Interview with Karen Harbaugh

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Hi, this is Jo. I hope you like my picture of Billie and his guardian dragon. πŸ™‚

I’m delighted to be interviewing my friend and fellow Dragon Lover, Karen Harbaugh.

Jo: Welcome, Karen. I’m always interested in a writer’s origins. When did you first realize you were a writer?

My mother says it was when I was a year old. She actually has a picture of me as a todder, looking very glamorous in a bathing suit and sunglasses, shaded against the sunlight by an umbrella, with an open pad of paper and a pencil in hand. She said she asked me what I was doing, and I said I was writing a book. However, it didn’t occur to me that I was a REAL writer until after I finished–and started to send out to publishers–a manuscript. That was at the age of 34. Yes, I can be slow that way.

Jo: I was pretty much the same. Perhaps all writers are. What’s the earliest writing you remember doing, Karen?

I remember writing comic strips at the age of about 6 or 7, usually fairy tales, usually in five panes. Which, curiously enough, corresponds to the five sections in which I usually structure my stories. Hmm. I also remember writing an essay about the book “Johnny Maple Leaf” in first grade, with which I struggled mightily. I remember crying about it, sure that I couldn’t do it. However, I got through it, and my first grade teacher, Mrs. Potter, gave me a good grade, which went a long way to making me reconciled to writing essays.

Strangely, this bears some resemblance to my writing process even today.

Jo: Yes, sometimes it seems that this time it’ll never work. What was you first sale?

Marriagescheme_1
My first book, The Marriage Scheme, written under the name of Kathleen Elliott, to HarperCollins, back in 1994, when they had a Regency romance line.

Jo: It’s a shame that the tradidional regency lines have died. Do you have a lot of manuscripts gathering dust, or have you sold most of what you’ve written?

All but one, so that will be…let’s see…eleven novels and three novellas. I have one novel, a fantasy historical romance, completed, but not sold, and another in progress.

Devilsbargain
Jo: You’ve been writing what is now called paranormal romance almost from the beginning. What drew you to that?

My upbringing, with my mom being Japanese, plus my fondness for fairy tales and ghost stories as a child. And then my dad introduced me to the Greek and Norse myths when I was about 9 years old, and then my Sunday School’s exposing me to the Bible stories. I realized at that time there was a thin line between myth and the metaphors in people’s lives, although I didn’t articulate it as such back then.

Myths, legends, fairy tales, and Bible stories had relevance to me as a child. My mother–raised Buddhist and Shinto–really believed there were such things as the kami, the nature spirits of her homeland. She told me about seeing the fox kami, when she was a child. So of course, I believed that these were, or could be, real.

For me as a child, there was a thin line for me between real life and “things that might be.” Shinto is a religion, after all, and people in Japan believe in it as much as many Americans believe in their religion.
Both my mom and dad were great storytellers, although my dad’s storytelling was based more in real life and history. And he was a great “book pusher.”

Jo: Your mother is Japanese, and I gather she comes from the Samurai line. Can you tell us more about what that means?

The Samurai are the warrior caste, or warrior class, in Japan, akin to the medieval European knights. Being a samurai meant that you lived by a certain code of honor–Bushido–and it also meant that you belonged to a certain class of “gentry” as the English would say, or landed aristocracy.

My mother’s family was Samurai, and owned a great deal of land, although they had in the late 1800’s fallen on hard times, and had to marry into a rich merchant class family. Merchants were considered…not that good a class of people, but the aristocracy resorted to consorting with and marrying them if they needed the money to shore up their estates.

My mother’s line also had connections to the scholar caste, which was well esteemed. Her family was well considered enough that her cousin was given the post of Imperial Guard, and my grandmother–though she did not have a title herself–was considered well born enough to marry a baron.

Jo: No wonder you were drawn to Regency!

My mother’s family even has a family crest. By the end of World War II, however, her family had fallen on hard times indeed, and let’s just say that poverty is a great equalizer, enough so that her uncle considered an honorable foreign American sailor acceptable as a husband for her.

Jo: Do you think this heritage has affected the way you write?

Not so much the way I write, but what I chose to write. My family is really big on history, for example, and combined with my mother’s…aristocratic sensibilities made the Regency era seem very natural, and Regency romances were the first novels I wrote. The concepts of the different classes of society seemed very familiar to me, as well as the codes of honor, especially with respect to the military and duels, and one’s obligation to family, land, and servants.

My mother’s era was very Regency/medieval in feel, even though she was born in the 20th century. Even so, my grandmother was quite a rebel, and did things that were very unconventional even for a western woman in the 1920’s and 30’s. Though I’m very much an American, raised in a relatively classless society, and don’t care about who owns what, I’m also aware of, well, the difference between such things as “new” and “old” money. And, civil discourse and politeness mean more to me than most, I guess. So, all of that would push me toward writing the “long ago and far away” sorts of stories.

Jo: You wrote a contemporary novella about a Japanese American woman. Tell us more about that.

I was invited to write for that anthology (Playing with Matches) by Katherine Greyle (aka Jade Lee), Playingwithmatches because at the time there were very few romances featuring Asian American protagonists, and chick litβ€”especially ethnic chick lit–hadn’t quite become the phenomenon it is now. The anthology included Katherine, Cathy Yardley, Sabeeha Johnson, and I. We’re all Asian or part Asian.

I welcomed the chance to write something different: a contemporary romance, and with Asian protagonists. The fun thing about it was that I patterned the heroine’s mother after my own. I think I probably did a good job of it, since my mother’s Clothing and Textile Advisor friends recognized her as soon as they read the story. She’s this tiny 4’11” woman, and yet it’s remarkable how people end up doing what she says, one way or another. A real force of nature.

Jo: What about your vampire/French Revolution books? How did you come up with that idea and how did you prepare to write them? What was the most interesting research you did?

The first vampire book I wrote was The Vampire Viscount, and that was a “book of the heart”–the kind that grab you and won’t let you go even if reason tells you it’s totally idiotic to write it and that it won’t sell.Vampireviscount

Keep in mind that it was published in 1995, and it was published in the traditional Regency form, not a “big” book. So far as I know, nobody had put much if any fantasy or paranormal elements in a Regency, and I don’t think anyone had put in a vampire as a Regency hero before. It started out as a sort of a joke, actually. I had just sold The Devil’s Bargain to NAL, and my agent asked me if I had another book idea to sell to make it a two-book contract. I couldn’t think of anything, but I flippantly wrote back something to the effect that wouldn’t it be cool to have a vampire hero in a Regency?

I didn’t think she’d take me seriously. Before I knew it, she wrote back and said I had sold two books, and I thought, two? Where did that come from? And I realized that it was that vampire remark I had made. But I think my flippant remark probably was the nudging of those “girls in the basement” that Barbara Samuel talks about–the Muse, because that idea seized me like a vise and wouldn’t let go after that.

Not too much research for that–I had already had over 20 years of Regency “fannish” research under my belt by that time (I was a fan since high school), and all I needed was to do a bit of world-building for the vampire bit. However, I did find that a vampire was a perfect fit for the Regency era, especially since the suave, sexy vampire we know and love today had its start during the Regency era, and was patterned off the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Lord Byron.

Nightfires
NIGHT FIRES, however…well, that was in a different country and a different time–France, and in the French Revolution. God, talk about a rabid book of the heart. What the hell was I thinking? I was at the point in my Regency writing that getting a contract was easy. Writing a vampire book set during the French Revolution had two strikes against it from the start (in 1998, when nobody wanted anything set during the French Revolution, and only a couple of people were writing vampire romances). It meant starting from scratch. However, I am a slave to the Muse, so I went with it, especially since the Muse pretty much blocked me from writing Regencies at the time.

As for the research, it turned out easier than I had thought. I have pretty good memory for research, and I happened to have a paper I did in a college history class about the Terror during the French Revolution. I had also saved the back-up documentation. Lesson to historical writers: never throw away your college history class notes or papers. As a result, I had a solid starting point and knew what to look up to get the flavor and conditions of the times. I wrote the book in 2000 (publisher postponed publication until 2003); I found that it was during the French Revolution that the word “terrorist” was first coined. Lots of paranoia at the time, and contrary to popular notion, it was a mostly middle-class urban revolution, rather than a rural peasantry one. The peasants were too poor to have the energy to do anything but keep from starving.

Jo: True enough. I loved what you did with that unusual setting. And perfect for vampires and evil forces. What’s your writing routine, Karen? Where, when, how?

I try to write every day, but now that I’m working full time (gotta put the kid through college), I probably get an hour here and there in the evening, depending on how much overtime I’ve had to do. I’m tired by the end of the work day, and getting enough brain power to be creative after that is hard. On the weekends, though, I make writing an extra treat by taking my Alphasmart or laptop to a cafΓ© and writing there.

(Brain Sync web site Many writers use their tapes to help spark creativity, enhance focus, or simply block out distraction. Another similar product is from Hemi-sync. Hemi Sync site Back to Karen. )

Have to have my iPod: I listen to the High Focus from Brain Sync to begin with, then switch to period music appropriate to the era in which I’m writing, or soundtrack music that suits the mood of the story. For editing, I’ll also use High Focus, and then switch to some rock music, maybe Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other music with a definite bluesy bent.

Jo: Interesting about the rock music and blues. Okay, now a tricky question. If you gave up writing fiction completely, Karen, what would be your dream job?

Oh, my God. There are so many things I think I could turn my hand to. In the last few years, I’ve found a passion for digging up research on rural poverty and the relationship between that, the rise of evangelical Christianity, and political misperceptions of the two groups. Heck, I’ve found a passion for discerning socioeconomic trends in general. I love finding the connections, but I don’t know if I’d persist in doing it for too long, because I don’t see rural poverty disappearing any time soon, regardless of who’s in power. Also I seem to have a talent as a systems administrator in our household. My hubby’s a software engineer, but I’m the one who ends up configuring our computers and the network, plus doing the troubleshooting on them. I rather like doing that.

Jo: About your dragon story — Anna and the King of Dragons. Great title! Can you give us a brief synopsis. (I know. All writers hate the dreaded synopsis.*G*)

Yuck, indeed. Well, here’s a short description: Orphaned Dutch girl tries to survive alone in Edo-era Japan (think James Clavell’s Shogun–1600’s) and meets a noble samurai and a dragon who comes to her aid. The idea of a young woman alone in an Asian country and having to make her way in it reminded me of “Anna and the King of Siam,” so that’s how I came up with the title.

I think this is your first fiction set in Japan, isn’t it? That must have been interesting. What doesReddragon your mother think about this story? (I inserted a picture of what I think is a Japanese dragon. πŸ™‚ )

Yes it is. I had to draw on all my childhood memories, do some research, and then what I remembered of the Japanese language. Luckily, my mom was helpful that way. Also, when I mentioned the project to her, she said that she had once visited a dragon’s cave, and knew of a dragon’s pond on her native island of Kyushu, not far from Arita, in Saga Province.

This was perfect, because the Arita and Imari areas were about the only areas aside from Nagasaki that foreigners–particularly the Dutch–were allowed to travel. The blue and white porcelain from Arita was exported heavily to the Netherlands, and eventually became the famous Dutch Delftware. My mother is thrilled that I’m wrote about her area in Japan, and she was happy to help me with the research. I
haven’t spoken Japanese since I was a child, and though I seemed to be surprisingly able to come up with sentences, I was never sure they were right. She helped me a lot that way. I think I was right more than wrong, thank goodness. I loved writing that novella. It was very refreshing to write something different–different era, different setting, getting into a semi-foreign mind-set. However, love is love, regardless of time and place.

Also, I noticed that Sony Publishers in Japan mentioned Dragon Lovers–particularly “Anna and the King of Dragons” in the forward of their recent translation of my book Night Fires. So I think there is interest there. I don’t know if there are that many romances set in historical Japan, so that’s probably why it piqued their interest.

Jo: How fascinating. Do you have a book or story you truly, madly, deeply want to write, Karen, but never get time for? What about a Japanese-set historical novel?

Oh yes. More than a few. For years I’ve had the idea of writing a series of loosely connected books having to do with a family line of people who have special powers. The first of those was Night Fires, the second was Dark Enchantment. I wrote a third–finished it, in fact–but that was rejected. I’m writing a fourth–well, revising it heavily now–and hoping that readers will see the connection.

What I’d like to do is have a whole series going from ancient Roman times to the future, where the latent or small special talent suddenly becomes strong in times of trouble. I’ve had this concept for…well, since I began writing Night Fires in 1999. I really thought that the concept of people with special powers coming to the fore at historical crisis points would be the coming thing. Well, guess what happened after years after that? The 4400 on TV, as well as Heroes. A reader as well as an agent once asked me what it was like being ahead of the trend–yeah, people have noticed. I said it’s like trying to open a locked door by banging your head against it. It can be done given a lot of time, patience, and aspirin.

I don’t know that any publisher will want to go with the whole concept, though. So I’m trying to sell it book by book, hoping each one will work. That’s really hard to do, because what’s wanted is a book like the last one. I have a fun idea for a book involving a psychic Irish lass, garden fairies, a werewolf, and the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Well, okay, the Irish Rebellion was horrendous, but the rest is fairly light-hearted, trust me on this. Something has to balance the grimness.

A Japanese-set historical novel? That’s an intriguing idea, but if I did, then it’d have to have fantasy elements to keep me happy. I’d probably work Japanese religion/mythology into it. As for selling it…yeah, right. But that’s what everyone said about The Vampire Viscount and Night Fires, so who knows?

Jo: What’s the title of the book you’re doing massive revisions on?

Midnight Surrender. Massive revisions. Massive. Nearly done, but I have no idea whether
it makes sense or not. Pray for me, people. On the other hand, I often think this when I have to do massive revisions. Although, this is pretty huge.

Jo: I hope it goes splendidly and sells, so we can have more of your wonderful and wonderfully different novels, Karen. Thank you so much for a fascinating interview.

Everyone, you can find out more about Karen’s books onher website. And she also has a blog of her own. Click here to visit Karen’s blog.

Also, Karen spins yarns in more than fiction. She spins wool. Check out
her page on that.

I’m sure you all have questions and comments for Karen, but as usual, especially to encourage our shy Dragonlovers
lurkers, Karen is offering any one of her books as a prize. The draw will be made from the names of people who post a comment before midnight pacific time on Saturday, March 3rd.

(By the way, if you click on the Dragon Lovers cover to enlarge it, you’ll see a shadow of a dragon on the front that’s disappeared from the final version. I don’t know why, but the publisher seemed to be nervous of too much dragon on the front, fearing the books would all be shelved in fantasy. It’s on the back, however. The strange twists of publishing.

This is a trade paperback, so the best place to find it is on line or in a book store. Supermarkets and chain stores that mainly stock mass market sized books (which are appropriately sometimes called “rack sized”) may not carry it.)

After that diversion, let’s all get talking!

Jo πŸ™‚

112 thoughts on “Interview with Karen Harbaugh”

  1. From Sherrie:
    Yo, Karen! Loved your interview, and it was great “listening” to you again. (Karen and I are old friends and former critique buddies) I was still in the critique group when you were writing Night Fires, and I remember how much I loved reading each new chapter you brought to group. I knew you had a winner with that one!
    Reading your interview was like old times sitting around a table and talking. I remember the mini-dissertation you gave when a bunch of us Regency-types went out to dinner last October during the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle. You talked about rural poverty/evangelical Christianity/political misperceptions and gave your opinions and insights into this subject. Fascinating!
    I’m glad to hear you’re still writing ahead of the curve and leading the way for other writers to follow. Lead on, you groundbreaker, you!

    Reply
  2. From Sherrie:
    Yo, Karen! Loved your interview, and it was great “listening” to you again. (Karen and I are old friends and former critique buddies) I was still in the critique group when you were writing Night Fires, and I remember how much I loved reading each new chapter you brought to group. I knew you had a winner with that one!
    Reading your interview was like old times sitting around a table and talking. I remember the mini-dissertation you gave when a bunch of us Regency-types went out to dinner last October during the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle. You talked about rural poverty/evangelical Christianity/political misperceptions and gave your opinions and insights into this subject. Fascinating!
    I’m glad to hear you’re still writing ahead of the curve and leading the way for other writers to follow. Lead on, you groundbreaker, you!

    Reply
  3. From Sherrie:
    Yo, Karen! Loved your interview, and it was great “listening” to you again. (Karen and I are old friends and former critique buddies) I was still in the critique group when you were writing Night Fires, and I remember how much I loved reading each new chapter you brought to group. I knew you had a winner with that one!
    Reading your interview was like old times sitting around a table and talking. I remember the mini-dissertation you gave when a bunch of us Regency-types went out to dinner last October during the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle. You talked about rural poverty/evangelical Christianity/political misperceptions and gave your opinions and insights into this subject. Fascinating!
    I’m glad to hear you’re still writing ahead of the curve and leading the way for other writers to follow. Lead on, you groundbreaker, you!

