Who is this guy?

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When I signed on with Del Rey, they asked me for a biography. Unfortunately, my biography is so unbearably dull that, instead of providing one, I gave them a list of things that didn’t kill me.[1]

  • A tumble down a flight of stairs onto a concrete basement floor when I was five
  • Beatings by nuns in elementary school
  • Beatings by junior high public school kids
  • Daisy’s green dock light of hope
  • A combination of a good friend, a sports van and several six-packs
  • An avalanche of beers and bong hits beyond that
  • A Separate Peace
  • Years as a fan of ’70′s and ’80′s heavy metal
  • Ten months living on a couch in a friend’s Seattle apartment
  • Seven years picking up dirty towels and flushing urinals at a gym
  • Four exceedingly gentle attempts by my then-girlfriend, now-wife to break up with me
  • That guy in the Volvo who turned in front of me, nearly snagging my front bicycle tire on his rear bumper
  • A long string of menial jobs answering phones, filing and making copies.
  • My son (so far)
  • Deadlines
  • This book (whichever it happens to be)

[1] For values of “kill” that include ruining my life or making me miserable.

If you need to contact me, email me at harryconnolly at sff dot net.

98 thoughts on “Who is this guy?

  1. Andy

    “A combination of a good friend, a sports van and several six-packs”. We were re-telling this story @ Thanksgiving w/Skip & Tom. did you know that I saw the van the next day as it was being towed to a body shop? i remember thinking, “man that thing got totally mangled”, then “holy S**T, I know who that belongs to!”

  2. Oh, yeah, what fun that night was. As we were heading home afterwards, I thought *What the hell am I chewing on?* And I realized it was broken glass.

    I really need to use that in a book someday.

  3. Robb

    I always thought you could do it, Harry. Congratulations from someone who knows what you were up against. Kudos and best of luck!

  4. Robin Amadon

    Hi Harry: I got a message from your wonderful wife Mary Ann about your book signing on Oct 3rd–is that right? Can you tell me where and what time? Would love to stop by and get the book for my sons who love thriller and fiction, PLUS, I LOVE Mary Ann and would do just about anything to support her and everyone she loves–YOU foremost among that set! Congratulations on this amazing milestone! Best and love, Robin Amadon

  5. Ed Layton

    Harry,
    Good on ya’
    I heard your day sponsorship on KUOW. Your wife sounds proud of you, it was a great moment. Can’t wait to read your book.
    Ed

  6. Rachel

    hi uncle harry. i am impressing my friends with your published-ness. so proud! can’t wait to read it =)

  7. gary

    Harry, I just read child of fire. That was a great debut novel ! I am a 47 year old over educated professional and I read a book every few days…so I have read a great deal of fantasy and sci fi. I thought your novel was an absolute barn burner and I couldn’t put it down. Read in 2 days (but only because I also have to work !).

    Jim butcher is in the same realm as you and I love his stories, but I think you are a better writer. And frankly, you have a hell of a new character there and I can’t wait for the next installment.

    If you would like a proof reader to bounce your stories off, I am willing and able. You would find me to have relevant comments based on my experience, and my love of books. Happy to do it on my own time.

    Nice job !

    Gary Tenison

  8. Vides & Chris

    Can’t wait to read the book Harry!!
    Still wish we had finished that comic book years ago!!
    Congratulations!

  9. L. A. Douglas

    Just finished reading Child of Fire and really enjoyed it. I was once an avid fantasy reader, a particular fan of Del Rey books, but not so much for a while. Your novel was the most fun I’ve had reading a recent fantasy since the first Dresden book. Congratulations!

    From a fellow stay at home dad.

  10. Onetime

    I’m am reading your novel and discover the secret behind how you got published and then steal it for myself. So far I believe it is something called talent.

    In all seriousness, Harry, this is a really great story and I’ve been finding it hard to put down.

  11. Susan G

    Just finished “Child of Fire”! Couldn’t put it down. Congrats! I know you’ve worked hard to get his far and I’m sure it’s just the beginning. I look forward to more from someone else who survived our HS.

  12. blue john

    Definitely a page-turner. “Child of Fire” is still unrivaled. It does raise an important question, however –

    When do you expect to publish another sequel?

  13. Uday V

    Read both Child of fire and Game of Cages.Brilliant ,loved it. The only problem was that it was too short. I know you it all planned out but the wait in between books is absolutely killing.

