Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am happy to have Karen Fox as my guest. As someone who wrote her first book because of a dream, it’s always nice to hear about other authors who have dreams as their launch-offs for storytelling. I also always love a good friends-to-lovers story, so make sure you check out how to enter to win a copy of her latest release!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. When not embroiled in the adventure and romance of her latest characters, Karen shares her house in the Colorado mountains with her husband and three cats. She has published ten novels, one short story and one novella. Her second book, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, was a 1998 RITA Finalist. BUTTERCUP BABY was a winner of the Booksellers Best Award. She’s currently involved in the Dogwood Series set in Colorado and centered around a town totally invested in dogs and other animals. She’s been active in several writing organizations, serving on the Romance Writers of America board, the Pikes Peak Writers board and in the Pikes Peak Romance Writers chapter. She’s also involved in the Novelists Inc annual conference.
Tell us about your current release. At this point in time, it’s HER FAKE FIANCE, release Aug. 15, 2020.
Laurel Edison has everything she needs to be happy–a successful business, great friends, and a comfortable home. That is, until her very judgmental parents schedule a visit to meet her wholly imaginary fiancé. Desperate to find someone to play the role of her fake fiancé, she turns to her best friend, Steve Brunelle. He’s handsome, he’s a lawyer, and her parents will be so pleased with the prospect of a new son-in-law, they’ll stop pestering her about the rest of her life.
Steve is willing to play along and save her from her parents’ criticisms. Besides, a fake relationship might be exactly what he needs to throw off an ex-girlfriend who has decided to stalk him and make his life miserable. After a tragic experience in his past, he’s resigned to the fact that he’ll never love again. But why does he enjoy being around Laurel so much, not to mention kissing her? Being a fake has changed from fun to phenomenal…
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? The main person I write a book for is me. I have to love it and want to read it. So if even one person receives something inspirational from reading a book of mine, I’m totally happy. Writing is something I do for love with the hope that others will love it, too.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten over that fear, but I always wanted to share my stories with other people and hoped that they’d enjoy them as much as I did. As a teen, I’d circulate my stories among my friends, who generally loved them. Of course, that’s not true feedback, but it helped keep me going. I took a creative writing class in college and got good marks so I knew I could write. I discovered I can also tell a story. Not all writers can, unfortunately. Learning how the publishing business worked was the key for me. I did receive many rejections before I sold my first book and I still do. That’s doesn’t stop me from writing the ideas I want to read.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I didn’t read the paper, but I vividly remember the day John F. Kennedy was shot. I was in elementary school and they closed the school in the afternoon and sent us all home. That just didn’t happen. We even went to school in heavy snowfalls in those days. Then when I got home, my mother was there sobbing. I don’t recall ever seeing her cry before so that moment remains with me to this day.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have always wanted to write. I enjoyed English throughout school and started writing stories for myself, by hand on notebook paper around 11 or 12 years old. I started out writing television shows I enjoyed (Man from U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, Cat Ballou), adding myself as a character. Gradually I graduated to my own stories. They were only around 50-60 handwritten pages–both sides–but it fed my desire. I kept writing as an adult, though more slowly, since life, work and children interfered. When I discovered my first writing organization, Pikes Peak Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, I learned about the business–how to query, what was a synopsis, how to find who was looking for what I wrote. Within three years of joining that chapter, I sold my first book, a futuristic romance, to Dorchester Lovespell.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I start with a premise. Usually I have an idea of the beginning and the end and the main characters. From there, I’m a dedicated plotter. I have to know where I’m going in order to write. Not that the story doesn’t change from the original outline as the characters take over. I don’t know them well when I start writing, but they tend to come to life in my head and start telling me where they’re going. We don’t always agree, but many times I’ve discovered something I put in at the beginning of the book actually has another meaning near the end thanks to their input. I use Scrivener to write and its bulletin book feature allows me to use notecards to outline scenes and chapters and easily move them around. I’d be lost without it.
What is your inspiration for writing? I think I was born to write. I’ve always had stories going on in my head and have to get them onto paper. In fact, I thought it was perfectly normal for people to have characters talking in their heads. I was an adult until I discovered that not everyone suffered from that. (And no, I’m not pyschotic. ) In the beginning, I used my writing to insert myself into television series and movies that I liked and wanted to play in. But my ideas come from all over. A lot of times things I’ve seen find their way into a book. An interesting news article will trigger a “what if?” Some stories even come from crazy dreams. I’ve jotted down notes from a particularly appealing dream in order to build it into something more. I always have more ideas I want to write than time to pursue them. I have scraps of paper with the beginning of a story stacked all over the place just waiting for me to get going.
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I think it’s a little of both. I have to like the book I’m writing or it will show in the long run. Not that I’m always in love with an idea at the beginning. But I wouldn’t pursue the idea at all if I didn’t feel something for it. Some books I end up liking better than others, but once I’m into a story and the characters come alive, I have to write it. I have, at times, wrote toward a current trend, such as my books in the Dogwood series. However, most of my books have paranormal elements and I’m still writing and publishing those as well.
Here is where you can find Karen online:
Karen is giving away a copy of her book HER FAKE FIANCE to three readers! See below how to enter to win: