That’s right, it’s Wednesday and time to meet another author and hear about their latest release on WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY! Today we have Karen Docter in the hot seat and she’s not only going to answer my questions about herself and her book, Satin Pleasures, but she’s doing a giveaway to one lucky commenter.
Storyteller, happy, romantic, teacher, Type-A
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Purse, reading glasses, cell phone, keys
What’s the oddest place you’ve ever pulled out a book and started reading?
I don’t tend to go to “odd” places, unless you count camping in the Rocky Mountains. <g> The furthest I’ve taken a book to read is Maui.
Maui sounds better than my odd place…which is the line at the movie theater as I waited to get a ticket…lol What genre (s) do you write?
I write two different kinds of romance novels. Books of Danger, Romantic Suspense: Women hunted by killers…men who’d die to protect them. Books of Heat, Contemporary Romance: The lighter side of romance – Not a killer in sight…unless it’s killer heat!
My contemporaries are cute and spicy – not erotic – novels of series contemporary length in traditional publishing markets. I love writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so I can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile. Satin Pleasures is one of my four Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Best Short Contemporary finalist novels and my debut release at Amazon on Valentine’s Day 2012.
My romantic suspense novels are longer (90,000+ words) and filled with heat, too, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are real and intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. These are psychological “woman in jeopardy” stories about real, every day people like you and me who are forced to deal with danger that is unexpectedly thrust into their lives.
I enjoy writing on both sides of the line between light and dark romance.
Where do you get your story ideas?
I draw ideas from my surroundings, articles I read, television programs, news…well, pretty much everything I see, hear, or do is fodder for stories. I’m a “what if?” kind of writer. Satin Pleasures was “born” in a traffic jam in the middle of the San Mateo Bridge that spans San Francisco Bay.
The situation I used to introduce Dan and Tess actually happened to me. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed at the time. Not only am I scared of heights and my family had just moved to the Bay area two months after the last major earthquake that toppled bridges, I was supposed to be on the other side of the bay as one of the meeting staff. I won’t go as far as say I was as stressed as the “soon-to-be-born” Type-A heroine, Tess Emory, but I could relate to her angst in not getting to the other side of the bridge. It seemed only natural that Dan McDonald would be the exact opposite of Tess although, in many ways, they were as alike as two peas in a pod.
Watching the various people around me spilling from their cars to chat and play was also a unique experience for me. I thought things like that only happened in movies…or books! <grin> I was truly inspired when I finally drove off the bridge and went to my meeting. I can’t tell you how tempted I was to turn right around and go home to write Dan’s and Tess’s story. And, no, that is not my Type-A personality showing!
Bustiers, Birds, and the Blues…
Dan McDonald walked away from the American dream, a life full of money, glamorous women and power. Now nothing can lure him back into the corporate death trap. Except….
Dan’s scheming aunt snares him into opening a lingerie shop in Tess Emory’s shopping mall. Tess is everything Dan has vowed to avoid…sexy, smart, and obsessed with work.
Tess is determined to make her life a success and right the wrongs of her past, no matter the cost.
They’re both going to discover that true love breaks all their rules.
I have SATIN PLEASURES and am looking forward to finding the time to actually read. I’ve enjoyed all the excerpts I’ve read…it’s going to be a fun read. Now, let’s play LUCKY SEVEN….describe your book in 7 words.
Spicy, romantic, funny, sweet, workaholics, lingerie, family
What’s the first sentence in your book?
“Colby, if I’d had that brunette in my bass boat instead of you Aunt Mary would never have talked me off the lake.”
Intriguing start. Please share an excerpt of your book!
Dan entered the A Touch of Silk & Satin stockroom and scanned the area. His gaze lingered, hesitated, skimming the piles of exclusive garments that spilled from red, white, and pink-flowered boxes. He was drawn to the rich color of satin, the cool tease of lace. The heat of silk.
The contrast between his large, masculine frame and the delicate, feminine apparel registered on parts of his anatomy he’d been neglecting far too long. He must have taken leave of his senses when he agreed to do this.
“There you are, dear!”
Dan rounded a stack of boxes and faced Mary McDonald O’Shaunessy. “You didn’t tell the staff I was coming, Aunt Mary. Does that mean you don’t need me, after all?” He could be back on the road in an hour, holed up in his camper with Colby, free, unfettered. His demons unchallenged.
His silver-haired relative drew herself up, all five-foot-nothing of her. “Of course not, Danny Boy! But your arrival plans were rather vague.”
Dan ignored the persistent use of a nickname he’d hoped by the age of thirty-five to have outgrown and acknowledged his tardiness with a kiss. It wasn’t his fault the truck blew a gasket in Missouri. “I had a devil of a time getting that young girl out there to let me in.”
“You’re surprised? She probably expected her new boss to dress more conservatively. That flannel shirt should have been consigned to a rag bag long ago.” Green eyes very like his twinkled up at him. “I see you also stuck with your guns about that disreputable thing on your upper lip.”
