Interview and Giveaway
with author Karen Rose Smith
Karen Rose Smith is the author of the delightful
Caprice De Luca Mystery series
The first book in the series,
STAGED TO DEATH was an instant success.
The second book in the series,
DEADLY DÉCOR releases on June 3
Karen is giving away 2 copies of
One each to two lucky winners!
Please enter using RaffleCopter at the end of the interview
LKBR: Hi Karen. Thank you for being here!
KRS: It's great to be here. I always look forward to chatting with readers and talking more about Caprice and her adventures.
LKBR: You’re known in the book community for the dozens of romance books you have written. When did you know you wanted to try your hand at a mystery series?
KRS: About 2 1/2 years ago I was approached by an editor through my agent asking if I ever considered writing a cozy because they felt I had the voice for it. I was between contracts with Harlequin at the time, and I decided this would be a writing challenge I could enjoy. It seemed it was meant to be. Once I developed names for my sleuth and the members of her family, they emerged practically full blown. I have a traditional Italian background to draw on, so it was so easy! Caprice is my alter ego. We share so many loves--love of family, love of animals, love of cooking, love of anything retro and vintage fashion--that her thoughts and actions are natural to create. This series has given me a freedom in writing and a joy that I haven't felt since I first began writing over twenty-five years ago.
LKBR: The idea of a house stager is so original. How did you come up with the idea for the Caprice De Luca Mysteries?
KRS: When my son was young, I left teaching for a while and became a Home Interiors decorator. I had the opportunity to enter customers' homes and help them decide their themes, their styles, and the types of decorating items they wanted to surround themselves with. My own home has rooms decorated in themes from western, to cat crazy, to Victorian, to 50's retro. My color palette is what makes it all work together. I do watch HGTV. When we rescued our youngest kitty, I left the HGTV channel running much of the day so noises wouldn't scare her. So I was really up to date on DIY decorating. Just from contemporary awareness, I knew decorators were having problems acquiring clients in the economic downturn. Due to relatives and friends trying to sell their houses, I realized how popular home staging had become. I wanted my sleuth to have a career that I knew something about...yet could be timely. Home staging with unique themes for high end clients added the drama the series needed.
KRS: I'm working on the 4th Caprice De Luca mystery. I'm contracted for 6. So they are keeping me busy in their various stages of production. I do have an idea for a new mystery series. But I'm going to keep that secret for the time being. I promise I'll share details with my readers as soon as I can.
LKBR: Is there a certain type of scene that is more difficult to write than others? Action, Romance, Death, etc.
KRS: The action scenes are probably the hardest to write. Sometimes I plan them out but then the murder plot requires adding different details. Pacing for those scenes can be a challenge because I want the reader involved in every detail as my sleuth is, yet I want to keep the scene moving so my reader is gripped by the sense of danger or excitement.
LKBR: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
KRS: My mysteries take about six months to write. I allow myself five months for actual writing and then a month for detail editing, proof reading and logic analysis.
LKBR: What was one of the most surprising things you learned when trying to get your first book published?
KRS: The surprising thing about getting my first book published was that I needed perseverance as much as writing skill. I wrote for six years and finished 13 manuscripts before I sold 2 books in the same week to different publishers. Since then I've been fortunate that readers and editors have liked my novels. Kensington will be publishing my 86th novel in February 2015—GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Caprice De Luca mystery #3.
LKBR: Do you have any advice for the aspiring authors out there?
KRS: Aspiring writers need to realize that writing and getting published was never simple but it's even more complicated now. Even if you indie publish your work instead of going through a traditional publisher, you need to learn about the business of writing and become your own CEO. Marketing, promotion and social media connections are all part of writing and selling books now.
LKBR: What are three things you would like your readers to know about you?
Shasta from DEADLY DECOR
KRS: I love animals. We have three rescued inside cats who rule the house and we also feed feral cats and strays.
Caprice's cat Sophia
Gardening and relaxing around our gardens fills me with the peace and relaxation time away from the computer that is so necessary to stay creative.
Developing recipes is something I've done all my adult life. I learned from my mom and grandma how to cook and I'll always be grateful for the time I spent in the kitchen with
Fran's Pasta Fagioli from DEADLY DECOR
LKBR: Thank you so much, Karen. I had such fun getting to know you better!
Want to learn even more about Karen? Check out the following links….
GOOD LUCK!a Rafflecopter giveaway