Sunday, June 1, 2014

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: Youre 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.

LKBR: With two Caprice books under your belt and Im hopefully assuming youre working on a third, do you have any ideas for a new mystery series?

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….

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  2. I love the interview, I like hearing where the ideas come from. I have the first book on my kindle that I will be getting to soon, I've heard so many good things about this series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. Lisa--Thanks for having me here today! If anyone has any questions, just ask. :)

  4. I love the animals featured and the recipes!! I especially liked learning more about your writing process!! Thank you for the insights and for this great giveaway!!

  5. Hi Lisa! Hi Karen! This is a great interview!

  6. Karen, Thank you for being here! Your excitement level today must be running high!

  7. Great interview! Would love to add Deadly Decor to my collection. Read Staged to Death and its a great read. Prazak

  8. love your sophia, also like how you say "3 inside cats" + ferals and strays... we have those both here too (except when the ferals come inside)

  9. A secret--Sophia is really my son's cat. Her real name is Willow! :)

    Lisa--I'm definitely wired today! I went outside for a bit to have "lunch" with one of our strays. She's taking a nap under a gnarled redbud that covers her like a tent. Out there I can just breathe. I think I'm even more excited about Deadly Decor than I was about Staged to Death!

  10. Great interview, this looks like a fun book - I love the cover with the animals sprawled all over, and house stager is a new twist. I love the photo of the Pasta Fagioli in the old Corningware, too - I am still using mine with the flowers :)

  11. Great interview! I'll have to see if my library has any of your books, Karen, in stock.

  12. First of all, thank you Lisa for the interview with Karen...superbly done! I have yet to read any of Karen's books. Frankly, I am not a romance novel kind of gal, but I do enjoy a good cozy mystery. A question for Karen...which genre do you enjoy writing the most...romance or cozy mystery? Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this second installment. sxygrndma48(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Enjoyed the interview. It sounds like you might need a full time assistant for all the non-writing jobs. I have a friend who is an author and his wife is his assistant.

  14. Great interview Karen. This series looks like fun.

  15. Thanks for the chance. Would love to win.

  16. Would love to have a copy.

  17. Loved Staged to Death and looking forward to Decor and Shasta!

  18. love Karen Rose Smith, enjoy her facebook page as well.

  19. I have never read Karen's books, but would like to start!

  20. I just love the cover, thanks for the giveaway.

  21. Great interview! Can't wait to read this book series.

  22. I really love your interview and giveaways. Even if I don't win I always find a new author or book to add to my TBR pile!

  23. I'm so happy you have all enjoyed the interview and giveaway. Thank you for all the great comments! And Good Luck!

  24. This is another book to add to the list.... I'm looking forward to trying this series.

  25. So looking forward to reading this and it's always nice learning more about authors.

  26. I am so looking forward to receiving my copy of DEADLY DECOR!

  27. Congratulations Jenna & Astrid! Enjoy reading your wins!