January 12, 2013


Karen Wiesner creates realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…
 

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 94 books published in the past 14 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 125 awards, and has 30 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestsellers, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, available from Writer’s Digest Books. Look for Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas, her next offering from Writer’s Digest Books, in May 2013. Her previous writing reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003. Jewels of the Quill produced two award-winning group anthologies per year published by Whiskey Creek Press from 2005-2011. All were edited by Karen and others. For more information about Karen’s fiction and series, consult her official companion guide The World of Author Karen Wiesner: A Compendium of Fiction. Along with her writing, Karen enjoys designing websites, graphics, and cover art. For more information about Karen and her work, visit her websites at http://www.karenwiesner.com, http://www.firstdraftin30days.com, http://www.falconsbend.com and http://www.JewelsoftheQuill.com. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. 
 

Please tell us a little about your new release without giving too much of a spoiler away.

The Friendship Heirlooms Series is, of course, a spin-off of the Family Heirlooms Series. In the original, the premise was how nuggets of faith could be passed down as family heirlooms from parent to child, sibling to sibling, spouse to spouse. Siblings in the Samuels family were the main characters in each story. I loved the reality of dealing with issues that married couples and families deal with on an everyday basis, mingled with the struggle that goes along with those issues in the Christian walk. I think the realistic quality of the material is what appeal to so many women—the situations are ones you can apply to your own life.
Being a writer of series can be a Catch-22. Sometimes a series drags on long past the point of author interest. Other times a series ends far too soon. That was the case for me with the Family Heirlooms Series. I fell in love with so many of the secondary characters in this series that I came up with book ideas for two of those characters, sold them as non-series novels, but then realized I had a lot more tales to tell that connected with but didn’t really fit in as part of the Family Heirlooms Series. The Friendship Heirlooms Series was born.
Return to the quaint little town of Peaceful, Wisconsin, from my award-winning Family Heirlooms Series, where you first met and fell in love with these colorful, lovable friends. Now you can read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
Zoë Rossdale was first introduced in GLASS ANGELS, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series. Zoë is hands-down my favorite character of all the many, many I’ve created. I knew going into the outline for her book that I wanted to write her in 1st person point-of-view…not something I’ve done often. I wanted to achieve a “Chick-lit” feel for the book, and I knew I could capture it in that POV. But I also knew I wanted to include the hero’s POV, but not in 1st person. I wasn’t sure how to do this, but a friend and fellow author, Diane Craver, encouraged me to go ahead with this idea, which seemed crazy to me. So I did it. I wrote the first two scenes: Zoë’s in 1st person, Curt’s in 3rd. I loved every minute of writing both of these scenes, and they worked. I knew that first sure when I sent them to Diane and she felt the same way I did. I knew this was the only way to write this story, and I also knew I wasn’t done with Zoë and Curt. I’ll be revisiting them in the 5th and 7th books in the Friendship Heirlooms Series.  

What comes first: the plot or the characters? 

Characters, always. It doesn’t matter how great a plot is, if there aren’t great characters to put the plot in motion, the book will fail.  

How long does it take you to write and then edit a story? 

Outlining takes a week, possibly two if it’s a really complicated book, then I set the project aside for a few months. Then comes the writing, which takes me 1-2 weeks for a novella or 3-4 weeks for a novel (I write 2 scenes per day). Then I set the project aside again for a few months. When I come back to it, I revise the book over the course of a single week—no matter what size the book is, I only take a week. I think it’s crucial to read a book like this, very fast, during the revision, because if you let yourself take too long, you’ll forget or miss important details that you can only see if you revise the chapters back to back in only one week. At this point, I generally feel comfortable enough with the book to send it out to critique partners. Once I get it back from them, I make any corrections based on their suggestions, then I print the book out and read it—all in one day. Again, this is for consistency so I don’t forget anything. I usually have only minor tweaks to make at this point. I correct the mistakes on the computer, then send it off to my editor. My editor revisions normally amount to clarifying a few sentences here and there, nothing major. That’s that.  

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

Since there are so many on both sides, I’ll say check out my website for the full listing of available titles and upcoming releases. In my Friendship Heirlooms Series, you can look for these releases:
 
MICHAEL’S ANGEL, Book 2 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with LeeAnn Wagner and Michael Fremont from GLASS ANGELS and SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Books 4 and 5 of the Family Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
 
FOREVER AND ALL THAT JAZZ, Book 3 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with Jasmine “Jazz” Pepowski and Pastor Wesley Horace from SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Romance
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming January 2014 

FIRST COMES LOVE, Book 4 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with Chad Feldmann and Winnie McBride from GLASS ANGELS, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Romance
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming March 2014 

CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO HAVING A BABY, Book 5 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with newlyweds Zoë Rossdale and Curt Bertoletti from CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO FALLING IN LOVE, Book 1 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Romance
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming June 2014

PERFECT REFLECTION, Book 6 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with Elaina Houston and Ethan Lynwood from SHARDS OF ASHLEY, Book 5 of the Family Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Romance
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming October 2014 

CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO HAVING IT ALL, Book 7 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series with new parents Zoë Rossdale and Curt Bertoletti from CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO FALLING IN LOVE and CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO HAVING A BABY, Books 1 and 5 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series, Inspirational Contemporary Romance/Chick-lit
Download from Whiskey Creek Press http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Coming January 2015 

Find out more about this series and the previous one here:


Return to the quaint little town of Peaceful, Wisconsin, from Karen Wiesner’s award-winning Family Heirlooms Series, where you first met and fell in love with these colorful, lovable friends. Now you can read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
 

They were two abnormal peas in an even stranger pod…

Zoë Rossdale is the clumsy girl who always has her elbows, feet, eyes, and brass-red hair going in the wrong directions. After a lifetime of being evaluated critically—and found wanting—she’s trying to change…until she literally runs into the only man she’s ever gone loopy over. Curt Bertoletti has spent years trying to forget the seriously messed-up Zoë. Even as he vows that he won’t stray again, he can’t help remembering how well they fit together. For better or worse, Zoë will always be Zoë—the clumsy girl with her dress tucked into her pantyhose, the girl whose idea of falling in love is to stand at the edge of the precipice, throw out her arms and confidently jump into a free-fall. Can they both live with that fact? Forever?

