An Interview with Karen Harper

Bkarenharperby Susan/Miranda

Today I’d like to welcome Karen Harper as a Guest Wench. With frequent appearances on The New York Times and USAToday bestselling list, Karen’s name is one many of us will recognize, and she’s also a popular speaker  with readers and writers groups alike around the country.

Karen manages to outdo the Gemini Wenches by writing in not two, but three distinct genres: contemporary romantic suspense (for Mira Books), historical novels (for Crown and Penguin/NAL) and a series of historical mysteries (for St. Martin’s).  How she manages to juggle both the research and writing for such disparate projects is just one of the questions I asked her in this interview, and I hope you’ll have a question or two to ask Karen yourself.  She has generously offered to give away copies of her two latest historical novels from Crown, THE LAST BOLEYN and THE FIRST PRINCESS OF WALES to two readers who leave a comment on her interview — so please,  ask away!

Susan:  You’ve had a wonderfully rich and varied writing career.  Yet every writer has that “how I began” story, some particular person or book that first inspired her to write.  What is yours?

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Karen:
I always loved to read and taught literature for years, but what drew me into professional writing was my love of historical novels when I was growing up.  I still have on my “shrine book shelf” the classics that I read and reread: 

Anya Seton’s KATHERINE  (Plantagenet); anything by Jan Westcott, but especially THE QUEEN’S GRACE (Tudor); MY LORD MONLEIGH (late 1600’s) by Jan Cox Speas.  And, of course,GONE WITH THE WIND.  What also sent me into writing historicals is my love for the British Isles and my many trips there.  I went to England in 1980 as an English teacher, but returned as writer.  I have been published ever since.

Susan:  You’re currently writing three different kinds of books:  contemporary romantic suspense, historical novels, and a historical mystery series.  Could you tell us a bit about your latest books?   

Karen: In the last few years I have written in three genres.  THE QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIESBhoodedhawk
from St. Martin’s Press, featuring the Virgin Queen herself as the amateur sleuth, is now nine books.  I am going to give this series a rest, at least for a while.  I wanted to keep Elizabeth quite young in the novels, and after 2700 pages, she’s getting a bit too middle-aged (at least by their standards where 30 was middle-aged!)  All of these are in hardcover and paperback.  The last book, THE HOODED HAWKE, will be out this winter in pb, so for those of you who like to have all books in a series available before reading anything, enjoy.    All my books are available through my website, www.karenharperauthor.com.

In THE HOODED HAWKE a young, dashing Francis Drake and the queen are drawn together during a royal progress to solve a murder plot which threatens them both—and they are also attracted to each other romantically.  Each Elizabeth book features some special aspect of Tudor times:  mazes, medicine, music, fashion, Christmas recipes and customs, sports…

I’ll discuss my historical novels below.  My contemporary romantic suspense novels are great fun and have put me on the national bestseller lists.  The latest are HURRICANE and INFERNO.  They may sound like “disaster thrillers” but they are a blend or thriller/mystery/romance.  BELOW THE SURFACE will be out in Feb. 2008.  These come under the nickname “page turners,” but I strive for that in all my writing.  All good writing is suspenseful in one way or the other.  These novels are from Mira Books which does a fantastic job of packaging stories and supporting authors.

Binferno
Susan:
Before you began writing full-time, you were a high school literature and writing teacher as well as a college English instructor.  How do you think your background has influenced you as a fiction writer?

Karen: There is no better way to learn something than to teach it. Teaching American and Brit Literature over a seventeen-year period and my own six years of college, during which I majored in English and literature, have greatly impacted my writing.  Creating subplots which reflect the main action comes fairly easily; I’ve studied that in Shakespeare.  Details—Dickens.  Dialogue—Hemingway.  Setting a mood—Poe, etc.  Teaching essay structure to college prep seniors in high school and college freshmen at The Ohio State University has given me a lot of help too.

Susan: Whether you’re writing a contemporary suspense set in an Amish community or an historical novel in a sixteenth century palace, your books always capture a distinct time and place.  Your settings are never mere “window dressing,” but intrinsic parts to the stories.  Can you share how you conduct such varied background research?

Karen: Settings are very important to me.  In my contemporary suspense novels, I actually start by picking a setting (or it picks me), then character and plot evolve from there.  In my heavily researched historicals, character and plot, or what really happened historically, drives everything.

I love writing what my agent, Meg Ruley, calls enclave books.  That is, I take the reader inside someBthornemaze
sub-group they may not know, so that the story entertains but also educates:  my main characters often come from a world we don’t know much about, and that includes Tudor or Medieval England.  In my contemporary romantic suspense novels, I’ve used such enclaves or unusual areas as the Amish, the Shakers, the Seminole tribe of SW Florida, the Everglades, midwives, and Appalachia.  I love small, isolated, eccentric towns.  I try to work settings into my novels as if they were another character.  The setting needs to have a “personality” and character arc and to interact with the human characters. 

Hm, I may have drifted a bit off the question here about how I conduct my research.  Let me just say I both do it “the old-fashioned way” by hitting the books (Interlibrary Loan is my best friend) and the new-fangled way—on line.  I’ve interviewed through e-mails the archivist of the Undercroft Museum of Westminster Abbey and the Senior Microfiler/Digitiser of the County Hall Record Office in Worchestershire, U.K.

Let me also say that, although the Elizabethans wrote lots of letters, books and records, they gave no thought to standardized spelling, which can drive a researcher crazy.  And I often find “facts” which are just the opposite of other “facts.”  At that point, the majority rules or I just pick the most likely possibility.

Btydalpool
Susan:
One of the topics we’ve often discussed here on the WordWenches is how to balance real history within a fictional framework—in other words, deciding how much history is too little, too much, or just right for the story.  How do you establish this balance between fictitious characters and ones based on actual historical figures?

Karen: Balancing history within a fictional framework is a key concern for anyone writing good historical fiction.  Any character I can research, is present authentically; these are often upper class people, but if I can find information on the queen’s coachman (his name was Boonen,) I use that too.  Usually, my only fictitious characters in my historicals are servants. 

So, in all my historical novels, I use whatever I can research as the foundation, then interpret character and story from that.  If I say Queen Elizabeth or Mary Boleyn or the first Princess of Wales or Shakespeare was doing such-and-such at a particular time, that means (1) research shows this was the case or  (2) where the character was and what he or she was doing is unknown and so can be logically interpreted in light of what is known.  Of course, details and dialogue must be created and suggest the flavor of the era.  If I wrote the way they really talked—no readers!

An example of being true to history:  Immediately after her coronation, it is recorded that Elizabeth Tudor “took to her bed for a week and was scarce seen.”  OK, then I can have her, with her cohorts, solving a crime sub rosa during that week when she was not under observation.  However, I would not have her out-and-about in the public eye.