    Reply
  4. From Sherrie:
    Yo, Karen! Loved your interview, and it was great “listening” to you again. (Karen and I are old friends and former critique buddies) I was still in the critique group when you were writing Night Fires, and I remember how much I loved reading each new chapter you brought to group. I knew you had a winner with that one!
    Reading your interview was like old times sitting around a table and talking. I remember the mini-dissertation you gave when a bunch of us Regency-types went out to dinner last October during the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle. You talked about rural poverty/evangelical Christianity/political misperceptions and gave your opinions and insights into this subject. Fascinating!
    I’m glad to hear you’re still writing ahead of the curve and leading the way for other writers to follow. Lead on, you groundbreaker, you!

    Reply
  5. Intriguing interview! I can’t wait to read this dragon book. But as I was reading above, I experienced a big uh-oh moment. In my WIP, my middle-aged aspiring romance author (roman a clef, anyone?) is writing a paranormal called Vampire Viscount! I should have known the title was too good not to be taken, and now I want to check out the real thing.
    I will be praying for you during revision hell. What happens when you don’t agree about revisions? Do you just grit your teeth and hunker down? Do you ever feel the same way about your baby again?

    Reply
  6. Intriguing interview! I can’t wait to read this dragon book. But as I was reading above, I experienced a big uh-oh moment. In my WIP, my middle-aged aspiring romance author (roman a clef, anyone?) is writing a paranormal called Vampire Viscount! I should have known the title was too good not to be taken, and now I want to check out the real thing.
    I will be praying for you during revision hell. What happens when you don’t agree about revisions? Do you just grit your teeth and hunker down? Do you ever feel the same way about your baby again?

    Reply
  7. Intriguing interview! I can’t wait to read this dragon book. But as I was reading above, I experienced a big uh-oh moment. In my WIP, my middle-aged aspiring romance author (roman a clef, anyone?) is writing a paranormal called Vampire Viscount! I should have known the title was too good not to be taken, and now I want to check out the real thing.
    I will be praying for you during revision hell. What happens when you don’t agree about revisions? Do you just grit your teeth and hunker down? Do you ever feel the same way about your baby again?

    Reply
  8. Intriguing interview! I can’t wait to read this dragon book. But as I was reading above, I experienced a big uh-oh moment. In my WIP, my middle-aged aspiring romance author (roman a clef, anyone?) is writing a paranormal called Vampire Viscount! I should have known the title was too good not to be taken, and now I want to check out the real thing.
    I will be praying for you during revision hell. What happens when you don’t agree about revisions? Do you just grit your teeth and hunker down? Do you ever feel the same way about your baby again?

    Reply
  9. Your stories sound wonderful! I’m looking forward to hunting them down once I’m back in Canada.
    Q: What’s your favourite part of writing? The beginning, the end, the characters, the story arc, the plot devices, etc?

    Reply
  10. Your stories sound wonderful! I’m looking forward to hunting them down once I’m back in Canada.
    Q: What’s your favourite part of writing? The beginning, the end, the characters, the story arc, the plot devices, etc?

    Reply
  11. Your stories sound wonderful! I’m looking forward to hunting them down once I’m back in Canada.
    Q: What’s your favourite part of writing? The beginning, the end, the characters, the story arc, the plot devices, etc?

    Reply
  12. Your stories sound wonderful! I’m looking forward to hunting them down once I’m back in Canada.
    Q: What’s your favourite part of writing? The beginning, the end, the characters, the story arc, the plot devices, etc?

    Reply
  13. Jo, great job on the interview!
    Hello Karen! Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Really enjoyed your comment about using your head to unlock locked doors. How true! No matter the profession.
    You said… “I really thought that the concept of people with special powers coming to the fore at historical crisis points would be the coming thing.” I agree. Personally, I think humans are hard wired to believe in special powers because our Creator created us using His special powers. And no matter how hard our logic tries to say otherwise, our fantasies and our dreams will always speak the truth of the power that lies within. If you haven’t already, check out Gregg Braden’s THE GOD CODE. Great stuff!
    All the best on your revisions.
    Nina, off to check out NIGHT FIRES.

    Reply
  14. Jo, great job on the interview!
    Hello Karen! Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Really enjoyed your comment about using your head to unlock locked doors. How true! No matter the profession.
    You said… “I really thought that the concept of people with special powers coming to the fore at historical crisis points would be the coming thing.” I agree. Personally, I think humans are hard wired to believe in special powers because our Creator created us using His special powers. And no matter how hard our logic tries to say otherwise, our fantasies and our dreams will always speak the truth of the power that lies within. If you haven’t already, check out Gregg Braden’s THE GOD CODE. Great stuff!
    All the best on your revisions.
    Nina, off to check out NIGHT FIRES.

    Reply
  15. Jo, great job on the interview!
    Hello Karen! Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Really enjoyed your comment about using your head to unlock locked doors. How true! No matter the profession.
    You said… “I really thought that the concept of people with special powers coming to the fore at historical crisis points would be the coming thing.” I agree. Personally, I think humans are hard wired to believe in special powers because our Creator created us using His special powers. And no matter how hard our logic tries to say otherwise, our fantasies and our dreams will always speak the truth of the power that lies within. If you haven’t already, check out Gregg Braden’s THE GOD CODE. Great stuff!
    All the best on your revisions.
    Nina, off to check out NIGHT FIRES.

    Reply
  16. Jo, great job on the interview!
    Hello Karen! Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Really enjoyed your comment about using your head to unlock locked doors. How true! No matter the profession.
    You said… “I really thought that the concept of people with special powers coming to the fore at historical crisis points would be the coming thing.” I agree. Personally, I think humans are hard wired to believe in special powers because our Creator created us using His special powers. And no matter how hard our logic tries to say otherwise, our fantasies and our dreams will always speak the truth of the power that lies within. If you haven’t already, check out Gregg Braden’s THE GOD CODE. Great stuff!
    All the best on your revisions.
    Nina, off to check out NIGHT FIRES.

    Reply
  17. Hey Sherrie! I miss you! And I’m astonished you remembered my mini dissertation. I was sure it was as dull as dishwater, but hey, I kept on talking because I’m afraid I’m kind of a geek that way.
    Hope to see you again–soonner than once a year.

    Reply
  18. Hey Sherrie! I miss you! And I’m astonished you remembered my mini dissertation. I was sure it was as dull as dishwater, but hey, I kept on talking because I’m afraid I’m kind of a geek that way.
    Hope to see you again–soonner than once a year.

    Reply
  19. Hey Sherrie! I miss you! And I’m astonished you remembered my mini dissertation. I was sure it was as dull as dishwater, but hey, I kept on talking because I’m afraid I’m kind of a geek that way.
    Hope to see you again–soonner than once a year.

    Reply
  20. Hey Sherrie! I miss you! And I’m astonished you remembered my mini dissertation. I was sure it was as dull as dishwater, but hey, I kept on talking because I’m afraid I’m kind of a geek that way.
    Hope to see you again–soonner than once a year.

    Reply
  21. Hi Maggie. Talk about coincidences. πŸ˜€ But then, there is Plato’s concept of ideal forms, and that, I’m certain, is the reason why authors come up with similar ideas all at the same time. At least, that sounds like a good rationale, and don’t I sound edumacated?
    Hmm. What happens when I don’t agree with the revisions…well, luckily, editors are usually rather general in their objections, so it’s often a matter of negotiating and conforming their wants to your unique vision. That’s not always easy to do, but it can be done. And yes, while it’s often a gritted-teeth, hunker down effort, I usually find that the revision process improves the work, so in the end I don’t mind.
    I never feel the same about my “baby” while I’m revising (unless the revision is from my own observation that it needs to be revised, in which case I like doing it), but in the end, it’s all right, and I often love it again, or at least like it. The trick is to learn to love to polish and enhance your work, and if you can take that attitude as you’re revising–from whatever input–then it doesn’t matter.
    But yeah, a lot of it is gritting teeth. Especially when on deadline. I don’t get much of a chance to enjoy the enhancing.

