Friday, January 21, 2011

Interview of Author Kari Thomas

We're welcoming author Kari Thomas today for one of Sarah's world-famous interviews. Please make Kari feel welcome!

1.      Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.
K: I'm a multi published author writing mostly in the Paranormal Romance genre and to date I have 8 books and 4 Shorts published: Temptation Unleashed. Hunted Mate. Her Heart His Soul. Prey For the Wolf. Seducing the Hero. Under a Shifter's Moon. Spell-Kissed. Hold Onto the Night. My Shorts are listed with my books, and purchasing links, at my site: www.authorkari.com

2.      How do you usually come up with a story idea?  Dreams?  Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations?  Newpaper?
K: I've been told I have a TOO-active imagination! The ideas pop into my head at the oddest times –usually in the middle of writing another book! I've had one or two come from dream fragments, but the rest are all products of an imagination that never sleeps!
3.      What is your process from idea to first draft?
K: First comes the plot idea that won't let me alone until I start writing notes. Then I do some research if necessary. I go through a process of eliminating names and titles ideas until I come up with the "perfect" one. If the character names and title doesn’t "feel right" with me, I just can't seem to go forward with the story. I think that's my muse's way of making sure the characters come alive for me before I start writing. Next comes the actual writing. I have a bad habit of editing as I write (that's what happens when you've been a freelance editor for too many years!) and sometimes that will slow the story down, so I have to be careful not to over-work on the editing and just write the story. I do a first draft, re-edit, and then submit. THEN! It's on to the next idea bugging me to get wrote! LOL!
4.      Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?
K: Going on a reading marathon with books from my fave authors: Christine Feehan, Lora Leigh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christina Dodd, Gena Showalter, JR Ward, just to name a few. I love taking time off from writing just to devour new books from these and other authors. I'm definitely one of those professed "Book-a-Holics"!
5.      Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?
K: Dear friends of mine, multi published authors Rita Rainville and Joan Elliott Pickart. I've had the blessing of having these seasoned authors in my life for many years and their advice and help over these years has been priceless. I keep telling them "I wanna be like you when I grow up!"
6.      What importance do you place on writing workshops?  What workshops would you recommend to us?
K: I think workshops are great. I would recommend –especially to new writers –to take any when the chance comes up. You can learn a lot, depending on what the subjects are. I think some of the best workshops, though, are those you get through your local RWA group. All the groups have at least one (some, a lot!) of published authors who have "been there-done-that" and know how to help you with your own path. Never miss one of these!
7.      Do you belong to a writer’s association such as RWA?  If so, in what ways do you feel this membership has helped you in your career?
K: I'm a member of RWA since 1990, and I also belong to Desert Rose RWA, in Phoenix.  RWA offers so much for the members, and I recommend every romance writer to think about joining. And being a member of Desert Rose RWA has been a joy. They're the best bunch of people, and you learn so much. It's great being a part of a group that share the same writing interests. I've received many benefits from being with both RWA and DR.
8.      When you reach a point of frustration with your WIP, what do you do to get back in harmony with your writing?
K: Throw it away. LOL---just kidding! Actually, I have several wonderful friends who I can turn to and know they will give me an honest opinion on what's wrong at what point. Author-friends, Cierra James, Amber Polo, and Mary Corrales, write in different genres so it's easier for them to give me a "clearer picture" of the story without being influenced by the genre itself. And my adopted sister, Linda Rudd, reads ALL my work. She's the one that keeps me encouraged to go forward. My other sister, Teresa, simply says "You're going to be famous one day" and that makes me resolve ANY problems!
9.  What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations?  How did this person help you?
K: My mom and dad. They bragged about my writing long before I was ever published. Unfortunately my mother passed before I was published but I know how proud she would have been. My parents tolerated my forays into isolation as I wrote story after story, supported me, and then kept on bragging. I couldn’t have got started without that.
10.  Have you ever used songs for inspiration?
K: Once of twice. I love listening to music as I write. It distracts me from any outside noise.  Whenever I do a particular love scene (especially one involving my shifters) I always listen to my CD of the movie "Lady Hawke". That’s one of the most romantic soundtracks I have.
11.  Do you play music when you write?  If so, what kind?  Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?
K: (GRIN!) See above….
12.  Do you read in a different genre than you write?  If yes, why?  If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?
K: I love books! I read fiction as well as nonfiction, in many different genres. I'm not particularly fond of Regency romances –but only because I don’t like the era. Historicals are easier. But, YES, I do read loads of Paranormal Romances. Actually, I can truthfully say that none influence my own writing. My own imagination has so many story ideas not yet wrote.
13.  Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer?  Has another writer ever come to your aide?  How?
K: Several. I have 3 that I'm mentoring right now. I love doing this because it makes me feel great to be able to help another writer the same way I was once helped by wonderful author friends. I think all authors should realize it's not really a competition writing world --- and we should support each other.