One other aside here:  when there is not a lot of research to be found, a writer must really rely on “the telling detail.”  I once wrote a novel about Gera Fitzgerald, the “last queen of Ireland,” who lived off and on at the Tudor courts of Mary I and Elizabeth.  It was recorded that she was very beautiful and there is an extant portrait of her, but it was hard to find details on her character, even though the Earl of Surrey dedicated love sonnets to her.  Finally, I found a briefly stated detail that gave me the core of her bold, outspoken personality:  “The lady was sent to the Tower for plainspeaking to the queen.”  Ah, the Irish rebel is still in her, however downtrodden her people and family were by the Tudors.  She is truthful and courageous—and on from there.

Susan: You’ve written many books set in the Tudor period.  What first attracted you to the era?

Karen: I have written a total of thirteen books set in Tudor England and have one on “the drawing board” now.   I think from my answers to the earlier questions, you can see it was a variety of factors that drew me to the Tudor era.  Such tumultuous times dominated by amazing personalities!  And, as discussed in the next answer, women were really coming into their own.

Susan: Your historical novel, THE LAST BOLEYN, followed the life of Anne’s sister Mary.  Why do you thinkBlastboleyn
modern readers are so enthralled with stories of the Boleyn women?

Karen: THE LAST BOLEYN perfectly fits the period and people I’m most interested in.  The Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne, epitomize the growing power of women in this era, which is, of course, totally fulfilled in their niece and daughter Elizabeth.  I really resent it when Mary Boleyn is just shifted off as a brief fling Henry had before the feisty Anne caught his eye.  Mary grew greatly from being a mere pawn of her father and of two kings, Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, to be a brave, bold woman.  She survived the bloody downfall of her family and managed to wed the man she loved and chose. 

If you have read Philippa Gregory’s THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL about Mary, I want to make two points.  (1)  Ms. Gregory and I interpret Mary and the Boleyn family quite differently.  (2)  I wrote my book 20 years before hers appeared.  Random House reissued my novel, THE LAST BOLEYN, when historical novels became popular again.

Susan:  Like all writers who have maintained long, successful careers, you’ve adapted and evolved with the publishing market as well as with your own interests.  What changes have you see in the market, good and bad?

Karen: It’s thrilling for me to see historical novels come into their own in the current market.  When IBfatalfashion
was first published in the early 1980’s, my historical novels were packaged and sold as historical romances because that was what was popular then.  Granted, they have strong love stories in them, but they were about real woman.   Now, two of my earliest books are back in print from Random House with great new covers and titles.  Besides THE LAST BOLEYN, THE FIRST PRINCESS OF WALES is available—both were selected as Borders Books featured summer reads, which indicates the popularity of this genre.  PRINCESS is the story of Joan of Kent, wife of the Plantagenet Black Prince and mother of Richard II.  She’s a perfect heroine, because her path to true love and power was anything but smooth.

Also, Penguin/NAL has just purchased a new novel, MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE, which will be out in August of ’08.  This is not the story of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, but of his “other” wife, Anne Whateley.  Research shows that several days before his marriage to Anne H. of Shottery, Will Shakespeare was recorded as betrothed to wed Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton.  As you may recall, his union with Anne H. was what we would call a shotgun wedding.

Could it be Will had someone he loved whom he wished to wed, but was forced to wed Anne Hathaway?  Or could he have wed his chosen Anne in a private handfast ceremony and then been dragged into church to wed the other, pregnant Anne?  Research indicates that two Shottery farmers pledged 40 pounds (a lot of money then) and promised to produce the groom so he would wed Anne H.  Research shows that Will lived apart from Anne H. for years, despite her two pregnancies which resulted in three children.  Research shows that Will only left Anne H. his “second best bed” and that he bought the beautiful Blackfriars Gatehouse in London and made certain it did not go to Anne H. upon his death.  You get the picture.  Did Will have another wife, a London wife?  The possibility (which I and other researchers believe is a probability) makes an uplifting but heart-wrenching story of Anne Whateley, MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE

Ah, of such history and human hearts are novels made.

Thank you so much for visiting with us, Karen, and  I for one cannot WAIT for MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE next summer!

Susan/Miranda

Karen will be stopping by throughout Monday and Tuesday to respond to questions and comments, so please, don’t be shy. We’ll announce the winners of Karen’s book give-away on Tuesday night.

135 thoughts on “An Interview with Karen Harper”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love historical novels because I’ve always been intrigued by the gaps in history — what really happened “behind the scenes”. I didn’t even know about Shakespeare’s other Anne… I’ll definitely be looking forward to Mistress Shakespeare! And I’ll be checking out the First Princess of Wales as well, because I find the medieval period really intriguing.

    Reply
  2. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love historical novels because I’ve always been intrigued by the gaps in history — what really happened “behind the scenes”. I didn’t even know about Shakespeare’s other Anne… I’ll definitely be looking forward to Mistress Shakespeare! And I’ll be checking out the First Princess of Wales as well, because I find the medieval period really intriguing.

    Reply
  3. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love historical novels because I’ve always been intrigued by the gaps in history — what really happened “behind the scenes”. I didn’t even know about Shakespeare’s other Anne… I’ll definitely be looking forward to Mistress Shakespeare! And I’ll be checking out the First Princess of Wales as well, because I find the medieval period really intriguing.

    Reply
  4. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love historical novels because I’ve always been intrigued by the gaps in history — what really happened “behind the scenes”. I didn’t even know about Shakespeare’s other Anne… I’ll definitely be looking forward to Mistress Shakespeare! And I’ll be checking out the First Princess of Wales as well, because I find the medieval period really intriguing.

    Reply
  5. I really enjoyed reading this interview! I love historical novels because I’ve always been intrigued by the gaps in history — what really happened “behind the scenes”. I didn’t even know about Shakespeare’s other Anne… I’ll definitely be looking forward to Mistress Shakespeare! And I’ll be checking out the First Princess of Wales as well, because I find the medieval period really intriguing.

