Interview with Karen Renee

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.
Published 2018-04-06.
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Books by This Author

Inciting a Riot (Riot MC Series #2)
Series: Riot MC. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 115,360. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Cary "Vamp" Sullivan shoved Lorraine Ingram out of his life by cheating on her, and has regretted it ever since. He runs into her unexpectedly and finds out she's been beaten by a man. Vamp & his Riot MC Brothers vow to protect her. Lorraine insists Vamp not be the Brother to protect her. The MC makes no promises, and she finds herself with Vamp on her doorstep. Vamp strives to get a second chance
Unforeseen Riot (Riot MC Series #1)
Series: Riot MC. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 135,000. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Mallory Pierce has been hiding from life. She meets Riot MC biker, Cal Robertson, and Mallory begins to live again. She cannot refuse a ride on the back of his bike. and their chemistry is volatile. When Mal's home is invaded, over-protective Cal insists on helping her put the pieces back together. Cal is determined to protect Mallory and get to know her too. He wants her in his life. Permanently.