Today it is my Pleasure to Welcome Harlequin Special Edition author Karen Rose Smith to HarlequinJunkie!
Karen is here to tell us about her brand new release The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal
Sara: If you had to sum up The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal….
Karen: My latest release is The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal. Mikala and Dawson were friends back in high school. The night of the prom Dawson had been Mikala's white knight and she never forgot that or the way he made her feel. They are reunited at their fifteenth year high school reunion and Dawson asks Mikala, who is a music therapist, for help with his son. As Mikala leads ten-year-old Luke on a journey to emotional healing, she leads herself and Dawson, too. But old wounds form scars that are difficult to forget. They have to leave the past behind to find love, trust and their happily-ever-after.
Mikala has a lot of me in her.Karen: She appeared in my imagination almost fully developed. I added details to her background that would explain how she felt about the world and her relationships with people in it.
Sara:Please Tell us a little bit about yourself...
Karen: An only child, I delved into books at an early age. I learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew, and wished I could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though I escaped often into story worlds, I had many aunts, uncles and cousins around me on weekends. My sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in my novels along with couples finding true love.
As my couples fall in love I like to use different settings. Many of my first releases were set around my home town in Pennsylvania. Over 80 books later, I now enjoy settings like Northern Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming where the landscape can become as integral to the plot as another character. There is something about canyons, mountains and the ocean that give me a sense of awe and I like to bring that to my romances.
Readers often ask me about my past times. I have herb, flower and vegetable gardens that help me relax. In the winter, I cook rather than garden! And year round I spend most of my time with my husband, as well as my two cats who are my constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding me life isn't all about work. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Sara: What inspired you to write your first book? How long did it take you to publish your first book?
Karen: I was used to an exercise routine of biking, swimming and aerobics when I started having back pain. I was confined to bed rest and I needed a creative and emotional outlet. I turned to writing. I wrote for six years and finished thirteen manuscripts before I was published. Then I sold two books in one week to two different companies.
Sara: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Karen: Relationships have always fascinated me. I read teenage romances, then Emilie Loring and Harlequins. It just seemed to be the most natural genre for me to write.
Sara: Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Karen: That depends on the book. In my latest release The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal, I knew I wanted to write about a heroine who was a music therapist. I developed the story around her. But in my ebook AWAYS DEVOTED, a mystery/romance, I thought about the story first then developed the characters around that.
Sara: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? Is this book part of a series?
Karen: I'm working on two projects at once--a new series for Harlequin Special Edition--The Mommy Club (women helping parents in need of a helping hand), as well as a new mystery series for Kensington tentatively called Staged To Death. It's a 3 book series about a home stager who stages high-end houses. Caprice De Luca takes in stray animals, shops in a vintage store, likes to cook and loves her big Italian family, though they often interfere in her life.
Sara: Take us through a typical day in the life of “Author”
Karen: Writing, tweeting, blogging, working on promo, gardening, writing, relaxing with hubby, writing
On a lighter note...
Sara: Would you rather be ugly and loved or beautiful and lonely?
Karen: Definitely ugly and loved.
a. Rather find true love or be filthy rich?
Karen: Find true love.
b. Invent an item that everybody uses or a song that everybody hums?
Karen: I do have a practical side, too. If I invented an item everyone uses, I'd probably be rich! Everybody humming one song might not do that.:)
c. Have a relationship with someone 10 years younger or 10 yrs older?
Karen: Ten years younger.
d. Be deaf or blind?
Karen: This is a tough one. For a few years, because of the result of a medication, I developed severe cataracts. I listened to TV rather than watched, listened to books on tape instead of reading. I couldn't see well across a room but I could hear voices, hear loved ones' words, develop listening skills to make up for what I couldn't see. I think I would rather be blind and stay connected to the rest of the world with words.
e. Sing in the rain or dance in the streets
Karen: Sing in the rain. SINGING IN THE RAIN is one of my favorite movies.
Sara: If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Karen: Consistently Yours
Sara: Your favorite quotes?
Karen: Ralph Waldo Emerson. "None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."
"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."
Sara: What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?
Sara: If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have?
Karen: Something creamy with a bit of zing.
Sara: Which super power do you like to have and why?
Karen: I'd like to be able to read other people's minds...to know their feelings and motives. But I'd also want to be able to turn it on and off so I wouldn't get overloaded!
Sara: What one thing that has happened in your life has made the biggest impact on who you are today?
Karen: My marriage. Because of it I have experienced unconditional love. I've also learned how to give it.
Karen thanks for this wonderful interview.
Karen will be giving away copies of her book The CEO'S Unexpected Proposal
To enter the Giveway: Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Leave a comment for Karen on your thoughts on the book or A proposal story if you have one to share.