BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 19, 2014

Karen Harper Discusses Where Authors Get Their Ideas & A Giveaway

I do love me some romantic suspense. One of my sisters is a big Karen Harper fan and first told me about her several years ago. I'd had her on my authors-to-try list ever since. I actually have book two in the Cold Creek trilogy, "Broken Bonds", sitting on my kindle, waiting to be read and reviewed.  I know, a real shocker that I haven't gotten to it yet, huh? :D And book one is on my wish list (cuz I am the QUEEN of reading out of order). So when the chance to be part of the tour for book three arose, I jumped all over it.

Okay, enough of my rambling. On with the show! Get your drink, shove the cats off the couch, and enjoy. :)

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county. Her latest book is the romantic suspense, "Broken Bonds", the third book in the Cold Creek Trilogy.

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In the years I’ve been published, I never gave this question much thought since I used to think everyone had lots of ideas and stories they could write about if only they wanted to or had the time. But then a reader asked two of us authors that question at a book signing: “Where do authors get their ideas?”

Of course, I can’t speak for all fiction authors, but I thought I knew enough to give a good answer. I was about to tell this reader, “I get my ideas off the page” (I find them while reading the paper or reading research books) or “off the wall” (I stumble into them). That would have been an honest answer, but the writer who was sitting next to me said simply, “You’re born with them or you’re not.”

And my writer friend was right! At least for fiction writing, creating characters and plots from your imagination, being able to come up with story ideas is a gift not everyone has. People are talented in different ways. I have a hard time with math—with remembering numbers, in general. But give something a name or need a character or a story? Oh, yes, my head is full of those.

I can recall making up stories with little action figures from my earliest days. Instead of taking a nap, I would have them walking and talking. In college I was an English major, because I liked to read and write. I taught high school for fifteen years and freshman English at Ohio State University for two years. But what a blessing that I was able to leave teaching to write full time—to get my ideas onto paper to share with others. (Well, it was always on paper before the digital age, at least.)

I found my initial inspiration for my new COLD CREEK TRILOGY: SHATTERED SECRETS, FORBIDDEN GROUND and BROKEN BONDS from a place I love, the edge of Appalachia in Ohio. Many of my books were born because I was intrigued by a particular spot. I’ve written nine books set in Ohio Amish country and three set in South Florida, places I know well. So sometimes I start with a place and my ideas go from that. Other authors start with plot or a particular character.

In BROKEN BONDS, for example, the heroine is a social worker helping Appalachian children. Appalachia is beautiful, but its mountain cliffs, waterfalls and abandoned coal mines can be dangerous too. All of that provides great settings for a romantic suspense novel. And my idea to have one of three sisters “own” each of the books and have an intriguing adventure—and find an intriguing man—came from the fact I’ve always wanted a sister. So Tess, Kate and Char became very dear to me. One idea leads to another and a new Karen Harper romantic/suspense book is born.

And, oh yes, since my editor likes my ideas for a new trilogy, my mind is already off to the races on the lives and loves—not to mention the dangers and deceptions—for a new story.


Haunted by the past…

Cold Creek is a place with a dark history, especially for the Lockwoods. Now adults, the three Lockwood sisters are still recovering from the events that led to the destruction of their family when they were children. Determined to move forward, Tess and Kate are making fresh starts, ready to put bad—even deadly—memories to rest and settle happily in the small but booming town. And they're hoping their older sister, Charlene, can do the same.

Char is back in town seeking comfort as she figures out her next move. A social worker used to difficult situations, she soon runs afoul of some locals who think she's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. She's certain something sinister is being covered up, and when she witnesses Matt Rowan being run off the road, she knows she's right.

Working together, Matt and Char figure uncovering the truth will be dangerous, but living in Cold Creek won't be safe for any of them until its secrets are revealed.

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Series: Cold Creek #3
Format: paperback, ebook, hardcover large print
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Buying Links:  Amazon* | Book Depository* | Kobo | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Karen is giving away 10 SETS OF THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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