"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Saturday, July 9, 2011

ABA AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH KAREN E. TAYLOR

Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.

Karen :I'm very partial to fantasy.  High fantasy, as opposed to urban fantasy or paranormal fantasy, not that I don't like those as well.  But I really enjoy wizards and castles and evil orcs and elves – so Tolkien's three volumes of Lord of the Rings is a huge favorite.  And a series that I like to bring down from the shelves and read again every so often, usually armed with a full cup of hot tea and a bag of crisps.  The characters are either feasting or starving and I like to be prepared for whatever happens.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.

Karen: Roger Zelazny is my favorite fantasy author – I don't like to choose one book over another, so I highly recommend anything he's written.  I do confess to a fan-girl soft spot for his Chronicles of Amber and I've nurtured a secret crush on his hero Corwin for what seems like forever.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.

Karen: Ah.  This is really a tough question.  And I suspect the answer varies from day to day.  Today I would chose a rather obscure gem called "Fool on the Hill" by Matt Ruff.  It is a delightful mix of fantasy and romance, involving true love, the battle between good and evil, and kite-flying.  It's a book that I regard with envy; every time I think of it, I wish I had written it.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

Karen: I did a lot of traveling this last month so I brought along books to re-read, since they require less attention.  My favorite of that group would have to be "Nine Coaches Waiting" by Mary Stewart, a title which often makes my horror-reading friends chortle.  I don't know why – the book is an almost perfect example of what is so right about gothic romances.  I would recommend it to many of my friends, although probably not all, due to the chortling effect.  ;-)

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

Karen: Unfortunately, my schedule lately has been horrendously busy, so reading is an activity that doesn't occupy a lot of my time, since the choice is often read or write and I chose the latter.  I suspect this is the same for a lot of writers.    When I have the time, I probably read two books a week.  My favorite time is early to late afternoon, curled up into a nice comfy chair with a fluffy blanket.  I do get lost in the pages, if given the opportunity, resulting in a lot of late dinners for the Taylor family.  Then again, since I started writing, they're used to that.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?

Karen: In a lot of ways, books are like children, and you really don't want to show a preference for one over another.  Then again, books don't have feelings, so...  My favorite novel of the Vampire Legacy series is the 4th, Blood of My Blood, because it enabled me to bring out a completely different point of view from the one that occupied the first three books.  And that was fun.  Blood of My Blood will be included as the second half of the omnibus edition, CRAVE, coming out in October, 2011.  I'm also fond of Blood Red Dawn, the 7th and final book of the series, because it was so satisfying to tie up all those loose ends.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

Karen: Sitting down to write can often be a series of rituals for me.  I need something to drink (coffee during the morning hours, hot tea in the afternoon and late evening, maybe a diet soda after dinner,) the proper atmosphere, including dimmed lights and burning candles, earphones to block out the outside noises and to play the music especially chosen for the particular piece of writing being attempted.  I might even go so far as to disable the internet to avoid distractions.  And there are times (the best of times) in which I just sit down and the words flow without any sort of coaxing.  I really like it when that happens.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

Karen: Personally, I think my strengths are in character development and interactions.  The people in my stories are most important to me and they are the ones who dictate the plot and actions, not me. 

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

Karen: Here's where I like to talk about my newest work-in-progress – the first novel in what I hope will become a series about Lexi Trask, a half-breed demon living near Santa Barbara, California, who has outstayed her welcome on earth and has been ordered back to hell by the Prince of Darkness himself.  As she searches for an illusive loophole to cheat the devil of his due, she finds love for the first time.  Eviction Notice is the current working title.  Fans of the Vampire Legacy series should enjoy the characters.

Karen E. Taylor

HUNGER: The Vampire Legacy

Deirdre Griffin didn't choose to be a vampire. But she is. And she's determined to make the most of her fate. For Deirdre that means surrendering to the raging hunger ignited by even the slightest whiff of blood ‑ a hunger that pulses through her body like a fever, demanding release. It means making friends in dark places ‑ and savouring every hot, salty, bitter, revitalizing drop of life force the night has to offer...
From Book #1 of HUNGER:
After the kiss, I buried my face in his neck. Now, I thought as I heard the blood pulse in his veins, Oh, please, now.
I nipped him at first, savoring the moment, my low moans echoed by his. Then when my teeth grew longer and sharper, I could hold back no longer. I bit him brutally, tapping the artery and was rewarded by the flow of his blood: hot, salty and bitter. He shuddered violently and fought to push me away, but his resistance was futile. Finally his struggles ceased and his body grew limp as I continued to draw on him, gently now, almost tenderly. I drank a long time, slowly, relishing the feel of my own body being replenished, then I withdrew.
Arising from the couch, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. No longer pale and haggard, my skin glowed with life and my eyes shone, victorious and demonic. A few drops of blood were trickling down my chin; I wiped them away with the back of my hand and turned from my reflection in disgust...
From Book #2 of HUNGER:
He was trembling violently under my touch, but that merely encouraged me and I spoke his name again.
"Mitch."
This time I connected. I knew he heard me and understood, his hands tightened on mine and he whispered my name. Then before I could react, he quickly dropped my hands, formed a fist and silently punched me on the jaw, striking me with such force that I fell to the floor.
As I pulled myself up, shaking my head and gingerly feeling my jaw, I saw him running from the room, pursued by a nurse and two orderlies.
I stood, swaying in the air slightly, oblivious to the uproar Mitch's action must have been causing around me. The noise level in the room rose, as if from a long distance. I could hear the laughing and crying and shouting of the rest of the patients in the room. But my eyes were fastened on the door through which he had disappeared.
What the hell did you expect, you fool, I thought, a passionate embrace, a warm welcome-back kiss? His eyes had been the eyes of one who looked on hell, and I had helped to put him there...

Author Website: http://karenetaylor.com/

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.