Interview with Karen Renee

Published 2018-04-06.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love all books, so this is a tough one for me, but here no particular order, by the way!
Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban because of so many things, but what I wouldn't give for my own time turner!
A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block - he is a master and T.J.'s character steals my heart.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, this book made me sob and it is so powerful
If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail my Feet to the Ground by Lewis Grizzard His account of being a southerner who moves to Chicago and the trials and travails that come with living in the brutal winter are absolutely gut-busting hysterical. He's ultimately one of the many writers that made me see writing could be a genuine profession for me.
Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley because of Mrs. Truman - need I say more? Well, of course Cash Fraser is delicious too!
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was eleven or twelve. I talked my mother into getting me an extra three-ring binder before the school year began, I filled that joker with as much paper as I could, and started writing by hand. It was a story about a girl named Hillary who lived in Hawaii with her dad in a four story house. I wanted an indoor pool on the third floor, but my father (who was a building inspector) told me that wasn't very feasible. It had NO plot, but the bug had bitten, and the first shot I had at taking an "elective" class in junior high-school, I took creative writing. So, that would have been when I was thirteen or fourteen.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I think it's just my general nature. I've always been independent, and would rather do something myself than depend on someone else to do it for me. I don't mean to insult or trivialize the traditional publishing system or anything, but there's no telling how long I'd have to wait to find an agent who's accepting queries for romance novels. I'm amazed at the number of agents who aren't currently taking new queries. That certainly speaks to market saturation, but the waiting game also speaks to my generally impatient nature. Why should I wait on someone to notice me or read my query, when I can do it myself these days, and do it far more affordably than it would have been in 1999 or 2000?
Describe your desk
My desk is a couch. That's just as crazy as it sounds because I have a beautiful roll top desk that I used when writing my mystery work in my twenties. I'll have to clear a space for my laptop there soon! I'm embarrassed, but there you have it, the unvarnished truth.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The "writer's high" is what I like to call it. I'm working on a blog post about this, but when I hit the high, it's like my mind is set free. Characters misbehave or tell me things I didn't realize were going on in my novel. I especially love it when they misbehave though. Razor, a character from my novel Unforeseen Riot, is one of my top examples of this. He wasn't supposed to even TALK to Mallory, but I was riding a high and Mallory started describing him and BAM! He gets up and walks over to her table. It was so bad for me that I couldn't figure out what to NAME him until I got two-thirds of the way done with writing the novel! For that matter, Razor did so many unexpected things that I wanted Mallory to fall for him instead of Cal, but thankfully Mallory informed me that wasn't in the cards.
What are you working on next?
Right now {April 2018}, I'm trying to finish the third book in the Riot MC series. The title is Into the Riot, and it's Razor's story. It's coming in December 2018, assuming all goes well! Problem is, Trixie and Roll have a short story, so I've got four characters clamoring for my time. Plus, I'm lining up editing and promotional aspects for Inciting a Riot, the second Riot MC book.
Who are your favorite authors?
Thank goodness you didn't give me a limit on this question, like the 5 favorite books question! My favorites (also in no particular order) are Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Lewis Grizzard, Kristen Ashley, Robert Parker, Ace Atkins (he's taken up the Spenser series since Parker passed, and he's done a stellar job of it!), Maya Banks, Joanna Wylde, Julie Ann Walker (she has such a way with regional phrases & sayings!), Patrick F. McManus, Ed McBain, Zadie Smith, William Faulkner, J.K. Rowling, Aimee Bender, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kylie Scott, Mo Willems {he's a children's author, and I wish I had half his genius!}, I feel certain I've forgotten someone phenomenal, but there you have it.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I rely on my local library quite a bit. I love using Overdrive. I also scan the recommendations from Amazon based on my reading history, but I never really trust that because it's algorithm based if I'm not mistaken. My friends on GoodReads all read a wide variety of genres and so my TBR list seems never-ending, but I try to scale that down sometimes too. I'm also part of the Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick group on Facebook, and those ladies have TONS of great book recommendations.
What is your writing process?
