Kristen Harnisch (VSB ’92): A Call to Creativity

Kristen HarnischOn August 5th, 2014, Kristen Lacroix Harnisch launched her first historical fiction novel, The Vitner’s Daughter, and its sequel is currently in the works.  This novel is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Sara Thibault who wishes to follow in her father’s footsteps as a master winemaker. Filled with violent tragedy, love, and betrayal, this novel encompasses the idea of a heroine fighting to determine her own destiny. Kristen has a degree in economics from Villanova University, but after working with RBS Citizens and JP Morgan Chase, she decided to take a more creative path in life and immerse herself in the world of writing.

Kristen always enjoyed reading and writing, but as more of a pastime. She decided to major in Economics in VSB, which taught her much about public speaking and how to deal with people and organizations. As an entrepreneur, these backgrounds have helped her very much. However, business hindered her inspiration and imagination. On a trip to Loire Valley with her husband, she was inspired for her first novel. As she vividly states, “I was standing on the edge of a Vouvray vineyard, marveling at the pristine rows of chenin blanc grapes, the whitewashed winery, and the wine cellars, carved centuries ago from a ledge of limestone. I knew the vineyard would be the perfect setting for the novel I’d secretly dreamed of writing.”

She states that when we feel like we are “in the zone,” it is God telling us that we are on the right track, participating in our given talents and callings. However, she disproves the statement “If you love what you do, then it’s not work.” She tells us that even if we love to do something, we must put in hard work and perseverance in order to complete or achieve it. She recalls her most memorable Villanova experience when she bombed her first five interviews with financial firms her senior year. At her last interview, however, he decided to simply be herself and not try to impress people, and she landed the job. The advice that she holds for us Villanova students is “never forget that your creativity is the spark of God within you. Take this spark and your unique talents, and work to master your artistry.” We must act upon our inherent talents and understand our goals, and pursue them. Kristen Harnisch is living proof that we can follow our imagination, and with hard work, encouragement, and passion, we can achieve whatever we want.