Saturday, January 7, 2012
Interview of Karenna Colcroft
I want to welcome my friend, and prolific and diverse writer Karenna Colcroft. Karenna writes all kinds of adult romance novels, both heterosexual and homosexual, and also publishes young adult fiction. I personally love her vegetarian werewolf series, not only because they are a riot, but because I'm a vegetarian just like the characters. But I'll let Karenna tell you all about them.
Tell us a little about your writing. What type of stories do you like to write? Any characters you like to write about? Any themes you find especially inspiring?
I write romance, and I also write young adult fiction. Of course, I use two different names. In romance, most of what I’ve written is contemporary heterosexual romance, but I’m finding that I really enjoy writing gay male romance, especially paranormal. In young adult, most of my books are urban fantasy, but I’ve done some contemporary as well. My favorite character is Kyle Slidell, from the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series, because he’s just incredibly fun to write. Stories about people who overcome difficult pasts are most inspiring to me.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? What are your most dreaded tasks? Anything special you do to get through the tough parts?
My favorite part is publisher edits. Once the book is accepted, I know as long as I don’t muck it up too badly, I’ll be published, so the pressure’s off. The edits that publishers send me, I look at as a challenge to prove to them that I can take a note and can improve my story, so it’s fun for me. The hardest part is revising before I submit, because every time I submit a book I’m afraid it will be rejected, so those revisions are important and there’s more pressure. I don’t have anything special I do; I just push through and get it done.
What’s a typical day look like for you? What’s your writing schedule? When you’re not writing what are you doing?
On a typical day, I spent at least three hours writing and another hour or two promoting. I also have two children and a husband who want my attention. I don’t have a writing schedule; I just sit down at my computer in the morning and get started, and stay there (with occasional breaks) until I’m finished. I set goals each morning for what I want to get done. When I’m not writing, I’m either watching TV, exercising, or chauffeuring my kids to appointments.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started making up stories when I was three or four, and started writing them down when I was five. When I was twelve, I wrote my first young adult novel (though it’s not something that will ever be published; it would need too much work). In 2006, I started writing erotic romance when a friend challenged me to write something showing sex as beautiful and positive, as part of some therapy he was helping me with.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I wrote my first story. I’ve always been a writer. I just wasn’t an author until I signed that first publishing contract.
What author is your work most like? What author would you like to be more like?
I don’t think my writing is like any other author’s. At least, I can’t think of one whose work or style are comparable. I try to have a distinctive voice because I want readers to know who Karenna Colcroft (or my young adult persona, if we’re talking YA fiction) is. Saleswise, there are a few authors I’d like to be like, but I’m pretty happy being myself.
What inspires your stories?
Lots of things. Something I see on TV or out in the “real world”. Conversations with friends online or offline. My husband occasionally has really weird, vivid dreams that he tells me about, and I’ve written a couple stories based on his dreams. Sometimes a dream I have inspires something. There isn’t any one source; I’m always on the lookout for a new plot bunny.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Lately it’s chopped steak subs, but I try to avoid those since the calories are insane.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
A TV show called Degrassi. It’s pretty much a soap opera for teens. It started as a Canadian show back in the 1980s, and was broadcast on public broadcasting here in the US. In the early 2000s, it was resurrected in Canada and broadcast here on what’s now the TeenNick cable network. It’s in the eleventh or twelfth season now of the new incarnation.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
To improve my promoting skills so people know my books and I exist.
Please tell us about your current projects and where we can purchase it. Where can we find you on the web?
My latest release is Veggie Burgers to Go, book two in my Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series. Well…it’s book two if you count novels only, but there was a Christmas short story released on December 26 that’s part of the series as well. The series is about Kyle Slidell, vegan-turned-werewolf who’s stubborn enough that even in wolf form he doesn’t eat meat, and his mate Tobias Rogan, the Alpha of the pack Kyle is brought into after he’s changed. The first book, Salad on the Side, came out in June 2011; Veggie Burgers to Go just came out January 6. You can buy all three books at MLR Press, http://www.mlrbooks.com.
Veggie Burgers blurb:
A member of the Boston North Pack is attacked by humans who say they were hired by a shifter. The same night, Melia, the wolf who changed Kyle, returns to Boston. The pack suspects Melia of arranging the attack, but Kyle believes someone else is behind it. He just doesn’t know who.
The next day at the regional alpha meeting in Pennsylvania, Kyle finds his answer. Saul Hughes, another alpha, has a long-standing grudge against Tobias. He claims Tobias is too weak to control a pack and makes it clear that he wants control of Boston North. But no one suspects how far he’ll go to get it.
If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be?
Again, I’m pretty happy being myself, so I’d rather not be any paranormal creature. I wouldn’t mind having psychic powers, though.