    Reply
  6. Karen is a member of my local RWA chapter, so we get an opportunity to hear her speak on topics like setting at our meetings. 😉 I particularly like Karen’s Ohio Amish country thrillers since my family comes from PA, and I’ve visited that state’s Amish country many times.
    My question for Karen is this: Do you incorporate any of your personal bugaboos in your thrillers (IF you have any fears, that is)?
    — Marcia 😉

    Reply
  7. Karen is a member of my local RWA chapter, so we get an opportunity to hear her speak on topics like setting at our meetings. 😉 I particularly like Karen’s Ohio Amish country thrillers since my family comes from PA, and I’ve visited that state’s Amish country many times.
    My question for Karen is this: Do you incorporate any of your personal bugaboos in your thrillers (IF you have any fears, that is)?
    — Marcia 😉

    Reply
  8. Karen is a member of my local RWA chapter, so we get an opportunity to hear her speak on topics like setting at our meetings. 😉 I particularly like Karen’s Ohio Amish country thrillers since my family comes from PA, and I’ve visited that state’s Amish country many times.
    My question for Karen is this: Do you incorporate any of your personal bugaboos in your thrillers (IF you have any fears, that is)?
    — Marcia 😉

    Reply
  9. Karen is a member of my local RWA chapter, so we get an opportunity to hear her speak on topics like setting at our meetings. 😉 I particularly like Karen’s Ohio Amish country thrillers since my family comes from PA, and I’ve visited that state’s Amish country many times.
    My question for Karen is this: Do you incorporate any of your personal bugaboos in your thrillers (IF you have any fears, that is)?
    — Marcia 😉

    Reply
  10. Karen is a member of my local RWA chapter, so we get an opportunity to hear her speak on topics like setting at our meetings. 😉 I particularly like Karen’s Ohio Amish country thrillers since my family comes from PA, and I’ve visited that state’s Amish country many times.
    My question for Karen is this: Do you incorporate any of your personal bugaboos in your thrillers (IF you have any fears, that is)?
    — Marcia 😉

    Reply
  11. Karen, great interview–such interesting stuff! I love your Queen Elizabeth I mysteries and the mysteries set among the Ohio Amish.
    Mysteries — especially historical mysteries — are great, because the reader can learn all about a special world during the course of the story, and it’s easy and fun. I’m the original armchair time-traveler.
    But what do you do when your good research conflicts with popular expectations about how people generally behaved during a particular historical era?
    Do you give your historical characters “modern” attitudes, or do you go with the way people really thought and acted back then?

    Reply
  12. Karen, great interview–such interesting stuff! I love your Queen Elizabeth I mysteries and the mysteries set among the Ohio Amish.
    Mysteries — especially historical mysteries — are great, because the reader can learn all about a special world during the course of the story, and it’s easy and fun. I’m the original armchair time-traveler.
    But what do you do when your good research conflicts with popular expectations about how people generally behaved during a particular historical era?
    Do you give your historical characters “modern” attitudes, or do you go with the way people really thought and acted back then?

    Reply
  13. Karen, great interview–such interesting stuff! I love your Queen Elizabeth I mysteries and the mysteries set among the Ohio Amish.
    Mysteries — especially historical mysteries — are great, because the reader can learn all about a special world during the course of the story, and it’s easy and fun. I’m the original armchair time-traveler.
    But what do you do when your good research conflicts with popular expectations about how people generally behaved during a particular historical era?
    Do you give your historical characters “modern” attitudes, or do you go with the way people really thought and acted back then?

    Reply
  14. Karen, great interview–such interesting stuff! I love your Queen Elizabeth I mysteries and the mysteries set among the Ohio Amish.
    Mysteries — especially historical mysteries — are great, because the reader can learn all about a special world during the course of the story, and it’s easy and fun. I’m the original armchair time-traveler.
    But what do you do when your good research conflicts with popular expectations about how people generally behaved during a particular historical era?
    Do you give your historical characters “modern” attitudes, or do you go with the way people really thought and acted back then?

    Reply
  15. Karen, great interview–such interesting stuff! I love your Queen Elizabeth I mysteries and the mysteries set among the Ohio Amish.
    Mysteries — especially historical mysteries — are great, because the reader can learn all about a special world during the course of the story, and it’s easy and fun. I’m the original armchair time-traveler.
    But what do you do when your good research conflicts with popular expectations about how people generally behaved during a particular historical era?
    Do you give your historical characters “modern” attitudes, or do you go with the way people really thought and acted back then?

    Reply
  16. I really enjoyed this interview especially the details about combining history and fiction and “the telling detail.” I haven’t read your work before, but I’m definitely going to start looking for it.

    Reply
  17. I really enjoyed this interview especially the details about combining history and fiction and “the telling detail.” I haven’t read your work before, but I’m definitely going to start looking for it.

    Reply
  18. I really enjoyed this interview especially the details about combining history and fiction and “the telling detail.” I haven’t read your work before, but I’m definitely going to start looking for it.

    Reply
  19. I really enjoyed this interview especially the details about combining history and fiction and “the telling detail.” I haven’t read your work before, but I’m definitely going to start looking for it.

    Reply
  20. I really enjoyed this interview especially the details about combining history and fiction and “the telling detail.” I haven’t read your work before, but I’m definitely going to start looking for it.

    Reply
  21. What a terrific interview. Thanks to Karen for stopping by, and to Susan/Miranda for asking the very questions I’d have asked!
    As a reader of historical fiction, I cut my teeth on the same authors and novels that you did, Karen–Anya Seton and Jan Westcott were enormous influences.
    As now, as writer of historicals featuring real people, you are as much an inspiration to me as those late, great authors were.

    Reply
  22. What a terrific interview. Thanks to Karen for stopping by, and to Susan/Miranda for asking the very questions I’d have asked!
    As a reader of historical fiction, I cut my teeth on the same authors and novels that you did, Karen–Anya Seton and Jan Westcott were enormous influences.
    As now, as writer of historicals featuring real people, you are as much an inspiration to me as those late, great authors were.

    Reply
  23. What a terrific interview. Thanks to Karen for stopping by, and to Susan/Miranda for asking the very questions I’d have asked!
    As a reader of historical fiction, I cut my teeth on the same authors and novels that you did, Karen–Anya Seton and Jan Westcott were enormous influences.
    As now, as writer of historicals featuring real people, you are as much an inspiration to me as those late, great authors were.

    Reply
  24. What a terrific interview. Thanks to Karen for stopping by, and to Susan/Miranda for asking the very questions I’d have asked!
    As a reader of historical fiction, I cut my teeth on the same authors and novels that you did, Karen–Anya Seton and Jan Westcott were enormous influences.
    As now, as writer of historicals featuring real people, you are as much an inspiration to me as those late, great authors were.

    Reply
  25. What a terrific interview. Thanks to Karen for stopping by, and to Susan/Miranda for asking the very questions I’d have asked!
    As a reader of historical fiction, I cut my teeth on the same authors and novels that you did, Karen–Anya Seton and Jan Westcott were enormous influences.
    As now, as writer of historicals featuring real people, you are as much an inspiration to me as those late, great authors were.

    Reply
  26. For Michelle:
    I loved your comments about “behind the scenes” in history. Not only behind the scenes intrigues me but “what was beneath the surface” of people’s thinking then. Despite universal truths about human behavior, people of various era did think differently about things.

    Reply
  27. For Michelle:
    I loved your comments about “behind the scenes” in history. Not only behind the scenes intrigues me but “what was beneath the surface” of people’s thinking then. Despite universal truths about human behavior, people of various era did think differently about things.

