Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and sixty-third, is of novelist and non-fiction author Karen Jones.
Karen Jones’ first novel, Kingdom of Hearts was published in 1997 by the duplicitous and financially corrupt Commonwealth Publications in a disaster of epic proportions. The resulting scandal helped inspire former FBI agent Jim Fisher’s book Ten Percent of Nothing The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell.
Her second book, Up the Bestseller Lists, Adams Media, 2001, offers hands-on advice and guerilla techniques for authors who want to aggressively and successfully promote and market their work. Her third book, Death for Beginners, Quill Driver Books, 2010, 2012, is a nonfiction how-to practical guide for arranging a graceful exit written with baby boomers in mind.
Karen has fifteen years’ experience in television news at WVEC, an ABC affiliate, as an on-air anchor and feature reporter and while working as a series producer, she wrote and hosted the long-form Associated Press Award winning series The Haunting of Virginia.
She directed the Virginia Writers Conference for five years, was an advisor for the Bay School for the Arts, and is a member of the National League of American Pen Women and The Authors Guild.
Karen has worked for ten years as an educator in the public schools, both teaching and writing curriculum, workshops and seminars at colleges and universities.
Her fourth book, the historical romantic suspense The Highland Witch is on Kindle and other e-readers. Karen is currently shopping her fifth book, The Marcell Glide, a southern literary fiction coming of age story.
And now from the author herself:
I have been writing for most of my life, just like most writers. I was inspired to do so by my uncle who gave me a journal for my 12th birthday. I wanted to fill those pages with my stories. I continued to write, but not seriously until I turned forty. There is indeed something about that age that tends to kick one in the nether regions. I got serious. At the time I had been writing for television news (yes, the ultimate oxymoron). I was comfortable with deadlines and schedules – so I made one of my own.
I wrote Kingdom of Hearts, a historical romance. A shyster of a writing coach told me I needed a particular agent who unknown to me was in collusion with an on-demand printer and in the end; I was out a bit of money. But I did get the book published and today it is on Amazon as both print and an eBook. Lesson learned I delved into the world of publishing and traditionally published my next two books – both nonfiction, how-to books. Up The Bestsellers List tells how to publicize your book.
Death for Beginners, written for baby boomers is about how to plan for your death. Both sold well and Death is in its second printing. In the meantime I joined with a writing partner and for 10 years we held week-long writing camps for adults on Ocracoke Island, NC. We had such fun and many of our writers turned into successful mid-list authors.
I continued in television news, continued to write and began teaching writers by holding seminars at bookstores, and giving lectures at colleges and universities.
My current work The Highland Witch is a historical suspense / romance set in 14th century Scotland. It was inspired by a trip to Scotland to meet my husband’s relatives. This work is on Kindle. My current project The Marcell Glide is a southern coming-of-age story which is really a work of my heart and soul.
As for writers, the most important thing is to sit down and write every day. One needs to make a habit of it. Think you don’t have time? Keep a journal for one week and find where you might have a half hour or so. Have a family that drives you nuts? Negotiate with them for some free time. Have nowhere to write? Empty out a closet; cordon off one part of a room with a screen. Distracted buy the Internet? Unplug it. The point is to make writing a habit. Make it something you do just like brushing your teeth. It keeps the creative pathways open and makes you begin to think of yourself as a writer. Can you tell I’ve taught writers for years?
So, go do it. Go write! Cheers!
Absolutely. Thank you, Karen. You can find more about Karen and her writing via…
- Writing website: http://www.kjwriter.com
- The Highland Witch on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/TheHighlandWitch
- Death for Beginners website: http://deathforbeginners.com.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with science-fiction author, songwriter and poet Eleni Papanou – the six hundred and twenty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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