Very few authors manage to successfully toggle the worlds between YA and Adult Fiction. Evenfewer manage to do it with a captivating voice that literally has me emailing them at 3am begging to know when the next book is coming out. Lucky for me, Karen is used to my cryptic and often rambling emails, and she always responds with a grace and honesty that astounds me. She has gone from author, to colleague, to friend in my book, and I couldn't be more excited to have her on my blog today.
World Meet Karen!
Hi Trisha! It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m a Young Adult and Adult contemporary romance author who lives in upstate New York with my husband, daughter, cat and two dogs. We are so far north that the running joke here is that stepping outside your back porch makes you an automatic Canadian citizen
I love living in a rural setting since I enjoy hiking the Adirondack Mountains or on kayaking on Lake Champlain. However, I also take advantage of our proximity to Montreal because I love going to their museums, restaurants, the Biodome and Jazz festivals. I’m an avid and eclectic reader and love all genres, especially Young Adult and Adult romance, dystopian, contemporary, horror, paranormal, memoirs, and historical fiction. As such, attending Burlington, Vermont’s annual book festival feels like going to church.
Where do you get your ideas?
Hah! Good question. I wish I had the answer since it seems as though things pop into my head at the most inconvenient times… such as waiting on line at the post office. You would think I’d have learned to carry a notebook but- nope- much too practical. Instead, I have to grab whatever is handy, a receipt, shipping slip, the back of coupon I’d been saving for weeks, and scribble down the idea before I lose it. I would venture, however, that some of these ideas come from my people-watching habit. I’ve always loved making up stories for strangers I observe while out and about. (Maybe that’s why the ideas come at such bad times… hmmm… it’s all making sense now!) Also, believe it or not, the news is a great source of inspiration, especially human interest stories. I ask myself ‘What if’ questions when I encounter people that fascinate me and give them dilemmas that seem impossible to get through.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I generally don’t unless I have a migraine and then there is just no powering through it! My feeling is to write without worrying about whether it’s good or not then give yourself time to go back over it and make those decisions as you revise. If you do that, it’s hard to have writer’s block because the only bad choice you can make is to leave the page blank.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
I used to just write, but working with a partner on my Young Adult books has taught me the value of outlining. There is a comfort in knowing where a story is headed and it speeds up the process. Some say that an outline restricts their sense of creative freedom, but I feel that it is a like a diving platform. I’ll jump off of it, know what moves I’ll execute once in the air, but if, at the last minute I want to add in an extra twist, so be it. Nothing is written in stone. At least, not anymore. Lol.
Is there any particular author or book you would bow down to?
My favorite authors are the ones who tell honest-feeling stories. I say ‘honest-feeling’ because even a genre like horror, which would seem to require the reader to suspend belief, actually works best for me when I believe one hundred percent that a girl who’s been picked on throughout high school gets her period, realizes her telekinetic powers, and burns down the prom after having her hopes of being a normal teen raised then tragically dashed. (Stephen King’s Carrie) This is an honest story and, if you ever get the chance to read his amazing book, On Writing, he’ll tell you that it’s based on his experiences while teaching school, observing girls like Carrie, and asking, ‘What if…” For that reason, Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, as is John Green, Annie Proulx, John Irving and Lauren Oliver to name a few.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
My advice is to tell the story you want to tell without worrying about whether it fits a trend. Your enthusiasm is your best selling point. It will come through in your writing and, regardless of whether or not it is what’s ‘selling’ it will win over readers. I’ve had lots of people write me and say, “I didn’t think I’d like contemporary romance until I read your book and now I can’t stop reading them.” (As in other author’s contemporary romance works J) Writing should bring you and the reader joy; the only way to guarantee that is to write what you love!
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My current book is WISH ME TOMORROW and asks the question, ‘Would you love someone if forever wasn’t guaranteed?’ I was inspired by neighbors who fell in love and married when one had cancer. I wanted to write a story that would capture such pure, selfless love. WISH ME TOMORROW is about Christie Bates, a pediatric oncology grief counselor whose upbeat, optimistic approach to counseling hides wounds from her past. Because of them, she wants to help cancer patients but never lets herself become personally involved until she meets Eli Roberts, a single father recovering from osteosarcoma who is struggling to parent his troubled children. She’s drawn to this strong, brave man who’s lost all faith in his future. Falling for each other is risky, yet neither one can deny their growing feelings as she helps the children, and eventually herself and Eli, to heal. To purchase WISH ME TOMORROW, please visit:
Harlequin, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes,
You can connect with Karen and learn more about her amazing books here:
NOW for the PRIZES!!!
GRAND PRIZE:Signed copies:
- Karen Rock's WISH ME TOMMORROW
- Rbyn Carr's THE WANDERER
- JoJo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU
- JoJo Moyes' THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND
- JK Rock's CAMP BOYFRIEND
- Bella Andre's I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
- Pamela Tracy's KATIE'S RESCUE
- Tara Randal's ORANGE BLOSSOM BRIDE
- Syndi Powell's THE RELUCTANT BACHELOR
Harlequin Tote Bag
RWA 2013 Water Bottle
RWA Water Bottle Holder
3 RUNNER UPS:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
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