    Reply
  28. For Michelle:
    I loved your comments about “behind the scenes” in history. Not only behind the scenes intrigues me but “what was beneath the surface” of people’s thinking then. Despite universal truths about human behavior, people of various era did think differently about things.

    Reply
  29. For Michelle:
    I loved your comments about “behind the scenes” in history. Not only behind the scenes intrigues me but “what was beneath the surface” of people’s thinking then. Despite universal truths about human behavior, people of various era did think differently about things.

    Reply
  30. For Michelle:
    I loved your comments about “behind the scenes” in history. Not only behind the scenes intrigues me but “what was beneath the surface” of people’s thinking then. Despite universal truths about human behavior, people of various era did think differently about things.

    Reply
  31. Hi Marcia:
    Personal bugaboos in writing m thrillers: All of my endangered heroines fear lack of control in their lives–and all have to face that and survive. This is a fear of mine. Also, I hate the idea of being closed off from freedom and from sunlight. This is not exactly claustrophobia, so I don’t know how to describe it–I’m not afraid of closed places per se. I’ve written many characters who have fears I don’t have but I’m sure my own phobias are woven in there somewhere.
    Karen

    Reply
  32. Hi Marcia:
    Personal bugaboos in writing m thrillers: All of my endangered heroines fear lack of control in their lives–and all have to face that and survive. This is a fear of mine. Also, I hate the idea of being closed off from freedom and from sunlight. This is not exactly claustrophobia, so I don’t know how to describe it–I’m not afraid of closed places per se. I’ve written many characters who have fears I don’t have but I’m sure my own phobias are woven in there somewhere.
    Karen

    Reply
  33. Hi Marcia:
    Personal bugaboos in writing m thrillers: All of my endangered heroines fear lack of control in their lives–and all have to face that and survive. This is a fear of mine. Also, I hate the idea of being closed off from freedom and from sunlight. This is not exactly claustrophobia, so I don’t know how to describe it–I’m not afraid of closed places per se. I’ve written many characters who have fears I don’t have but I’m sure my own phobias are woven in there somewhere.
    Karen

    Reply
  34. Hi Marcia:
    Personal bugaboos in writing m thrillers: All of my endangered heroines fear lack of control in their lives–and all have to face that and survive. This is a fear of mine. Also, I hate the idea of being closed off from freedom and from sunlight. This is not exactly claustrophobia, so I don’t know how to describe it–I’m not afraid of closed places per se. I’ve written many characters who have fears I don’t have but I’m sure my own phobias are woven in there somewhere.
    Karen

    Reply
  35. Hi Marcia:
    Personal bugaboos in writing m thrillers: All of my endangered heroines fear lack of control in their lives–and all have to face that and survive. This is a fear of mine. Also, I hate the idea of being closed off from freedom and from sunlight. This is not exactly claustrophobia, so I don’t know how to describe it–I’m not afraid of closed places per se. I’ve written many characters who have fears I don’t have but I’m sure my own phobias are woven in there somewhere.
    Karen

    Reply
  36. Hi Saralee:
    There are many misconceptions about the past. When I want to fly in the face of those I try to do one of two things: (1) I comment about the misconception in an author’s note I always include in the back of my historicals or –harder to do–(2) I try to work into the story itself enough background info to “prove” I know whereof I speak.
    One small for instance: it is not true that Queen Elizabeth took a bath “once a month whether she needed it or not.” She hated bad smells and bathed frequently. Her father had a sunken Turkish-type bath built at Hampton Palace which has been excavated–and which she used, more than once a month, I’m sure.
    Karen

    Reply
  37. Hi Saralee:
    There are many misconceptions about the past. When I want to fly in the face of those I try to do one of two things: (1) I comment about the misconception in an author’s note I always include in the back of my historicals or –harder to do–(2) I try to work into the story itself enough background info to “prove” I know whereof I speak.
    One small for instance: it is not true that Queen Elizabeth took a bath “once a month whether she needed it or not.” She hated bad smells and bathed frequently. Her father had a sunken Turkish-type bath built at Hampton Palace which has been excavated–and which she used, more than once a month, I’m sure.
    Karen

    Reply
  38. Hi Saralee:
    There are many misconceptions about the past. When I want to fly in the face of those I try to do one of two things: (1) I comment about the misconception in an author’s note I always include in the back of my historicals or –harder to do–(2) I try to work into the story itself enough background info to “prove” I know whereof I speak.
    One small for instance: it is not true that Queen Elizabeth took a bath “once a month whether she needed it or not.” She hated bad smells and bathed frequently. Her father had a sunken Turkish-type bath built at Hampton Palace which has been excavated–and which she used, more than once a month, I’m sure.
    Karen

    Reply
  39. Hi Saralee:
    There are many misconceptions about the past. When I want to fly in the face of those I try to do one of two things: (1) I comment about the misconception in an author’s note I always include in the back of my historicals or –harder to do–(2) I try to work into the story itself enough background info to “prove” I know whereof I speak.
    One small for instance: it is not true that Queen Elizabeth took a bath “once a month whether she needed it or not.” She hated bad smells and bathed frequently. Her father had a sunken Turkish-type bath built at Hampton Palace which has been excavated–and which she used, more than once a month, I’m sure.
    Karen

    Reply
  40. Hi Saralee:
    There are many misconceptions about the past. When I want to fly in the face of those I try to do one of two things: (1) I comment about the misconception in an author’s note I always include in the back of my historicals or –harder to do–(2) I try to work into the story itself enough background info to “prove” I know whereof I speak.
    One small for instance: it is not true that Queen Elizabeth took a bath “once a month whether she needed it or not.” She hated bad smells and bathed frequently. Her father had a sunken Turkish-type bath built at Hampton Palace which has been excavated–and which she used, more than once a month, I’m sure.
    Karen

    Reply
  41. MaryK:
    Glad you enjoy historicals. I find them both entertaining and educational.
    Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own? Is something going on currently in our western world that makes readers more drawn to them?
    Karen

    Reply
  42. MaryK:
    Glad you enjoy historicals. I find them both entertaining and educational.
    Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own? Is something going on currently in our western world that makes readers more drawn to them?
    Karen

    Reply
  43. MaryK:
    Glad you enjoy historicals. I find them both entertaining and educational.
    Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own? Is something going on currently in our western world that makes readers more drawn to them?
    Karen

    Reply
  44. MaryK:
    Glad you enjoy historicals. I find them both entertaining and educational.
    Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own? Is something going on currently in our western world that makes readers more drawn to them?
    Karen

    Reply
  45. MaryK:
    Glad you enjoy historicals. I find them both entertaining and educational.
    Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own? Is something going on currently in our western world that makes readers more drawn to them?
    Karen

    Reply
  46. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Perhaps the shift back to historicals has something to do with the same reason that people are tracing their ancestry. I like to read authors who do their research and present the past in story form. It brings history and the people to life for me.

