Saturday 15 October 2011


Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

--I don't remember exactly when I first decided that I would be a writer.  Our local paper published a poem of mine in some sort of kids'-writing column when I was in 3rd grade, but I don't know whether I submitted it -- my teacher may have done so.  By age 10, I was determined to be the youngest ever published novelist.  I was in the middle of writing the novel when I learned about some upstart 9-year-old in England who had got there first.  I was quite miffed, but finished the novel nonetheless.  (It was a very strange mish-mash, as I recall.  I haven't dared to look at it in quite a few years....)
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?

--I'm going to cheat a bit, and summarize two books:  the one I'm about to publish (or just published, depending when this interview runs), and my current work in progress.

            --Twin-Bred:  To improve communication and prevent war between humans and the Tofa, host mothers carry                         fraternal twins, one of each species.

            --Reflections (title may change):  Members of a family reunite in the afterlife, confront unfinished business, and                  resolve the mystery that tore the family apart.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre?  Books of a different genre?

--I hope to start on the sequel to Twin-Bred later this fall, so that'll be more science fiction.  I have a sci fi story in rough draft that may be the starting point for a collection of linked stories.  I'd love to do historical fiction, but the amount of research involved is intimidating.  It may happen.

 Where do you get your book plot ideas from?

--Twin-Bred started with my reading about the amazing interactions recently observed between twins in utero, and the deep sense of loss suffered by many "womb twin survivors" (those whose twins die in utero or shortly after birth).  I have no idea where Reflections came from, except that I have an abiding interest in themes of family, communication, unfinished business and unintended consequences.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

--Yes, if mine is the sort of book that they are likely to find interesting, and if they'll accept some form of ebook.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

--If I like a book, I almost always read it more than once, unless the book as a whole or the ending is very depressing.  I'm not good at favorites, but Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow may be my favorite novel.  It's beautifully written; it has wonderful characters with whom it's a delight to spend time; and it examines several of the themes that most interest me.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

--Find a way to plunge in and write, with minimal initial input from your inner editor (or any other similarly nagging voices, internal or external).  For me, what worked was NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I had taken a 30+ year detour away from writing fiction, for various reasons that amounted to losing my confidence as a writer.  Events conspired to bring me back on track, but the final key factor was my older daughter's participating in NaNoWriMo in 2009 and 2010.  I joined her in 2010, and wrote the first rough draft of Twin-Bred in 30 (actually 28 or 29) days.  One of NaNoWriMo's mottos is, "Don't be afraid to suck!" [Sandra, if that language makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to substitute:  One of NaNoWriMo's guiding principles is that you shouldn't worry about the quality of what you churn out.]  The point is to write, keep writing, write some more, and have fun doing it.  Then, I'd suggest putting the rough draft aside for a while, several weeks at least, and expect to spend months revisiting it again and again, until you've made it into the best book it can be.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

--If I ever decide to publish erotica, I'll probably use a pen name.  (I even have one in mind. :-) )

Your blog details?

--Looking Around,  I haven't been the most frequent blogger.  Subjects can be political, law-related, personal, book-related (my books or others).  I may start doing book reviews at some point.

Your web site?  It has links to pages for my various books (including not-yet-published picture book manuscritps), my blog, Facebook author page and Twitter page, plus a place to sign up for email alerts.

Your facebook page?

--My author page is

Your Goodreads Page?

Your Twitter details?


And any other information you wish to supply?

--I'd be happy to answer followup questions!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Karen, I look forward to reading your books!


  1. Thanks so much for posting this interview!

    I'm doing a promotion for TWIN-BRED: suggest a song for the playlist! Any reader who picks a song that I think belongs on the playlist will have their name and song selection included in an appendix to a future edition of the book.

    You can sample and/or purchase TWIN-BRED in the following places:

    Amazon (Kindle): (and the paperback should be on Amazon soon as well)

    Nook Store:
    Smashwords: (NOTE: CreateSpace will be closed for maintenance from noon to 6 p.m. PST today (10-15-11)

  2. Clarification of my previous comment: since multiple readers may suggest the same song, I'll only be listing the first reader to suggest any song in the appendix. But I will mention subsequent reader submissions of the same song on my TWIN-BRED Facebook page!