On Inspiration...

On Inspiration…

I remember when John Grisham exploded onto the scene, and THE FIRM went huge. I was thinking about law school, and a family member gave me a copy of the book, saying I should read it. I did, and I loved it. The whole country loved it. Of course, John’s career took off after that (rightly so), and it was amazing to watch. A number one book every year. All those great movies. 

No offense to my lawyer friends, but I never much liked being an attorney. I suspected as much in graduate school, which is when I wrote two spectacularly unpublished novels. Once in practice, I was a criminal law guy, which gave me about a hundred reasons to hate the job. Killers. Rapists. That sort of thing.

And there was John, just kicking it.

I think every lawyer in the world was envious. Fame and money? Sure. No more guilty clients? That sounded good, too. Watching John take off like a rocket is what gave me the spine to write yet another novel. That third effort became THE KING OF LIES, and changed my life; but that’s another, much longer story.

The point is that writing is hard to do, and making a living at it is even harder. We can all use a reason to hope and strive, to accept the sometimes-massive sacrifice of time, energy and peace-of-mind. To even try for success means risk, sweat and pain - because you’ve got to put it all on the page, heart and soul. Every writer who’s finished a manuscript knows what I’m talking about. For that kind of dream-chasing it’s good to have a little inspiration. For some, it’s the idea of fame or money, or simply proving to the world that you can do it. I’ll admit to having had all of those things in my heart.

But there was also John. And watching him storm the beaches of this difficult, unforgiving industry, watching him commit and deliver book after book was the most impressive thing, and, to my mind, the ultimate expression of personal freedom, the way he built that life, just carved it out of pure imagination. We’re friends, now. We live in the same town, and hang out with other writer types, drinking wine and talking books. John likes to say I stalked him all the way to Charlottesville. My reply, invariably, is that he’s worn that joke to a nub; but there are these small truths behind it. First, that I might not have been here without his example – and that we all need such examples. Second, that it’s good to meet your heroes, to say Thank you, face to face; that it’s even better to be friends.

Katie Hart
It's been awhile...

So, this writing life did not turn out as I expected.


I was prepared for the isolation, having braced myself – after years as an attorney and stockbroker - for an utter lack of co-workers, colleagues and clients. It would be a lonesome life, but I was willing to make the sacrifice.  What I didn’t think about so much were the actual readers.  I wanted to reach them, of course. Sharing is the whole point! What I did not anticipate was the passion readers would bring to the other side of the equation, that willing and welcome response. And I hear from them so often - thoughtful, intuitive readers hungry for more of what I love to do, but also for insight and connection, not just to the writing, but to the writer and the writing life. And I get it. Writing is solitary, and publishing, opaque. What sells? Why do people respond to one book and not another? And just where do those stories come from?


As an innately private person, I've always thought that words alone were enough to share; but time changes all things, myself included, and I’ve met so many wonderful readers over the years that I’ve decided to share more of myself than just the stories. That means photographs on Instagram and Facebook, my thoughts in a newsletter, feedback to readers, a more engaged website… 


A lot of writers do this, but for me this is a new commitment: to be here for those who choose to spend their time my books and the characters I’ve created. So this is it, my first real outreach to those who have found their way to my writing. I hope you stick around, and that we can enjoy this stuff together. If that sounds like fun, come find me on whatever platform you prefer…






PS – You received this note because, once upon a time, you signed up for my Newsletter. If you wish to unsubscribe, I won’t take it personally.


Katie Hart
An Evening with John Hart & John Grisham

Author John Hart celebrates the launch of his latest book - The Hush - with a special event honoring the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Hart & fellow author John Grisham have a frank - & funny - conversation about books & writing with host DG Martin. This special event was filmed in front of a live audience at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh.

boyd miller
In Depth: Sit down with best-selling author John Hart - By Caroline Blair Central NC

RALEIGH — They both studied economics, were once attorneys, and are now known for their wildly entertaining novels that thrill audiences around the world.  But what also connects John Hart and John Grisham are their ties to the Tar Heel state.  Hart was born and raised in North Carolina, and Grisham lives there part time, and so the two are joining forces in Raleigh for "Thrillers! An evening with Authors John Grisham and John Hart". 

Hart sat down with Spectrum News anchor Caroline Blair, for a look at his new book, The Hush, the continuation story of a character, Johnny Merrimon, that brought him acclaim. Grisham meanwhile, recently released his newest book, The Rooster Bar, and Camino’s Island, also based in North Carolina last year. 

The dynamic duo are meeting face to face with their readers on Friday, Feb. 23 at Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. The VIP meet-and-greet is sold out, but tickets to the 7:30pm conversation are still available. All tickets will include a signed copy of Harts new book. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

boyd miller
D.G. Martin goes one on one with John Hart.

One on One: John Hart’s Satisfying Turn To The Supernatural

New York Times bestselling author John Hart, who grew up in Salisbury, is not afraid to take risks — including those with high stakes.

In fact, he seems to thrive on these risks. For instance, he gave up his job as a stockbroker about 15 years ago to complete his first literary thriller. That risk-taking paid off when his book, “The King of Lies,” became a Times bestseller in 2006. Three other successes followed: ”Down River,” in 2007, ”The Last Child” in 2009, and ”Iron House” in 2011.

boyd miller