Today I’m pleased to introduce Karen Kennedy Samoranos, author of two books with Musa Publishing, Road Apples and The Curious Number, the latter of which came out just a couple of weeks ago. I could give you blurbs and talk for a while about her work, but I think I’d rather let her speak for herself.
There is one thing I have to say though: the main male character in Road Apples happens to share a name with my nephew, Wyatt.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Road Apples?
As a love story, Road Apples is a strange mix of age discrepancy, differing races, and incongruent religions. However, the message behind Road Apples’ story line of two people (who begin a lasting relationship, oddly enough, through a casual sexual encounter), is that life, with its obstacles, somehow finds a mystic alignment when fate overcomes free will.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as a career instead of a hobby?
I have always wanted to write – it’s a passion of mine. There’s a complete alternate reality inside of my head; small town and suburbs populated with people whom I know intimately. Fortunately, as a self-employed partner in a music education business, I am able to balance my passion for writing, with a steady income.
3. How did you get the idea for Road Apples?
Road Apples focuses on the differences between people, and what draws them toward love and sexual attraction. Being the product of a multi-ethnic lineage, and in an interracial marriage, I understand the drive in such an attraction, but also the elements of blindness that create enduring love.
4. How much do you plan before starting a novel?
There’s always an outline to a story, but I admit the characters have a way of surprising me, no matter how much I plan. Sometimes I find myself channeling their story. There have been times when I’ve disagreed with a certain turn of events in a story initiated by a character, and yet I’ve been unable to change the outcome.
5. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you, and how do you make it easier for yourself?
Uninterrupted writing is extremely difficult. I cope by learning to keep the story line alive in my head, so I can pick up and continue once I’m back on my laptop.
6. How do you develop your characters?
I draw from basic human behaviors to create my characters. Sometimes they are modeled after people I know or have known. Usually the outlining process and a basic synopsis help me build characters.
7. How do you edit your novels?
Editing can be tedious, but I’ve acquired certain tools, such as Word for Mac, and then my faithful reader, the voice called “Victoria” on my computer, who can read anything aloud from my laptop. That trick is extremely helpful, as often my internal voice will miss doubled words, while Victoria, the external voice, corrects what my eyes and brain previously missed.
8. Can you tell us a bit about the process of preparing the submission package for Road Apples?
Most of that comes from experience. For a synopsis, I write, in 150 words or less, as though I’m creating the blurb for a book jacket. You have to have a hook, something to grab the reader’s attention. Sex and mayhem seem to be excellent hooks.
9. What do you think is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring writers to remember?
Keep it simple. There’s a certain ease and flow you have to adhere to. Write what you know, and what you don’t know, be sure you do your research thoroughly.
10. What are you working on right now that readers can look forward to?
I have a novel, The Curious Number—released on March 9th with Musa Publishing on March 9th, 2012—about an eccentric family dealing with their matriarch’s dementia, complicated by a brutal double murder and a graphic extramarital affair. Back to sex and mayhem again. Additionally, I have a collection of short stories about contemporary Red Power in northeastern California, Death By Bitter Waters, which will be released with Musa on June 22nd.
Bio: A native Californian, Karen Kennedy Samoranos co-manages a music education business with her husband, Clifford, focusing on jazz theory, and live stage performance for children ages 5 through 18. She has four adult children, and two young grandchildren. When not writing, she runs 3+ miles daily, hikes, fishes, ride motorcycles (dirt and street), and is an advocate for daily exercise, red wine and whole foods.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of either Road Apples or The Curious Numbers, you can find Karen’s Musa page here.