23 September 2009
Interview with romance writer Karen White-Owens
Karen White-Owens’ newest novel, I Can Make You Love Me (Dafina), will be released 6 October. In this contemporary romance, childhood friends rediscover each other, but time’s wounds interfere with renewing their former affection.
Karen, thanks for visiting my blog, and congratulations on the publication of I Can Make You Love Me.
In addition to being a multipublished novelist, you’re a librarian, an editor, and a writing teacher. I’m guessing you love books. What did you read as a child?
The book that comes to mind is Seventeenth Summer, written by Maureen Daly. I remember checking it out of the school library and loving the story. Seventeenth Summer was a beautifully written story about teenage love, choices, and angst. It started my hunger for romance novels.
Maya Angelou is one of my favorite authors. When I was in high school, I checked out all of her books. I love her poetry. I'm in awe of all poets because they say so much in very few words.
How do these other careers help or hurt your writing?
All of my work experiences help when I'm writing my stories. As a librarian, I meet and help all types of people with interesting gestures, emotions, and habits that find their way into the pages of my novels.
Also, working at a library gives me the advantage of doing all of my research at work. When I need to know something, I go to our computer catalog and find what I want. The added bonus is I can check it out for long periods.
Teaching at Wayne State University was and is still one of the thrills of my life. I was enthralled with the idea of teaching at the university where I earned my undergrad degree. But I soon learned it took a lot of work and preparation to teach a class effectively. Working with aspiring authors taught me compassion. I learned how to express ideas while respecting other writers' work, even if I didn't agree or understand the subject matter.
What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is the creating. I like to sit down at the computer and let the characters take shape and tell their story.
What writers have had the greatest influence on you?
I believe Stephen King is the person who influences me the most. No one drops you into a scene the way Stephen King does. At some point, I hope to be able to do the same, plus rip your heart out with my prose and then wipe away your tears with a satisfying ending.
Are there certain themes or topics you’re drawn to in your writing?
Many of my books involve growing up, taking responsibility for yourself and your family, and being a good parent. Whether we want to believe it or not, when you have a child, he or she must come first in your life.
What is your writing regimen? Would you recommend it to aspiring authors?
I get up between 4 and 4:30 am and write for approximately an hour or two and then I go back to bed for about an hour. When my alarm clock goes off at 7 am, I start getting ready for work. On my lunch hour, I edit the pages that I wrote that morning. After dinner in the evening, I make the editorial changes I made during the day.
Do you have any other advice for my readers who are working on their first novels?
“Finish the novel” will always be the best advice I can give anyone. Join a writing organization is my second suggestion. The best thing I ever did when I first started writing was becoming a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and forming a critique group. Both were incredibly helpful.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a manuscript that will be released October 2010. The story is connection to my two previous novels, The Way You Aren't and I Can Make You Love Me. Some of the characters will appear in Where Love Begins.
Karen, thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck with your next book.
You can learn more about Karen and I Can Make You Love Me at her Website at http://www.karenwhiteowens.com/ and her blog at http://authorkarenwhiteowens.blogspot.com/. Her book is available at your local bookstore as well as online from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.
Win one of Karen’s books—or a book by anyone else I’ve interviewed at this blog—in my Birthday Bash contest. Enter by posting a comment at my 17 September post by 26 September.