Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday -- Karen Wiesner is Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 109 titles published in the past 17 years, which have been nominated/won 131 awards, and has 38 more releases contracted for spanning many genres and formats. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestseller, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building} (out of print; reissue available now in paperback and electronic formats under the title Cohesive Story Building). Her third offering from Writer’s Digest Books is Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas, available now. Her previous writing reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003 and disbanded in 2014. For more information about Karen’s fiction and series, consult her official companion guide The World of Author Karen Wiesner: A Compendium of Fiction. Visit her website at http://www.karenwiesner.com. Check out Karen's author page at Facebook, where you can like, friend and follow her: http://www.facebook.com/KarenWiesnerAuthor. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Day 1 

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I write women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. I also write children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles. I guess in some ways my reading choices affect my writing, since I have yet to write anything in the historical or western genres. I don't read a lot in those genres either. I haven't written a fantasy novel (though I ventured into futuristic). Haven't written a Regency or science fiction, though I do read a lot of all of these. My favorite genre to read is horror but there is so little truly good horror reading these days. I can't get enough of it so I'd like to write more of that. I never say never though--I might someday write in any genre I haven't thus far written in if a really good story idea came to me.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorites to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

I love heroes and heroines equally--creating these characters are my favorite part of being a writer. Villains…not so much. Funny you ask this lately because I've been reading a certain series I'm not going to mention by name here, and the villains are actual creatures from various locations--some anomalies of this planet, others not. The author keeps getting into the heads of these creatures, the villains in the stories, and I just think it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It's like getting into the head a dog in a story. It never works, and what can this character think about beyond the mission as the villain? Kill, destroy. It doesn't work at all. Poor writing comes from this. I've also seen *human* villains, for the most part, done so poorly, they're not worth giving POV scenes to. I avoid writing from the villain's POV unless the story absolutely wouldn't work without it. I'm too aware that if it's not done perfectly, it's not done well, and therefore is a weak spot in the story.

4. Heroes and heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

Every book, this is different. I get ideas in so many ways. I've dreamed up characters and go on to put stories around them. I've dreamed up situations and I craft the characters to go around those. I do like to have physical pictures of hero and heroine before I start writing because it allows me to write about the characters is more realistic, fleshed-out ways. While I might include a trait here and there from a real or even another fictional person, the whole package is always unique. One of the most frequent genres I write in is romance. I have to say that romance writers have to delve into unrealistic areas in order to create heroes that women will love. It's just the way it is. Very few, if any men, are the knights in shining armor that women portray them as in romance novels. A truly realistic hero is someone most women would avoid reading because that's what they get in their every lives, lol. They read romance novels to believe it can be otherwise. We romanticize heroes to make them the man every woman will love. That sounds bad and I'm not saying men are bad in any way, but most are not fit for romance novels *as are*. To be fair, I doubt many women in the real world would make good romance heroines either--we romanticize most characters in romance novels so they can be honorable role models to us. Too much reality can kill fiction.

In my latest release, FIRST COMES LOVE, Book 4 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series, I did actually create a male character that is as close to realistic as I've ever made a hero in one of my novels. Chad is as "unvarnished" as I could make him in a romance novel and still have a satisfying story. I admit, I enjoyed writing his character and crafting a heroine who could live with him and all his traditionally unheroic traits.

5. What is your latest release? Who are the hero, heroine and or the villain?

FIRST COMES LOVE: Chad Feldmann and Winnie McBride were secondary characters in GLASS ANGELS, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series--the Friendship Heirlooms Series is a spinoff of that one. GLASS ANGELS left off with this Christian teenage couple pregnant when they’re still children themselves. FIRST COMES LOVE starts three years later, when they’ve graduated high school with a baby they’ve been switching off caring for in-between getting their diplomas and working part-time to save for their wedding and a life together. I actually consider Chad both hero and villain in this story because most of the problems stem from his selfishness. Somehow Chad has grown up and not only accepted the situation, but he’s taken charge in ways Winnie doesn’t expect…and resents. This isn’t an easy scenario, and I really wanted to show an unclich├ęd complexity of emotions and reactions stemming from a tough situation. Writing the first draft was incredibly intense. I was so involved with all the characters, I had a hard time leaving them every day and their emotions became mine. The first draft felt like a final draft for that reason.

6. What are you working on now?

I always have a lot of projects going in different stages of the process, including researching/outlining, writing the first draft, revising, editing and polishing, final read-through before editor revisions.  During the first half of this year, I've been switching between the following projects:
PRETTY FLY, Book 5 of the Falcon's Bend Series (coming September 2015)
CLUMSY GIRL'S GUIDE TO HAVING A BABY, Book 5 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series (coming November 2015)
SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT, Book 2 of the Angelfire II Quartet (coming February 2016)
ROSE AND THORN, Book 5 of the Adventures in Amethyst Series (coming April 2016)
CROOKED HOUSE, Book 3 of the Bloodmoon Cove Spirits Series (coming August 2016)

Interested in what else I’m working on? Visit
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/WIP.html to view my annual WIP, along with information on new and/or unsold projects.  Look for my WIP Moments on my Facebook author page, where I post about what I'm working on and the progress I'm making with each stage of my projects: http://www.facebook.com/KarenWiesnerAuthor


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