I'm so glad to have you join us today, Karen. Let's get started...
How long does it take you to write a book?
Early in my writing career, I would spend four or five months writing novels and more than a year revising them. Now I spend more time planning and organizing notes for the story than I do writing it. I'm not sure any book is ever truly finished. Without an editor or critique partner to demand that I hand it over, I would continually revise every manuscript. That's the beauty of deadlines. They keep us from wallowing in the bottomless pit of perfection.
What's your writing process?
I develop an outline of the whole story before I write the first chapter. Especially with mysteries, knowing the end ahead of time is helpful because it allows me to develop suspects and hide clues discreetly throughout the story. Although I compose stories at the keyboard, I always jot down notes for new stories by hand, bringing them with me to soccor games to work on when there's a lull. Ideas translate more clearly from my imagination to the page when I write by hand, developing them as I go. Being in the world of imagination is always compelling, perhaps because you never know what will happen next.
Do you have animal companions while you write? How, if they do, do they support you in your writing endeavors?
Writing is such a solitary activity that pets make ideal companions during the process. Dogs inspire me. I read once that they are the only creatures who greet every day with joy no matter what. For me, true contentment is sitting at the computer with a dog sleeping by my side (preferable more than one). They nap while I write, listen to my worries and complaints, and still wag their tails. I'm afraid over the years mine come to expect being ignored when I'm deep in thought. I have a guinea pig who also keeps me company. She's curious and affectionate and squeals for attention every so often, reminding me to take a break!
Tell us about your current release.
I call Lady Delphinia's Deception my dark and stormy night book. It's an English Regency published in March by ImaJinn Books. In the novel Lady Delphinia Marlowe is dismayed when a carriage accident turns a handsome earl into an unexpected guest forced to recuperate at her country home on the Devon coast. Captain Nicholas Hainsworth's ability to navigate his way across Exmoor's harsh and unfamiliar landscape makes him precisely the kind of man England needs in her military - and the last kind Lady Delphinia wants under her roof. Her midnight wanderings along the moors suggest to Nicholas that she is involved with smuggling, a crime that m=conflicts with his duty as a former naval captain. Knowing he could destroy her family's reputation if he learned the truth, Lady Delphinia struggles to hide the secret life forced on her by her past. But her greatest fear is that her unwelcome guest could not only be her soul mate, but an agent of the Crown who will place duty matters above matters of the heart. You can read about Lady Delphinia's Deception at: http://www.imajinnbooks/com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&StoreCode=IB&Product_Code=LDD&Category_Code=
Which of your own characters would you like to meet in real life, and what would you do?
I'd love to meet the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. He played a major role in my mystery Murder Most Civil, published by Mainly Murder Press in 2010. His botanical expertise helps the main character solve the mystery through a series of letters they exchange, and he makes a cameo appearance toward the end of the novel. For me it was a great way to blend imagination with history and literature. I'd like to hear him talk about his experiences living at Walden Pond. I can just imagine what he'd have to say about our modern world.
What authors would you most like to meet, past or present? What would you ask them?
I would love to meet Daphne du Maurier, author of the classic Rebecca. She and her books are so closely associated with England's Cornish coast where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. I was greatly influenced by Jamaica Inn when dreaming up Delphinia's story. I'd love to walk with her along the moors with her dogs in tow, of course. I'd ask her the same questions I wonder about, some of which I'm being asked now - what her writing process is, what sets her imagination free, how she developed the unexpected twists and turns in Rebecca, and what it's like to be part of such a creative family. Her sister Angela was also an author, her father was a writer, and her grandfather was an artist. I'd also love to meet Charles Dickens, but that's a whole novel in itself!
What would you like to own that would make writing faster or smoother?
I'd love to have an automated organizer - a robotic file cabinet that would work as efficiently as Lumiere and Cogsworth do in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It would open files at the touch of a button, tuck notes in the proper place so my desk isn't such a disorganized mess, and compact files so everything would fit in the file cabinet without being so tight that I can't open the drawers.
Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?
My website http://KarenFrisch.webs.com is still a work in progress, so please bear with me while I struggle to master technology. So often writers feel as if they're writing in a vacuum. I love to hear from readers. It makes me feel the world has just as many friends as strangers, and that's a wonderful feeling.
Thanks for telling us about your work, Karen. We look forward to reading Lady Delphinia's Deception. I most certainly enjoyed Murder Most Civil.