Interview with Karolyn Cairns

When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about ten years-old. I was always scratching away in notebooks, hiding them under the couch from my family. I was so embarrassed of it I didn't want anyone to know.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My new vampire romance novel was inspired by the basic premise of 'Be careful what you wish for'. I think we all wish we could change our lives, be something more than we are. My heroine in The Wanting personifies all of us, wishing we could break out of our own mediocrity. It also sends a message that having a different life creates different problems.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became an indie author because I got tired of my work being rejected by traditional publishers. I resented being limited by preconceived ideas of what the public wished to read. I started to get very angry that my reading choices should be decided by somebody else. Being able to self-publish is a gift for those of us who are adamant to write what we want people to read, offer them choices they might not get from the current bookshelf.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was the first platform I chose. I think they contribute in maintaining their basic principals when it comes to allowing authors autonomy.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the actual publishing process, seeing it born. I look back when it was just some crazy idea, or some fantasy I couldn't shake. I get to track it from that conception, to an actual product. I get an incredible sense of accomplishment every book I publish. Its an incredible rush to see the stories you can't seem to shake become real in the form of a novel.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. They are the reason I write. Their opinions are priceless. To have one person care as much about my characters as I did creating them gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction. I hope I deliver to them stories that are real, relatable, and provide a delicious escape.
What are you working on next?
I put off finishing my two series. The first is The Wicked Series, where I offer the third installment in a continuing group of characters. I plan a fourth. My fans demand a fifth, liking certain characters from the book. I don't know where I plan to end it. We'll see where it goes. The second series is The Lost Tribe, the third book, titled, Fangs, has been in the works for some time. I hope to have the third book in both series out by spring 2014.
Who are your favorite authors?
I adore Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I read all her books. She was my inspiration for becoming a romance novelist. I'm currently reading George R. R. Martin's The Dance of Dragons. I love the show and the books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm inspired to find out what happens next. Life doesn't flow like a book, has more twists, and can never be edited in some cases. I'm excited about starting new projects, wondering if this one will make my career take off.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work fulltime, have a live-in love, twin teenage daughters, and a cat. My spare time is spent plugging away at perfecting all of them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I get recommendations from friends, some of my fans, and family.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
OMG, funny you mention that. My mother passed away in May. What I didn't expect to get in the mail was a box full of my old grade school work and pictures. My first book was like, "Dick and Sally went up the hill." "Sally and Dick took their dog Spot." It was complete, with pictures. Good stuff.
What is your writing process?
I'm all over the place. Usually, it's a story I develop in my head. I build it there first, give it life, see where it goes. I take some notes, outline scenarios. Sometimes, I just sit in front of the computer and it just flows. I don't have a specific process I use consistently.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think the first books that had the greatest impact on me were written by S.E. Hinton when I was in middle school. I could relate to some of the characters. It helped me learn to enjoy reading too. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia in kindergarten. It was a struggle for me when I first started school.
How do you approach cover design?
I get a picture of my hero and heroine in my mind first. I choose my covers or create them based on what I want conveyed to the reader. Usually, it has to pop out at me, and I say "Yeah, that's it."
What do you read for pleasure?
I try to read books outside my genre, suspense thrillers. I like to explore other genres. Sometimes it gives me ideas for my own novels.
Describe your desk
My desk is any flat surface where I can get something written if I feel inspired. I've written on cocktail napkins when I had to. I'm most comfortable in bed with my laptop, against some comfy pillows, with lots of caffeine available.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have an author's page on Smashwords and Amazon. I have an author page on Facebook. I post on author sites, writing groups, a member of Goodreads. I think good old-fashioned word of mouth is still the best. Patience is also necessary. Free book offers increase visibility.
How do you feel about how indie authors are treated by the Industry?
I think indie authors don't get as much respect as they should. I think its based on a premise of fear that we will take over and under-cut traditionally published books. I don't see that happening. I also resent the implication indie's self-publish because their work is substandard, or not good enough for traditional means. I think the assumption you have less talent if you self-pub is just another form of a bad review. Don't read it. Move on.
Where do you see your career in ten years?
I see myself writing, improving, gaining a larger body of work. I hope to be able to devote more of my time to it when financial reasons don't conflict. I see growth. You learn a lot in ten years. I hope to write even better books. A measure of some success is desirable, but it isn't going to be a deal breaker.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in mid-Michigan. It was a pretty conservative area. My mom was divorced when I was very young. I was the youngest, got lost in the shuffle of four kids, and that's when my mind started wandering.
Published 2013-12-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Wicked Entanglement
Series: Wicked. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 163,050. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Lord Iverleigh’s willful daughter always gets her way. All that Lady Rosalyn St. Armand ever wanted was to be a grand countess like her mother, to be accepted within London society. She falls in love with Jaime Dunleavy from the moment she first sees him. She vows she will marry the darkly handsome Irish lord at any cost, even knowing he is engaged to another.
Sinners and Saints
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 140,520. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Elisha Mayhew despairs of her future after her father arranges for her to marry a man she despises within their faith. Having little choice, she leaves the Pennsylvania Mormon compound for the wilds of Wyoming Territory, praying that a better life waits for her out west.
A Viking's Promise
Series: The Viking Horde. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110,000. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval
Lady Ambryn of Dannulf was sold into marriage twice to further her father’s ambitions. Twice a widow, a new alliance is arranged with the heir to the House of York. Too late she realizes this desperate alliance is doomed as the Great Heathen Army batters down the doors to her wedding feast.