Dan grinned, unrepentant, even as he decided the mustache was history. His aunt’s teases were bound to get worse; but, there was another, more compelling reason to shave the offensive thing off. He hadn’t known how many sensory perceptions he’d lost in his bid for change until he kissed Tess this afternoon. If she could generate electricity with his mustache in the way, imagine what she could do with nothing but naked skin between them.
“It took a while to settle Colby at the groomer,” he said, “so I didn’t take time to clean up.”
“We aren’t open yet. Besides, I could use help with these boxes.” She made a face. “I don’t know why those delivery men had to stack them so high. I can’t reach half of them.”
He chuckled. “You and Mom didn’t tell me I was in this to shuffle boxes. Here I thought I was going to be a big honcho and I’m nothing more than a stock clerk.”
“The best way to learn the day-to-day details of the business is from the ground up.”
Another kernel of doubt sprouted in his chest. He hadn’t counted on such an intimate involvement with the business envisioning management similar, though infinitely less demanding, than what he’d left behind last year. “You said you and Mom only need help until the wedding.”
Sarah McDonald’s marriage had burgeoned from a simple ceremony with thirty close friends to, at last count, several hundred people. Nothing short of his mother’s impending happiness would have dragged Dan back to civilization this soon, despite his persistent restlessness these past few months.
“You still need a modicum of training before I skip back to Chicago to help your mother.”
He sighed. “Okay. If I can work my way up the ladder of global finance, I can climb to the top of lingerie.”
His aunt indicated the boxes closest to him. “Try climbing to the top of that pile.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He hid a smile and proceeded to lower all of the stacks to a manageable level. “Now what?”
“Open the box in that corner,” she waved toward the wall behind him, “and catalog the contents.”
When he complied, lingerie snagged on his rough hands. The material reminded him of the silkiness of Tess’s skin beneath his fingertips, which brought to mind the huskiness of her voice when she was confused, the rebellious spark in her eyes when she was provoked…the hint of sadness in her expression when she wasn’t aware of being watched. His sultry brunette was passionate, complex, intriguing—
Off limits! Do the words ‘workaholic’ or ‘leaving’ mean anything to you, Danny Boy?
Tell us about your heroine in 1 sentence.
Tess Emory is stubborn, single-minded, and driven to successfully snag a promotion at her shopping center management company, to get the funds she needs for her father’s upcoming spinal surgery…even at risk of her own health.
Now your hero.
Dan McDonald knows the cost of such intensity, and has walked away from his pristine penthouse, workaholic ex-girlfriend, and stressful financial consultant career, spending the past year fishing his way cross-country with his dog.
What’s your favorite part about writing?
I learn a little more about the human psyche with each book I write. My characters become real people for me quickly in the writing process and take over their own stories despite whatever plans I may have for them when I start. It’s relatively easy to get them into trouble, but I’m often surprised by the solutions they come up with to solve their dilemmas. Sometimes I wonder where these people come from, especially when I’m delving into a serial killer’s mind. I certainly don’t have any firsthand experience with killers but I often find them telling me what makes them tick. They often scare me!
Name one thing you learned on your journey to publication that surprised you.
I’ve learned a lot of things that have surprised me over the years. However, if I had to pick the most surprising aspect of publication, it is that the only thing an author has any control over is the work itself. It’s the only part of “publication” that’s completely yours, from the characters you develop to the worlds you build. Once you type “The End”, you have to throw your baby into the deep end of the pool with editors, agents, publishers, critics, reviewers, and most importantly, readers…all with rules and needs and expectations that can sometimes appear contradictory. I know I’ve written the very best book I can when I type “The End” on one of my stories but I can’t control what happens to it once it hits the world outside my office. That can be a scary proposition.
What’s your current WIP?
I’m currently working on the first romantic suspense novel in my Thorne’s Thorns series. Police officer Ross Thorne, and his wife, Evelyn, only had one natural born son. But they also fostered five boys into adulthood. All of the boys were enough trouble at one time or another, they quickly became known as Thorne’s Thorns. The six brothers are now grown. Each is strong, masculine, and making his own mark on the world. I’m throwing a little, okay, a lot of danger their way and introducing each to the one woman they are destined to love. Patrick Thorne, the Thorne’s natural born son, launches the series in Killing Secrets. It should release in June 2012.
Killing Secrets – Back Cover Blurb
Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — his key to the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.
Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.
There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.
Ooohh..this sounds like another good read Karen! Would you please share a piece of writing advice for any new authors out there?
Learn as much as you can about your craft and write, write, write! Gain the knowledge and confidence you need to believe in yourself. The publishing world can be brutal so you need to believe in what you’re doing or you’ll be crushed. Yes, there will be times you feel beaten by a review or a reader or an editor. You can weather those storms when you believe in yourself. Whether you publish in the traditional market or utilize self-publishing venues like Kindle, Nook, or small press, the best thing you can do to bolster your chances of success is learn everything you can about all aspects of publishing…and write the very best story you can.
And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?
Thank you so much for joining me today Karen! I’m glad you visited!
Thanks for having me! I enjoyed spending time with you and your readers, Christine!