actually have a story line to them, unlike American comics).

I usually buy manga at Barnes and Noble. If you are looking for them they have their own section right next to the American comics (Marvel, D.C, ect.). Depending on what company you are buying them from–Shojobeat, YenPress, or Shonen Jump (there are more, but those are the most well-known companies) they can range from $7.95 to 11.99. You can find sites to read manga for free, but I prefer to hold my books then to read them from sites. You can also buy them on your Nook or Kindle for less, I think… I don’t know for sure, because I don’t have one.

Also, some manga, if popular enough, can turn into anime. Anime is the TV form of the manga where it follows the same story lines of the manga. Manga also have genres like romance, adventure, mystery, but most are a combination of two things like adventure/fantasy and romantic/comedy. To get more publicity, some authors (like James Patterson) put their books in Manga form. They do this to get more teens to read their books and get more fans. 

Most anime/manga lovers are teens and young adults. Anime friends are friends for life. Once you meet a person who also shares this same interest you quickly become friends. There’s a small comunity in our highschool that share this interest and we’re all friends. But it’s rare to find us because we don’t often express our love for it because others think we’re “weird” or “dorky” or what my parents would say “childish.” 

Thanks, Kara. These sound cool and fun to read. I like the pictures.

SOMETHING Impressive about Kara: This is her ‘claim to fame’ with me. I’m in awe over this:  She has a stomach made of iron. Here’s how I know:

One evening at dinner she ate a whole green ball (the size of two peas) of wasabi at a sushi restaurant. She swallowed it whole and never bat an eyelash. According to her parents, she didn’t wake up with indigestion, either. And never got sick. Impressive, no? For those of you who don’t know what wasabi is let me explain. It’s a fiery-hot greenish paste made from a Japanese plant and served with sushi. It’s as hot as eating horseradish and tabasco sauce. Or hotter. Most people can only tolerate a sliver of it mixed with soy sauce. They dip their sushi in it.

 

Below is the prologue to Kara’s novel, OMNI.

Prologue

 

In the beginning, there was the earth; with its calm forests, blue seas, and wondrous skies.  The earth had many creatures; big and small.  Man was one of them.  Man had a partner; it was woman and they were called humans.  They had a rival though.  Those they called Mutants.  They were like humans, but had special abilities or powers.  The first mutants were Grace and Helio.  They had all the powers of all mutants, and they were sometimes called Omnis or Omni Mutants.  What set them apart from all the rest of the mutants were their wings which were gold and white.  As time went on, some mutants forgot their origins, but not totally.  Once in a while, a child with gold and white wings was born, resembling the first mutants, Grace and Helio. And like them, the child would have the combined powers of all mutants, enough to bring either peace in the world, or great destruction. Only the child would be unknowing, and would have to discover those powers

That is the legend of the Omni, centuries have passed and the world is still divided between Mutants and Humans. During times of great wars and destruction when one side came to over powered the Omni appears to set the balance of the world right. Humans and Mutants alike live in peace in these times. The Omni was the symbol of hope to get through the times of disaster. Years have passed and the world was suddenly erupted in a mega war called The Mutant War. Never before in either Human or Mutant history have been there been a war like this, the war spread all over the world in every country from the richest to the poorest they were all in war with each other, the Humans vs. the Mutants. The world was literally an endless battle field that seemed to never end. People dead in the streets, blood painted on the walls of buildings, and some people say that they saw death walk the streets at night collecting the dead soles of people dead on the street. Then when it seemed all hope was lost the Omni appeared again. When the Mutants heard this news was joyful. They were sick with all the war going on and they thought the war would be finally come to a stop. The Humans though were more devious then the Mutants they wanted the Omni to themselves and wanted to control the Omni. When the time came for the Omni to save the world, he did something that no Omni ever did, he went to the side of darkness and this is where our story begins.

Are you intrigued? Would you read on?

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Monica C. says:

    Hi Kara! First, I wanted to let you know that I’m twice your age, but my favorite anime is Trigun and I used to love anime when I was younger. Turns out that as you get older, people care a lot less about what is “dorky” (and dorky jobs often pay a lot of money!). Secondly, I like the concept for your novel a lot, but your prologue sounds more like backstory to your setting rather than an attention-grabbing introduction to your novel. You might consider making the prologue a detail of the scene where the Omni turns to the side of darkness rather than simply telling us the whole history of the world. You could reveal some of it in that scene, through dialogue or action, and the rest could be discovered later as we learn about the world of humans and mutants. 🙂

    • Thanks, Monica. I’ll be sure Kara reads your post later today. She’s at school now. I think.
      I love that you knew what these Manga are. Of course you would! I feel like I’m the one who’s been in the dark. How old am I? Much, much older.
      Thanks also for the great advice you gave Kara on her prologue. I agree with you.

  2. Robin says:

    Hey Kara!
    I really liked how you started this, by almost making your setting a character. However, I agree with Monica, there is a lot of backstory in this and her suggestion is excellent. Later, throughout the book and even in the prologue, you can reveal details about what happened between the Mutants and the Humans.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Robin. It’ll help Kara to know that two of you have the same suggestions.

  3. JK Leonard says:

    Hey Kara! Life is too short to do things your not passionate about. So KEEP WRITING…can tell you are very passionate about this! 🙂

  4. Hi Kara! Great job so far. You’ve got a great premise and it sounds like you have done some excellent world building. Like Monica said, watch the amount of backstory you write into your opening. You need to make sure you hook your reader’s attention by the end of the first page of your novel. Ideally, you want a really strong first line that just makes a person want to read on to find out more. Also, you should ask yourself, “Is it really necessary for this story to have a prologue, or can I weave everything my reader needs to know into the story along the way?” I believe that yes, you do have the talent and ability to weave it along the way. After all, you’ve already explained to us that an Omni doesn’t even know the power he or she controls. Why not open the story right there, on the day the Omni realizes just who s/he is? At any rate, keep writing, Kara! You’ve got this girl.

    P.S. Are you fan of “Fruit Baskets,” “Naruto,” or “Clannad?”

  5. Kara H. says:

    Thank you for all the advice for my prolouge. ^^ I realy apreciate it.
    Lauren: Yes I am a fan of Naruto, I watched a little of Fruit Basket, but I’m a fan of Bleach, Ouran Highschool Host Club, FMA (Full Metal Alchemist), Soul Eater, Vampire Knight, and more.

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