Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Author Spotlight on Karen Duvall

In addition to writing award-winning urban fantasy, Karen Duvall has been a great mentor to many writers through her blog and through emails.  So, when I saw that she was touring I absolutely jumped on the chance to feature her on my blog.

Just to be different, let's find out a little about Karen first, then I've asked her to answer a few questions in an interview.

About Karen


I was born in Hollywood, California. Sound glamorous? Maybe it might have turned out that way if my mother hand't given me up for adoption. Or that's what I used to fantasize about when I was a child. Nevertheless, I was very fortunate to have had the beset adoptive parents in the world. If you're curious to read more about this part of my life story, I wrote about it for my blog post Let's Get Personal and in another post titled Secrets Revealed and Secrets Kept.
 
I've always been a writer, even before I knew how to make my letters. At the age of three, I used to tell stories to my mom so she could write them down and I could draw the pictures. I still draw pictures, however I've replaced the crayons in favor of computer graphics. I've been a professional graphic artist for over thirty years after graduating from the Art Institute of Colorado in 1978.
I started out writing short stories because the thought of writing a book was too intimidating. Then I read an amazing series by Armistead Maupin and was so intrigued by his excellent characters that I knew I had to give it a try. After that, I was hooked. Writing books became my thing.

I joined Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers about 20 years ago, and that's how I learned how to write. I owe this amazing organization so much! Such a fabulous group of warm, helpful and supportive writers. I feel blessed to have discovered them and highly recommend their annual conference to any writer serious about becoming a published author. It's an amazing event attended by some of the best agents and editors in the industry. Even though I don't live in Colorado anymore, I return for the conference every year.
 
Now I live in Bend, Oregon, with my husband Jim, an over-zealous border-bully dog named Kinsey, and three spoiled cats that run our household. When I'm not writing, I freelance as a graphic designer. If you'd like to see some of my work, please visit my design website.

Interview with Karen

 

Thank you for joining the blog, Karen. I've read and really enjoyed your Knight's Curse and Darkest Knight books.  Do you plan more books in this world?
Yes, I do. I've started writing the third book, and I'm calling it A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER. The adventure of Chalice and her sister knights continues, and her relationship with Aydin reaches a new level that's both frightening and exciting. We also spend time with the formerly evil Maria as she struggles to regain her lost memories as she searches for her fallen angel father. It promises to be quite a tale.

As an author, I really applaud you for being part of an anthology with superstars Julie Kagawa and Anne Aguirre. How did that come about and how much did the three of you talk about the stories you were submitting?
I was very fortunate to have had such a wonderful opportunity. This is where having a good agent can really benefit an author's career. My agent keeps on top of what's going on with the publishers she deals with, and she keeps in continuous contact with the editors of her clients' books. My editor at Luna thought I'd be a great complement to the collection of post apocalyptic novellas Luna was planning last year, so I was given the chance to pitch a few story ideas that would fit the theme. I didn't have much direction other than it having to be about the end of the world, and each of the authors worked independently of one another. I had no idea what Julie and Anne were doing, and I don't think they knew what I was working on either. I'm not a zombie fan, so it's just as well we didn't collaborate. *smile* I haven't had the chance to read their stories yet, but I intend to. Anne is one of my favorite authors and I've heard many wonderful things about Julie's books.

What is it about writing urban fantasy that keeps you intrigued in this genre? 
I think it's because I'm immersed in reality in my day to day life, so I like to take the "what ifs" of my imagination in a more fanciful direction. Writing fantasy takes "making stuff up" to the extreme, which is what I love. Creating new worlds, societies, mythologies, and magic is like hanging out in a playground made of dreams and wishes. Anything's possible. But the most challenging, and the most satisfying, is to juxtapose fantasy with real world problems, human strengths and frailties. It gives new meaning to simile and metaphor in an original context.
 
Your heroine is barely a legal adult.  Would you classify this as part of the New Adult demographic?  I'm torn between thinking YA really goes to 25 these days, but now there is this New Adult option.
Knight's Curse came close to being a YA novel due to the youthful voice of the narrator and the sheltered situation she'd grown up in. The YA reader age group is 12-18. The New Adult age group is 19-25. So to answer your question, yes, the Knight's Curse books are definitely classified as New Adult.

If readers want a chance to meet you in person, is there anywhere you will be signing books this year?
 I will be giving two workshops at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference in Denver, Colorado, on September 20-22, 2013. I'll also be signing books there. This is one of the best multi-genre fiction writer conferences in the country and I highly recommend it to anyone serious about becoming a published author. For more information, visit www.rmfw.org

Any other big news you'd like to share?
I'm currently working on the first book in a new fantasy romance series that's a twist on Alice in Wonderland. The story takes place in present day Hawaii (where I grew up) and involves Alice's great, great, great, great, great granddaughter with an ability to read the past in mirrors. The working title is MIRROR READER. So far it's won second place in the Maryland Romance Writers 2012 Reveal Your Inner Vixen Contest, and was a finalist in the 2012 Suzannah Contest (NOLA Stars Chapter of RWA). The series is not yet contracted, but my agent and I are hoping to change that real soon. Fingers crossed!

Contact Karen on the Web: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Check Out Karen's Great Books!!! 


Amazon | B&N |Kobo |iBookstore
Darkest Knight
"Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose."

After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin's humanity…and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice's dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Apple iBookstore 
Knight's Curse  

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it's like to live life on the edge—precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin—her noble warrior-protector—that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

 

Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Apple iBookstore
'Til the World Ends (Anthology)

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she’s not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She’ll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.



Follow the Rest of the Blog Tour and
Learn More About Karen Duvall


Remaining Tour  Dates and Locations

April 3rd       
Maggie's Meanderings (You Are Here!)
                                              
April 11th      
Butterfly Feet Walking On Life       
                                      
April 20th      
Library Mosaic         
                                            
April 23rd.    
A Bibliopihles Thoughts on Books
                                                           
April 29th
Toot's Book Reviews                                             
                                              
May 7th         
Ethereal Book Reviews
                                              
May 14th       
Busy Moms Book Reviews

May 17th       
Reader Girls

13 comments:

TeriBrownwrites said...

I met Karen when I went to Central Oregon. She is lovely and knows a ton about the business. Nice interview!
Teri

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Teri! I enjoyed meeting you, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Karen. I loved this line: "Creating new worlds, societies, mythologies, and magic is like hanging out in a playground made of dreams and wishes."

Danita

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Thx for being here today, Karen. Im traveling in southern. Oregon tday but will check back here this evening.

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Danita!

Maggie, it was a pleasure be your guest today. Thanks so much for hosting me! :)

Paty Jager said...

Great interview! Karen is a wealth of knowledge. Congrats on the new project!

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks so much, Paty! :)

Diana Mcc. said...

I am really looking forward to "A Knight to Remember"! I am so glad you are going forward with that project. Good luck on sales.

Stephanie Manning said...

Great interview Maggie! Thanks for hosting!

Evelyn Bohn said...

Ooooo. Ooooo. I've never heard of you before. This is exactly the kind of books I love. I'm going to check it out now. It's available for Kobo, right? Never mind. I see that it is. GOing now. Thanks!

jamie said...

Karen,
I'd love to meet you in person sometime, perhaps at an RCRW meeting. I've admired your marketing skills for quite some time. Great interview.
Jamie

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Diana and Stephanie. Eveylyn, I'm so happy to hear you like these kinds of books! Yay! I hope you enjoy them. :)

Linda Mercury said...

Oooh, these books look fantastic!