Interview of Karen E. Martin

Welcome to JBR.  Today we have Karen E. Martin with us. 

We are having a give away for the e-book "Modogamous." Two lucky readers will win a copy of this light-hearted romantic comedy! (Anyone can win the item by going to the rafflecopter on the right hand side of the page.)

First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the Midwest, and I?ve been a full-time freelance writer for about six years now, working from home. Most of my work is for educational publishers (reading comprehension stories, lesson plans, etc.). Before that, I bounced around for about ten years as an English teacher/teacher-trainer. I?ve lived in Morocco, Jordan, Washington, D.C., Romania, San Francisco, Dominica, and Mauritania, to name a few. As you can probably guess, I love to travel. I?ve also started a series of short travelogues, the first of which is ?Travels in the Holy Land,? published in November 2013. I also love outdoor activities like hiking and camping, and try to get outdoors as often as the weather permits. (Which isn?t much at the moment; I?m a total wuss when it comes to cold and snow.)

Newest release?
?Modogamous,? released in December 2013. It?s a Romantic Comedy of the Chick Lit variety. I wanted to write something very different from what I do on a daily basis for work, and really enjoyed writing the book. I?m also working on a spin-off novella, due out this spring, and I hope to complete a sequel by the end of the year.

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance,sex, blood and guts?
I try to keep things light-hearted but real. A bit of romance, a hearty dose of humor, and a dash of (fairly clean) sex are the ingredients for a good story, IMO.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
I really like Mitch, one of the main protagonists in ?Modogamous.? He?s got his flaws, but he?s a guy we?d all like to meet. Funny, warm, sensitive, thoughtful?yeah, he?s a keeper.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
JP is probably the least appealing character in ?Modogamous.? He?s a bit of a player, and has a rather self-absorbed view of the world. Still, he has his redeeming qualities. I?m not one to paint a character as all good or all bad; I think most people are a mix of both positive and negative qualities.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series.
One of Kate?s main interests in ?Modogamous? is archaeology, specifically that of ancient Greece. This is one aspect of the book in which I indulged one of my own favorite interests. I?ve always loved classical mythology, as well as all things ancient Greek and Roman. I?ve visited Greece a couple of times, and toured ancient Roman sites all over the world, from the UK to Turkey to Egypt. And of course, Rome. I?ve been there four times (I think), and could always go back.

Have there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?
If there?s anyone out there who I look to as a great author role model, it?s Lindsay Davis. She writes a series of mysteries set in ancient Rome. What I love about her work is its attention to detail (she?s obviously done her research), her deft wit (sometimes subtle, sometimes more slapstick), and the depth of characterization she achieves in her work. She?s also a master at plotting, and has so many fresh ideas. And she does all of this while managing to keep things light and enjoyable to read. She?s just a wonderful writer!

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Add a review for the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and spread the word to friends who enjoy reading.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
I?ve found networking online to be helpful as both a reader and an author. I?ve connected with some lovely people, and found out about lots of great books that way. Not to mention gotten a ton of tips/mentoring from other authors.

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person?s work?
I?m really drawn to authors who create deep, rich worlds with their writing: Jean Auel, Guy Gavriel Kay, Barbara Kingsolver, George RR Martin, Philippa Gregory, and the like. I have a great admiration for authors who can master worlds that are so vast and complex.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
I wrote a super-cheesy romance when I was a sophomore or junior in high school. Handwritten, on lined notebook paper (these were the days before the ubiquity of computers). I would bring new chapters to homeroom for two or three of my girlfriends to read. What I most remember about this is how encouraged I felt to keep writing; my friends really liked it and were always eager for the next chapter to come out. I still have that book somewhere, in a yellow three-ring binder, but haven?t reread it in many years. Every so often I pull it out and give it a read, just to cringe in embarrassment and see how far I?ve come since then.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Usually my own imagination, but sometimes from conversations or situations that come up in day-to-day life. ?Modogamous,? for example, was inspired by a conversation about people who are content to hang at home with their pets rather than get out there in the dating world.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?
Lately I?ve been doing a lot of different crafts, from costume-making to sketching to clay sculpting. I used to *love* making art and doing crafts when I was younger, but got away from it as I got older and more focused on work, etc. Luckily, I?ve met a great group of artsy friends in the last few years who have helped to reignite my creative fire, and I?ve so enjoyed getting back to creating. Art is something people should never stop doing! It?s so good for the soul.

Favorite places to travel or visit?
Santorini, Greece is probably #1 on my list in terms of sheer beauty, relaxation, and sensual delights: mouth-watering food, gorgeous vistas, the fresh smell of the sea breeze, the gritty feel of black sand between your toes?it?s just a place that stimulates the senses in every way. As Anne of Green Gables would say, it really offers ?scope for imagination.?

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us.


An abrupt nod of the head shook Kate out of her drowsy state. She glanced over at the reproduction railway clock hanging above the microwave in the kitchen. A quarter after midnight? Ugh. I must have dozed off. Her eyes drifted down to the top of Mitch?s head, which still rested in her lap, her fingers curled into his hair. He slept.

What a night.  She?d known the pressure had been building up for some time, and that eventually Mitch?s stiff upper lip would have to give way. When he?d missed work for the third time in a month yesterday, Kate knew it was time for a depression intervention. Still, even she was surprised at the force of emotions that had come pouring out of her old friend once the floodgates had opened. How much he missed his dad. How he?d died too young. How it just wasn?t fair. No wonder he?s sleeping. It must?ve been exhausting keeping all that bottled up inside.

He looked so peaceful lying there. She could almost picture him as a little boy, eyelashes curled against his cheeks as his mother tucked him into bed at night. A happy time, long before the pain of his father?s loss. He still had something of that boyish air about him, especially in slumber. Gingerly, she brushed a stray lock of hair away from his face. A troubled look passed over his features, and a muffled whimper escaped his mouth as he shifted beneath the blanket.

?It?s getting late. I should go,? she whispered above his ear.

The words seeped through, but hazily. ?Nooooo,? he moaned. ?Don?t go. I don?t want you to go?? He reached out and curled an arm around her leg, tucking his fingers beneath the back of her knee.

He must be dreaming?  ?Mitch,? she shook him lightly by the shoulder. ?It?s after midnight. I should go??

?Don?t leave me!? he wailed, sitting bolt upright, his eyes flared in panic. He clamped his arms around her tightly, hiding his face in the curve of her neck. His body trembled.

Kate?s head was swimming as her arms slipped about his waist. The smell of him filled her nostrils; the erratic thump of his heart battered against her chest. His ragged breath trickled down the hollow of her throat and slipped under the edge of her blouse. A shiver coursed down her spine. Somewhere in the background, her rational mind cried out, Whoa, hit the brakes! but Kate shoved the thought aside, knowing only that Mitch needed her, and that she couldn?t leave him now.

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Book Links:

eBook/paperback: http://www.tinyurl.com/qesto7k
Signed paperback: http://karenemartin.com/blog/books/

Author Contact Links:


Book Blurb:

Kate Adams has a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing. Everything is going great?until the night she crosses the line with her best friend Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. Add to the mix a spunky little pug, and things start to get crazy! ?I was hooked from the moment I began reading!? ~ ?Fast paced, well written, and laugh out loud funny!?

Thank you for being with us today.

Julie Ramsey

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