Monday, 21 October 2013

Author Interview with Karen-Anne Stewart

1) Was it difficult to get published? Did you ever thought to just quit it?

I chose to publish The Rain Trilogy as an Indie author through Authorhouse.  I'm a very new author, and I'm still learning all of the ropes, so I decided to go the self-publishing route first.  That doesn't mean that I would never traditionally publish; I have a lot of respect for both avenues.  There are challenges with whichever way you choose to go.  With self-publishing, it's easier and quicker to get your book live, but then you have to self-market or hire people to market for you, so that can be very challenging.  Getting the word out their about your book can be a daunting task, but, no, I never thought of quitting!  I will admit there were days filled with tears, chocolate, and a glass of wine ;).  I am amazed by the writing community and am humbled and excited about the authors, bloggers/reviewers, and readers I've had the incredible chance to connect with so far.  

2) Writing was always your passion or you just tumbled on it?

It wasn't until college that I first decided that I wanted to write one day.  That day didn't come until many years later, but I'm so glad that I finally decided to follow my dream and begin writing Saving Rain last September.  Saving Rain was originally intended to be a single novel, but I couldn't stop writing about Kas and Raina, so the story quickly morphed into a trilogy. 

3) Is it difficult to separate yourself with your characters?

YES!!!  I know this sounds insane, but when I wrote the last words to the trilogy, I felt like I suffered a loss in the family!  I thought, wrote, and even dreamed about the characters in The Rain Trilogy every day, so not writing about them anymore hurt more than I could've imagined it would.  I'm still connected to them, though!  After two months of very minimal promoting on my end due to waiting on Saving Rain to be revised to a font that would get the paperback to a price I felt was reasonable so I could start trying to get the novel in some bookstores, The Rain Trilogy will be on book tours again starting in November!  The timing is perfect because After the Rain's release party date is 10-29-13.  The e-book price stayed the same at $2.99. So, with the tours, I get to stay connected with all of the characters. 

4) Do you ever feel like you can't write another word?

No, I have the opposite problem; I want to write all of the time!  I'm completely addicted.  I have had times where I was discouraged when I felt that what I wrote didn't match where I wanted the story to go, so I would re-evaluate and start again. I tend to not delete anything I write in case there's something I might want to use later, so I keep a separate folder where I store my unused pieces.  


5) How does it feel like reading a) good review b) and a bad one?

You have some great questions on here!  Reading a good review is absolutely thrilling; I LOVE it when a reader connects with my story.  It truly is an amazing feeling finding out readers emotions about your book.  I'm not going to lie, reading a review where someone didn't like one of my novels does hurt.  I'm human, I can't help but feeling bummed, but I respect each readers view and opinions, after all, it is the reader's review of my book, not what I want them to think of it.  Every person is different and I totally respect that.  I try to read those reviews and learn something from them.  If authors can look at negative reviews as constructive criticism, they can be a very useful tool.  

6) What was the first complement for your writing you ever got and from whom?
Regarding Trilogy:

I was a nervous wreck sending Saving Rain out for reviews.  Really, it was terrifying!  Christine Janes, from shereadsalot.com, gave me my first shot of a review and I was thrilled when she wrote that Saving Rain had her from the first page.  

7) Do you think the unwavering belief in God Raina have, the principle of no sex before marriage is because of her abusive past like all the other ideas regarding herself and world she has established?

Raina had a very tragic childhood and she had certain beliefs that helped her get through and that she struggled to hold onto.  Her past plays a large part in her fear of intimacy, but when she meets Kas, she wants to feel a man's touch for the first time.  She needs him, and she struggles to hold on to her beliefs.  I didn't make religion a point of focus in the book, but I did make it a part of Raina's life.

8) The trilogy was going to be only one book but you converted it into a trilogy. What motivated you to do that? Has that changed the ending or is it still same?

I fell in love with writing and with the characters in The Rain Trilogy.  I wanted to bring more of the characters to life, and by writing it as a series, I was able to show more about the supporting characters, including Chase, Jake, Austin, Russo, and Frank.  Saving Rain, the first novel, is mostly about Kas and Raina, but with Healing Rain and After the Rain, the readers get to see the other characters in more depth, even Raina's father, Chris, and the Ghost.  
Even though the book turned into a trilogy, the ending stayed the same.  I knew what I wanted as the outcome.  I actually had the ending, but not the epilogue, written when I was still writing Saving Rain. 

9) This is you first book. What motivated you to write on this topic?

I adore romance, especially romance with hot heroes and bad boys with good hearts, so I knew that I would write a romance novel.  I have some experience working with domestic abuse survivors, but I didn't have much knowledge about human trafficking other than what I heard on the news.  When I began researching trafficking, I was horrified, sickened, and outraged!  There are many great sites out there that provide services for survivors of sex-slavery and other aspects of human trafficking.  One of the organizations that I found during my research is the Polaris Project.  This organization helps treat trafficking as a whole and has very informative information. I have the Polaris Project's site on my website (www.karen-annestewart.com), and I highly recommend for readers to do their own research.  Almost everyone knows that sex-slavery exists, but they don't realize that it's in their own town.
10) What are your future plans? Is it possible that the trilogy can be converted into series like LJ Smith did if your fans pleaded (me being one of them)? At least a novella maybe?

Thank you so much, Arushi!!!  I have considered about doing a spin-off with one of the characters in The Rain Trilogy.  I have to separate myself a little first, because I'm still too close to Kas and Raina.  They will probably always be my favorites because they were my first and I'm quite attached to them ;).  I'm currently working on a completely different book, Ash to Steele, right now.  I hope to have Ash to Steele published in the first half of next year. 

11) Personally what is your stand and views about the rampant human trafficking, rapes and domestic violence in our society?

I find any form of human trafficking, rape, and violence, horrific and very serious  issues that need to have stronger laws in place to help prevent them.  My heart broke when I was doing research.  Everyone has the right to live in a word where they feel safe and aren't harmed or sold!  It's disheartening and angers me to know that every minute of every day, women, children, and even men, are being abused.   I cried many times while writing The Rain Trilogy, and my personal hope is that the novels can shed at least a little light on these dark issues that are growing at an alarming rate.  The Human Trafficking Hotline is in the back of all three novels.

First thing first, Thank You Karen for giving me your precious time. It has been great.
As for my lovely followers, I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and don't forget to also check the review of Saving Rain and The Rain Trilogy Book Trailer.

XOXO
Arushi Raj

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for allowing me to stop by your site for a Q&A, Arushi! I had a wonderful time and you had some great questions!

    Karen-Anne

    ReplyDelete