Author: Karen Stivali
Length: 33.000 words / 140 pages (novella)
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance, gay romance, M/M
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Last week I put up a post about a new book release and we got a taste of what was inside the cover. Today we also get to look inside the head of the author. Read on, to the fascinating interview and the chance to win prizes.
SynopsisOutside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.
Buy Moment of ImpactDreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5855
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RO1Z6ZC/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RO1Z6ZC/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00RO1Z6ZC/
About the authorKaren Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:
Let’s start by telling us, in twenty words, or less, what your book’s about.
College roommates discover love behind closed door---will the outside world destroy the happiness they’ve found?
What was it that led you to write in the genre(s) you write?
I write m/f and m/m contemporary romance for one very simple reason---I love happily ever after endings. Regardless of who the two main characters, are my books are all about the journey they take as they fall in love---the sexual tension, the anxiety, and all the awesome firsts---first kiss, first touch, first sex, first fight, first make up sex. All the good stuff that makes relationships fun and interesting and heart breaking and beautiful.
Are your books character led or plot led, or both?
My books are character led because it’s the characters and their emotions and reactions that drive the plot. Plenty of things happen in my novels, but the characters are always the focus. I don’t think in terms of “what happens next” I think about “how would my character react” or “how would that make them feel.”
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
The writing. It may sound silly, but I let characters live in my head (and they talk to me nonstop) for quite some time before I write their stories, so when I finally get to the point where I know I’m ready to write, I love being able to finally spill everything I’ve had whirring around in my head onto the page. The best part is when the story is flowing so well I can’t stop writing. Those are my favourite moments.
What is your least favourite part of the writing process
Waiting to hear how people have reacted after reading it. Whether it’s my critique partner reading a first draft, or my agent or an editor reading the book for the first time, or a reader who’s just picked up a copy, my stomach twists in knots while I wait to hear what they have to say. But critique is part of the writing process---a very important part---so I make sure my books get read by as many people as possible before they get released to the world. I want to put out the best possible versions of my books so even though it’s my least favourite part I always get plenty of feedback before I say I’m “done” writing a book.
Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?
Nowhere in particular. I’m not one to find a photo and base a character on the way that person looks and I never base my characters on anyone I know in real life (or anyone I “know” like a celebrity or a model). My characters tend to start talking in my head, as if I’m overhearing a conversation, then as I listen to them I see them more clearly. At that point it’s like watching a movie. I see what they do then I write it down.
Tell us a little about the characters in your book and their story. You can use more than twenty words this time.
Collin and Tanner are twenty-year old roommates at a small, conservative liberal arts college. They’ve been friends for a few years but they’ve only been roommates the past several months. Collin is from a very old-school Catholic family in a nearby Connecticut town whereas Tanner was raised by very open-minded and free-spirited parents in New York City.
The story is told from Collin’s point of view as the focus of the book is on his path to self-discovery as he realizes that the feelings he’s secretly had for Tanner are quite mutual. Collin is sweet, passionate and torn between his upbringing and his feelings---he struggles with feelings of both immense relief that he’s finally able to express his truest desires and absolute terror about what that will mean for his future. Tanner is much more at peace with himself and in touch with his emotions, but his patience and love are put to the test as he embarks on this new relationship.
If you could have one wish what would it be?
Good health for everyone.
What's your deepest fear?
Abandonment. And spiders.
If I came to dinner what would you feed me?
Anything you wanted. I love to cook and I’m very understanding that people have different preferences when it comes to food, so when I’m having guests for dinner I always try to make sure to find out what they like and don’t like before I cook for them. I can guarantee you there would be multiple courses of food, one of which would be dessert (and there would more than likely be multiple desserts to choose from).
Which of your characters would you like to be sharing the dinner table with us?
I can’t really play favorites with my characters so I’d invite them all. I usually cook for about 20x as many guests as I’m entertaining so it’ll be fine, we’ll all still have plenty to eat.
Tell us in the character’s own words, what he/she would have to say about you.
Collin would likely be too busy blushing to say anything about me because he knows I know every thought in his head. Tanner would probably just wink and say “Can you keep a secret? So can I.”
What would they say (again in their own words) about themselves, and their story that will make us want to read about it?
Collin (blushing again and shrugging): There’s not really a lot to say about me.
Tanner (shaking his head): Seriously? Have you seen you?
What other authors would you say have either influenced your writing or you would like to emulate?
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. One author who influenced me early on was Judy Blume, first with her young adult novels and then with her adult novels (which I read when I was probably still too young to be reading them). I loved (and still admire to this day) how she approached real-life problems/dramas/situations with such complete honesty and never shied away from openly talking about sex. I write about love and relationships, and sex is such a huge part of that for most people---I’m never one to fade to black or close a bedroom door during a sex scene (and I don’t care for books that do). I’m sure Ms. Blume’s influence is at least partially responsible for that.
Which character from literature, would you most like to have invented?
Harry Potter. Or Kingsley Edge from Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series. They’re both wonderfully tortured heroes with tragic pasts and a mix of good and evil warring inside them.
What do you prefer writing. A one off novel, a series or short stories?
Even though I write a lot of standalone novels I don’t really consider any of them to be one-offs because there’s always a chance I’ll write another book about those characters. They live on in my mind—which is why they’re all invited to dinner.
Moments In Time is the first true series I’ve written and I’ve loved it. Some people have asked me why I didn’t just write one really long book about Collin and Tanner and the reason is that that’s not how their story unfolded. Each novella in the series is from a separate time in their lives together, and each novella has its own unique ending. (For those who are worried about cliffhangers, you won’t find any in any of my books, including this series---you get a happy-for-now or happily-ever-after ending in every book, regardless of how many books I write about the characters.)
Short stories are not my thing. I never have that little to say about my characters---I need more time and pages than that to get to explore all the things I want to know about their lives.
What kind of books do you read (if you have time to read)?
I think reading is one of the most important things for writers to do. I read mostly contemporary romance (m/f and m/m) but I mix in some general fiction and some memoirs too. I’m super-lucky because I get to beta read for several of my favourite authors so I get to see their books before anyone else does. That’s definitely one of the biggest perks of being a writer---sneak peeks at other authors’ books.
Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in 5 years time?
Probably still hunched over my laptop (hopefully a newer one as I beat the hell out of my keyboard with all the typing I do), cranking out more tales of love, romance and steamy sex.
Do you have any other projects in the offing we should look out for?
Well, the next two books in the Moments In Time series are releasing on February 7 (MOMENT OF TRUTH) and May 7 (MOMENT OF CLARITY), so those are the next two things to look for.
I have a co-written book that I wrote with my critique partner several years ago that we just got the rights back to so we’re going to re-release it with a brand new epilogue and a few other changes, so you can be on the lookout for that---it’s m/f but has a very strong m/m storyline for two of the secondary characters.
My agent is also currently shopping some other titles for me so I hope to have lots of new works to offer in the future. In the meantime I have a backlist of nine other titles that are available at all major book retailers.
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