14.  What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
K: Uh Oh. This feels like bragging. I've been very blessed to receive a lot of Awards and recognition with my books. "Temptation Unleashed" continues to garner fantastic reviews and requests from readers for "more" years after it's first publication. "Hunted Mate" won the Golden Rose Best Erotica Award. "Under A Shifter's Moon" won the Paranormal Romance "Best Choice" by Reviewer and Readers Award ---AND the 2009 BEST Shifter Book Award. "Her Heart His Soul" won the 2009 Best ALL Around Book Award. "Seducing the Hero" won a RWA award as 3rd Place. And "Prey for the Wolf" stayed on Fictionwise Best Top Sellers list for almost a month --- constantly staying 1-2 spots ahead of the famous "Twilight" books!!
15.  If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money?  Would give any of it to charity?  If so, which one?
K: Oh wow. What a question! Hmm. I'd buy a home. I'd definitely give to a lot of charities; I'm a big believer in doing that. I'd share with my family and friends. Seriously, as long as I was comfortable in life, I wouldn’t need to have a lot –so it would very easy to share a big portion of it.
16.  What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?
K: NEVER give up. If you really want to be a published author, then NOTHING will make you give up. Not the 'business' part of publishing, not the 'numbers' on sales, not the rejections, not the constant ups and downs. Nothing beats a failure except a TRY.
17.  If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be?  What do you admire about this animal?  Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal?  If so, what are they?
K: Animal lover here! I'm particularly attached to cats. I love the grace, the stealth, the independence they have. But as for a mascot, I'd have to choose a chipmunk! LOL! Odd, I know. And it's a long story! But, chippies are steadfast little animals who know to prepare for the future, and have just enough of a stubborn streak in them that they can overcome most obstacles. Too, they're cute!
18.  If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?
K: Definitely Archaeology; I'm fascinated with it. Interior Design. Child Psychologist (my major in College).
19.  If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?
K: Travel the world! That would be soooo incredibly life altering, I'm sure, and full of adventure.
20.  What are three things on your bucket list you want to do before you die?
K: Write and publish all the books my mind still has stored away. Play with dolphins. Learn to Ice skate.
21.  What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes?
K: I like them to be Alpha –but with vulnerabilities that show their honor, their inner strength, their sensibilities.
22.  What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?
K: Strong, yet not afraid to show her vulnerabilities to the man she loves and trust in his strength too. I like them to be intelligent, kind, spunky, and be able to see true love and humor in any situation.
23.  If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?
K: Poverty and cruelty. My biggest soap box issues.
24.  What historic figure do you admire most?  Why?
K: Jesus. What other human was able to influence so much of the world and continue to do so through all the centuries? There is a lot of hidden wealth in his teachings and his faith. And the world still benefits from his words.
25.  What is your next writing project?  What is it about (got a blurb)?  What is your inspiration?
K: Crazy me is working on TWO books right now. Both are Paranormal Romances, of course, but totally opposite of each other. I can't give away anything yet (grin) but suffice to say they are both VERY steamy and full of shifters!
26.  If you could choose a flower that represents you, what flower would it be?  What about this flower do you feel exemplifies you?
K: Gardenia. It's my favorite flower. I was born and raised in Florida, and this tropical flower was everywhere. Yet, it's more like a hothouse flower; it never lasts long after being plucked. It's fragile, yet can grow strong in a garden full of  thorny roses. And the beautiful, exotic smell is incredibly romantic. Grin---that's ME!  
27.  If could have a super power for a day, what would it be?  Why?
K: I'd send a wave of peace across the entire world leaving not one soul untouched. For twenty-four hours the world would know what it felt like to "live".


Marie Rose Dufour said...

Great interview! Kari, I actually felt like you were talking to "us readers". Most of your answers had me giggling from similarities. I am going to check out your books right now.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Kari - what an interview!! You survived Sarah's probing questions! :) Like you, I love cats. They are soooo independent, that when they give you their love (for about a second), it's really special.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Wonderful answers to your interview, Kari. It was a joy to interview you. I wish you every success.

Delaney Diamond said...

Kari, I enjoyed learning more about you. If I had the money, I would be a world traveler, too. I like learning about new cultures, and I'm a foodie, so I'd welcome the opportunity to enjoy all those cuisines from around the world.

Best wishes for continued success.

Paris said...

Great interview, ladies! I listen to soundtracks also when writing, and the movie, "Ladyhawke" has been responsible for more than one inspiring scene in my books:-)The music is fabulous!

Carol L. said...

A great interview. I really enjoyed getting to know about you Kari. I'll be checking out a couple of your listed books. :)
Carol L

Judy said...

Great question and answer interview!!! I enjoy learning about the authors I love to read.

Fiona McGier said...

Gotta love those dream fragments, with the plots and the characters. Remembering them can be a problem, but I've gotten better at it. Thoughtful answers to some interesting questions.