    Reply
  22. Hi Maggie. Talk about coincidences. πŸ˜€ But then, there is Plato’s concept of ideal forms, and that, I’m certain, is the reason why authors come up with similar ideas all at the same time. At least, that sounds like a good rationale, and don’t I sound edumacated?
    Hmm. What happens when I don’t agree with the revisions…well, luckily, editors are usually rather general in their objections, so it’s often a matter of negotiating and conforming their wants to your unique vision. That’s not always easy to do, but it can be done. And yes, while it’s often a gritted-teeth, hunker down effort, I usually find that the revision process improves the work, so in the end I don’t mind.
    I never feel the same about my “baby” while I’m revising (unless the revision is from my own observation that it needs to be revised, in which case I like doing it), but in the end, it’s all right, and I often love it again, or at least like it. The trick is to learn to love to polish and enhance your work, and if you can take that attitude as you’re revising–from whatever input–then it doesn’t matter.
    But yeah, a lot of it is gritting teeth. Especially when on deadline. I don’t get much of a chance to enjoy the enhancing.

    Reply
  23. Hi Maggie. Talk about coincidences. πŸ˜€ But then, there is Plato’s concept of ideal forms, and that, I’m certain, is the reason why authors come up with similar ideas all at the same time. At least, that sounds like a good rationale, and don’t I sound edumacated?
    Hmm. What happens when I don’t agree with the revisions…well, luckily, editors are usually rather general in their objections, so it’s often a matter of negotiating and conforming their wants to your unique vision. That’s not always easy to do, but it can be done. And yes, while it’s often a gritted-teeth, hunker down effort, I usually find that the revision process improves the work, so in the end I don’t mind.
    I never feel the same about my “baby” while I’m revising (unless the revision is from my own observation that it needs to be revised, in which case I like doing it), but in the end, it’s all right, and I often love it again, or at least like it. The trick is to learn to love to polish and enhance your work, and if you can take that attitude as you’re revising–from whatever input–then it doesn’t matter.
    But yeah, a lot of it is gritting teeth. Especially when on deadline. I don’t get much of a chance to enjoy the enhancing.

    Reply
  24. Hi Maggie. Talk about coincidences. πŸ˜€ But then, there is Plato’s concept of ideal forms, and that, I’m certain, is the reason why authors come up with similar ideas all at the same time. At least, that sounds like a good rationale, and don’t I sound edumacated?
    Hmm. What happens when I don’t agree with the revisions…well, luckily, editors are usually rather general in their objections, so it’s often a matter of negotiating and conforming their wants to your unique vision. That’s not always easy to do, but it can be done. And yes, while it’s often a gritted-teeth, hunker down effort, I usually find that the revision process improves the work, so in the end I don’t mind.
    I never feel the same about my “baby” while I’m revising (unless the revision is from my own observation that it needs to be revised, in which case I like doing it), but in the end, it’s all right, and I often love it again, or at least like it. The trick is to learn to love to polish and enhance your work, and if you can take that attitude as you’re revising–from whatever input–then it doesn’t matter.
    But yeah, a lot of it is gritting teeth. Especially when on deadline. I don’t get much of a chance to enjoy the enhancing.

    Reply
  25. Hi Meardaba,
    Hmm. Well, I always love the end, because that means I’m finished with the book. πŸ˜€ However, I think I just like the writing of it, period. I like to discover my characters as I write, and there are times when they surprise me, and the plot goes where I hadn’t anticipated. I love that. So…I suppose, it’s all intertwined, but I think the characters are primary. If I love the characters, if I know them well, then everything else falls into place.

    Reply
  26. Hi Meardaba,
    Hmm. Well, I always love the end, because that means I’m finished with the book. πŸ˜€ However, I think I just like the writing of it, period. I like to discover my characters as I write, and there are times when they surprise me, and the plot goes where I hadn’t anticipated. I love that. So…I suppose, it’s all intertwined, but I think the characters are primary. If I love the characters, if I know them well, then everything else falls into place.

    Reply
  27. Hi Meardaba,
    Hmm. Well, I always love the end, because that means I’m finished with the book. πŸ˜€ However, I think I just like the writing of it, period. I like to discover my characters as I write, and there are times when they surprise me, and the plot goes where I hadn’t anticipated. I love that. So…I suppose, it’s all intertwined, but I think the characters are primary. If I love the characters, if I know them well, then everything else falls into place.

    Reply
  28. Hi Meardaba,
    Hmm. Well, I always love the end, because that means I’m finished with the book. πŸ˜€ However, I think I just like the writing of it, period. I like to discover my characters as I write, and there are times when they surprise me, and the plot goes where I hadn’t anticipated. I love that. So…I suppose, it’s all intertwined, but I think the characters are primary. If I love the characters, if I know them well, then everything else falls into place.

    Reply
  29. Hi Nina! Thanks for the welcome. You know, I think you’re not far off about believing in special powers. I personally believe each one of us has special God-given talents that may or may not be recognized, but are there nevertheless. Many of my stories are about recognizing one’s unique talents, gifts, and graces; valuing them; and making the most of them. Sometimes we might deny our gifts–I know I did!–for a long time, but acknowleding them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.
    And thanks for your good wishes.
    I’ll be back later this afternoon–I’m meeting my mother (she of the Asian romance anthology) for lunch at a sewing and textiles expo in Puyallup, WA. Meanwhile, if anyone has questions, ask away! I’m happy to answer (almost) anything.

    Reply
  30. Hi Nina! Thanks for the welcome. You know, I think you’re not far off about believing in special powers. I personally believe each one of us has special God-given talents that may or may not be recognized, but are there nevertheless. Many of my stories are about recognizing one’s unique talents, gifts, and graces; valuing them; and making the most of them. Sometimes we might deny our gifts–I know I did!–for a long time, but acknowleding them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.
    And thanks for your good wishes.
    I’ll be back later this afternoon–I’m meeting my mother (she of the Asian romance anthology) for lunch at a sewing and textiles expo in Puyallup, WA. Meanwhile, if anyone has questions, ask away! I’m happy to answer (almost) anything.

    Reply
  31. Hi Nina! Thanks for the welcome. You know, I think you’re not far off about believing in special powers. I personally believe each one of us has special God-given talents that may or may not be recognized, but are there nevertheless. Many of my stories are about recognizing one’s unique talents, gifts, and graces; valuing them; and making the most of them. Sometimes we might deny our gifts–I know I did!–for a long time, but acknowleding them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.
    And thanks for your good wishes.
    I’ll be back later this afternoon–I’m meeting my mother (she of the Asian romance anthology) for lunch at a sewing and textiles expo in Puyallup, WA. Meanwhile, if anyone has questions, ask away! I’m happy to answer (almost) anything.

    Reply
  32. Hi Nina! Thanks for the welcome. You know, I think you’re not far off about believing in special powers. I personally believe each one of us has special God-given talents that may or may not be recognized, but are there nevertheless. Many of my stories are about recognizing one’s unique talents, gifts, and graces; valuing them; and making the most of them. Sometimes we might deny our gifts–I know I did!–for a long time, but acknowleding them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.
    And thanks for your good wishes.
    I’ll be back later this afternoon–I’m meeting my mother (she of the Asian romance anthology) for lunch at a sewing and textiles expo in Puyallup, WA. Meanwhile, if anyone has questions, ask away! I’m happy to answer (almost) anything.

    Reply
  33. Loved the interview Karen, it’s great to hear that you’ve written what appealed to you even when it might not be what’s popular at the time. I’ve always loved fantasy, dragons, paranormal elements to stories, especially something thrown in to the mix to make a normal story extraordinary.

    Reply
  34. Loved the interview Karen, it’s great to hear that you’ve written what appealed to you even when it might not be what’s popular at the time. I’ve always loved fantasy, dragons, paranormal elements to stories, especially something thrown in to the mix to make a normal story extraordinary.

    Reply
  35. Loved the interview Karen, it’s great to hear that you’ve written what appealed to you even when it might not be what’s popular at the time. I’ve always loved fantasy, dragons, paranormal elements to stories, especially something thrown in to the mix to make a normal story extraordinary.

    Reply
  36. Loved the interview Karen, it’s great to hear that you’ve written what appealed to you even when it might not be what’s popular at the time. I’ve always loved fantasy, dragons, paranormal elements to stories, especially something thrown in to the mix to make a normal story extraordinary.

    Reply
  37. Fascinating interview, Karen. While I love dragons, I’m not really into vampires, but I may have to read that book, just to see what you did with the idea!
    But, I would really, really, really love to see your yarn! While I’m not a spinner (though I did learn how to years ago), I am an avid knitter (ask Sherrie!), so I absolutely love fabulous fibers.

    Reply
  38. Fascinating interview, Karen. While I love dragons, I’m not really into vampires, but I may have to read that book, just to see what you did with the idea!
    But, I would really, really, really love to see your yarn! While I’m not a spinner (though I did learn how to years ago), I am an avid knitter (ask Sherrie!), so I absolutely love fabulous fibers.

