Karen, we are excited to have you here. I miss seeing you at GRW meetings. Ladies, help me welcome Karen.

Hi, and thanks for hosting me on the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers blog! I’m excited to be here and I’m celebrating the release of TAKE ME TWO TIMES, the second book in my series about an agency that recovers stolen art. (For more info please visit www.KarenKendall.com.)

What was your first published book and with whom?

My first published book was SOMETHING ABOUT CECILY, which was released by Avon Books in May, 2001.

How many books did you write before selling one?

I wrote four complete manuscripts before selling the fourth.

How many books have you published?

At this point, I’ve published eighteen, written four more and am under contract for another three.

What themes go through your books?


Interesting question! I’d say themes of honesty, growth, materialism vs. what really matters in life, and all different kinds of love . . .

How would you best describe your books?

I’d say my books are character studies, romps, capers – but with some very serious themes like forgiveness, redemption, etc.

How did you write with kids and deadlines?


Well, I have no kids (unfortunately) but I do have two very tolerant greyhounds, Merry and Lilah, a funny, sarcastic, sweet husband, Don – and a demanding cat, Boo.

Which other jobs have you had?


I’ve worked retail, I’ve worked for small museums and galleries, I’ve done merchandising. I’ve been a grants writer . . . lots of odd jobs! Funny, they’ve all ended up helping me in my writing career.

What do you love most about writing and do you not like?


I love creating characters, bringing them to life, exploring a new story world. I love the process of writing, even though it always feels like a pressure-cooker because of the deadline . Hmmm, what do I not like? That pressure-cooker feeling, the fact that I know I can always make something better if only I had more time, and nasty reviews. LOL. Also, the pressure to increase sales is nerve-wracking.

What are you writing now?


Right now, I’m working on the revisions for TAKE ME FOR A RIDE, which is the third book in the TAKE ME series. (Book one is TAKE ME IF YOU CAN and book two, which just came out yesterday, is TAKE ME TWO TIMES.)

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

You know, I really, really love this series that I’m writing now! I feel lucky that I’m able to work on these books. They draw on my art background and also my love of exciting intrigue—movies like the Thomas Crown Affair (remake) and the Alias series and old films like Cary Grant’s To Catch a Thief.

Why do you write?

I write because I love to. I can’t imagine doing anything else, despite the pressures of promotion and sales and all those other things that don’t come naturally. I love bringing characters to life and telling stories about human behavior and what motivates it . . .

How do you write?

It’s funny—I’m a combination of what they call a “pantser” and a “plotter.” What I do is start with some basic plot points in the classic three-act story structure. Then I flesh those points out into a synopsis. And from there I do the first few chapters of a proposal. Then, LOL, I hope my editor buys it!

After that, the story may change or I may restructure it. Some of those changes can be drastic (like when I threw out 200 pp. of TAKE ME IF YOU CAN and changed the villain to the hero!) but most often they’re subtle.

Do you write what you know?


I love this question! I think that a fiction writer always produces a combination of what he/she knows and what he/she imagines and researches.

What’s next for you?

Coming next is the third book in the TAKE ME series, which is TAKE ME FOR A RIDE. It’s a really fun story involving a family heirloom necklace which once belonged to Catherine the Great. The hero is a bad, bad boy—in fact, the girls at ARTemis, Inc. (my art recovery agency) love to call him McManWhore. But even bad boys fall in love—it just takes the right woman!

Thanks for having me on the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers blog—it’s been a lot of fun. Ask me anything you’re curious about, okay? And be sure to check out the sizzling hot, sexy series video trailer for the TAKE ME series at www.KarenKendall.com!

I’m also giving away a copy of TAKE ME IF YOU CAN to a lucky commenter. Have a great spring full of lots of wonderful books! All the best,

Karen Kendall

16 comments

  1. Judy // April 8, 2009 at 8:19 AM  

    Glad to have you here, Karen! Your series sounds so neat! Love the concept and will definitely look them up at the candy store...uh, book store! (Buying books is like buying candy for me! LOL!)Congratulations!

  2. Edie // April 8, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

    Karen, The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo is one of my favorite movies. To Catch a Thief was terrific, too. I'm eager to read your "Take Me" books. :)

  3. Mary Marvella // April 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM  

    Good morning, Karen! Hey, Edie and Judy!

  4. Arkansas Cyndi // April 8, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

    Hi Karen! I was lucky enough to score a critique by Karen a couple of years ago and a chance to meet Karen at Space Coast Authors' Guild conference in 2006!

    Karen writes some fun, funny contemporaries...just my cup of tea. If you're looking for fun, fast, and romantic, Karen's your gal!

    Edie - I with you on movies. Those are two of my favorites.

  5. Barbara Monajem // April 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

    I was lucky enough to score a critique by Karen, too, a few years ago. Your remarks were a huge confidence booster, Karen - I'll always be grateful.

