Interview with Karen McGowan

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a collaboration with 2 friends when I was about 11 years old. They were a few years younger than me, and I took the lead. I haven't thought about this in years - and this question just brought it to mind. We were playing pirates, and it was such a cool, creative imaginative "script" we devised. We were acting it out - and we decided to write it all down. We put it into a "book" form, and actually sent it into a publisher. It was rejected, and they even sent us a letter, with a little encouragement for our future writing. I don't know what happened to it all (I wish I had saved it!). But we were confident we'd done some good work!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look for the categories I enjoy. Then I browse the ones by popularity - best sellers, most downloads. I'll skim through the ones that come up first when I log in, though - just in case there's anything different that catches my eye.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
With a passion for old West history and travel - we like to do things which incorporate that. With my husband we take trips locally and throughout the Western U.S and Canada. We explore historical sites and love to get to visually awesome sights! But we also travel other places, as well. At home we're almost daily updating our website and its related Facebook page. We go into town to meet up with friends, and relax around the house: reading, watching movies, enjoying our yard. We enjoy searching out and trying new restaurants on occasion. We like having new experiences once in a while!
What is your writing process?
For short pieces, I kind of wing it - just going free-hand. Then go back and revise as needed. With a larger work, I create an outline, with sub-headings also. Then I fill in the information. Then begin adding to that. Finally revising, and revising again - and again!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It's difficult to say THE first - but in general the first series of books I can remember reading were the Nancy Drew mysteries. I was constantly looking for the next one. She influenced me greatly as I was growing up, and knowing I could become whatever I wanted. So it was not only that as a young girl I began reading these books, but it was also a sociological lesson for me.
How do you approach cover design?
I've been to art school for a short time, and have taken art classes. I love designing. So I love to be involved in designing my own covers. I'm pretty computer-savvy. I do my cover designs usually with Paint.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love to read biographies, historical novels, and/or stories that tell a moral story. My first love is probably Hawaii by James Michener. It's awesome the way he describes even the land's beginning, and goes through every stage of its begin until the time he wrote the book. I love the islands, and have gone there often, so it has much meaning for me. Second is
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer my laptop. The print is maneuverable and large enough, I can download anything easily, and it's light and portable.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, through my website and ezine.
Describe your desk
It's stacked with all the papers I have to get to. My to-do stack! I will get to it! I promise!!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the East coast, the Northeast to be exact. It influenced me in that I had a lot of varied experiences - more of the times I grew up in, during the late 60s and 70s. Plus getting married when I was 18, having children early in that marriage. I'm still married to the same man, and we've had a lot of somewhat unusual, varied experiences. People are always saying to my husband, "You should write a book." He really has the talent to do it, but lacks the motivation - or the ambition, or the perseverance it would take. I think someday I may do it.
When did you first start writing?
About 10 years old, when I wrote a kid-sized novel. I always wrote short stories throughout my school years.
What's the story behind your latest book?
History of a famous guy that lived in our town in the 1880s - Wyatt Earp.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, to provide some earning possibility & interest offering for my website.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords offers a complete package for the average person to produce, publish and market a book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The satisfaction of producing a work that I can be proud of.
Published 2018-03-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.