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Kristin Harmel

Florida Author

Discovering a New Author

I discovered Harmel’s books by chance. One of my favorite ways to find a new writer is good ol’ fashioned browsing, evaluating snazzy covers and then skimming the middle of the book. If I like the tone and topic, I’m in. 

With titles like How to Sleep with a Movie Star and The Art of French Kissing, 20-something me was all in for some romcom reading. One of Kristin’s books included an outing at Latitude’s, one of my fave downtown Orlando bars! Her books were about Europe, love, glamour, travel, drama, friendship, and the finer things. I was smitten. See ya later, Meg Cabot.


Interview with Kristin 


Discussing her latest novel, The Winemaker’s Wife , and writing journey.

AJ: How did you find and choose a publisher?

KH: I actually sold my first book all the way back in 2004. (In fact, I received the offer on April Fool’s Day, so I thought it was a joke, at first!) That first publisher was Warner Books, now called Hachette Book Group, and the editor there made an offer on my book after my agent sent it to her.

Kristin’s First Book, "How to Sleep with a Movie Star"

After 2010, I began writing a different type of novel, so a new publisher made sense. My agent, Holly Root, sent a draft of THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING (which would be my 2012 novel) to a handful of editors she liked and trusted, and the magnificent Abby Zidle at Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) made an offer.

I’ve been there ever since, and I’m very, very happy working with Abby and the whole team there. I should add that it’s virtually impossible to get in the door at any major publisher without having a literary agent, so signing with an agent is a vital first step for anyone who hopes to be published that way.

AJ: What made you transition from a more upbeat romantic comedy novelist to more of a dram story teller with a historical fiction perspective?

KH: I wrote my first book in 2003–when I was 24. Chick lit novels—lighter, more comedic books in the vein of Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Devil Wears Prada—were all the rage then, and that’s very much what I was reading at the time.

It made sense, especially since I was in my mid-20s and in the throes of figuring out who I was, to be writing that sort of book. But by the time I turned 30 in 2009, the popularity of the genre was changing a bit, and my reading tastes had changed. 

I was reading more serious women’s fiction, and more historical fiction, and I think I had grown as both a writer and a person. I decided to attempt a different type of book, and at that time in my life, it immediately felt like a better fit.

I still like lighter, more comedic and contemporary novels—and I really admire authors who do it well—but I feel much more at home writing the kind of book I do now. I think it was a matter of growing into the person I am today. Plus, I’ve realized that I really enjoy historical research, so I think I’m in the right place!

In one of Kristin’s books, the bio said that Shoez in Winter Park, FL was one of her fave shopping spots. I was an instant fan.

When We Met

In 2016, I found out that Kristin was doing a reading at Writer’s Block on Park Avenue (in Orlando). I think this was to read from When We Meet Again, a book that had a more serious tone.

I would describe When We Meet Again as a historical fiction drama. It’s a dynamic love story with an intriguing glimpse into POW internment camps of Florida, where German prisoners worked for American farmers.

The Art of Hearing from a Local Author

Kristin had her cute baby with her and I think her mom was there. I was delighted to discover that this fascinating, upbeat writer was also an Orlando mom and a regular fellow Florida resident. I had pictured a tough New Yorker with pointy heels and a navy power suit. But she was down to earth and had subtle glamour.

I HAD to get more of her books.

I am still behind in my reading her canon, but it will certainly be on the menu for my next vacation.

In one of Kristin’s books, the bio said that Shoez in Winter Park, FL was one of her fave shopping spots. I was an instant fan.
List of Her Books*

2006: How to Sleep with a Movie Star
2007: The Blonde Theory
2007: The Art of French Kissing
2008: When You Wish
2009: Italian for Beginners
2010: After
2012: The Sweetness of Forgetting
2014: The Life Intended
2016: How to Save a Life: A Novella
2016: When We Meet Again
2018: The Room on Rue Amelie
2019: The Winemaker’s Wife

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