    Will get Circle of Enemies the day it is available in the UK.

  14. M. Schmidt

    I’ve been feeling a bit jaded with urban fantasy, since there is so much carbon copy slop out there. But Child of Fire rekindled my love of the genre last week — it was absolutely amazing and I cannot believe this was your debut novel. The characters were three-dimensional, loveable, kick-ass, and actually had back stories! A rarity in UF. For all those Dresden-comparers out there, Ray leaves Dresden in the dust.

    And, hooray for the lack of sexual violence, the biggest plot crutch in the genre.

    I’m spreading the word. Game of Cages is on its way to me now and I can’t wait.

  15. I’m an enormous fan of the Dresden Files, but I’ve finally found a rival for my picky reading tastes in the Twenty Palaces series. You have found your calling for certain!

  16. K. Schmehl

    I echo Dave’s comment above. I never thought I’d ever find another series that I love as much as the Dresden Files. Just picked up both your books yesterday and 65 pages in to the first one, I’m hooked! I’m hiding the book under my computer tray at work today so I can keep reading as I find it so difficult to put down.

    I’m hoping your release date of “sometime in 2011″ for the third book doesn’t mean the latter half of the year. If I devour these as fast I think I’m going to, it will be a very long wait.

  17. Nick Ryan

    Harry, do you get paid more from ebook sales or paperback sales? I’ve recently moved all my book-buying to ebooks and am curious.

  18. Nick Ryan

    It’s good to hear that authors aren’t getting screwed by this medium. Anyways I just submitted a very positive Amazon review of GoC. Along with Brandon Sanderson you’re one of my favorite new authors, an automatic buy.

  19. Todd Allison

    Harry, I love the books. The writing is really tight. I like that it’s so edgy. I think you have a great career ahead of you. Let us know if you plan to do ever do any book signings out here in the Midwest. Since, I live in KC area, I will probably have to kick Jim Butcher out of the way to get a book signed ;)
    (Just kidding, Jim)

  20. Carole

    I bought Child of Fire after finishing the Dresden books for the third time, solely because of Jim Butcher’s recommendation and could not put it down! I finished it in one day. Brilliant story, brilliant writing, and I loved the characters. I’m halfway through Game of Cages, trying to read more slowly because I don’t want it to end. To echo Mr. Butcher’s plea (the same one I make to him) PLEASE write faster! I cannot wait for the next book. Congratulations on your well deserved success.

  21. These are the kind of books I like, I heard of them from another author you are always linked to, I won’t name names but he did mention you. :)
    A little mystery, tons of action and suspense, and some sort of backstory that we never understand but are desperate to find out.
    don’t worry about writing faster, don’t rush. We just want you to make more novels like you have.

  22. eh, I bought your books willingly. yet I’m always curious about what you think of Steven Eriksons’ books. when I read his first book I was amazed, it was so dense and filled with questions. heh, I was always curious how you all deal with such a wonderful lifelike persona, his world is so vivid. and he’s so prolific. does it matter to you? do you read his books at all?

  23. So…just devoured “Child of Fire” and “Game of Cages” this past weekend and really, really, REALLY enjoyed them. I was interested in both novels to the fairly large number of references to all the things which have gone on before, and I am curious in a writerly sort of way–
    had you written a previous novel (or stories) about Ray and the 20 Palaces Crew, and “Child” was the first one that got published? Or did you just build in references to the past to create a sense of history and mystery (as Rex Stout did with the Nero Wolfe books, Stephen Brust with the Taltos novels, so on…).

    thanks, and great job–I’m excited about the new one.

  24. Mark Broderick

    Just finshed reading ” Child of Fire ” AND ” Game of Cages ” in 48 hours !! Couldn’t put them down…Best i’ve read since Lord of the Rings !!! ( I did find two typing errors though ! )

  25. John

    Great books. I think they’d be great Audio books. for those of us who do a lot of commuting.

  26. Thanks, John. Be sure to tell your friends so Del Rey buys more.

    And I’d be happy to sell audio rights if there were legitimate interest. There just hasn’t been interest yet.

  27. Lauri

    Just started on Child of Fire – awesome!!! Despite the fact Jim Butcher said he won’t put up more sample chapters of the new Dresden until June, I check anyway. And his website sent me here.

