Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday's Interview -- Karen Wiesner

Today's interview is with Karen Wiesner founder of Jewels of the Quill among other things. I met her once many years ago in Omaha at the EPICon there. She's a multi-faceted writer in both fiction and non-fiction. Her books on writing are available from Writer's Digest.

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I write women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure, children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles. The only thing I don’t write are historicals, Regencies, fantasy or science fiction. But I do love to read them!

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

A little of both, I think. If I get an idea, regardless of genre, I’ll eventually write it.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I do have an idea for a fantasy novel that I’d love to write with my son when he’s older. I also have an idea for a science fiction/futuristic that eventually I do want to write. While I love reading Regencies, I don’t see myself ever writing one. And I have to admit, I’m not crazy about historicals. Not sure why this genre doesn’t appeal to me, but I do occasionally read them. I don’t see myself ever writing one.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

Everything! Horror, really, really good horror is a special pleasure but so hard to come by.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing.

I’ve been writing since I was ten years old—but I think I was born a writer. I’m a daydreamer and I always have been.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

It would be unfair to choose…and, in all honesty, the answer would probably change from day to day, depending on what I’m working on at the moment. Right now, my favorite is Zoë Rossdale, a secondary character in my latest release, Glass Angels, the fourth book in my Family Heirlooms Series. She was so colorful, I decided to do a spin-off series called the Friendship Heirlooms Series. Zoë will have two books in that series: Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love and Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby. Visit my website at for more information about any of these books.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

As a writer of mystery, suspense and horror, I always have villains. I believe villains have to be realistic—equal parts of good and bad. I also believe that the most effective villains are the ones you love to hate. In other words, if not for his or her nefarious goals, which you can’t agree with, you could see yourself being friends with this person.

8. What are you working on now?

Many different projects, all in different stages of production. Take a look at my Works in Progress page for the latest:

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

Glass Angels is my newest release. Samantha and Kyle’s story has been inside me for a very long time, and when it was finally done, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. They’ve both been through so much—in their personal lives and in their romance, so working them toward a happily ever after…especially after the traumatic incidents that closed Book 3 of the series, Foolish Games, was so satisfying for me.

10. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

“I know you were just glad to see Ryder Feldmann convicted at the trial, sweetie, so you weren’t concerned about how long he’d be in the institution.”

Samantha Samuels stared at her sister-in-law, a lawyer, who’d insisted she wanted to drive her to the airport today when she left for her two-week vacation. She and Justine were fairly close. Nevertheless, she’d been a little surprised by the offer. Not once had she considered that Justine wanted to drive her so she’d have time to drop this bomb on her.

Stunned, Samantha opened her mouth. Her sister-in-law wasn’t wrong—she’d heard nothing at the end of the trial but that—thank the Lord!—her attacker would be locked away. “I assumed he’d be in prison for a long, long time.”

Justine nodded, her expression pained. She reached across to the passenger’s seat and squeezed her hand. “I know, Sam. You didn’t want to hear anything else about it whenever I tried to talk to you about this in the last several years. I can explain everything to you whenever you’re ready, but the bottom line is that Ryder’s term of confinement is almost up. He’ll be released on September 30th, followed by a year of extended supervision...”

* * * *

“Miss Samuels,” the clerk called when Samantha entered the hotel with the rest of her tour group. Tired after the long day of exploring southwest Ireland’s treasures, including a museum and a castle—along with fighting off the aggressive advances of a certain member of her tour group—she was eager to go to her room and shower. She’d been wondering if she’d have time to snatch a few hours’ sleep before dinner.

She wended her way through the others to get to the front counter.

“You received a phone call while you were out, Miss Samuels.” The man handed her a memo.

Samantha looked at the note without surprise to see her sister-in-law’s name and phone number written on it. Justine had called the night she arrived in Ireland, but Samantha hadn’t been able to force herself to take the phone call then. She hadn’t been ready to face the fact that the man who’d raped her would be released from prison, after a mere three years paying for his unconscionable crime against her.

“I do hope everything is all right, miss.”

Distracted, Samantha glanced at the clerk and nodded. Dodging the crowd, she rushed up to her room as fast as she could. Had Justine called to apologize again for seeing no other choice but to tell her the truth—even if it meant ruining a perfectly lovely trip? Samantha had thought of little else except the single sentence that had deadlocked her in the days since: “He’ll be released on September 30th, followed by a year of extended supervision...”


Unknown said...

Hi, Karen--so you like horror! I'm such a scaredy cat, I can't watch or read anything very frightening. One day I'm going to write something really scary to prove to myself it's only make believe. I'm one of those who still believe what I see on the screen is real--blood and all.
I enjoyed your interview. I like to learn a little something more about people who cross my path in some way.
Congratulations on your book! Celia

desitheblonde said...

Hello well i like the book and the cover it sound like a good one and would be happy to read and blog on it
me i love all type of books

Tara Andrews said...

Hi Karen & Janet - Great interview and I really like the excerpt. Sounds like a wonderful story - My TBR list is growing in leaps and bounds!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Karen and Janet!

Great interview, ladies.

I enjoy reading Regencies, too, but can't imagine writing one. Karen, I love the sound of your spinoff series with Zoe as a character. I loved Glass Angels - very moving story filled with so many wonderful emotions and memorable characters.

Shoshanna Evers said...

Great interview & excerpt!

Karen Wiesner said...

Thanks, everyone!

Karen; subscribe to Karen’s Quill for a chance to win my books every month!
Glass Angels, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series, available now
Incognito Series, Books 1-12 now available
Kaleidoscope, Wounded Warriors and Falcon’s Bend series’, available now
Love is Blind…And It Don’t Pay the Bills Either, Denim Blues Mysteries, available now
Halloween Treasures, A JOTQ Halloween Anthology, available now
What is Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz) up to now? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways and new gem interviews!