|Kim Harrison generally appears at readings in a long, auburn wig and sleek, black clothing. The author of the popular urban-fantasy series featuring bounty-hunting witch Rachel Morgan, Harrison knows her fans expect to see her in that glamorous guise. Many readers do not realize, however, that Kim Harrison is a pen name, and that under the wig is Dawn Cook, the author of several successful books in the genre of traditional fantasy. Cook was born in Michigan. The only girl in her large family, she was a self-professed tomboy who loved reading science fiction, particularly the work of Ray Bradbury. At Saginaw Valley State University, Cook studied biology. Despite her love of reading, she took only the English courses required to graduate and never considered a career as a writer. After earning her degree, in 1988, Cook moved to South Carolina. One day, when her husband, Tim, was away on business, leaving her with their two small boys, she decided to try her hand at writing some short stories. Blissfully unaware of the difficulties involved in getting published, she began querying agents and publishers, only to meet with a string of rejection letters. She finally met an amenable agent at a writing convention, and in 2002 she published her debut fantasy novel, FIRST TRUTH, under her own name. Switching to the darker subgenre of urban fantasy, in 2004 she began writing as Kim Harrison. DEAD WITCH WALKING introduced readers to Rachel Morgan, who lives in an area of Cincinnati known as the Hollows, which is inhabited by various paranormal creatures. (Morgan's sidekicks are a vampire and a pixy.) The book won her many fans and was named the best fantasy novel of the year by Romantic Times magazine. Additionally, it was named best science-fiction novel by the committee of the Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature (P.E.A.R.L.), which also deemed Harrison best new author of the year. The author, who moved back to Michigan because she missed snowy winters, has projected that there will ultimately be 12 or 13 Rachel Morgan books. The series has been optioned for television.