    Reply
  39. Fascinating interview, Karen. While I love dragons, I’m not really into vampires, but I may have to read that book, just to see what you did with the idea!
    But, I would really, really, really love to see your yarn! While I’m not a spinner (though I did learn how to years ago), I am an avid knitter (ask Sherrie!), so I absolutely love fabulous fibers.

    Reply
  40. Fascinating interview, Karen. While I love dragons, I’m not really into vampires, but I may have to read that book, just to see what you did with the idea!
    But, I would really, really, really love to see your yarn! While I’m not a spinner (though I did learn how to years ago), I am an avid knitter (ask Sherrie!), so I absolutely love fabulous fibers.

    Reply
  41. Karen said…”but acknowledging them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.”
    Amen and Amen! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  42. Karen said…”but acknowledging them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.”
    Amen and Amen! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  43. Karen said…”but acknowledging them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.”
    Amen and Amen! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  44. Karen said…”but acknowledging them and using them is a lot healthier than suppressing them.”
    Amen and Amen! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  45. Welcome to the Wenches, Karen! I’m hoping that Typepad will un-retrograde enough to allow me to post. πŸ™‚
    One of the nicest things about anthologies is that that allow us to write stories we might not be allowed to do in full-length form–like a historical romance set in Japan.
    Mary Jo, who recalls the development of Night Fires from conception to wonderful book, and imagines the current work will be just as good

    Reply
  46. Welcome to the Wenches, Karen! I’m hoping that Typepad will un-retrograde enough to allow me to post. πŸ™‚
    One of the nicest things about anthologies is that that allow us to write stories we might not be allowed to do in full-length form–like a historical romance set in Japan.
    Mary Jo, who recalls the development of Night Fires from conception to wonderful book, and imagines the current work will be just as good

    Reply
  47. Welcome to the Wenches, Karen! I’m hoping that Typepad will un-retrograde enough to allow me to post. πŸ™‚
    One of the nicest things about anthologies is that that allow us to write stories we might not be allowed to do in full-length form–like a historical romance set in Japan.
    Mary Jo, who recalls the development of Night Fires from conception to wonderful book, and imagines the current work will be just as good

    Reply
  48. Welcome to the Wenches, Karen! I’m hoping that Typepad will un-retrograde enough to allow me to post. πŸ™‚
    One of the nicest things about anthologies is that that allow us to write stories we might not be allowed to do in full-length form–like a historical romance set in Japan.
    Mary Jo, who recalls the development of Night Fires from conception to wonderful book, and imagines the current work will be just as good

    Reply
  49. Hey, Jane, I’d like to see Karen’s fabulous fibers, too! Karen, will you have pictures at your website?
    Oh, and about your mini-dissertation: I think geekiness is part and parcel of being a writer, and while it may have been a geeky subject, I noticed that everyone at our table hung on your every word. I’d love to hear your expanded talk about this subject.
    Let’s hope TypePad allows me to post this comment. For anyone having problems commenting, please keep trying. TypePad’s having hiccups.

    Reply
  50. Hey, Jane, I’d like to see Karen’s fabulous fibers, too! Karen, will you have pictures at your website?
    Oh, and about your mini-dissertation: I think geekiness is part and parcel of being a writer, and while it may have been a geeky subject, I noticed that everyone at our table hung on your every word. I’d love to hear your expanded talk about this subject.
    Let’s hope TypePad allows me to post this comment. For anyone having problems commenting, please keep trying. TypePad’s having hiccups.

    Reply
  51. Hey, Jane, I’d like to see Karen’s fabulous fibers, too! Karen, will you have pictures at your website?
    Oh, and about your mini-dissertation: I think geekiness is part and parcel of being a writer, and while it may have been a geeky subject, I noticed that everyone at our table hung on your every word. I’d love to hear your expanded talk about this subject.
    Let’s hope TypePad allows me to post this comment. For anyone having problems commenting, please keep trying. TypePad’s having hiccups.

    Reply
  52. Hey, Jane, I’d like to see Karen’s fabulous fibers, too! Karen, will you have pictures at your website?
    Oh, and about your mini-dissertation: I think geekiness is part and parcel of being a writer, and while it may have been a geeky subject, I noticed that everyone at our table hung on your every word. I’d love to hear your expanded talk about this subject.
    Let’s hope TypePad allows me to post this comment. For anyone having problems commenting, please keep trying. TypePad’s having hiccups.

    Reply
  53. Gosh, folks you’re all so nice. Just got back from textiles and fiber heaven. Yes, I do have pictures of my yarn at my web site (www.karenharbaugh.com), so you can see some there. I occasionally sell them at ebay and at etsy.com. I spin too much to knit them myself.
    Barbara E, I can’t help but write what the muse leads me to write. It’s too seductive, and you know, what I’m led to write ends up selling anyway.
    Mary Jo, you’re right. I absolutely love the opportunity to try something different with all the novellas I’ve written. Love, love, love it.
    Oh, and by the way, folks, I blame Mary Jo for the idea of Night Fires. She read The Vampire Viscount, and then suggested a female vampire. Which really made the Muse catch afire, and so urged me to do something with it. So…I did.
    –Karen

    Reply
  54. Gosh, folks you’re all so nice. Just got back from textiles and fiber heaven. Yes, I do have pictures of my yarn at my web site (www.karenharbaugh.com), so you can see some there. I occasionally sell them at ebay and at etsy.com. I spin too much to knit them myself.
    Barbara E, I can’t help but write what the muse leads me to write. It’s too seductive, and you know, what I’m led to write ends up selling anyway.
    Mary Jo, you’re right. I absolutely love the opportunity to try something different with all the novellas I’ve written. Love, love, love it.
    Oh, and by the way, folks, I blame Mary Jo for the idea of Night Fires. She read The Vampire Viscount, and then suggested a female vampire. Which really made the Muse catch afire, and so urged me to do something with it. So…I did.
    –Karen

    Reply
  55. Gosh, folks you’re all so nice. Just got back from textiles and fiber heaven. Yes, I do have pictures of my yarn at my web site (www.karenharbaugh.com), so you can see some there. I occasionally sell them at ebay and at etsy.com. I spin too much to knit them myself.
    Barbara E, I can’t help but write what the muse leads me to write. It’s too seductive, and you know, what I’m led to write ends up selling anyway.
    Mary Jo, you’re right. I absolutely love the opportunity to try something different with all the novellas I’ve written. Love, love, love it.
    Oh, and by the way, folks, I blame Mary Jo for the idea of Night Fires. She read The Vampire Viscount, and then suggested a female vampire. Which really made the Muse catch afire, and so urged me to do something with it. So…I did.
    –Karen

    Reply
  56. Gosh, folks you’re all so nice. Just got back from textiles and fiber heaven. Yes, I do have pictures of my yarn at my web site (www.karenharbaugh.com), so you can see some there. I occasionally sell them at ebay and at etsy.com. I spin too much to knit them myself.
    Barbara E, I can’t help but write what the muse leads me to write. It’s too seductive, and you know, what I’m led to write ends up selling anyway.
    Mary Jo, you’re right. I absolutely love the opportunity to try something different with all the novellas I’ve written. Love, love, love it.
    Oh, and by the way, folks, I blame Mary Jo for the idea of Night Fires. She read The Vampire Viscount, and then suggested a female vampire. Which really made the Muse catch afire, and so urged me to do something with it. So…I did.
    –Karen

    Reply
  57. Hi Karen your dragon book sounds great. Although I love books about vampires and The Vampire Viscount sounds like my kind of read. As an avid reader of all genres I’m always looking for new authors to read.

    Reply
  58. Hi Karen your dragon book sounds great. Although I love books about vampires and The Vampire Viscount sounds like my kind of read. As an avid reader of all genres I’m always looking for new authors to read.

    Reply
  59. Hi Karen your dragon book sounds great. Although I love books about vampires and The Vampire Viscount sounds like my kind of read. As an avid reader of all genres I’m always looking for new authors to read.

    Reply
  60. Hi Karen your dragon book sounds great. Although I love books about vampires and The Vampire Viscount sounds like my kind of read. As an avid reader of all genres I’m always looking for new authors to read.

