Today I'd like to welcome author Karen Kennedy Samoranos
to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Karen
Why donít we begin the morning by discussing your latest book? Can you give us the title and the due date?
My latest release is the novel, The Curious Number (March 9th, 2012 Ė Musa Publishing).
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I split my time between the San Francisco Bay Area, and a rural community in northeastern California (Susanville, in Lassen County). Iím fascinated by the social and political polarities, which fueled the characters and events in The Curious Number.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Iíve always had a vividly rich internal world, and a desire to write about it.
What satisfies you about your writing?
Actually finishing a novel or short, and making a political or social statement. Iím rarely subtle about transferring my ideals into my work. I have a tendency to create strong female charactersóthough the women I write about are far from being man-haters.
Do you have any upcoming books that you would like to tell us about?
Death By Bitter Waters (Musa Publishing, June 22nd, 2012) is a collection of short stories under Musaís Polyhymnia imprint, and prefaces contemporary Red Power in Northeastern California. There are a lot of books on the westward settlement of the United States, but few novelists who write from the perspective of Indigenous People. Also, my novel Road Apples, a May-December love affair, is currently available through Musa (release date December 2nd, 2011).
If you could invite any author into your home, who would it be?
It would be a toss-up between Louise Erdrich and David Guterson. Theyíre both intelligent authors, who express their humanity honestly.
Are you an organized person when it comes to your writing station?
I write exclusively on a laptop, so my workstation is always immaculate, and highly portable. My carrying case contains sheet music, issues of Indian County Today, and notes from a thesis written in the late í50s by two linguists who researched the Washoe language.
Do you form an outline or go with the flow when writing?
I always have a general idea of how a story will develop, but itís the characters that bring the manuscript to life, and shape the detailsóvoyeurism at its best.
How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?
Writing a novel, including my edits, encompasses approximately three to six months, and depends upon how much time I have to dedicate to the project. Though writing is a constant habit I canít break, Iím also very involved in my day job, which is handling the administrative side of the music education business I share with my husband.
Where do you see yourself in the next two years in your writing?
Iíll still be writing novels and short stories, and speaking out in my blog. I really donít see an end to writing, as my passion is very embedded.
While writing, how does the story develop for you?
It flows from the lives of the characters Iíve created. Often I connect one novel to another by rebooting a character. Susanville, California is one of my favorite stages for writing my novels, due to its extreme social and political differences to urban California.
What book and person has influenced your life the most?
For writers, the prose written by Charles Frazier in Cold Mountain has to be the most hauntingly beautiful.
You have been asked to attend a writing class to discuss the joys of writing. When called upon to give three important things a writer should always remember when either writing or presenting, what are three things that you would add to the class
-Write your charactersí conversations in a realistic manner. This includes awkward syntax that could inhibit the flow of your writing.
-Stay away from the phrase, ďall butĒ, as in ďthe plane all but crashed.Ē
-Really research what you write about, even if itís incorporated into fiction. Glaring inaccuracies can undermine a writerís credibility.
If you were to replenish your cabinets with one junk food, what would it be?
Anything chocolate, which is why I limit the chocolate in my home. Having once weighed in at well over two hundred pounds, and approaching the pre-diabetes threshold, I strive daily take care of my body. Conversely, Iíve heard that chocolate in its dark form is healthy (which is also the excuse I use for coffee and red wine).
Is there a particular time of the year you enjoy taking a vacation trip?
My choice would be mid-summer in Lassen County. The trout fishing is excellent; dirt biking and mountain biking are ideal when the snow is gone from the tops of the peaks. I love to sit on a sandy beach at Eagle Lake, when the air is 95 degrees, and the water is 70. Itís the ultimate in justified laziness.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
Web site (Saraville Ė An Alternate history of Lassen County) and Blog (Unfiltered Speech in a Politically-Correct World).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
To writers: keep writing, even if itís a matter of doing it in your head. Donít stop submitting your work to agents and publishing houses, and pay attention to the feedback you do receive, so you can turn a rejection into a positive, instead of taking it personally.
Thank you for spending time with us today Karen
Interviewed by: Linda L.