    I’ll be done with both of the books this weekend. So, my questions are these:

    1. As a hopeless addict of SF/fantasy, and a natural speed reader, how long is this series going to be? Keep in mind, I like George R. R. Martin. Books cannot be too long, have too many in the series, or be too dense, but only if they are good.

    B. Can you “pass it on”? Jim Butcher’s site sent me here – do you have a favorite author you’d like to bestow a paying addict on?

    I hope Del Ray gives you a 4th book and many more! Thank you for the enjoyment of a read I don’t want to put down!

  28. 1. I know Jim Butcher worked out a 20-book plot line, but I’m not nearly that organized. I’ll keep writing them for as long as a) people want them and b) I want to write them.

    B. Since you said you like GRRM, I’m going to move away from UF and suggest some traditional fantasy: Sherwood Smith’s INDA series is epic fantasy done right. It’s in omniscient POV, which throws some people, but the characters are excellent.

    Also, Kate Elliott’s THE SPIRIT GATE trilogy (that’s the title of the first book) is terrific.

    Finally, if you haven’t read RED HARVEST by Dashiell Hammett, I recommend it. It’s a thriller rather than sf/f, but it’s really something.

    And thank you! I’m glad you enjoy the books. Be sure to spread the word so Del Rey stays interested. :)

  29. Julian

    Great books. I’ve devoured them within 2 days after getting them. Praise Jim for posting the link :D

    Anyway, I just hope you wont make us wait too long for the sequels, especially no last-minute delays (right, Jim? ;) )!

    All the best from Germany,
    Julian

  30. Harry, great writing. I am a huge Dresden fan, and Jim’s site turned me on to your books. I bought them both on the kindal app, but I am now going to go pick them up in hardback from the local bookstore. I want to get them signed by you; do you have a P.O. box I can mail them to? And how much for your John Hancock, sir? Thanks for the great stories!

  31. Whoops! I almost missed your comment in the list. I’m glad you enjoyed my books, but I’m afraid there’s no hardback. My books are paperback originals.

    Does that reduce your interest?

  32. Scott

    So…I’ve been watching this space! When do we see the previous story? Very excited about the new novel….

  33. Whoa, I’ve been saying this for quite a while, haven’t I?

    Things are a little crazy right now, but I’ll take a few minutes to do a full update on the status of various writing things later today or tomorrow.

    Sorry for the constant “Information coming soon!” notes.

  34. Anthony

    I’ve just added your books to my wish list on amazon I’m a kindle man ( nice gaget and gives me 3500 books i can fit in my jacket pocket) so hope all you books come out for the kindle in UK. Read your BIO im 70&80s heavy metal fan myself ( but im still stuck there ) Ozzy and Motorhead are my main ear drum damageing choice but Dc, maiden, saxon Y&t ,twisted sister, wasp zappa ( both of them) king diamond , cooper you get the picture? now ive mentioned them I know youll get your records out and get a blast from the past it may serve as your muse.

    Cheers

  35. Thanks, Anthony. Actually, I don’t even have those records anymore and I grew too old for the music. In fact, I barely listen to any music any more.

    I hope you like the books.

  36. Patty

    Your books are terrific! I can’t wait to get my hands on the new one in August. I especially love his knife. I couldn’t put Game of Cages down. I think you should come to the Midwest too – Minneapolis! I also read Mike Carey’s Felix Castor books and Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London series.

  37. Phil Smith

    Hi Harry,
    I was browsing in a book shop in Liverpool last week and because there was nothing new I bought your 2 books on speck (because the first page caught me) and disappeared from my wife’s life for 2 days. I have been reading science fiction for 40 years and think that your conception of Ray Lilly and the Twenty Palaces Society is there with the Forever War and Magician, powerful and solid writing, more please, don’t get bored with him, please, the potential to go for a large (10-15 plus) series is there as each story could stand on it’s own and yet be part of a bigger plot.
    All the best to you and yours and I look forward to any more of your writing Ray Lilly or not.
    Regards,,, Phil.

  38. Stephen Mortimer

    Good Afternoon, I just thought I’d stop by and say I’m really enjoying your books, I picked up the first one for my Kindle based on a recommendation on the SF Crows Nest and really enjoyed it and immediately brought the second (hurrah for the instantaneous satisfaction of eBooks).