I don't have a process exactly. Most definitely, I do NOT do outlines. My husband always, but always, asks me if I did an outline for the story I'm working on at the time, and the answer is always a rotund NO. The only times I have genuinely and officially had writer's block were when I had to write a Term paper for Mrs. Norton back in high school, and when I had to write my Master's degree thesis. Mrs. Norton forced us to use larger than normal index cards so she could grade our research before writing the paper. Then we had to turn in the outline, which she also graded. Ultimately, the final term paper had to adhere to the outline. I remember sitting at my desk thinking, what's my first sentence going to be? I know I had an outline to look at, but my brain for whatever reason would NOT wrap around the notion of conforming to an outline. My thesis didn't have an outline, but a reading rationale, and I hit the block with that because it's tricky to write for a grade when it's going before a committee! In terms of my creative writing, I normally just sit down and start writing about whatever ideas are percolating in my head. I get tons of ideas when driving, so I've got a notebook with me most of the time, otherwise, all the various receipts in my purse get used for jotting down the gist of any crazy idea I get!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Fleming Island, Florida, but back then it was still part of Green Cove Springs. The area has absolutely exploded in population and infrastructure, but when I was growing up it was mostly woods. The high school I went to was a junior-senior high school with 1,200 to maybe 1,500 students tops over six different grades. There were just over 200 people in my graduating class, and I think going to such a small school absolutely influenced my writing. I wrote for my high school newspaper for a couple of years, and had much more meaningful relationships with my teachers than I think I would have in a larger school.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Mensa's Match
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Pre-release—available January 14, 2025. Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Mensa has street-smarts in spades. When he meets Whitney, he knows she’s trouble. He avoids her, but she keeps showing up. Former FBI agent, Whitney is rethinking life after losing her job. Her desire for Mensa is very dangerous. A threat forces Whitney to turn to Mensa. The way he despises her, can she convince him to help? Will they neutralize the threat without giving into attraction?
Break Out
Pre-release—available July 30, 2024. Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
After a one night stand with Steel, my life changes. What should have been no strings hits a snag. When I find him again, both our worlds are turned upside down.He's my ex's dad and one of my dad’s enemies. Knowing who I am, he’s more interested in using me than what I have to say. My Riot MC family wants to protect me. It’s hard to say whose hold I want to break out from more theirs or Steel’s.
Finn's Fury (Riot MC Biloxi #8)
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,290. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2024 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
After years of dealing with an abusive father, Riley yearns for the protection of a Riot MC brother. Finn is the one brother she avoids, but he's the only brother who sees she has a problem. He demands answers and brooks no arguments. When he discovers her father is the culprit, Finn is determined to keep her safe, no matter the cost.
Tiny Problem (Riot MC Biloxi #7)
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,430. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
My life changes once I meet Tiny. He whisks me away to protect me from my abusive ex-boyfriend. We hide in his apartment, but there’s only one bed. In the morning, a cop is ready to question us. Instinctively, I kiss Tiny so we look like a couple. My kiss ignites something in Tiny. One night at his apartment becomes a whirlwind affair. When my ex-boyfriend threatens Tiny, we’re put to the test.
Block's Road (Riot MC Biloxi #6)
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,630. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Block can’t stop thinking about the spunky, green-eyed woman who beat him at his own game. When Heidi agrees to one full night with him, he’s certain it will extinguish the fire between them. Except it doesn’t. It only fuels the flames. Complicating things, Heidi has an enemy lurking and a night with Block becomes a three-day-weekend. He insists on helping her which brings them closer together.
Gamble's Risk
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,180. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
The first time Gamble and Victoria met, he mansplained her job to her. The second time, he thanked her for failing at her job. The third time, she was dropped off at his MC beaten and bound with a note from Gamble’s enemies. She should stay far away from him, but they can't fight their attraction. Their relationship grows until they realize they need the same things. Justice. And each other.
O-Town Series Box Set
Price: $9.98 USD. Words: 254,560. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Collections & Anthologies
Orlando, Florida's two hottest DJs and their best friend unite with feisty women. Delve into the O-Town series and follow three alpha-men on their hard-fought journey to true love.
Cynic's Stance
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,180. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Cynic believes in a good time, not a long time; he avoids women looking for commitment. When he is ordered to protect Fiona Brinkley from her ex-fiancé, Cynic battles an almighty attraction - and loses. Fiona considers Cynic to be off-limits, so when he suggests they have a 'good time' she jumps at the chance. Can she convince him to settle down for a long time that promises to be a good time?
Roman's War
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,540. Language: English. Published: November 18, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Trinity must marry to claim her grandfather’s legacy. The man she wants isn't the marrying type. When she finds herself with proof of Roman committing a crime, she takes drastic actions. Roman faces an epic battle against a woman who could send him to prison. To protect himself & his club, he agrees to marry her. After they say, 'I do,' he discovers there's more to her than extortion.
Brute's Strength
Series: Riot MC Biloxi. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,850. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Meeting Kenzie challenges Brute's dedication to a carefree lifestyle. Her single-mom status scares him, but he can't stay away. A homicide detective is demanding answers in an unsolved murder, and he isn’t above using Kenzie against Brute to solve the case. Brute knows walking away is best for her and her daughter. But with three hearts on the line, will Brute find the strength to fight for love?
View their profile to see all of their books