Interview with Karla Brandenburg

When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I first started writing (i.e., when I was about six). I hand wrote a story (about cats) and sent it off to Random House. Imagine my surprise when they didn't publish it! They did, however, send me a very nice rejection letter.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Mist on the Meadow was developed from a "moment of grace." You know the ones where the whole world seems to stop for just a second to show you something ordinary and it seems extraordinary? Like the sun filtering through the trees or, in this case, a buck standing by the side of the road on a winter's day, majestic against the snow and huffing steam from his muzzle. I had to find a way to incorporate that perfect moment, and I did it with a little mysticism and fond memories. Add in some German heritage and stir.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Emptying my head! These stories have played out in my imagination as long as I can remember, and putting them down on "paper" is like recording a movie. Creating lives and situations for imaginary people gives voice to my "I wonder about that person/place/thing" fantasies, and the more I create their story, the more fun I have. The classic game of "what if."
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are validation. Knowing someone else enjoys my stories motivates me to write more stories. If I can create an alternate reality for someone for a few hours, one that takes them away from the stress and strain of everyday life, I've succeeded.
What are you working on next?
To tell you that it's a romance between an author and a ghost writer doesn't begin to scratch the surface. A woman, who selflessly harvests her eggs so her ungrateful sister can have a child, a man grieving through the final moments of his mother's life. A father whose only means to protect his children is to leave them.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love historical romance. Teresa Medeiros, Mary Balogh. I grew up on Gothic romance - Victoria Holt. I also enjoy suspense - John Grisham, Dan Brown, and I like to be scared (a little) - Stephen King and Rod Serling. These are all authors whose brands I trust. There are other authors whose books I enjoy that don't make the "favorite author" category, but whose books I would recommend in a heartbeat.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work a day job. A very demanding day job (hence the need to escape into the world of my imagination from time to time). I like to travel with my amazing husband, and I have also had the privilege of raising two fantastic children. Add a grandchild and a cat to the mix, and I'm easily distracted just "playing." I used to like to bake - a lot - but now I spend that baking time exercising (actually, probably more time exercising than I spend baking). It's the trade-off, you know.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly via recommendations and/or promotions.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
After the cat story when I was six? Yes. There was one in high school, a romance, that really didn't have much of a plot, wasn't really very good. Don't think it even had a title, but I remember the characters vividly, and you can expect them to show up in a future book (with different occupations, I would imagine). It was a professional tennis player woman and a professional baseball player man and how difficult it was to have a long-distance relationship (for the most part). Did I mention it wasn't very good?
What is your writing process?
This varies from book to book. It generally starts with a concept. Like the moment of grace for Mist on the Meadow. For Living Canvas, it was a painting (actually a laser print), coupled with a Night Gallery episode of someone walking through the cemetery in the painting. The initial inspiration finds characters to experience the phenomenon and I'm off. I tend to write by the seat of my pants, but I've found that when I take the time to outline where the story is going, I write 1) faster and 2) clearer. Without the outline, I spend a lot of time going backward to set up a plot point that I added later in the story and correcting ideas that work better or don't work at all. I keep notes and research articles/interviews that I need to remember, like character sketches and plot points. And when the story is finished, I comb through it to check for passive voice and overused/filler words. I don't let the nuts and bolts interfere with the creative process. I save that for last.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt. It was the first romance I read, and combined with the history (and my own German heritage) I was captivated. Convincing a woman that she'd lost two of the happiest weeks of her life, that it was a fantasy she'd created to replace a tragic event, was brilliant.

Dragonfly in Amber / Outlander - Diana Gabaldon. These two books were so compelling that I travelled to Scotland to 1) find a fictitious place that didn't exist (Craig na dun) and 2) to travel through a stone circle back in time. Failed on both counts (in case you were wondering).

Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling. Well written, engaging, books that span generations. When an author can write a YA book that pulls in grown-ups, too, she's accomplished something.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas. This book was long, and at times confusing and cumbersome, but I liked the way he interwove all the plot points and resolved them.

