Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Author Interview – Kara Stefanowich @Karakazoo


How do you feel about self publishing?

Hmm….I have mixed feelings about this. I think self publishing is wonderful because it allows writers who may never even have the opportunity to get their manuscripts seen by a publisher to not only publish but actually SEE their work in their hands. I was happy as a chinchilla in a sand pit when I finally received my very first paperback copy of my very first published book.

Having said that, it is a TON of work. It’s no wonder most people would rather be professionally published. Not only is it far better to have the extra eyes and knowledge to help make your work perfect but it takes a lot of pressure of the writer. Writing is hard enough, creating the perfect plot, characters, setting and everything is a lot of work. But when you then have to do your own editing (which I think is the absolute worst part) you then have to figure out formatting, copyrighting, scheduling, marketing, timing and so on. It can be brutal and chances are you WILL make mistakes. And those mistakes will be seen by everyone who reads your book.

So in a way, I have a love/hate relationship with self publishing. And for the record, I have been both professionally and self published.

Who do you admire?

I suppose this is where most people would name a celebrity or famous author. In my life, I have met many shades of people. Some good, some bad, some wondrous, some scary, some funny, some strange but the ones I admire are the ones that taught me something as an adult. I’ve had a rough upbringing and I grew up mostly without parents so as an adult I never really understood what it was to have family. Unfortunately, good people can be really hard to find. It took a while but I finally found them. The families that I work with and the families that I have kind of been adopted into have taught me so much about life, love, family and strength. For them I am extremely grateful and my admiration for them runs deep.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

I grew up a foster child (mostly). I’ve lived in many homes with many different people. I’ve had the opportunity to attend many different schools, both public and private. I’ve met people from all walks of life and in all my adventures, travels and experiences I’ve created many stories, much poetry and imagined far more.

I think my experiences always take a front seat when I’m writing. I use people I’ve met in my life as characters or as models for characters. I’ve used places I’ve been or situations I’ve experienced to walk me through different aspects of my stories. So I use my history quite a bit as a tool in my work.

How did your interest in writing originate?

When I was a child, I hardly ever spoke. I was always taught that kids are supposed to be seen and not heard. So I spent the bulk of my childhood listening and observing everything around me. When I finally found my voice I realized, that when I opened my mouth to spit out my thoughts they never seemed to come out right. My mind moved faster than my mouth and unfortunately my memory has always sucked. So one day someone told me to start a diary or journal. They told me to write down the events of the day, every day and explain how it all made me feel. It was then that I realized I was finally able to get it all out. I was finally able to say what I wanted to say when I wanted to say it, except I was writing it, rather than ‘saying’ it.

It was only then that people really got an understanding of what was going on in my life. Only then did people begin to see me for me. So I’ve held onto that ability and nurture it as best I can for as long as I can.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I mostly prefer to write fiction. With fiction I can make anything up that I want. I’m free to fly. More specifically, I think I most prefer thrillers and anything paranormal. I’m drawn to these subjects so it keeps it interesting for me. I like action and adventure but what good is it without a good ‘live or die’ situation? I’m very interested in anything paranormal as its always raised a big old question mark in my mind and I feel that there may very well be more out there than meets the eye.

Apart from fiction, I also happen to find nonfiction to be very powerful writing. It’s where I put all of my heart and soul since I can very easily relate to most stories. Because I put so much into these stories they take far longer to write than the others. Someday, these stories may very quickly out sell and out rank all of my fiction. But until then, I will simply have fun.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I became a single parent unexpectedly. I had to quit my job and pretty much lost everything. Doing all I could to be a mother, I was getting nowhere fast. So I began to think of perhaps going back to school or searching for another job. I failed miserably at both. So when I finally hit rock bottom, I began to ask myself some very serious questions. “Where is my life going? How can I make things better? What do I want to do for a living? How do I get started?” I began to think of all the things in my life that I loved to do and was good at. The only thing I could come up with that I thought I loved enough to do forever was writing.

At that, I decided to give it a try.  I had nothing to lose. I was stuck at home, no car, no friends, no job, no future so I did it. I wrote a book. The first book I wrote, however, is yet to be published. But no worries, some day. J

What is most challenging about writing?

For me, the biggest challenges I have are finding time and remembering the details. I have always had a lousy memory. It’s scary, really.  I forgot my own birthday for about 2 years. Then a friend of mine decided to call me every year to remind me. When you start writing a book then get off track with daily life and work, then start again, I find that I have to go back and constantly reread it all. Then I change things and find that I forgot who was who or what date that juicy incident happened in the 5’th chapter and so on. So I’ve been trying to incorporate some homemade worksheets to keep the story and timeline on track.

Time is unfortunately an issue for me. I work two regular day jobs (then I come home and commit to writing for many hours) and I also have a child which I’m raising alone and I have a household to run. So time is of the essence. I can’t say I always have the energy to succeed at all my ‘jobs’ every day, so this is definitely a challenge for me.

Let’s not forget formatting. I publish my own work so it’s also my job to do what a typical publisher would have several other people do. It’s not an easy task and I won’t lie and say it is. I’m technically challenged so it’s a bit of a challenge.

What are some things people may not know about you?

Let’s see, I am legally blind in one eye. I didn’t tell anyone about it until just a few years ago.

I love to listen to REALLY LOUD music in the car, but I don’t like noise in any other place at any other time.

I’m a bit of a neat freak. (My friends would say I’m OCD in that department)

I get cysts in my hands which cause me to resort to surgery (which I’ve had several times so far).

The last surgery I had, I was given the option to stay awake since it was only a 30 minute procedure. As much as I tried I didn’t stay awake…….because I fainted. LOL!!

I am the parent of an autistic child.

I love animals far more than I like humans.

After being anti cell phone for many of my adult years, I am now completely addicted to my iphone.

How important do you think villains are in a story?

I think villains are just as important as the hero of every story. As in life, there should always be balance. No good without evil and vice versa. There is no lesson to be learned from simple stories. People, who truly like to read, need a challenge. They are looking for the “Oh!” factor in the stories they read. You can’t really get that if you don’t have the extremes between good and evil.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Paranormal Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Kara Stefanowich on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.thrillsandchills.net/


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