    Reply
  47. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Perhaps the shift back to historicals has something to do with the same reason that people are tracing their ancestry. I like to read authors who do their research and present the past in story form. It brings history and the people to life for me.

    Reply
  48. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Perhaps the shift back to historicals has something to do with the same reason that people are tracing their ancestry. I like to read authors who do their research and present the past in story form. It brings history and the people to life for me.

    Reply
  49. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Perhaps the shift back to historicals has something to do with the same reason that people are tracing their ancestry. I like to read authors who do their research and present the past in story form. It brings history and the people to life for me.

    Reply
  50. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Perhaps the shift back to historicals has something to do with the same reason that people are tracing their ancestry. I like to read authors who do their research and present the past in story form. It brings history and the people to life for me.

    Reply
  51. Margaret:
    Your blogspot is making me homesick for England!
    Thanks for sharing your support and thoughts.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

    Reply
  52. Margaret:
    Your blogspot is making me homesick for England!
    Thanks for sharing your support and thoughts.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

    Reply
  53. Margaret:
    Your blogspot is making me homesick for England!
    Thanks for sharing your support and thoughts.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

    Reply
  54. Margaret:
    Your blogspot is making me homesick for England!
    Thanks for sharing your support and thoughts.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

    Reply
  55. Margaret:
    Your blogspot is making me homesick for England!
    Thanks for sharing your support and thoughts.
    Best Wishes,
    Karen

    Reply
  56. Ruby:
    As a former teacher, I always feel great when someone says they used to think history was a bunch of boring dates, but since reading a historical novel, they love it. I’m glad historical novels bring the past to life for you, and you’re probably right about the transfer between historicals and interest in family trees (as well as interest in ethnic beginnings.)
    Thanks for commenting!
    Karen

    Reply
  57. Ruby:
    As a former teacher, I always feel great when someone says they used to think history was a bunch of boring dates, but since reading a historical novel, they love it. I’m glad historical novels bring the past to life for you, and you’re probably right about the transfer between historicals and interest in family trees (as well as interest in ethnic beginnings.)
    Thanks for commenting!
    Karen

    Reply
  58. Ruby:
    As a former teacher, I always feel great when someone says they used to think history was a bunch of boring dates, but since reading a historical novel, they love it. I’m glad historical novels bring the past to life for you, and you’re probably right about the transfer between historicals and interest in family trees (as well as interest in ethnic beginnings.)
    Thanks for commenting!
    Karen

    Reply
  59. Ruby:
    As a former teacher, I always feel great when someone says they used to think history was a bunch of boring dates, but since reading a historical novel, they love it. I’m glad historical novels bring the past to life for you, and you’re probably right about the transfer between historicals and interest in family trees (as well as interest in ethnic beginnings.)
    Thanks for commenting!
    Karen

    Reply
  60. Ruby:
    As a former teacher, I always feel great when someone says they used to think history was a bunch of boring dates, but since reading a historical novel, they love it. I’m glad historical novels bring the past to life for you, and you’re probably right about the transfer between historicals and interest in family trees (as well as interest in ethnic beginnings.)
    Thanks for commenting!
    Karen

    Reply
  61. Hi Karen,
    I was fortunate to be able to read and review “The First Princess of Wales” for Coffee Time Romance. I absolutely adored it and it sits on my keeper bookshelf. I hope to get to your other books very soon!

    Reply
  62. Hi Karen,
    I was fortunate to be able to read and review “The First Princess of Wales” for Coffee Time Romance. I absolutely adored it and it sits on my keeper bookshelf. I hope to get to your other books very soon!

    Reply
  63. Hi Karen,
    I was fortunate to be able to read and review “The First Princess of Wales” for Coffee Time Romance. I absolutely adored it and it sits on my keeper bookshelf. I hope to get to your other books very soon!

    Reply
  64. Hi Karen,
    I was fortunate to be able to read and review “The First Princess of Wales” for Coffee Time Romance. I absolutely adored it and it sits on my keeper bookshelf. I hope to get to your other books very soon!

    Reply
  65. Hi Karen,
    I was fortunate to be able to read and review “The First Princess of Wales” for Coffee Time Romance. I absolutely adored it and it sits on my keeper bookshelf. I hope to get to your other books very soon!

    Reply
  66. I, too, am a former teacher. My specialities were English and history. I cut my reading teeth on historical fiction. I have always loved it. I haven’t read any of your work yet, but you may be sure that I will look for it.

    Reply
  67. I, too, am a former teacher. My specialities were English and history. I cut my reading teeth on historical fiction. I have always loved it. I haven’t read any of your work yet, but you may be sure that I will look for it.

    Reply
  68. I, too, am a former teacher. My specialities were English and history. I cut my reading teeth on historical fiction. I have always loved it. I haven’t read any of your work yet, but you may be sure that I will look for it.

    Reply
  69. I, too, am a former teacher. My specialities were English and history. I cut my reading teeth on historical fiction. I have always loved it. I haven’t read any of your work yet, but you may be sure that I will look for it.

    Reply
  70. I, too, am a former teacher. My specialities were English and history. I cut my reading teeth on historical fiction. I have always loved it. I haven’t read any of your work yet, but you may be sure that I will look for it.

    Reply
  71. I became a history major precisely because I loved the stories history tells us. It’s fascinating to go someplace such as a Gothic cathedral and realize that you are looking at the same altar seen by people hundreds of years ago. On occasions like that time doesn’t seem linear but to consist of curves connecting us to those who came before and connecting them to us as well.

    Reply
  72. I became a history major precisely because I loved the stories history tells us. It’s fascinating to go someplace such as a Gothic cathedral and realize that you are looking at the same altar seen by people hundreds of years ago. On occasions like that time doesn’t seem linear but to consist of curves connecting us to those who came before and connecting them to us as well.

    Reply
  73. I became a history major precisely because I loved the stories history tells us. It’s fascinating to go someplace such as a Gothic cathedral and realize that you are looking at the same altar seen by people hundreds of years ago. On occasions like that time doesn’t seem linear but to consist of curves connecting us to those who came before and connecting them to us as well.

    Reply
  74. I became a history major precisely because I loved the stories history tells us. It’s fascinating to go someplace such as a Gothic cathedral and realize that you are looking at the same altar seen by people hundreds of years ago. On occasions like that time doesn’t seem linear but to consist of curves connecting us to those who came before and connecting them to us as well.

    Reply
  75. I became a history major precisely because I loved the stories history tells us. It’s fascinating to go someplace such as a Gothic cathedral and realize that you are looking at the same altar seen by people hundreds of years ago. On occasions like that time doesn’t seem linear but to consist of curves connecting us to those who came before and connecting them to us as well.

