Sunday Surprise


And it’s another bundle author! Her book is the first in the bundle, and it’s a great fantasy romance with two damaged characters who can’t help falling in love… as the world falls down, like in the David Bowie song from the movie Labyrinth. Sorry, digressing. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Karen Abrahamson!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in a lovely small town on the west coast of Canada called Sechelt. I have a home near the ocean with an office that looks out onto a bird sanctuary and wetlands. It never snows much in this area, so the climate is lovely all year long. We have deer, bald eagles and whales as regular residents and bear in the spring and summer.
Although I have a great office, I actually do my first draft writing from an easy chair positioned so that I can watch the sunrise over the ocean. It’s the best way of all to start my days.

Why do you write?

Is there an option? I have always written. I started with poetry when I was in grade one or two and I’ve been writing ever since except for one hiatus when I threw myself into riding dressage horses. Writing is a comfort and a passion and chance to explore so many things. I think it’s also a way for me to share the things that I’ve seen in my travels across the world. I’ve done a lot of travelling and it is all fuel for writing, whether it’s the people, the culture or the environment. With the world changing so rapidly these days and feeling so much less safe, maybe the writing is also a commemoration of what was. That’s a sad thought.

When did you start writing?

As I mentioned above, I started in early grade school with poetry. I can recall writing stories when I was twelve, but I only started to look at the form seriously when I was an adult. About 20 years ago (my goodness that’s a while ago!), I started to put more effort into my writing and it was fifteen years ago that I got serious. That means that I gave myself permission to put my writing first every day.

What genre(s) do you write?

At the moment I’m writing mystery, but fantasy seems to creep in fairly regularly and I have enjoyed writing urban fantasy. When I need a relief from the dark places that those genres can take me, I enjoy writing romance—usually romantic suspense, sometimes paranormal romance—because who doesn’t need a happily ever after from time to time?

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is to make a living as a writer, or at least to supplement my income with my writing much more than I have. I try to write at least four novels a year plus a few short stories, but these days as an indie author, success requires a lot more than simply writing a good story. So I’m not only trying to improve my story craft through practice, but I’m also taking courses on social marketing—not my strong suit. I’m much more of the reclusive writer-type!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Write what you love. I know there are indie pundits who talk about analyzing the market and then writing to market and I know that is a good plan for making money, but the writing isn’t just about the money. Writing, for me, is about exploring the places and spaces that interest me. As a result I seem to write mash-up genres. My latest book, a novella published by Guardbridge Books, is a historical fantasy mystery—fantasy because one of the protagonists is a puppet, but the mystery is plainly real world.  The book I’m working on at the moment is a mystery set in an alternate history world.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Once upon a time when I started writing novels I was an outliner. I completed scene/chapter sheets for each book before I started to write. Then I’d sit down and start to write. The sheets were great, but what I found early on was that about half way through the manuscript the characters and story would take over and the ending was usually something I hadn’t envisioned. What those sheets did was seem to get me through the ‘muddle in the middle’ without stumbling. But gradually the story and characters took over earlier and earlier until now I write into the mist without an outline. The down side is that I often find myself throwing out 25,000 words or 50,000 words because I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. This isn’t that big an issue, because I’m a fairly fast writer when things are flowing.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The Crystal Courtesan is pure fantasy. It came to me as an idea out of an image of a woman with crystals all over her skin. I imagined that those crystals were actually the ‘evil’ drawn out of the men the courtesans were with, that were then extruded and crystalized on the courtesan’s skin. The Crystal Courtesan is about the last of her kind, who has hidden for years after a dark force overthrew the kingdom. It’s a love story, too.

Tell us about your latest book

As I mentioned above, my latest book is a lush historical fantasy mystery set in Burma/Myanmar in the early 1800s. It involves magical puppets, a murder that will have disastrous consequences for the puppet troupe, nature spirits, and courtly subterfuge. It is called Death By Effigy and is available as a paperback. I expect that the ebook version will be available shortly.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always. I have the second book in the Burmese Puppet mystery series already written and in the editing process. It is called A Death in Passing. Look for it in June/July.
There is a paranormal romance awaiting editing that involves a woman on the run and a Selkie that should be out in the late summer.
Finally, I am in the throes of completing the alternate history mystery that takes place in a world where the Ottoman Empire never fell. Instead the Ottomans overthrew Catherine the Great of Russia and the remains of Russia only exists in a small country caught between the Ottoman Empire and China. Of course, there are other impacts on the world, too. Like the American Revolution might have succeeded to a point, but the Anglo-German Empire settled most of North America…

Enter political subterfuge, the murder of a teenaged girl, and a jaded detective and that’s the premise of the story. I’m excited about the book, but it has to go to first readers and through the editing process before it will be ready for the public.

Other books planned for this year include a return to my urban fantasy Cartographer series. The second book in the Phoebe Clay mystery series is also planned. This time Phoebe takes on modern day Myanmar.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts and work!

_______________________

To find more of Karen’s fantasies, mysteries and romance visit her website

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