    I like that you’ve kept the magic mysterious & secretive and I, at least, get an actual feeling of how dangerous magic is in your world and how much of a chance Ray takes every he goes up against a predator or a magic user.

    Looking forward to the third instalment, you already have a definite sale with me.

  39. Amy D

    I read a LOT of urban fantasy and somehow hadn’t come across your books until Jim Butcher tweeted about them a few weeks ago. I am hooked after Child of Fire. It feels so fresh and edgy–I just read it all in one gulp. Game of Cages is next up. It’s awesome to come across something different like this. I love the unique world, and the characters feel so rich. Good work!

  40. Hi Harry, I just wanted to say a gihugenous thank you for providing us with such a fantastic story. As several have already mentioned above I am an avid reader of everything I can get my hands on and a big Jim Butcher fan. A kind lady at a Barnes & Noble who was wearing a Dresden pin directed me to your series last month and they finally reached the top of my reading list last week.

    Wow! I devoured Child of Fire in one day, then Game of Cages the next and had to run out to the book store to pick up Circle of Enemies which was conveniently released recently. Fantastic pacing and wonderfully refreshing original spin on urban fantasy. I’m thoroughly hooked now and you’ve been added to the long list of my “must buy immediately upon release” authors which includes the likes of Jim Butcher, Janny Wurts, Kevin Hearne, Patricia Briggs, Ken Scholes, Terry Brooks and more! I really hope we get to find out what happens next, so please sign Harry for many more books Del Ray!

  41. Jack

    Mr. Connolly, just discovered the Twenty Palaces novels.

    Ray Lilly and Annalise Powliss are excellent additions to the world. Thank you for bringing them.

    Need more though. Read them all in a few days.

  42. Carl Burke

    Just got exposed to your work via the Science Fiction Book Club. I couldn’t put it down… and since it was a three book omnibus, it cost me a bit of sleep. Worth it, though. Where Stross’ Laundry novels are Lovecraft meets Deighton, this feels more like Lovecraft meets Vachss, if unintentionally. Looking forward to reading more of your work. (Soon I hope.)

  43. Sharon Liddell

    I bought the Science Fiction book Club edition, too, based on Jim Butcher’s blurb on the page. Now I’m anticipating buying everything you write, just as I do with his. Good stuff. Keep it coming.

  44. Julie W

    Oh! No!…Mr. Connolly… how my grade for my differential diagnosis class will suffer…. But I just have to know what Ray’s going to do next! Keep them coming I love these books!!

  45. TJ

    Great series, have turned a few people onto it as well. Looking forward to future books!

    “A combination of a good friend, a sports van and several six-packs”. We were re-telling this story @ Thanksgiving w/Skip & Tom. did you know that I saw the van the next day as it was being towed to a body shop? i remember thinking, “man that thing got totally mangled”, then “holy S**T, I know who that belongs to!”

    Will be keeping my eyes peeled for this to show up in one of your books, sounds like a great story!

  46. Tim Harper

    Love it when an author nails his character. The last book was the best yet. Lilly grew and his association with the scariest woman in fiction is developing apace.
    Well done. Can’t wait for the next one!

  47. C

    When will there be more? Seriously, one of my favorite reads this year. I bought the first on Kindle and honestly, got through the first paragraph and bought the other two. Very good stuff, congratulations.  When is the forth? Would love to find out the whole backstory before Ray became a Wooden Man. Lots of possibilities. Wiki says that you were going to cancel the series but wtf do they know? I hope that it’s not true and that you keep publishing. 

    Don’t blow this off as empty praise. I read a sxxx load, all genres, tons of different writers. I never go out of my way to write them, (unless it’s to David Gerald or George Martin to tell them to hurry the hell up) so keep up the good work. You should be proud of yourself. 

  48. Thank you, C. Wikipedia is right. Sales have been a disaster and, after I self-publish the prequel I’ve already written, I’ll be setting the series aside for a little while to write other things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return to Ray Lilly and the Twenty Palace society at some point, but for right now I have to write other things.

    Sorry. The prequel will be coming out soon, but after that it will be other projects.

    And thanks for the kind words.

  49. Teslaman

    Harry,
    Your books have been a joy and pleasure to read over the past week. I picked up the first and have just finished the forth. I have and will continue to tell everyone I know to read your works. You have a wonderful style, wit and prose that makes reading worthwhile.
    Please keep your stories and brilliance coming!

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