Welcome back to the fourth edition of the Interview Series, featuring the lovely and talented Harley May! She has become one of my closest friends and is terribly kind and has great insight to some of life’s little mysteries. And this interview is a doozy! You will really enjoy it!!
1. Give us a little background of who you are and what you do.
I grew up in South Korea and moved back to the states at seventeen. I am a wife to one and mother of three. After the birth of my youngest I realized I stopped being and doing all the things that made me who I am, so three years ago, I started writing again. Horrible writing at first, but in the last year I’ve been blessed with several publications. In an effort to preserve my “me” ness and push myself I tried standup comedy for the first time this past March and just had my first paying gig a few weeks back. I tried doing a online webcam book discussion, but it didn’t go the direction I thought it would. My subscribers wouldn’t answer any of the discussion questions in the chat and kept asking me to take my shirt off. Weird.
2. You are a jack of many trades! I am really excited about your 30 days of outfits. What inspired you to do this?
I got a new job. *FIST PUMP*
I’m super thankful to have been a stay at home mom for years and years. During the SAHM era, I did work a part time job in a gym (my children could come with me). The dress code wasn’t much of anything – yoga pants and t-shirts. I certainly owned a few nice pieces, but it wouldn’t be enough to support working five days a week. With only $200, I bought an entirely new wardrobe. As a woman who loves clothes, I enjoy knowing how people save money on shopping. I would love to read a blog where someone shared their frugal fashion finds, so I thought I would do just that: share my outfits, where I found them, and how much I paid. I’m excited too! Let’s all be excited!
3. How often do you write?
Try to write every day. That time of day has changed. When my children were tiny and napped, I wrote then. When they stopped napping I had to write early in the morning or after they went to bed at night. The process has changed and adjusted with this new job. I really haven’t been able to find an hour for it. When I take time off from writing, it’s harder to get back into it. I’m sure when I do start again, I’ll resemble an Orc sitting down at a keyboard.
4. What was the biggest thing that got you into writing?
Pornography. I mean, reading. Reading I’ve always been a huge reader. I don’t think writers can be writers if they are not first readers. I was the most bookish little girl, I would sit all day and read in my room if you let me.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books? I like Chuck Palahniuk.
Love Chuck. I adore smart and funny writing. Just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It is brilliant and filled with layer after layer of subtle nuance. John Green is another favorite and I actually got to meet him last year. We shared a moment. He thanked me for looking nice at his reading and I stammered. Also love fantasy series like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
6. You are also extremely funny! What was one of the most embarrassing things that’s ever happened to you? I’ll tell you one of mine.
Well. This is the age of the internet and with the internet NOTHING EVER GOES AWAY. While I’m happy to share my most embarrassing moments with you privately (they are of a sexual nature), I will refrain for now and instead share a funny.
I work with five-year-olds and one of them gave me their school work to check.
“Please check this one,” I said, handing the paper back, “But I love how your fours look like sailboats.”
A co-worker from across the room walked to me and said, “WHAT did you just say?”
“I love how you make your fours look like sailboats.”
She exhaled. “Oh. I thought you said, ‘I love how your whores look like sailboats.'”
Which is silly. Everyone knows you find the best sailboat whores in the south of France.
(I adore your most embarrassing moment)
— KP: When I was in the 8th grade, I had to wear a skirt (which had a small slit in the back) because it was game day for basketball. I was walking down the aisle of chairs to get to my seat in the back of the classroom, when a boy stuck his leg out and I tripped. All I heard was a RIIIIP. My skirt had torn all the way up. So now it was just one big piece of fabric, held together by that little hook at the top. The teacher made the class turn around and he held me a lid of a box that I could cover my backside with. When I turned around to see if anyone was looking I caught a few people and then sprinted to the locker room, where I wore shorts the rest of the day.
7. If you could have one huge meal, what would it be?
I would probably eat a few plates of award winning chicken wings from a hole in the wall place in Birmingham, AL – Mudtown OR a massive homemade taco salad made with chicken instead of beef. All the fixings. I am a fool for guac.
8. You own a few khenri items? Care to share with us what you have?
Would love to! My first pair was The Napalm in a peep toe heel. The second are these delicious red pumps with a glitter heel and cute bow on the back. The third was a custom order that I actually have not worn yet. I’m saving them for my 10th wedding anniversary.
9. If you could be any Doctor Suess character, who would you be?
I don’t know, but my favorite is The Onceler. He was selfish. Suffered and saw the consequences of his actions before he could do anything about to fix it, became this shell of a person, plagued with guilt. We should all look at those who don’t see their mistakes until it is too late and be better than that. When we see our mistakes, we should make amends and then move forward. Dwelling like The Onceler did is not healthy. We’re all flawed. Vow to be better, do it, and then live.
10. Where can we buy or view some of your work?
All of my writing is actually free to read at different websites online. There are two short stories in print you can buy if you want to hold me in your hands (try it – I feel nice) and all my published work is listed here, on my website. If you live in the Birmingham area and want to see my standup, please feel free to follow me on twitter at @harleymaywrites or friend me on facebook. I try and update shows and things there.
Thank you, Harley May!!
*If you are an artist and would like to be featured in the Interview series, holla at yo girl and see if you make the cut!