Friday, 5 December 2014

AUTHOR LOWDOWN with Norma Jeanne Karlsson

If you had to choose a tattoo for someone else to get, what would it be and who would be the victim?

I would make my husband cover his Iron Maiden tattoo. He got it as a teenager and it’s awful!! I would have him cover it up with something J

Do you have a favourite author? Who is it/are they?

I have a lot of authors I love. I’ve always been a fan of Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, Anne Rice and John Grisham. I read voraciously and change what I like more often than not...and I’m never one to pick favorites.

How did you start your writing career?

I’ve always been a hobby writer. When I moved to the UK a few years ago, I had the opportunity to choose a new path in life. After long talks with my family, we decided I would give writing full time a try. I sat down at my computer a few days later and had 10,000 words when it was time to cook my family dinner. That was it. My first novel was born and well on its way. I haven’t stopped since.

Which character was the hardest to write and why?

I’ve been lucky up to this point. I haven’t found a character I don’t love in some way. My work is very driven by the development of my characters and their interactions. Even when I’m writing villains, I find it pretty easy. The biggest struggle I find with my characters is how much hardship I’m going to put them through. I’m fairly brutal at points and I have to consider that when writing. I get attached to my characters. I have a vested interest in how their individual stories grow and build throughout my series. I enjoy stretching them along with myself. It’s work but not hard work. It’s truly a labor of love.

How would you classify the genre you write? Why did you choose that genre?

This has been a struggle for me. I write books that don’t necessarily fall within any specific genre. I touch on many sub-genres within the Romance world. I could be considered Romantic Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary Romance or Dark Romance. I’m comfortable with all of those genres. I write novels with violence, suspense, love, humor, sex, betrayal, mystery, danger, family and strong female lead characters. When I try to put myself in just one genre, I feel like I’m not providing a full picture. Instead, I hover within these three and hope someday there will be a sub-genre that can encapsulate my work.

If you weren’t an author, what would you have ended up doing?

I would be doing research within a university, either as a professor or a research fellow. I have a Master’s degree in Social Research Methods. I always thought the PhD would come along, but I’ve found writing satisfies me in a way that research didn’t. I may go back to it at some point if being an author is no longer a viable option. But until then, I’ll write away and use my research skills for the good of my stories.

Do you have any rituals/habits when you write?

I’m not much for rituals, but I do have a few habits. My writing process is unique. I start writing a story without mapping anything out or plotting a story. I may have an idea for a character or two, but typically, I’m in front of a blank screen and then I’m not. I start writing and I don’t stop until the end. If I try to take a break or a day off, it really throws my flow. So, I do my best to write continuously until I’m finished. This means I write manuscripts very quickly. Shrouded in Blackness, my third novel, was complete and off to my editor in fourteen days.

What would be the weirdest one?

I write late at night. In the wee hours of the morning is when I do my best work. I also write during the day, but I feel like I’m more productive during the night. This means I get maybe four hours of sleep a night. I have three children, two with special needs. Their school schedule requires I’m up early and available throughout the day. It was a difficult adjustment at first, but I’ve found if I get more than six hours now I’m not much good to anyone. So, I barely sleep and write like mad.

What is on your current and upcoming release schedule?

August 6th I released Into the Blackness, my fourth novel.
Late September I released Blackness Within
And at the end of the year Escaping the Blackness will be released.

Where are your books available?

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