English teacher at Penta pens romance novels
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Saturday, 08 March 2014 09:25
PERRYSBURG - When Mindy (Killgrove) Harris gets time to sit down and write, she considers it break time, time she can spend with the characters she creates.
|Author Mindy Harris is seen with her two titles March 3, 2014 at the Way Public Library in Perrysburg, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Harris, of Perrysburg, has authored the first two books of her "Missy Lawrence" trilogy and hopes to have the third written this year.
"I was pretty lucky that I was able to do that and was pretty lucky it's something that comes naturally," she stated.
Harris, who uses her maiden name Killgrove for her books but her married name Harris elsewhere, also is a first-year senior English teacher at Penta Career Center.
SDLqI would love to be a full-time writer. That's one in a million. But I won't quit my day job. I love teaching," she said.
She's been teaching for 10 years, first in Charlotte, N.C., and most recently in Ravenna.
Missy Lawrence takes center stage in Harris' first two books, "Meet Me at the Pond" and "Meet Me at Fountain Park," both released in 2013.
The final book will be titled "Meet Me at Rock Creek."
The books are set in Charlotte.
"I loved, loved the city of Charlotte when I lived there," she said, explaining why she chose that backdrop. "The city was just glorious."
"Meet Me at the Pond" was selected as the Reader's Choice Award winner for "Chick Lit./ Romance" in the 2013 Blogger Book Fair.
Her target audience is women, and her books are "a little romance and a little humor," she said.
"I've always wanted to be a writer, even as a young kid," she shared.
She tries to blog one to three times each week. "It's kind of a highlight of my week to do that writing."
With a full-time job and two children, ages 5 and 4, Harris finds the time to write in blocks around her children's homework, gymnastics and baseball.
"It actually inspires me in some ways in writing. Being with children has encouraged me to try other styles of writing."
She's also working on a fourth novel, "Help Find Annie D," from the perspective of a man following a girl he desperately wants to reconnect with but doesn't even know if she'd be interested.
"It's supposed to be very funny," Harris said. "I think it's very funny."
She went to WritersMarket.com to find publishers, sent her first book to four and heard back from Black Rose Writing rather quickly.
Her goal would be to have more time to write.
"When my teaching career has come and gone, I would love to sit in a room, write and relax while creating a world and creating characters."
But teaching won't be put aside any time soon.
"It keeps me reading and it keeps me writing," Harris explained. "I think being a teacher has helped me become a better author."
Harris earned her bachelor's degree from Heidelberg College in 2004 and a master's degree from Bowling Green State University in 2008.
She currently works with former college friend Whitney Harkazy, who has edited all of Harris' work.
"She and I went to school together. She has read everything I've written."
"I think her potential is very good. She's been writing series, on her third. With every book, the character is deeper, the plot is deeper," said Harkazy.
She shared that Harris has also written poetry and plays.
As friends from Heidelberg and members of the Philalephean sorority, Harkazy recalled Harris' go-getter attitude.
"For as long as I've known she has been very go-getter" and the go-to person in the sorority who took on leadership roles.
Harris' books are available online at Amazon as well as Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.