Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wish Me Tomorrow - Interview with Author Karen Rock
Today I'm thrilled to have the lovely Karen Rock stop by the blog. She's the author of the recently released, WISH ME TOMORROW, published by the romance lovers over at Harlequin.
Isn't the cover adorable? This is part of Harlequin's Heartwarming line which means you can trust the story will be sweet and warm and tug at your heartstrings. Check out the blurb:
Can they build a future on hope alone?
For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?
Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie's perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she's making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.
To purchase WISH ME TOMORROW in paperback or ebook form, please visit:
Harlequin | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes
Now, Karen has been kind enough to allow me to interview her. *Yippiee* But before we get into the nitty gritty of the interview *cracks knuckles* let's review what we already know about Karen through her bio:
Since Karen Rock’s grandmother passed her shopping bagfuls of Harlequin Presents as a teen, it’s been her dream to add her voice to the Romance genre. Now an author of Harlequin’s latest contemporary line, Heartwarming, Karen is thrilled to pen wholesome, tender, deeply romantic stories that all can relate to. Her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, is out in September 2013 and her next, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, is out in spring 2013. Additionally, Karen is a young adult contemporary romance co-author with fellow Harlequin author, Joanne Rock for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series that debuted July 2013 with Spencer Hill Press.
When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching anything starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! She loves to connect with other romance fans!
Please check out her website, her Facebook page, and follow her on twitter or Goodreads.
Alright, now it's time to get down to business. Interview business, that is. *waves* Hi Karen.
1. Wish Me Tomorrow is your first Adult Romance. You’ve previously published YA contemp. Was it hard to transition from YA to Adult?
KR: Hi Colleen :) Thank you so much for having me on Adventures in Word! It is still a transition to move between YA and Adult novels. I’m actually not sure if I’ll ever master it. My biggest issue is voice. My Harlequin editors have warned me about my ‘Voice Issue’ because I sound too young. In my latest Harlequin, I had to rewrite the first three chapters because my MC didn’t sound adult enough...*Sigh. I struggle the most when I’m moving back and forth between two books for different age levels. Note to self… check calendar before scheduling deadlines. Lol.
Yikes, I didn't even think about a voice issue. Maybe because I'm an adult who thinks like a kid. LOL But I can see how that would be a challenge.
2. You’ve been a huge fan of Harlequin since you were a kid. You are not alone. I also loved reading romance. I’d steal a few from my mom every now and again (Shhh, don’t tell my mom). What about Romance captivates you?
KR: What our mothers don’t know! I read lots of books with scantily clad cover models when I was too young for them too and hid them in my school books. My mother loved to brag about all the studying I did- lol. In fact, I was never much of a reader until my first friend at a new school invited me for a sleepover then handed me a Harlequin. So much for games, a movie and popcorn! But I made the best of it and before I left the next day, I’d finished one book and started another. I was hooked on romance because it gave me hope that one day, I’d find that person who’d make me feel less alone. A partner for life. Someone who might not be perfect, but would be perfect for me. I completely blame Harlequin for the fact that I never had a boyfriend in high school. I kept waiting for a guy from one of my romance novels to appear instead of the guy in study hall who used to snap my bra strap. Haha.
*swoons* I hear ya. Now, speaking of Romance:
3. I noticed in your bio that you love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movies. You are not alone *offers secret handshake* I’m right there with you, sister. What is your favorite Tom Hanks – Meg Ryan movie?
KR: Offers secret handshake in return!* OMG- they are both amazing actors and when they are in a romance together… melt. I love their chemistry, even when they argue, you know that they are perfect for each other. My favorite is Sleepless in Seattle because of it’s message. Don’t give up. There is always someone out there for you. And how swoony was Tom Hanks as a struggling single dad with a big heart and sense of humor?!!
Yay! I love Sleepless in Seattle for the Tom-Meg factor but also because of the Affair to Remember factor (another amazing movie). But my favorite Tom-Meg movie has to be You've Got Mail. It's adorable and about books~!