A Promise of Spring - Mary Balogh. I'm adding this one simply because it touched me in a very personal way. We all have "the one that got away," and she deals with this issue very tenderly, bringing home the point that there are reasons they got away and we should move forward rather than pine after what we could have had.

Jane Eyre. I need to put a qualifier on this. The writing is difficult to read, but the very poignant character sketch rises above that. Right along with the mensa vocabulary and the confusing sentence structure, you get an intimate look at a multidimensional woman that tugs at your heart.
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Selkie
Series: Epitaph. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,980. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Sent to Ireland to check on the status of one of the athletes she trains, Emma stops in a bar and is told a legend of seals that walk the land as men - Selkies. She wanders down to the sea after a couple of beers and sees two men walk out of the ocean and strip off a layer of black. Are they the Selkies she's been told about?
The Architect
Series: Epitaph. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,700. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A mischievous ghost in a NOLA hotel decides to play matchmaker, but with a strict non-fraternization policy at work, getting involved could get both Kathleen and Sebastian fired. Caught up in the city’s steamy atmosphere, their unexpected connection throws all their plans into a tailspin.
The Mirror
Series: Epitaph. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 68,690. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Before she can escape her home town, Sandra’s worst nightmare returns in the form of her violent ex-boyfriend. Garth might be the one man who can protect her, but what will he expect in return?
The Twins
Series: Epitaph. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 78,640. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
An icy road, a haunted house. A nurse returns to her hometown, struggling to come to terms with her past, and gets more than she bargained for in the form of a grumpy patient who stretches her beliefs.
Series: Epitaph. Price: Free! Words: 71,110. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
“Crazy Amy” Benson has an unusual talent for hearing epitaphs as the dead pass on. The men she dates who aren’t unnerved by her ability are usually scared off by Amy’s brothers. When reporter Kevin McCormick shows up to do a story at the cemetery, Amy tells him his dead sister is calling for justice, except Kevin’s sister died in an accident.
Cookie Therapy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,810. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After escaping death, a school shooting survivor is determined to make the most of her second chance at life.
The Mist Trilogy
Series: Kundigerin. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 222,530. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Fighting demons is a family business. From the secret legacy handed down to Marissa, to the ultimate demon showdown in Sedona, these books spin a new German fairy tale. This box set contains all three of the Mist books.
Rising Mist
Series: Kundigerin. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,250. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Max Maitland and his sister lure the demon to the metaphysical vortexes around Sedona, the perfect trap to end the demon’s power. Cornered, the demon strikes back by taking Robin Chandler hostage and demonstrating the magic she doesn’t believe in. Robin’s only chance at survival is to rely on the prowling cougar that Max commands, but that might be one risk she isn’t willing to take.
Gathering Mist
Series: Kundigerin. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,790. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Drawn into the danger that threatens Giselle, Scott must choose between his fear of what she is, or standing with her against encroaching evil.
Return to Hoffman Grove
Series: Northwest Suburbs, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,240. Language: American English. Published: October 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
After a nine-year absence, a hot-head returns to his home town, older and wiser. Now he wants to win the heart of the girl he left behind. Instead he has to protect her from the danger that follows him.
Heart for Rent, with an Option
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,910. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Is the attraction they share real? Or is it two people sharing grief?
Mist on the Meadow
Series: Kundigerin, 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,970. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Wolf Harper needs a Kundigerin, "one who knows," to close his grandmother's estate and save the failing family business; instead, professional baker Marissa Maitland rattles skeletons in his family's closet and ignites a passion Wolf has never felt before. Has he been bewitched? **Awarded Honorable Mention - Writers Digest Ebook Awards for Fiction.**
Living Canvas
Series: Northwest Suburbs, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,110. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Audrey MacDougall's new boss is cleaning house and to make matters worse, he is a “person of interest” in the mysterious disappearance of a young girl 20 years ago. Greg Ellison offers Audrey a chance to break away and start over, but what is it about Greg that pulls her out of the real world and inside a painting with him?