Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Long ago, in the 80's is when I started writing. My first book, however, was published in 1994 by AVON BOOKS.
What makes writing your passion?
I think in the world today we need more love, more communication and more understanding of one another. Writing romance gives me a chance to explore this in more detail. But, there is another reason writing is "my passion." And this is that I get the opportunity to present a more accurate look at the American Indian than has been presented in many of our books and literature of the past.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing poems and short stories since I was in high school and before that I was making up stories in my mind when I was practicing the piano. This is particularly so when I was a little older and the music I was learning to play was very beautiful.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Oh, my goodness! For almost an entire year, I felt like a princess.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Each book is different, of course, but the characters often present themselves to me instead of me choosing who they are.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Am not certain I get annoyed with writing. However, I can get stressed about it if I don't have enough time to write on those days when I'm supposed to be writing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
There are many things one can do to "get back on track" and get over writer's block. However, if one would visit my website here: https://novels-by-karenkay.com/wokshopslectures/ -- I present a lecture I once did at the Romance Writers of American/Orange County Chapter -- specifically addressing writer's blog and how to overcome it.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Wow! I think my best advice is to keep writing no matter what. Set out your schedule and on that schedule, sit and write, or at least put in the time, even if you're facing a blank screen. Eventually, you will write and each day will be filled with creativity.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I think I would say, "This, too, shall pass." Sometimes life can be tough, but if one keeps going, keeps persevering, one will grow from the experience regardless of what life presented. Just keep at it, keep going.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I do, but sometimes I wish I would take the advice of an excellent and popular writer and simply not read them. When a reader sends me a review, I will always read it and some of the reviews sent to me in this way are so well written and beautiful, they can be quite uplifting.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Often, I am uplifted by it. Sometimes these readers who send me the reviews become penpals and friends.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes, but I try not to. Very specifically, I wrote about a happening in my life, almost as it happened. But later I revised it because what was said to me was so nasty, I thought people would think no one could ever say these things to another human being. The book I'm writing now also has a short scene taken from something that happened to me. But, the truth is, I try not to write about these things or my own life.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Actually, I make it a point never to write about myself. Many of my characters are drawn from people I know -- most of them my best friends. I write this way because I already love these people very much and so it makes it easy for me to write about them.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Well, I do think the cover is important, but not as important as the story. The story is the most precious part of writing.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I encourage and love for readers to write to me. We chat often and I consider many of these readers now to be good friends. Often many of them make me laugh or give me the giggles or simply make my life better. Truly, I love to hear from readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
This has only happened to me once, and it was quite wonderful.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have too many to count. Oh, my gosh. There are hundreds of writers whom I love and sometimes it's different from one of my books to another who I favor. But, I love them all.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Well, I'm not sure. Right now, because so many errors were made when my books were being converted from paperback to e-book, I'm going back and re-editing them, giving them a new cover and putting them out again as Anniversary Books. But, nothing has really changed in the story. Mostly it's just errors being corrected.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I don't read them. If it's a one or two star review, I don't even read them. This is the advice I was given by a very popular writer who suggested an author should never read their reviews, even the good ones. I try to keep to this, but only in respect to the one or two stars.
What would you say to your readers?
I love to hear from you. I have an email address dedicated to letting you write to me and I advertise it in my newsletter.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in the US and am married to the most wonderful man in the world. I do mean this.
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
No, not really. I started writing because I was used to having aesthetics in my life. I used to practice music every day of my life when I was growing up. When I went out on my own and couldn't afford to buy a piano, I picked up a pen, instead, and started writing.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Only one book -- my very first attempt at writing a full novel is unpublished. But, it was so long ago when I wrote it, it almost seems like another lifetime.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
I like all kinds of music, and when I'm writing I'll be listening to a wide range of music, from classical to pop to country to American Indian music.
Share a secret with us 🙂
Not sure about a secret, but I'd like to thank you for giving me the chance to talk a little bit about my writing.
And, to anyone who has taken their valuable time to read this, I'd like to wish you to do well in all your endeavors.