 

CONTEST ALERT:  Karen will give away a PDF download of the book Zoë made her first appearance in: GLASS ANGELS, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series, from the list of commenters.

 

9 comments:

Kim said...

Small towns seem to be teaming with characters...I'm from a small town in the thumb of Michigan. Your Zoe seems like someone I would have been friends with when I was younger. Best of luck in Everything you do.
kimbre15@aol.com

SHARON BAKER said...

I love small towns as I was born and raised in a small town. Best of luck with your contest and all the books you will be writing.

Angel Rose said...

I can't wait to read this. Having been a small town girl my whole life, I love reading stories set in them. Thanks for the contest. I enjoy your books.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

When I find a series that captures my interest, I have to read every book in it. I like inspirational stories and stories that take place in a small town where people know one another. Your books sounds so enticing.
I wish you every success.

Tambra said...

I love your Writer's Digest books, Karen. I also bought one for my son who writes.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Hugs,
Tambra

laura troxel said...

I love reading about small town stories. Thanks for the giveaway. I also love finding new authors and books.
lauratroxelatyahoodotcom

Karen Wiesner said...

I enjoyed reading all of your comments about small towns...Kim, Sharon, Angel, Sarah, and Laura. My books are filled with small towns and the intriguing people that fill them. It's near and dear to my heart, as is Zoe, a character that made her first appearance in Glass Angels, Book 4 of my Family Heirlooms Series (my giveaway book here), and she completely won my heart. I knew she would have to have the first book in the spin-off series...as well as two others within the series. Find out more about those and the rest of the books in these two series here:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9.html
and here:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/fiction9a.html

Tambra, I'm touched that you've found my writing reference titles useful enough to buy one for yourself as well as for your son. Helping other authors is important to me, and I'm always pleased when I've made some impact. Thank you. My next Writer's Digest release will be out in May 2013. Check it out here:
http://www.firstdraftin30days.com

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

Karen
karenwiesner.com; subscribe to Karen’s Quill for a chance to win my books every month!
Creating realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love, Friendship Heirlooms Series, Book 1, available now
Home (inspirational romantic fiction), available now in paperback, hardcover, ebook
Books 1-4, Cowboy Fever Series, available now
Books 1-7 and The Final Chapter, Woodcutter’s Grim Series, available now
Angelfire Trilogy, Family Heirlooms, Incognito, Kaleidoscope, Wounded Warriors, Denim Blues Mysteries, Gypsy Road, and Falcon’s Bend series’, available now
Christmas Gems, A JOTQ Christmas Anthology, available now
What is Margaret L. Carter (Dame Onyx) up to now? Find out at JewelsoftheQuill.com. Join us for monthly book giveaways!

Karen Wiesner said...

Sarah J. McNeal is the winner of a pdf download of GLASS HEARTS, Book 4 of my Family Heirlooms Series, where Zoe Rossdale (heroine in CLUMSY GIRL'S GUIDE TO FALLING IN LOVE), the first book in the spin-off series, Friendship Heirlooms) makes her first appearance. Sarah, please contact me at KarensQuill-owner@yahoogroups.com to accept your prize.

Thanks to all who visited and left a comment.

Karen Wiesner
karenwiesner.com; subscribe to Karen’s Quill for a chance to win my books every month!
Creating realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love, Friendship Heirlooms Series, Book 1, available now
Home (inspirational romantic fiction), available now in paperback, hardcover, ebook
Books 1-4, Cowboy Fever Series, available now
Books 1-7 and The Final Chapter, Woodcutter’s Grim Series, available now
Angelfire Trilogy, Family Heirlooms, Incognito, Kaleidoscope, Wounded Warriors, Denim Blues Mysteries, Gypsy Road, and Falcon’s Bend series’, available now
Christmas Gems, A JOTQ Christmas Anthology, available now
What is Margaret L. Carter (Dame Onyx) up to now? Find out at JewelsoftheQuill.com. Join us for monthly book giveaways!

Karen Wiesner said...

Sorry. Debbie let me know that my interview will be up for a week and I can accept comments throughout that time. Apparently, I'm being much too efficient, as usual. : )

Karen
karenwiesner.com; subscribe to Karen’s Quill for a chance to win my books every month!
Creating realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love, Friendship Heirlooms Series, Book 1, available now
Home (inspirational romantic fiction), available now in paperback, hardcover, ebook
Books 1-4, Cowboy Fever Series, available now
Books 1-7 and The Final Chapter, Woodcutter’s Grim Series, available now
Angelfire Trilogy, Family Heirlooms, Incognito, Kaleidoscope, Wounded Warriors, Denim Blues Mysteries, Gypsy Road, and Falcon’s Bend series’, available now
Christmas Gems, A JOTQ Christmas Anthology, available now
What is Margaret L. Carter (Dame Onyx) up to now? Find out at JewelsoftheQuill.com. Join us for monthly book giveaways!