    Reply
  76. Just wanted to say that I love, love, love the Elizabeth mystery series. I wondered how you came up with the idea of Meg, as a lookalike? Could Elizabeth have acted as a sleuth without such a doppelganger to take her place at court?

    Reply
  77. Just wanted to say that I love, love, love the Elizabeth mystery series. I wondered how you came up with the idea of Meg, as a lookalike? Could Elizabeth have acted as a sleuth without such a doppelganger to take her place at court?

    Reply
  78. Just wanted to say that I love, love, love the Elizabeth mystery series. I wondered how you came up with the idea of Meg, as a lookalike? Could Elizabeth have acted as a sleuth without such a doppelganger to take her place at court?

    Reply
  79. Just wanted to say that I love, love, love the Elizabeth mystery series. I wondered how you came up with the idea of Meg, as a lookalike? Could Elizabeth have acted as a sleuth without such a doppelganger to take her place at court?

    Reply
  80. Just wanted to say that I love, love, love the Elizabeth mystery series. I wondered how you came up with the idea of Meg, as a lookalike? Could Elizabeth have acted as a sleuth without such a doppelganger to take her place at court?

    Reply
  81. Karen asked: “Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own?”
    I think part of it relates to the current popularity of “lite” historicals, primarily set in a fairy-tale version of Regency England. A lot of readers (and writers) began reading historical romance before it was labeled as such (Jean Plaidy, Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton), and we miss that kind of story. History wasn’t a side-note, and everyone wasn’t a duke; there was some real historical meat on those story-telling bones.
    I think the rising success of more historical fiction (and more historically weighted romance) is in direct response to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of us “history-nerds” out there to support it! *g*
    Interesting how these things in publishing cycle around over time, isn’t it?
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  82. Karen asked: “Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own?”
    I think part of it relates to the current popularity of “lite” historicals, primarily set in a fairy-tale version of Regency England. A lot of readers (and writers) began reading historical romance before it was labeled as such (Jean Plaidy, Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton), and we miss that kind of story. History wasn’t a side-note, and everyone wasn’t a duke; there was some real historical meat on those story-telling bones.
    I think the rising success of more historical fiction (and more historically weighted romance) is in direct response to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of us “history-nerds” out there to support it! *g*
    Interesting how these things in publishing cycle around over time, isn’t it?
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  83. Karen asked: “Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own?”
    I think part of it relates to the current popularity of “lite” historicals, primarily set in a fairy-tale version of Regency England. A lot of readers (and writers) began reading historical romance before it was labeled as such (Jean Plaidy, Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton), and we miss that kind of story. History wasn’t a side-note, and everyone wasn’t a duke; there was some real historical meat on those story-telling bones.
    I think the rising success of more historical fiction (and more historically weighted romance) is in direct response to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of us “history-nerds” out there to support it! *g*
    Interesting how these things in publishing cycle around over time, isn’t it?
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  84. Karen asked: “Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own?”
    I think part of it relates to the current popularity of “lite” historicals, primarily set in a fairy-tale version of Regency England. A lot of readers (and writers) began reading historical romance before it was labeled as such (Jean Plaidy, Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton), and we miss that kind of story. History wasn’t a side-note, and everyone wasn’t a duke; there was some real historical meat on those story-telling bones.
    I think the rising success of more historical fiction (and more historically weighted romance) is in direct response to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of us “history-nerds” out there to support it! *g*
    Interesting how these things in publishing cycle around over time, isn’t it?
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  85. Karen asked: “Does any one have any thoughts on why they have finally come back into their own?”
    I think part of it relates to the current popularity of “lite” historicals, primarily set in a fairy-tale version of Regency England. A lot of readers (and writers) began reading historical romance before it was labeled as such (Jean Plaidy, Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton), and we miss that kind of story. History wasn’t a side-note, and everyone wasn’t a duke; there was some real historical meat on those story-telling bones.
    I think the rising success of more historical fiction (and more historically weighted romance) is in direct response to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of us “history-nerds” out there to support it! *g*
    Interesting how these things in publishing cycle around over time, isn’t it?
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  86. Hello Karen, my dear friend. I have read and, I believe, I own all of your books. You are not only my friend, you are my favorite author. Whichever genre you are writing in at the time, I love it. As I said to you many years ago, “You really know how to spin a yarn.” Your novels are always exciting and spell binding. You paint amazing pictures with your words. I love seeing your settings the same way your characters do. I also love that you use real women as your heroines. I’m looking forward to these newest books coming out. I am in awe of how you continue to build amazing novels in amazing places. You add such a “Lilt” to your creations. Thanks for sharing with us in this interview.

    Reply
  87. Hello Karen, my dear friend. I have read and, I believe, I own all of your books. You are not only my friend, you are my favorite author. Whichever genre you are writing in at the time, I love it. As I said to you many years ago, “You really know how to spin a yarn.” Your novels are always exciting and spell binding. You paint amazing pictures with your words. I love seeing your settings the same way your characters do. I also love that you use real women as your heroines. I’m looking forward to these newest books coming out. I am in awe of how you continue to build amazing novels in amazing places. You add such a “Lilt” to your creations. Thanks for sharing with us in this interview.

    Reply
  88. Hello Karen, my dear friend. I have read and, I believe, I own all of your books. You are not only my friend, you are my favorite author. Whichever genre you are writing in at the time, I love it. As I said to you many years ago, “You really know how to spin a yarn.” Your novels are always exciting and spell binding. You paint amazing pictures with your words. I love seeing your settings the same way your characters do. I also love that you use real women as your heroines. I’m looking forward to these newest books coming out. I am in awe of how you continue to build amazing novels in amazing places. You add such a “Lilt” to your creations. Thanks for sharing with us in this interview.

    Reply
  89. Hello Karen, my dear friend. I have read and, I believe, I own all of your books. You are not only my friend, you are my favorite author. Whichever genre you are writing in at the time, I love it. As I said to you many years ago, “You really know how to spin a yarn.” Your novels are always exciting and spell binding. You paint amazing pictures with your words. I love seeing your settings the same way your characters do. I also love that you use real women as your heroines. I’m looking forward to these newest books coming out. I am in awe of how you continue to build amazing novels in amazing places. You add such a “Lilt” to your creations. Thanks for sharing with us in this interview.

    Reply
  90. Hello Karen, my dear friend. I have read and, I believe, I own all of your books. You are not only my friend, you are my favorite author. Whichever genre you are writing in at the time, I love it. As I said to you many years ago, “You really know how to spin a yarn.” Your novels are always exciting and spell binding. You paint amazing pictures with your words. I love seeing your settings the same way your characters do. I also love that you use real women as your heroines. I’m looking forward to these newest books coming out. I am in awe of how you continue to build amazing novels in amazing places. You add such a “Lilt” to your creations. Thanks for sharing with us in this interview.

