I’m starting to believe there’s something in the Ontario water that nurtures creativity. Six authors this month are from Ontario (you’ve met three of them already – do you remember who they were?) Well, add today’s guest, Karen Dales, to their number.
For all you paranormal readers, you might want to write down Karen’s name as she writes paranormal stories – vampires to be specific. Her newest book, Angel of Death, is the first in the Chosen Chronicles series:
The Vampires of London are being murdered and only the Angel of Death can save them. When Father Paul Notus is captured and threatened with a gruesome death by the Mistress of London and her Vampires, the Angel is forced into a dark world of murder and deception to discover who is killing the Vampires of Britain.
Forced into a partnership with the Noble Fernando de Sagres, a vampire of sadistic tastes, and joined by the beautiful and mortal Jeanie Stuart, the Angel seeks out who is behind these killings.
Plagued by demons from his past and his increasing affections for Jeanie, the Angel walks a fine line between his heart and his fears. He discovers the culprits but at a high cost – the irrevocable discovery of what he truly is and the Destruction of one he loves.
Leah: Yes, I know, I’m not supposed to ask this question since an author is supposed to love all their books equally but …what’s your favourite of all the books you’ve written?
Karen: I’ve written two books: ‘Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen‘ and ‘Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen‘. They are currently being sold together in one volume. As to which book was my favourite to write, I would have to say both, mainly because I initially wrote them as one book before they were broken into two.
I love origin stories, and for me writing the Angel’s origin in ‘Changeling’ was a lot of fun. I just dived in there and let the story flow. It was hard at first just to keep to the salient points of his life. I could have easily gone and made it longer and more detailed, but it would not have flowed as well as it does.
Angel of Death is the meat of the story, where I really had to chew things over many times before I put fingers to laptop. What I also really enjoyed about this portion of the story was going further into the development of the Angel and his relationships. Here I was able to explore aspects of the Angel that I only touched upon in Changeling. The amounts of research I did even led me to visit London, England, and Wales.
Leah: Oh, man, you got to visit London and Wales for your research? If you have to go again, do you need an assistant? Would you take me?
Karen: Of course, I’d love to take you with me. I’ll even pay all your expenses.
Oh, all right, I admit it, I made up Karen’s answer. *pouts* Here’s the next question: Did one book give you more trouble than the others? (Hmm, I think maybe my readers might be sensing a theme since I’ve asked this question before, LOL. There is one. Writing is HARD!)
Karen: Yes. Angel of Death gave me more difficulty to write because I didn’t want to finish it! I loved writing it so much that I didn’t want the story to end so I ended up getting ‘stuck’ for quite some time until Shadow of Death started percolating in my mind. Once I knew I had another book in the series I could write, I could finish Angel of Death.
There was another part that also halted me from finishing it at first. There is a very intensely violent scene towards the end that shook me up. I did not know how to write it in a way that would allow the Angel to keep his dignity. It took a lot of time to run through the scene in my mind (several times and renditions) before I could finally write it out. I’m glad that I finally did. Once I got past that point I was able to keep going.
Leah: I’m betting that if it shook you up, it’ll definitely shake up the reader. Here’s another question I’ve been told off for asking but being the obstinate, um, child I am … who’s been your favourite character to write?
Karen: Hands down it would have to be the Angel. After all the crux of the story revolves around him. There are aspects of him that just drew me and pulled those aspects of myself out. I also think that he represents the shadow side of ourselves that we tend not to deal with, but for him he must deal with them every moment of every night. Essentially he is haunted by the eternal question ‘who am I?’
Leah: I think I’m still asking myself that question. What’s your biggest distraction when writing?
Karen: I would have to say my full time job. Currently I am an office administrator for an Ophthalmology clinic. By the time I come home to feed the family and spend time with them I’m completely pooped. I keep saying that my job has gotten in the way of my career and it’s so true. I live for the day when I can stay home and write. I hope that happens soon, because I’m already getting fans nudging me to get the next novel out! LOL!
Leah: I am in awe of writers who work full-time and still manage to complete a novel. Then you throw in the amount of time and effort it takes to promote the book, and … well, let’s just say I have to wonder how you ever find time to sleep.
If one of my readers were sitting reading this, thinking, I’d love to write or I’ve been writing a book, what advice would you give them?
Karen: Very simply…the Publishing Industry is changing whether the big Publishing Houses like it or not. Authors no longer need the validation of these houses to see their books in print. Basically the publishing industry is going the way of the music industry and I’m happy for it. This means if you really and truly want to become a success as a novelist…write and write a lot. Emulate the masters of your time (not previous times) and develop your own style. But writing a novel doesn’t just end there one MUST be an entrepreneur and wear many hats. The author must be an editor; a graphic artist, a publicist, marketer and accountant…above all the author must be a writer.
Karen: Strawberry shortcake.
Leah: Yum. And now for something completely different – bath or shower?
Karen: Shower. The idea of sitting in murky water as a way to get clean…ewww. Not to mention…a shower is great when your shoulders and neck are sore from too much time on the computer. 🙂
Leah: Hmm, guess that means you doesn’t read in the tub for hours the way I do. There’s nothing more relaxing than throwing some nice bath crystals into steaming hot water (I know this terrific place in Peterborough that makes them by hand — oh, and they’re pretty good for soothing sore muscles too), grabbing my favorite book, closing the door against interruptions and voila … it’s Leah time! Oops, hijacked that question didn’t I? Sorry, Karen.
Okay, here’s another one for you. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do just to kick back and relax?
Karen: I LOVE movies…action sci-fi/fantasy/comic movies are the best. Basically give me a guy flick and I’m a happy camper. Favourite movie I can watch over and over….Transformers. My Tech Guru and I often get distracted with Transformer talk all to the dismay of my Publicist, Marketing Manager and Graphic Artist! LOL
Thanks Mike for letting me have Ravage for a while! He’s on my desk beating up Jazz! LOL
Leah: Thanks for playing in my sandbox with us today, Karen.
If you’d like to know more about Karen’s novels, you can visit her website, or follow her on her blog. She can also be found on Twitter (@KarenDales), on Facebook, Livejournal, or on her Yahoo loop. You should also check out some of the pictures taken at her Book Launch. And this fantastically funny cartoon made up about her launch by Anthony Greenidge. Or check out the review Karen got over at Bitten By Books. (Take a look at who wrote that one up. We’re in distinguished company, ladies.)
Karen is graciously offering a signed and numbered copy of her book Angel of Death to one lucky commenter today.
*Strawberry shortcake photo courtesy of Stu Spivak on Flickr