    Reply
  61. Jo here.
    Sorry to be away most of the day. I’m volunteering at a ginormous used book sale for literacy and I’ve been there.
    Interesting feedback, Karen. Ideas and inspiration come in so many ways.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  62. Jo here.
    Sorry to be away most of the day. I’m volunteering at a ginormous used book sale for literacy and I’ve been there.
    Interesting feedback, Karen. Ideas and inspiration come in so many ways.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  63. Jo here.
    Sorry to be away most of the day. I’m volunteering at a ginormous used book sale for literacy and I’ve been there.
    Interesting feedback, Karen. Ideas and inspiration come in so many ways.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  64. Jo here.
    Sorry to be away most of the day. I’m volunteering at a ginormous used book sale for literacy and I’ve been there.
    Interesting feedback, Karen. Ideas and inspiration come in so many ways.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  65. Finally freed from the Typepad blight to be able to post — welcome, Karen! It’s always enlightening to learn how other writers think, & where they look for inspiration.
    I’m also another yarn-a-holic, and loved seeing the yarn you’d spun on your web site. The internet has become such a fantastic resource for fiber-folk, hasn’t it? Now I can feed my stash-habit from all over the country. I’m going to keep an eye out for your yarn on ebay.
    BTW, I think we have something else in common, too — I believe we’ve both been guests at the Bucket on Nantucket. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  66. Finally freed from the Typepad blight to be able to post — welcome, Karen! It’s always enlightening to learn how other writers think, & where they look for inspiration.
    I’m also another yarn-a-holic, and loved seeing the yarn you’d spun on your web site. The internet has become such a fantastic resource for fiber-folk, hasn’t it? Now I can feed my stash-habit from all over the country. I’m going to keep an eye out for your yarn on ebay.
    BTW, I think we have something else in common, too — I believe we’ve both been guests at the Bucket on Nantucket. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  67. Finally freed from the Typepad blight to be able to post — welcome, Karen! It’s always enlightening to learn how other writers think, & where they look for inspiration.
    I’m also another yarn-a-holic, and loved seeing the yarn you’d spun on your web site. The internet has become such a fantastic resource for fiber-folk, hasn’t it? Now I can feed my stash-habit from all over the country. I’m going to keep an eye out for your yarn on ebay.
    BTW, I think we have something else in common, too — I believe we’ve both been guests at the Bucket on Nantucket. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  68. Finally freed from the Typepad blight to be able to post — welcome, Karen! It’s always enlightening to learn how other writers think, & where they look for inspiration.
    I’m also another yarn-a-holic, and loved seeing the yarn you’d spun on your web site. The internet has become such a fantastic resource for fiber-folk, hasn’t it? Now I can feed my stash-habit from all over the country. I’m going to keep an eye out for your yarn on ebay.
    BTW, I think we have something else in common, too — I believe we’ve both been guests at the Bucket on Nantucket. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  69. Look at you writer types having these lives and things! Booksales, yarn spinning, textile expos…. I could be reading twice as much if you’d give up ont his whole ‘personal life’ notion! I adored the cupid series (had all your Signets) – but somehow I never made the leap to the non-Regency titles. I don’t think I even realized they were out there! Now I’ve got homework.

    Reply
  70. Look at you writer types having these lives and things! Booksales, yarn spinning, textile expos…. I could be reading twice as much if you’d give up ont his whole ‘personal life’ notion! I adored the cupid series (had all your Signets) – but somehow I never made the leap to the non-Regency titles. I don’t think I even realized they were out there! Now I’ve got homework.

    Reply
  71. Look at you writer types having these lives and things! Booksales, yarn spinning, textile expos…. I could be reading twice as much if you’d give up ont his whole ‘personal life’ notion! I adored the cupid series (had all your Signets) – but somehow I never made the leap to the non-Regency titles. I don’t think I even realized they were out there! Now I’ve got homework.

    Reply
  72. Look at you writer types having these lives and things! Booksales, yarn spinning, textile expos…. I could be reading twice as much if you’d give up ont his whole ‘personal life’ notion! I adored the cupid series (had all your Signets) – but somehow I never made the leap to the non-Regency titles. I don’t think I even realized they were out there! Now I’ve got homework.

    Reply
  73. Jane and Sherrie, about a month ago I spun up some lovely grey-brown alpaca, plied with hand-dyed silk in hues of gold, pale emerald, bronze, and copper. I’m not selling that one, but I’m going to take a picture of it and post it up on my web site. I’m rather proud of that one, because it came out sinfully soft and lovely.
    I’ve found, by the way, that there are a lot of writers who are also knitters, crocheters, and spinners–well who do hand-crafts in general. I wonder why that is? An overflowing of creativity?

    Reply
  74. Jane and Sherrie, about a month ago I spun up some lovely grey-brown alpaca, plied with hand-dyed silk in hues of gold, pale emerald, bronze, and copper. I’m not selling that one, but I’m going to take a picture of it and post it up on my web site. I’m rather proud of that one, because it came out sinfully soft and lovely.
    I’ve found, by the way, that there are a lot of writers who are also knitters, crocheters, and spinners–well who do hand-crafts in general. I wonder why that is? An overflowing of creativity?

    Reply
  75. Jane and Sherrie, about a month ago I spun up some lovely grey-brown alpaca, plied with hand-dyed silk in hues of gold, pale emerald, bronze, and copper. I’m not selling that one, but I’m going to take a picture of it and post it up on my web site. I’m rather proud of that one, because it came out sinfully soft and lovely.
    I’ve found, by the way, that there are a lot of writers who are also knitters, crocheters, and spinners–well who do hand-crafts in general. I wonder why that is? An overflowing of creativity?

    Reply
  76. Jane and Sherrie, about a month ago I spun up some lovely grey-brown alpaca, plied with hand-dyed silk in hues of gold, pale emerald, bronze, and copper. I’m not selling that one, but I’m going to take a picture of it and post it up on my web site. I’m rather proud of that one, because it came out sinfully soft and lovely.
    I’ve found, by the way, that there are a lot of writers who are also knitters, crocheters, and spinners–well who do hand-crafts in general. I wonder why that is? An overflowing of creativity?

    Reply
  77. Oh, and Regency lovers–you all have to go see Amazing Grace, the movie. Wow. Ioan Gruffudd is totally delicious in both Georgian and Regency costume as William Wilberforce. Gorgeous costumes, all around. Historically speaking, the politics are fascinating. Great story, too. I cried at the end, and the audience clapped.

    Reply
  78. Oh, and Regency lovers–you all have to go see Amazing Grace, the movie. Wow. Ioan Gruffudd is totally delicious in both Georgian and Regency costume as William Wilberforce. Gorgeous costumes, all around. Historically speaking, the politics are fascinating. Great story, too. I cried at the end, and the audience clapped.

    Reply
  79. Oh, and Regency lovers–you all have to go see Amazing Grace, the movie. Wow. Ioan Gruffudd is totally delicious in both Georgian and Regency costume as William Wilberforce. Gorgeous costumes, all around. Historically speaking, the politics are fascinating. Great story, too. I cried at the end, and the audience clapped.

    Reply
  80. Oh, and Regency lovers–you all have to go see Amazing Grace, the movie. Wow. Ioan Gruffudd is totally delicious in both Georgian and Regency costume as William Wilberforce. Gorgeous costumes, all around. Historically speaking, the politics are fascinating. Great story, too. I cried at the end, and the audience clapped.

    Reply
  81. Susan, LOL about the Bucket at Nantucket.
    I have to say, I get inspired by the strangest things. I remember once listening to an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song, and part of the lyrics was “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” The next second, I had the whole plot and concept and doggone story for The Devil’s Bargain totally in my head, reeled out like a movie. What a rock song has in common with a Regency fantasy romance, I have no idea, but that song sparked it, go figure.
    Liz,
    I’m so glad you liked my Cupid trilogy. I loved writing those three books, and was very reluctant to leave the Hathaway family. They were such a nice family, and I guess I wanted to write about a pleasant family for a change. I don’t know why, but romances–books in general–don’t often have nice families in them.
    I was thinking the other day that I’d like to return to the Regency period again, writing about another family, maybe with magical powers. Something light and humorous, for a change. I’d sure like to try something different from the dark and dangerous type of stories I’ve been writing lately. Think people might go for that?

