August 19 – Karen Hawkins

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today is Sunday, so Karen Hawkins is doing the Q&A and no one’s on the page.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

 

2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

I write because I love to read, and at some point, I discovered I had a story to tell. So I told it. And then, to my surprise, I sold it. And I’ve been writing ever since!

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Wow. That’s a tough question. I guess it was leaving my safe, secure job teaching political science at a college in Georgia to start writing full time. That was tough. But I did it with forethought and didn’t quit my ‘day job’ until I was making a certain amount of money from my writing.

That was tough, because I’m a worrier!

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

I write romantic books because real life is sometimes hard and is even, at times, brutal. Books have been my escape since I was a child and I want to bring that sort of happiness to others. Relationships are the best parts of our lives (or should be!), especially our romantic relationships. I love reliving that ‘just-falling-in-love’ feeling, and I think other people do, too.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.

Oh gee, there are so many. Seriously, I’ve married the most romantic guy. Just this morning, as we were leaving the house, my dh (whom I call Cap’n Hot Cop) stopped in the middle of the walkway, turned around, took my hand, kissed it, and said, “Have I told you lately how much I love you?” I just MELTED. There was no reason for it at all – he just did it. Which to me, makes it more romantic than a present on an anniversary.

I’m a very, very, very lucky woman, which is why I love, love, love writing about love.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

I’d tell my younger self as a woman: “Never, ever settle when it comes to relationships. The good ones are worth waiting for.” I’d also tell her, “Don’t go looking for love. Just learn to be happy and love yourself, and you’ll attract those who will love you as you are.”

I’d tell my younger self as a writer: “Don’t hire the nice agent. You don’t want a nice agent. You want a sharp-toothed tiger agent who will roar when you need her to.”

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

 That there were women with successful careers in every era you can think of, even when it wasn’t legal for them to vote or own property. 

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

I only write one book at a time. When I hear voices competing for their story, I take notes and file them for ‘the next book.’ I tried writing two books at a time, but I’m not organized well enough for that. The characters kept slipping into the wrong books. It was annoying!

 
If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

I’d love to live in Elizabethan England if I could be a member of court. Queen Elizabeth I has always been on my Historical Would Like to Meet List, and I love the clothes of that era. Those gowns! Swoon! She was an amazing woman for her time and she was surrounded with some fascinating people like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Walsingham, Christopher Marlowe, and Shakespeare.

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

I had a reader write a beautiful letter to tell me that she’d read and re-read A BELATED BRIDE over and over while she was going through chemo and that it had helped her so much because it always made her laugh when she needed it most. That made me weepy, and I’m happy to say she has since recovered, and keeps that book in her nightstand to remind her of what she’s overcome.

I’m getting teary-eyed right now thinking of it. That’s a tough, difficult fight, and she’s a brave, brave woman.

 

Karen recommends:

Right now, I’m reading Suzanne Enoch’s new, refreshing, and fun contemporary novel BAREFOOT IN THE DARK, from the Samantha Jellicoe series. I ADORE this book and if you haven’t tried her Samantha Jellicoe series, then you need to. So much fun!

Suzanne Enoch    –     www.suzanneenoch.com    –    @Amazon

I just finished reading THE SECRET OF FLIRTING by Sabrina Jeffries. I adore her sparkling dialogue and am excited because this is the fifth book in her Sinful Suitors series and they’re all excellent. She has such a deft hand at character development. So fun!

Sabrina Jeffries   –   www.sabrinajeffries.com    –   @Amazon

 

And last but not least, I just bought, but haven’t yet read, THE LAIRD’S WILLFUL LASS by Anna Campbell. I’ve always loved her books, but had missed this one, so it’s now waiting for me to read next.

Anna Campbell  –    annacampbell.com   –   @Amazon

 


Karen Hawkins is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 fun and lively Regency historical romances and two humorous contemporary romances. Like Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, and Suzanne Enoch, Karen’s books are known for their sparkling humor, dashing rakes, independent heroines, and often include freshly retold fairy tales (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc), daring rescues, runaway brides, marriages of convenience, Regency balls, and more!

With vivid descriptions, strong characters, and captivating plots, Karen takes her readers from London’s Regency ballrooms to the purpled moors of Scotland and beyond.

 

Buy Karen’s books:

 

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

 

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)