    Don't put me in the draw because I already bought my copy of Take Me If You Can - it's on top of my TBR pile.

  6. Mona Risk // April 8, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

    Hi Karen, nice to have you here and welcome to the PFS. I read some of Karen's books before I met her and was thrilled when she joined our FRW chapter. Both The Thomas Crown Affair and To Catch A thief were among my all time favorite movies. And also another of Audrey Hepburn about stolen paintings that is set in Paris. I can't remember its name.

  7. Mary Ricksen // April 8, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

    Karen is one of the sweetest and most approachable of the big talents today. Mona, Jianne, and I, get to see her frequently. And you don't. (grin)
    Just kidding, she always has a ready smile for everyone she meets. And she has such a great voice, that her novels draw you in and you are hooked before you know it.
    Thanks for being here Karen. You're the best!!

  8. Karen Kendall // April 8, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

    Wow . . . I am blushing to read some of your VERY nice comments! (Did my relatives send you $ to say these things? LOL.)

    Judy, books are better than candy.

    Edie, I hope my books live up to your expectations!

    Mary, I miss you and all of GRW still.

    Cyndi, I remember you well! How are you? Still got those wild reading glasses? I loved those.

    Hi, Barbara! I remember your story well--the historical, right?

    Hey, Mona! The name of that Audrey Hepburn movie is HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, and I loved that one too!!!

    Mary R., YOU are the best!

    Thanks for having me here today, and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have . . . (i.e. so how DID you grow that third arm, Karen? Is it helpful for slapping yourself in the forehead when you mess up your plots?) LOL.

    I'll check back in soon! Best, KK

  9. MJ // April 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

    I would love to read this. Thanks for the great interview.


    mj.coward{at}gmail.com

  10. Mary Marvella // April 8, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

    Where is the strangest place you've ever lived?

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 8, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

    Mary, great interview! Karen thanks for visiting with the Fuzzies! I read with interest the part where you threw out 200 pages, because I did that on the rewrite of my most recent project. It was painful, but it made the story much stronger. Plus, I got to visit with my heroine and hero again while I finished up the new 200 pages!

    Scarlet

  12. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 8, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

    Karen,
    Do you ever find it hard to let go of your characters when a work is finished? Do you find yourself thinking in their voice as you start the next project? How do you slide into the new characters. Any tricks for cleansing the pallet so to speak that you can give us?

    Scarlet

  13. Karen Kendall // April 8, 2009 at 8:53 PM  

    Thanks, M.J.!

    Mary asked, what is the strangest place I've ever lived? Hmmmm. I think I'd have to say Florida! For example, I met my next door neighbor when she showed up in my driveway with a chainsaw, begging to cut down my ugly, overgrown hedges.

    I took one look at her flaming red/orange hair, her long acrylic nails, her 20K Rolex . . . the crazed look in her beautiful blue eyes. Then I looked back at the chainsaw. I said, carefully, "Nice to meet you. You can do anything you want while you're holding that chainsaw, Lady!" LOL.

    She cut down the hedges. I brought her a gift bag with my books in it the next day. It's been a great relationship ever since . . . and it turns out that the chain saw belongs to her friend Vicky, so I'm no longer afraid for my life!

    Scarlet, you ask some great questions. Yes, tossing that 200 pp. was both the scariest and the most freeing thing I've ever done as an author.

    Do I find it hard to let go of my characters after the book is done? Yes! I think that's why Avy and Liam are back in TAKE ME TWO TIMES. (They are the hero/heroine of TAKE ME IF YOU CAN.) I don't want to say goodbye because they've become friends to me (my husband jokes about my imaginary friends all the time).

    As for cleansing the writing palate of your old buddies, hmmm. I guess I do that by creating foils for them in the next book. Completely different archetypes, you know? Liam is a rogue and a modern-day dandy in a way. So Quinn (hero of TAKE ME TWO TIMES) had to be a more serious, hardworking type, a kid who came from the wrong side of the tracks and won't let anyone disrespect him anymore.

    Gwen (heroine of the same book) is less experienced, less grounded and less sure of herself than Avy. But she's just as tough in her way. She has to prove to everyone that she's not just a spoiled rich girl.

    Slowly your interest transfers to the new set of characters.

    Good luck with your writing, Scarlet!

    And again, everyone, thanks for having me on Pink Fuzzy Slippers today! Best, Karen

  14. Mary Marvella // April 9, 2009 at 12:23 AM  

    Karen, thanks bunches for taking the time to visit us. Didn't ask about fav sleep wear.

  15. Jane // April 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

    Congrats on the new release. Will there be more than three books in the Take Me series?

  16. robynl // April 12, 2009 at 12:15 AM  

    have you ever written dogs into your books; I am a dog lover big time and love dogs in stories. Thanks.