    Reply
  82. Susan, LOL about the Bucket at Nantucket.
    I have to say, I get inspired by the strangest things. I remember once listening to an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song, and part of the lyrics was “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” The next second, I had the whole plot and concept and doggone story for The Devil’s Bargain totally in my head, reeled out like a movie. What a rock song has in common with a Regency fantasy romance, I have no idea, but that song sparked it, go figure.
    Liz,
    I’m so glad you liked my Cupid trilogy. I loved writing those three books, and was very reluctant to leave the Hathaway family. They were such a nice family, and I guess I wanted to write about a pleasant family for a change. I don’t know why, but romances–books in general–don’t often have nice families in them.
    I was thinking the other day that I’d like to return to the Regency period again, writing about another family, maybe with magical powers. Something light and humorous, for a change. I’d sure like to try something different from the dark and dangerous type of stories I’ve been writing lately. Think people might go for that?

    Reply
  83. Susan, LOL about the Bucket at Nantucket.
    I have to say, I get inspired by the strangest things. I remember once listening to an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song, and part of the lyrics was “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” The next second, I had the whole plot and concept and doggone story for The Devil’s Bargain totally in my head, reeled out like a movie. What a rock song has in common with a Regency fantasy romance, I have no idea, but that song sparked it, go figure.
    Liz,
    I’m so glad you liked my Cupid trilogy. I loved writing those three books, and was very reluctant to leave the Hathaway family. They were such a nice family, and I guess I wanted to write about a pleasant family for a change. I don’t know why, but romances–books in general–don’t often have nice families in them.
    I was thinking the other day that I’d like to return to the Regency period again, writing about another family, maybe with magical powers. Something light and humorous, for a change. I’d sure like to try something different from the dark and dangerous type of stories I’ve been writing lately. Think people might go for that?

    Reply
  84. Susan, LOL about the Bucket at Nantucket.
    I have to say, I get inspired by the strangest things. I remember once listening to an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song, and part of the lyrics was “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” The next second, I had the whole plot and concept and doggone story for The Devil’s Bargain totally in my head, reeled out like a movie. What a rock song has in common with a Regency fantasy romance, I have no idea, but that song sparked it, go figure.
    Liz,
    I’m so glad you liked my Cupid trilogy. I loved writing those three books, and was very reluctant to leave the Hathaway family. They were such a nice family, and I guess I wanted to write about a pleasant family for a change. I don’t know why, but romances–books in general–don’t often have nice families in them.
    I was thinking the other day that I’d like to return to the Regency period again, writing about another family, maybe with magical powers. Something light and humorous, for a change. I’d sure like to try something different from the dark and dangerous type of stories I’ve been writing lately. Think people might go for that?

    Reply
  85. Teresa, you’re in luck, The Vampire Viscount is still in print.
    Whoa. I just thought of something: The Vampire Viscount was first published in October 1995. It’s been almost twelve years since it was first out, and I don’t think it’s ever been out of print. That’s a long time.
    I hope Dragon Lovers will last as long. I really loved writing that story. Really, truly, absolutely.

    Reply
  86. Teresa, you’re in luck, The Vampire Viscount is still in print.
    Whoa. I just thought of something: The Vampire Viscount was first published in October 1995. It’s been almost twelve years since it was first out, and I don’t think it’s ever been out of print. That’s a long time.
    I hope Dragon Lovers will last as long. I really loved writing that story. Really, truly, absolutely.

    Reply
  87. Teresa, you’re in luck, The Vampire Viscount is still in print.
    Whoa. I just thought of something: The Vampire Viscount was first published in October 1995. It’s been almost twelve years since it was first out, and I don’t think it’s ever been out of print. That’s a long time.
    I hope Dragon Lovers will last as long. I really loved writing that story. Really, truly, absolutely.

    Reply
  88. Teresa, you’re in luck, The Vampire Viscount is still in print.
    Whoa. I just thought of something: The Vampire Viscount was first published in October 1995. It’s been almost twelve years since it was first out, and I don’t think it’s ever been out of print. That’s a long time.
    I hope Dragon Lovers will last as long. I really loved writing that story. Really, truly, absolutely.

    Reply
  89. Good observation about crafts, Karen. I think most writers suffer from busy minds, or perhaps we’re too often hovering over our creativity trying to get it to work faster, or do something in partincular.
    Turning our attention to something completely different, especially something the takes concentration can free our creative brain to do it’s best work.
    Jo

    Reply
  90. Good observation about crafts, Karen. I think most writers suffer from busy minds, or perhaps we’re too often hovering over our creativity trying to get it to work faster, or do something in partincular.
    Turning our attention to something completely different, especially something the takes concentration can free our creative brain to do it’s best work.
    Jo

    Reply
  91. Good observation about crafts, Karen. I think most writers suffer from busy minds, or perhaps we’re too often hovering over our creativity trying to get it to work faster, or do something in partincular.
    Turning our attention to something completely different, especially something the takes concentration can free our creative brain to do it’s best work.
    Jo

    Reply
  92. Good observation about crafts, Karen. I think most writers suffer from busy minds, or perhaps we’re too often hovering over our creativity trying to get it to work faster, or do something in partincular.
    Turning our attention to something completely different, especially something the takes concentration can free our creative brain to do it’s best work.
    Jo

    Reply
  93. I’ve just been lurking today and enjoying the conversation mightily. What a wonderful interview! Besides being a reader who has enjoyed Karen’s books over the years, I, too, am a knitter who would LOVE to see some of Karen’s yarn.
    Knitting is an incredible creative activity–you start with a string and end up with a shawl, or a sweater, or a hat. It’s like making something out of nothing.
    And sometimes, when everything in the world is just hurting and wrong, knitting makes it better–stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to “re-knit” the world. There are lots of knitting groups in spiritual communities now who knit as a meditative/prayerful activity.
    Thank you for being here today, Karen. I’ve ordered Dragon Lovers and am just waiting for it to come in!

    Reply
  94. I’ve just been lurking today and enjoying the conversation mightily. What a wonderful interview! Besides being a reader who has enjoyed Karen’s books over the years, I, too, am a knitter who would LOVE to see some of Karen’s yarn.
    Knitting is an incredible creative activity–you start with a string and end up with a shawl, or a sweater, or a hat. It’s like making something out of nothing.
    And sometimes, when everything in the world is just hurting and wrong, knitting makes it better–stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to “re-knit” the world. There are lots of knitting groups in spiritual communities now who knit as a meditative/prayerful activity.
    Thank you for being here today, Karen. I’ve ordered Dragon Lovers and am just waiting for it to come in!

    Reply
  95. I’ve just been lurking today and enjoying the conversation mightily. What a wonderful interview! Besides being a reader who has enjoyed Karen’s books over the years, I, too, am a knitter who would LOVE to see some of Karen’s yarn.
    Knitting is an incredible creative activity–you start with a string and end up with a shawl, or a sweater, or a hat. It’s like making something out of nothing.
    And sometimes, when everything in the world is just hurting and wrong, knitting makes it better–stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to “re-knit” the world. There are lots of knitting groups in spiritual communities now who knit as a meditative/prayerful activity.
    Thank you for being here today, Karen. I’ve ordered Dragon Lovers and am just waiting for it to come in!

    Reply
  96. I’ve just been lurking today and enjoying the conversation mightily. What a wonderful interview! Besides being a reader who has enjoyed Karen’s books over the years, I, too, am a knitter who would LOVE to see some of Karen’s yarn.
    Knitting is an incredible creative activity–you start with a string and end up with a shawl, or a sweater, or a hat. It’s like making something out of nothing.
    And sometimes, when everything in the world is just hurting and wrong, knitting makes it better–stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to “re-knit” the world. There are lots of knitting groups in spiritual communities now who knit as a meditative/prayerful activity.
    Thank you for being here today, Karen. I’ve ordered Dragon Lovers and am just waiting for it to come in!

    Reply
  97. Amen to that, Rev. Melinda. I’ve knit prayer shawls, and my mom has issued commands to anyone in her sphere of influence (“commands” is the only way to put it) to knit hats for preemies and cancer patients. I love that knitting (and spinning yarn), for me, serves a double purpose: it at once gets my creative mind going as my hands and “fussy mind” keep busy, and it does some practical good in the world. I don’t know how many times I’ve become stuck when writing, and once I take a breather to spin some yarn or knit, I get a breakthrough.
    I love what you said, about “stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to ‘re-knit’ the world.” It does feel like that.
    Wow! I just at this moment got a nifty idea to put in my next book (not the one I’m revising, but the book after). I think I’ll have my Irish heroine be a knitter and spinner…and a worker of magic. I think she’ll be able to work magic in her knitting, for instance. And wow, since the hero is cursed to be a werewolf…
    Oh my gosh, is this good or what? I must write this down!
    Whew! Okay, I’m back. Had to jot down that idea. Wow, that magical knitting thing is just perfect for the story. Perfect.
    You folks are great! All this talk of knitting and spinning has helped me solve that last part of the plot. The Irish have always been fantastic knitters. And haven’t there been fairy tales about heroines who have knitted magical shirts to break curses? I think the Grimm’s The Seven Swans is one of them.
    I think that will be the second time I’ve had a heroine be a craftswoman. The first time was in the Faery Magic anthology (also in collaboration with Mary Jo, Jo, and Barbara). There, my heroine spun wool, and had a spinning wheel.
    Well, there you go. You have actually seen in action one of the ways I come up with ideas. The discussion of people with special powers, knitting and spinning, the healing and spiritual power of it–it all merged in my mind and boom! Came up with exactly what I need in the story for book #2 in the current contrac. And I have to say, I am tickled pink. Thank you so much, all of you!

