Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guest Blogger Karen Whiddon

I am excited to introduce my first invited DWT Guest Star! Many who follow the blog and comments may recognize the name Karen W. from the comments. Karen Whiddon is my good friend and new critique partner. She writes for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and Nocturne and has so many books coming out over the next few months I can’t imagine the work!

Karen, welcome and as always here at DWT tell us your favorite drink?

Hmmm, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between beer and a good margarita. I love a good wheat beer in a frosted mug. But a schooner margarita along with chips and salsa can’t be beat.

It’s amazing to me how you were able to do this, but you have three books coming out in the next four months! Tell us a little something about them.

My October book PROFILE OF SEDUCTION is the third book in my Cordasic Legacy mini-series, though it’s a stand-alone story too. It’s the thought-provoking tale of a woman trying to overcome having been a prisoner of a serial killer. She thinks capturing the bad guy will be enough, but maybe learning to love can carry her further.

In December I have COLTON’S CHRISTMAS BABY, which is the sixth book in the Colton’s of Montana series. That book features another interesting character. My hero, Damien Colton, has just been released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

And then in January I have LONE WOLF, another one of my PACK (Shapeshifter) stories for Harlequin Nocturne. It’s the romance between a werewolf and a vampire, and the amazing child who results from their union.

Werevampie babies! Love it. Let’s take you back… when did you first get that writing spark?

I’ve always been a reader and in my mid-twenties I had to have surgery and stay home for eight weeks, so I wrote my first Harlequin (which never sold). Believe it or not, I didn’t have a computer and wrote it on an old electric typewriter!

Writers who could write a book on a typewriter amaze me! I would have given up after the first bottle of whiteout. Tell us what are you favorite and least favorite parts of being a published writer?

My favorite part is a tie between seeing the cover for the first time and seeing the book in the store. I also love getting fan mail. The least favorite part would be those pesky deadlines! They get in the way of life sometimes!

Tell me about it! Although I do think sometimes those business deadlines are necessary. You’ve written both - single title and category. What are some pros and cons of both?

With single-title, you have to do more promotion. The book stays on the shelf longer and because of the longer length, you have more time to explore the story. Category has way better distribution and though it’s only out one month, it reaches a lot more people.

Interesting. I think most people would think the opposite, but in some cases Harlequin is really the best way to get your name out there. Tell us what you are reading right now?

I just finished reading a book called THE DUFF (DESIGNATED UGLY FAT FRIEND) by Kody Keplinger and another called GREYHOUND by Stefan Piper. They are both Young Adult books and were both amazing. I’ve been reading a lot in that genre because I would like to write one myself.

Young Adult! That genre totally has it going on right now. And finally - the question always makes me pause when I think about it – if you could have written any book on your keeper shelf which one would it have been?

OMG, anything by LyVryle Spencer or Lisa Kleypas. They are both amazing writers. Also, one of the best trilogies I’ve read lately – THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. Since I got my Kindle for Christmas, I’ve read a lot of amazing books in all kinds of genres. Though I still mainly read romance, my favorite. Which is why I write it!


Molly O'Keefe said...

Karen - it's so great to hear your story! The hostage heroine got a great review and it is sitting beside my bed I can't wait to read it!! Congrats on the success!

Interesting point about single title vs. harlequin - I have long suspected that to be the case - you just can't beat Harlequin's numbers.

Karen Whiddon said...

You really can't. One of my first paranormal single titles for Dorchester hit the number one spot on the bestseller list and even was reprinted, and that thing sold total less copies than one of my Silhouette books.

But, truth to tell, if I had the time, I'd write both.

Anna Adams said...


I'm so glad to see the list, to pre-order. I love when a new book just arrives on my Kindle! :-)

Seriously--I don't know how you manage all that work. Writing is your not so secret super power! Great blog!

Eileen said...

Very impressive, Karen! I'd love to hear your hints on productivity although I suspect they might include dealing with my addiction to spider solitaire.

The books all sound fabulous as does that wheat beer. Mmmm. Delightful.

Stephanie Doyle said...

No, no Eileen. No trying to cover your Bud Light delightful comments!

I can assure everyone Karen's October book is fabulous! I had an upfront look.

Eileen said...

Darn! I thought maybe I'd make you all forget. LOL!!!

I love healing stories so the hostage heroine does sound fantastic. I wouldn't mind hearing more about splitting time between writing category and single title and what you guys perceive to be the difference from the creative side of the equation.

Karen W said...

My productivity stems from desperation! Just ask Steph. For example, I have a book due November 1st. I was on page 94 and suddenly realized it wasn't working and why. I had to start over. I'm now on page 40, with 30 days to write 235 pages or so. Yikes!

Maureen McGowan said...

Welcome, Karen! After getting to know you through your comments, it's great to hear your story.

Good luck with your deadline. You're giving me flashbacks to last winter. ;)

Sinead M said...

Karen, your deadline sounds crazy. I'm with Eileen, my addiction to Spider Solitaire is too all consuming.

Congrats on the success.

Eileen said...

Karen, that deadline made all the air leave my lungs. Wow. You write, girl. You write.

Sinead, maybe we need to start a support group . . .

Sinead M said...

We Eileen. I managed not to spider solitaire for almost a week, which is great, not so great, is that I exchanged it for brickbreaker on my blackberry..

I'm weak. Desperately weak.

Molly O'Keefe said...

But I seem to remember Karen that you were just in this situation not so long ago - you're one of those thrill-seekers? Playing chicken with your deadline?

I'm with Eileen - you write, girl. You write.

Eileen - I've been thinking about your question about the equation all day. And I think my equation is part drama part realism and for the harlequin's I lean more towards drama. Those hooks, you know. And the contemps still have hooks, but I really really tried to make the book for all it's implausibility feel real. We'll see I'm new at this and talking out my ear--- Karen, what do you think? What's your ratio? Equation?

Karen W said...

I try for fifty fifty. Romance vs suspense, though often the suspense feeds the romance. That's the fun of writing RS for me.

And yes, I guess I'm one of those thrill seekers (OR, you could just realize I'm lazy and not motivated unless I have my back to the wall!)

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