    Reply
  91. Bonnie-Lass:
    I’m glad you enjoyed the novel. I was amazed to find Joan of Kent in my research. I realized she’s be a wonderful subject for a novel and, as far as I could tell, no one had done her story yet.
    Karen

    Reply
  92. Bonnie-Lass:
    I’m glad you enjoyed the novel. I was amazed to find Joan of Kent in my research. I realized she’s be a wonderful subject for a novel and, as far as I could tell, no one had done her story yet.
    Karen

    Reply
  93. Bonnie-Lass:
    I’m glad you enjoyed the novel. I was amazed to find Joan of Kent in my research. I realized she’s be a wonderful subject for a novel and, as far as I could tell, no one had done her story yet.
    Karen

    Reply
  94. Bonnie-Lass:
    I’m glad you enjoyed the novel. I was amazed to find Joan of Kent in my research. I realized she’s be a wonderful subject for a novel and, as far as I could tell, no one had done her story yet.
    Karen

    Reply
  95. Bonnie-Lass:
    I’m glad you enjoyed the novel. I was amazed to find Joan of Kent in my research. I realized she’s be a wonderful subject for a novel and, as far as I could tell, no one had done her story yet.
    Karen

    Reply
  96. Susan/DC:
    Your “connecting curves” of history comment is great. I never exactly feel as if I’m channeling a main character, but it always amazes me how I feel as if I actually know what they thought and felt and did.
    Karen

    Reply
  97. Susan/DC:
    Your “connecting curves” of history comment is great. I never exactly feel as if I’m channeling a main character, but it always amazes me how I feel as if I actually know what they thought and felt and did.
    Karen

    Reply
  98. Susan/DC:
    Your “connecting curves” of history comment is great. I never exactly feel as if I’m channeling a main character, but it always amazes me how I feel as if I actually know what they thought and felt and did.
    Karen

    Reply
  99. Susan/DC:
    Your “connecting curves” of history comment is great. I never exactly feel as if I’m channeling a main character, but it always amazes me how I feel as if I actually know what they thought and felt and did.
    Karen

    Reply
  100. Susan/DC:
    Your “connecting curves” of history comment is great. I never exactly feel as if I’m channeling a main character, but it always amazes me how I feel as if I actually know what they thought and felt and did.
    Karen

    Reply
  101. Hi Lise:
    I’m really glad you liked the Elizabeth Mystery Series. I loved writing it. Meg Milligrew was a necessity, in a way. Although my Elizabeth is young and can still get around quite well, I knew there would be times when she needed a “stand in.” And I loved the idea of Meg coming so far in her life, loving and losing–in a way she is a shadow parallel to the queen herself, except Meg does get to marry and have children, which Elizabeth did not. And in an age which loved theatre, I liked the idea of Elizabeth having around her an actor (Ned) and someone who is in a way an actress (yes, everyone–I know the Elizabethans had no actresss.) Meg acts as the queen at times and, even on occasion, the queen becomes Meg.
    Oops, I’m getting a bit complicated here. Thanks for the question.
    Karen

    Reply
  102. Hi Lise:
    I’m really glad you liked the Elizabeth Mystery Series. I loved writing it. Meg Milligrew was a necessity, in a way. Although my Elizabeth is young and can still get around quite well, I knew there would be times when she needed a “stand in.” And I loved the idea of Meg coming so far in her life, loving and losing–in a way she is a shadow parallel to the queen herself, except Meg does get to marry and have children, which Elizabeth did not. And in an age which loved theatre, I liked the idea of Elizabeth having around her an actor (Ned) and someone who is in a way an actress (yes, everyone–I know the Elizabethans had no actresss.) Meg acts as the queen at times and, even on occasion, the queen becomes Meg.
    Oops, I’m getting a bit complicated here. Thanks for the question.
    Karen

    Reply
  103. Hi Lise:
    I’m really glad you liked the Elizabeth Mystery Series. I loved writing it. Meg Milligrew was a necessity, in a way. Although my Elizabeth is young and can still get around quite well, I knew there would be times when she needed a “stand in.” And I loved the idea of Meg coming so far in her life, loving and losing–in a way she is a shadow parallel to the queen herself, except Meg does get to marry and have children, which Elizabeth did not. And in an age which loved theatre, I liked the idea of Elizabeth having around her an actor (Ned) and someone who is in a way an actress (yes, everyone–I know the Elizabethans had no actresss.) Meg acts as the queen at times and, even on occasion, the queen becomes Meg.
    Oops, I’m getting a bit complicated here. Thanks for the question.
    Karen

    Reply
  104. Hi Lise:
    I’m really glad you liked the Elizabeth Mystery Series. I loved writing it. Meg Milligrew was a necessity, in a way. Although my Elizabeth is young and can still get around quite well, I knew there would be times when she needed a “stand in.” And I loved the idea of Meg coming so far in her life, loving and losing–in a way she is a shadow parallel to the queen herself, except Meg does get to marry and have children, which Elizabeth did not. And in an age which loved theatre, I liked the idea of Elizabeth having around her an actor (Ned) and someone who is in a way an actress (yes, everyone–I know the Elizabethans had no actresss.) Meg acts as the queen at times and, even on occasion, the queen becomes Meg.
    Oops, I’m getting a bit complicated here. Thanks for the question.
    Karen

    Reply
  105. Hi Lise:
    I’m really glad you liked the Elizabeth Mystery Series. I loved writing it. Meg Milligrew was a necessity, in a way. Although my Elizabeth is young and can still get around quite well, I knew there would be times when she needed a “stand in.” And I loved the idea of Meg coming so far in her life, loving and losing–in a way she is a shadow parallel to the queen herself, except Meg does get to marry and have children, which Elizabeth did not. And in an age which loved theatre, I liked the idea of Elizabeth having around her an actor (Ned) and someone who is in a way an actress (yes, everyone–I know the Elizabethans had no actresss.) Meg acts as the queen at times and, even on occasion, the queen becomes Meg.
    Oops, I’m getting a bit complicated here. Thanks for the question.
    Karen

    Reply
  106. Susan/Miranda:
    I think you’re right. I also think that the mass-market love of history started with out country’s realizing we do have a history. Next to the Brits, not a long one, but ever since the Bicentennial, interest has slowly grown not only in American history but that of our “mother nation” England.
    I’m thinking too that modern readers who live in a world that often has morals in shades of gray find a world of black and white morality interesting. Of course, people still did evil things or there would be no story, but the times were stricter and there was sometimes strength as well as trauma in that. (I like Mario Puzo’s definition of what all fiction must have: “Nothing is interesting but trouble.”
    Karen