4. In WISH ME TOMORROW, a character is diagnosed with cancer. Understanding the emotional impact of such a major life event probably took research. What research, or personal interviews, did you do to better understand the impact of this disease?
KR: I actually experienced a similar loss which gave me a lot of insights. Additionally, I worked on a Code 99 Emergency Response team in a hospital, and got to know patients and families during incredibly stressful times. Since I lost someone I loved dearly to cancer, I understood the emotional impact it had on me, the caregivers, and even my ill relative. I tried to show all of those perspectives in the book because cancer is not an illness that exists in isolation. It touches everyone, even when we try to sweep it under the rug, as Eli does, during his remission.
Wow. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience and insight.
5. Where do you do the bulk of your writing? Café? Home Office? Bed? (send pic if you can – that would be fabulous) And why does that spot work for you?
KR: Before I became an author, I always had these glorified images of reclining on a settee, a lap desk rolled up to me, bon-bons within reach. Hah! I actually spend 99% of my time writing on my living room couch, surrounded by pets who love to get between me and my lap top. (If they could speak, they’d deny it, but the picture below is proof!) It’s close enough to the front door to let out my diabetic dog but, unfortunately, not far enough away from the refrigerator. *sigh. I need one of those treadmill desks!
Cute pic! I love your furry friends.
6. So many authors/publishers talk about how this business requires patience. How long have you been writing/revising this story?
KR: I’m actually a fast writer and a slower reviser. When I’m writing a first draft, it’s all about getting down the story. I can write 5,000 words a day so a 70,000 word book like WISH ME TOMORROW would take me about three weeks to pen and at least that much to revise. I started writing the novel at the end of August 2012, returned to my full-time teaching job in early September, and wrote it every night after school until my November 15th deadline… so approximately two months. Now I’m no longer teaching, but my time is full with my Young Adult series as well as my next Harlequin.
Wow, that is fast. *high fives Karen* That's fantastic. I'm a lot slower than that but am gaining speed. You mentioned revisions which brings me to my next question:
7. It seems every writer enjoys a different part of the process. Example: I hate writing the first draft (which might account for the slow issue). I’d rather be covered with leeches and walk across hot coals. But I love love love revising and rewriting. What part of the process is your favorite and why?
KR: I’m definitely not down with the leeches- lol- though some scenes do make me bleed. Phew- this is a chicken or egg question! I guess I prefer revising because that’s where I get play with the word choices, sentence fluency, voice and so on. It’s kind of like Sudoko for writers :)
OOo, I totally agree. I think that's why I like it so much. So, last but not least:
8. Now that your book has released what will you do to celebrate?
KR: My husband and daughter took me out to dinner, which I loved. It’s not as though we never go out. But this time was special because they kept congratulating me and it felt great that I’d made them proud. Unfortunately, the party didn’t last long as I had to get right back to work on my next Harlequin, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL. I think I’m still dancing inside though :) Thank you again for these wonderful questions, Colleen, and the chance to meet you and your fans!
Thank you Karen! Congrats on your book release and thanks for stopping by. I know it wasn't easy fitting us into your busy schedule. And thanks to the fine folks at Romance Addict Book Blog for hosting this tour.
See, that wasn't so bad? Or was it? Let's stick with not so bad *smiles* *pats self on back*.
Karen knows an author interview is incomplete without an amazing give away and she does not disappoint :) Here are the details on the super-terrific WISH ME TOMORROW Give Away:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Karen Rock's WISH ME TOMOROW
Robyn Carr's THE WANDERER
JoJo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU
JoJo Moyes' THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND
JK Rock's CAMP BOYFRIEND
Bella Andre's I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
Pamela Tracy's KATIE'S RESCUE
Tara Randal's ORANGE BLOSSOM BRIDE
Syndi Powell's THE RELUCTANT BACHELOR
Harlequin tote bag
RWA 2013 water bottle
RWA water bottle holder
3 RUNNER UPS
$10 Amazon Gift Card