Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
I think I've been a writer all my life but it took a text message from a Goodreads friend to consider pursuing a career as a romance author. We both wanted to read BDSM romance books with mature characters and when we started there weren't many of those. In October 2018, my friend Ellen messaged me, "Trapped in the Laundromat. Now wouldn't that make a great book title?" Soon we were writing our own stories and when author Maren Smit helped and encouraged us, things went fast. In April 2019 our first book Trapped (Club Indigo 1) was released and until August 2021 we wrote together seven Club Indigo books and the Small Town Submission series. Ellen decided to dedicate her time to different hobbies and I continued writing under Karen Nappa.
What makes writing your passion?
I love coming up with stories and characters and I enjoy delving into their lives and trying to figure out what motivates them.
I also love chatting with first my beta readers and later in the process with my editor about the manuscript and figuring out how to make it better.
Next, the publisher and I discuss titles and book covers, which is a whole other adventure I absolutely adore.
Finally, when the book is published, I love reading reviews and chatting with readers.
There's never a dull moment, which I love!
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Unreal. It has been an amazing journey and each new book makes things more tangible but still wonderful. Trapped will also be very special to me. Especially because I wrote it together with Ellen, and she came to the Netherlands and stayed with me and my family during the publication week.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Absolutely, I read and cherish them all. Yes, also the 'bad'! Because every review is a learning experience, and I try to use them to become a better writer. Of course, there are nasty reviews or feedback left by people who don't read the blurb or the disclaimer. Those reviews I happily ignore those because they disclose more about the reviewer than about the book.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I'm as human as the next person and getting compliments is wonderful and that's what a positive review is. However, I prefer a 3 or 4-star rating with a well-developed review than a 5-star rating with a generic review.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All the time! Almost all the BDSM scenes are based on something I did or something I witnessed at a club or with friends. My books aren't meant as a how-to on BDSM but I try to write them as realistic as possible.
Usually, when my Master drives us home, I can be found making notes and laying foundations for new stories.
Writing is a wonderful way to process, and I use my books to turn real-life events into either an inner wound for my characters to overcome or by changing the outcome into something positive.
Also, people in and around my life are often an inspiration for my characters. Depending on how they have treated me they turn up as a good guy or a bad guy.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I think a cover is very important. It's the first readers see, and I'm positive that at least 80% of the readers click based on that first impression. Retailers use covers to show off books and we use covers in social media posts and our newsletters.
That said, your book needs to be at least as good as the cover because that's in the end what will make the reader happy and return for more books.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I like to connect with readers but I prefer to text message or write over face-to-face contact, which is mostly because English isn't my native tongue and I rather write than speak.
Readers often send me an email and I participate in Facebook events where I love to interact with readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?