    Reply
  107. Susan/Miranda:
    I think you’re right. I also think that the mass-market love of history started with out country’s realizing we do have a history. Next to the Brits, not a long one, but ever since the Bicentennial, interest has slowly grown not only in American history but that of our “mother nation” England.
    I’m thinking too that modern readers who live in a world that often has morals in shades of gray find a world of black and white morality interesting. Of course, people still did evil things or there would be no story, but the times were stricter and there was sometimes strength as well as trauma in that. (I like Mario Puzo’s definition of what all fiction must have: “Nothing is interesting but trouble.”
    Karen

    Reply
  108. Susan/Miranda:
    I think you’re right. I also think that the mass-market love of history started with out country’s realizing we do have a history. Next to the Brits, not a long one, but ever since the Bicentennial, interest has slowly grown not only in American history but that of our “mother nation” England.
    I’m thinking too that modern readers who live in a world that often has morals in shades of gray find a world of black and white morality interesting. Of course, people still did evil things or there would be no story, but the times were stricter and there was sometimes strength as well as trauma in that. (I like Mario Puzo’s definition of what all fiction must have: “Nothing is interesting but trouble.”
    Karen

    Reply
  109. Susan/Miranda:
    I think you’re right. I also think that the mass-market love of history started with out country’s realizing we do have a history. Next to the Brits, not a long one, but ever since the Bicentennial, interest has slowly grown not only in American history but that of our “mother nation” England.
    I’m thinking too that modern readers who live in a world that often has morals in shades of gray find a world of black and white morality interesting. Of course, people still did evil things or there would be no story, but the times were stricter and there was sometimes strength as well as trauma in that. (I like Mario Puzo’s definition of what all fiction must have: “Nothing is interesting but trouble.”
    Karen

    Reply
  110. Susan/Miranda:
    I think you’re right. I also think that the mass-market love of history started with out country’s realizing we do have a history. Next to the Brits, not a long one, but ever since the Bicentennial, interest has slowly grown not only in American history but that of our “mother nation” England.
    I’m thinking too that modern readers who live in a world that often has morals in shades of gray find a world of black and white morality interesting. Of course, people still did evil things or there would be no story, but the times were stricter and there was sometimes strength as well as trauma in that. (I like Mario Puzo’s definition of what all fiction must have: “Nothing is interesting but trouble.”
    Karen

    Reply
  111. I had your beautiful book in my hand at the bookstore this morning, but on the very off-chance that my name is picked as the winner, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. I promise that when I lose I’ll go right back into town tomorrow! I am so pleased to see a renaissance of the historical novel. I’ve noticed the Anya Seton books I read as a kid are now reissued.
    This may be an absurd question, but I wonder how pricing is determined for paperback historical fiction vs. historical romances (the $14-15 as opposed to $5-8). Of course I think all you authors (especially Wenches!) should be making way more money as a matter of course, but do you think the price might discourage purchase? I confess I stopped buying hardcover books when they approached $30, and I’m a regular at the library. I’d cheerfully spend $14 on a historical but won’t on chick-lit or contemporary paperbacks. How are such things decided?

    Reply
  112. I had your beautiful book in my hand at the bookstore this morning, but on the very off-chance that my name is picked as the winner, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. I promise that when I lose I’ll go right back into town tomorrow! I am so pleased to see a renaissance of the historical novel. I’ve noticed the Anya Seton books I read as a kid are now reissued.
    This may be an absurd question, but I wonder how pricing is determined for paperback historical fiction vs. historical romances (the $14-15 as opposed to $5-8). Of course I think all you authors (especially Wenches!) should be making way more money as a matter of course, but do you think the price might discourage purchase? I confess I stopped buying hardcover books when they approached $30, and I’m a regular at the library. I’d cheerfully spend $14 on a historical but won’t on chick-lit or contemporary paperbacks. How are such things decided?

    Reply
  113. I had your beautiful book in my hand at the bookstore this morning, but on the very off-chance that my name is picked as the winner, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. I promise that when I lose I’ll go right back into town tomorrow! I am so pleased to see a renaissance of the historical novel. I’ve noticed the Anya Seton books I read as a kid are now reissued.
    This may be an absurd question, but I wonder how pricing is determined for paperback historical fiction vs. historical romances (the $14-15 as opposed to $5-8). Of course I think all you authors (especially Wenches!) should be making way more money as a matter of course, but do you think the price might discourage purchase? I confess I stopped buying hardcover books when they approached $30, and I’m a regular at the library. I’d cheerfully spend $14 on a historical but won’t on chick-lit or contemporary paperbacks. How are such things decided?

    Reply
  114. I had your beautiful book in my hand at the bookstore this morning, but on the very off-chance that my name is picked as the winner, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. I promise that when I lose I’ll go right back into town tomorrow! I am so pleased to see a renaissance of the historical novel. I’ve noticed the Anya Seton books I read as a kid are now reissued.
    This may be an absurd question, but I wonder how pricing is determined for paperback historical fiction vs. historical romances (the $14-15 as opposed to $5-8). Of course I think all you authors (especially Wenches!) should be making way more money as a matter of course, but do you think the price might discourage purchase? I confess I stopped buying hardcover books when they approached $30, and I’m a regular at the library. I’d cheerfully spend $14 on a historical but won’t on chick-lit or contemporary paperbacks. How are such things decided?

    Reply
  115. I had your beautiful book in my hand at the bookstore this morning, but on the very off-chance that my name is picked as the winner, I reluctantly put it back on the shelf. I promise that when I lose I’ll go right back into town tomorrow! I am so pleased to see a renaissance of the historical novel. I’ve noticed the Anya Seton books I read as a kid are now reissued.
    This may be an absurd question, but I wonder how pricing is determined for paperback historical fiction vs. historical romances (the $14-15 as opposed to $5-8). Of course I think all you authors (especially Wenches!) should be making way more money as a matter of course, but do you think the price might discourage purchase? I confess I stopped buying hardcover books when they approached $30, and I’m a regular at the library. I’d cheerfully spend $14 on a historical but won’t on chick-lit or contemporary paperbacks. How are such things decided?

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  116. Thank you for this interview, which has introduced me to Karen Harper and her work. I’m going to be looking for her the next time I’m in a bookstore.

    Reply
  117. Thank you for this interview, which has introduced me to Karen Harper and her work. I’m going to be looking for her the next time I’m in a bookstore.

    Reply
  118. Thank you for this interview, which has introduced me to Karen Harper and her work. I’m going to be looking for her the next time I’m in a bookstore.

    Reply
  119. Thank you for this interview, which has introduced me to Karen Harper and her work. I’m going to be looking for her the next time I’m in a bookstore.

    Reply
  120. Thank you for this interview, which has introduced me to Karen Harper and her work. I’m going to be looking for her the next time I’m in a bookstore.

    Reply

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