The Ghost Who Loved Me
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,860. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
The Duchess of Westerleigh was cruelly banished by her estranged husband amid a scandal not of her making. Tormented by her love for another and trapped in her empty marriage, Elizabeth Carlisle believes the castle will remain her prison until she agrees with her husband’s despicable plan to achieve an heir. As soon as she arrived in Wales, she begins to suspect all was not what it seemed.
The Squatter's Daughter
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 115,410. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Born dirt poor to squatters in the harsh plains of west Texas; feisty young Raeanne Cullen dreams of escaping her bleak existence. After her drunkard of a father dies at the hands of a drifter and her faithless mother runs off, she is faced with the task of raising four younger brothers and a baby sister on her own. By chance a family member’s name is found printed in their mother’s bible.
A Wicked Arrangement
Series: Wicked. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 134,190. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Gillian St. Armand fled her glittering life in high society London, embittered and disillusioned with her marriage of convenience. Free to pursue her own pleasures now that she’s met the terms of their hated arrangement, she is haunted by the lingering desire for the man she cannot forget. Though Gabriel gave his heart to another, years ago, Gillian is determined to bring her husband to heel.
Heartsongs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 91,240. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Historical » Renaissance
The Honorable Lord Thaddeus Whitmore, the Marquess of Heath, and the heir to a great dukedom, was ship bound for the Caribbean, to beg the hand in marriage a foreign princess he neither wanted, or ever set his eyes upon. Princess Leira of Mer came upon the horrific sea battle, hearing the legendary heartsong the minute she set eyes upon the handsome land dweller.
The Wanting
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 128,020. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
A naïve beauty, orphaned and alone, Juliette St. Michael always longed for something more out of life, never imagining her innocent thoughts would ever be heard. An otherworldly creature hears her desperate pleas. The soon-to-be king of the Nocturnae, an ancient breed of vampire, begins to stalk her, with an insatiable taste for her that spans a century.
Love.com
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 84,400. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Emily Walker just found out the disturbing truth about her husband's secret life. Forced to acknowledge her marriage wasn't as perfect as she thought after his death, Emily returns to her job as an advertising executive. She lands the account that is sure to make or break her career. There to help her come up with the perfect campaign is Ian Sawyer.
A Witch's Tale
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,140. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Paranormal
(4.00 from 1 review)
Madeline Farrand was condemned to burn for witchcraft when her spells go awry. A novice witch, she struggles to learn her craft on her own when her mentor dies. Sir Gavin de Mortaine swaggers to her rescue and stops her execution.
A Viking's Love
Series: The Viking Horde. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 159,620. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Allisande of Lockwraithe paid the price for her father's treachery when the Viking invaders destroyed her home and abducted her for ransom. The Viking leader, Joran Ivarsson, swore to make her suffer as his slave, but one look into his fiery slave's eyes and he was the one captivated. Allisande expected to suffer at her captors hands, not feel the stirrings of desire for her barbaric new master.
The Libertine's Wife
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 138,160. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
Lady Arianne Dunne went along with her brother's rash scheme to ensnare her a rich husband. In love with another man, she sees the wealthy marquis as merely a means to an end. Garret Spencer, the Marquis of Ravensford, is the last man any lady would seek as a husband. An unrepentant libertine of the worst sort, he has sworn off marriage.
Oblivion
Price: Free! Words: 103,370. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Inspirational
(4.00 from 1 review)
Lindsay Morgan and Jace Turner had their whole lives ahead of them until one horrific act changed everything. Lindsay has to learn to live without Jace and come to terms with his murder. Jace finds himself in another place, off the beaten track from Heaven. A place called Oblivion. Determined to get back to his girl and make his murderer pay, Jace realizes the meaning of life and love.
Claws
Series: The Lost Tribe, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,930. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 5 reviews)
Tania has woken up after her forty year slumber. She has a ravenous hunger to reclaim Eli,the one she sees as her true mate. Vivvie and Eli return from their honeymoon overwhelmed with raising their young. Vivvie allows her doubts and fears to destroy her mate's trust.Renounced by Eli, she seeks out Jericho,her only friend, in a dream. The demon changes the rules, demanding the tribute its owed.
A Wicked Deception
Series: Wicked, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 137,070. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
Catherine and Nicholas should have been happy. The Countess has gone to her death.Her past now resolved, Catherine learns her husband's secrets have come back to haunt them. While Nicholas sets the stage to destroy the man who devastated him as a child, Catherine remembers her feelings for Gabriel. She is torn once more between the man she married and the man who continues to hold her heart.
Tristan's Loins
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,400. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
(4.78 from 9 reviews)
Aspiring author, Selene Weston didn't have a clue about how to write a romance novel. She created Tristan de Montfort, a twelfth century hero who embodied everything she felt important in a man. A magical ring makes Tristan real. Soon,he is jumping out of the pages and rewriting his own destiny from her desktop. He isn't happy with his snooty heroine, or the happy ending Selene has planned.
Talons
Series: The Lost Tribe, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,960. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(4.86 from 7 reviews)
Vivvie Collins was only there for the cheddar biscuits. A blind date at Red Lobster turns ugly and she is marked by an ancient beast out of spite for her rejection. Soon her roommate goes missing, every stray cat in the neighborhood is crawling over her patio, and she develops some serious issues of her own. The creature that stalks her isn't going anywhere. He marks his territory.
A Wicked Proposition
Series: Wicked, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 157,840. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
Catherine arrives on her sister's doorstep seeking charity for herself and her young brothers, not the intrigue that is sparked by a jaded noblewoman, a missing diary, and a cruel misunderstanding.