    Reply
  98. Amen to that, Rev. Melinda. I’ve knit prayer shawls, and my mom has issued commands to anyone in her sphere of influence (“commands” is the only way to put it) to knit hats for preemies and cancer patients. I love that knitting (and spinning yarn), for me, serves a double purpose: it at once gets my creative mind going as my hands and “fussy mind” keep busy, and it does some practical good in the world. I don’t know how many times I’ve become stuck when writing, and once I take a breather to spin some yarn or knit, I get a breakthrough.
    I love what you said, about “stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to ‘re-knit’ the world.” It does feel like that.
    Wow! I just at this moment got a nifty idea to put in my next book (not the one I’m revising, but the book after). I think I’ll have my Irish heroine be a knitter and spinner…and a worker of magic. I think she’ll be able to work magic in her knitting, for instance. And wow, since the hero is cursed to be a werewolf…
    Oh my gosh, is this good or what? I must write this down!
    Whew! Okay, I’m back. Had to jot down that idea. Wow, that magical knitting thing is just perfect for the story. Perfect.
    You folks are great! All this talk of knitting and spinning has helped me solve that last part of the plot. The Irish have always been fantastic knitters. And haven’t there been fairy tales about heroines who have knitted magical shirts to break curses? I think the Grimm’s The Seven Swans is one of them.
    I think that will be the second time I’ve had a heroine be a craftswoman. The first time was in the Faery Magic anthology (also in collaboration with Mary Jo, Jo, and Barbara). There, my heroine spun wool, and had a spinning wheel.
    Well, there you go. You have actually seen in action one of the ways I come up with ideas. The discussion of people with special powers, knitting and spinning, the healing and spiritual power of it–it all merged in my mind and boom! Came up with exactly what I need in the story for book #2 in the current contrac. And I have to say, I am tickled pink. Thank you so much, all of you!

    Reply
  99. Amen to that, Rev. Melinda. I’ve knit prayer shawls, and my mom has issued commands to anyone in her sphere of influence (“commands” is the only way to put it) to knit hats for preemies and cancer patients. I love that knitting (and spinning yarn), for me, serves a double purpose: it at once gets my creative mind going as my hands and “fussy mind” keep busy, and it does some practical good in the world. I don’t know how many times I’ve become stuck when writing, and once I take a breather to spin some yarn or knit, I get a breakthrough.
    I love what you said, about “stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to ‘re-knit’ the world.” It does feel like that.
    Wow! I just at this moment got a nifty idea to put in my next book (not the one I’m revising, but the book after). I think I’ll have my Irish heroine be a knitter and spinner…and a worker of magic. I think she’ll be able to work magic in her knitting, for instance. And wow, since the hero is cursed to be a werewolf…
    Oh my gosh, is this good or what? I must write this down!
    Whew! Okay, I’m back. Had to jot down that idea. Wow, that magical knitting thing is just perfect for the story. Perfect.
    You folks are great! All this talk of knitting and spinning has helped me solve that last part of the plot. The Irish have always been fantastic knitters. And haven’t there been fairy tales about heroines who have knitted magical shirts to break curses? I think the Grimm’s The Seven Swans is one of them.
    I think that will be the second time I’ve had a heroine be a craftswoman. The first time was in the Faery Magic anthology (also in collaboration with Mary Jo, Jo, and Barbara). There, my heroine spun wool, and had a spinning wheel.
    Well, there you go. You have actually seen in action one of the ways I come up with ideas. The discussion of people with special powers, knitting and spinning, the healing and spiritual power of it–it all merged in my mind and boom! Came up with exactly what I need in the story for book #2 in the current contrac. And I have to say, I am tickled pink. Thank you so much, all of you!

    Reply
  100. Amen to that, Rev. Melinda. I’ve knit prayer shawls, and my mom has issued commands to anyone in her sphere of influence (“commands” is the only way to put it) to knit hats for preemies and cancer patients. I love that knitting (and spinning yarn), for me, serves a double purpose: it at once gets my creative mind going as my hands and “fussy mind” keep busy, and it does some practical good in the world. I don’t know how many times I’ve become stuck when writing, and once I take a breather to spin some yarn or knit, I get a breakthrough.
    I love what you said, about “stitch by stitch, it’s almost like helping to ‘re-knit’ the world.” It does feel like that.
    Wow! I just at this moment got a nifty idea to put in my next book (not the one I’m revising, but the book after). I think I’ll have my Irish heroine be a knitter and spinner…and a worker of magic. I think she’ll be able to work magic in her knitting, for instance. And wow, since the hero is cursed to be a werewolf…
    Oh my gosh, is this good or what? I must write this down!
    Whew! Okay, I’m back. Had to jot down that idea. Wow, that magical knitting thing is just perfect for the story. Perfect.
    You folks are great! All this talk of knitting and spinning has helped me solve that last part of the plot. The Irish have always been fantastic knitters. And haven’t there been fairy tales about heroines who have knitted magical shirts to break curses? I think the Grimm’s The Seven Swans is one of them.
    I think that will be the second time I’ve had a heroine be a craftswoman. The first time was in the Faery Magic anthology (also in collaboration with Mary Jo, Jo, and Barbara). There, my heroine spun wool, and had a spinning wheel.
    Well, there you go. You have actually seen in action one of the ways I come up with ideas. The discussion of people with special powers, knitting and spinning, the healing and spiritual power of it–it all merged in my mind and boom! Came up with exactly what I need in the story for book #2 in the current contrac. And I have to say, I am tickled pink. Thank you so much, all of you!

    Reply
  101. Folks, you’ve just seen it live, and in person. An author getting an Idea. That’s exactly how the process works. Absolutely anything can be a trigger for writers. Guffawww! Way to go, Karen. Totally loved your interview and that was so kind of you to come back and visit with us via the comments page. Your friendly personality and creative genius shines through.

    Reply
  102. Folks, you’ve just seen it live, and in person. An author getting an Idea. That’s exactly how the process works. Absolutely anything can be a trigger for writers. Guffawww! Way to go, Karen. Totally loved your interview and that was so kind of you to come back and visit with us via the comments page. Your friendly personality and creative genius shines through.

    Reply
  103. Folks, you’ve just seen it live, and in person. An author getting an Idea. That’s exactly how the process works. Absolutely anything can be a trigger for writers. Guffawww! Way to go, Karen. Totally loved your interview and that was so kind of you to come back and visit with us via the comments page. Your friendly personality and creative genius shines through.

    Reply
  104. Folks, you’ve just seen it live, and in person. An author getting an Idea. That’s exactly how the process works. Absolutely anything can be a trigger for writers. Guffawww! Way to go, Karen. Totally loved your interview and that was so kind of you to come back and visit with us via the comments page. Your friendly personality and creative genius shines through.

    Reply
  105. Many thanks to Karen, for great interview answers, and for taking such an active part in the discussion.
    The winner of the draw is — ta-da! —
    Maggie Robinson.
    Congratulations, Maggie. Karen will be in touch with you.
    Jo

    Reply
  106. Many thanks to Karen, for great interview answers, and for taking such an active part in the discussion.
    The winner of the draw is — ta-da! —
    Maggie Robinson.
    Congratulations, Maggie. Karen will be in touch with you.
    Jo

    Reply
  107. Many thanks to Karen, for great interview answers, and for taking such an active part in the discussion.
    The winner of the draw is — ta-da! —
    Maggie Robinson.
    Congratulations, Maggie. Karen will be in touch with you.
    Jo

    Reply
  108. Many thanks to Karen, for great interview answers, and for taking such an active part in the discussion.
    The winner of the draw is — ta-da! —
    Maggie Robinson.
    Congratulations, Maggie. Karen will be in touch with you.
    Jo

    Reply

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