More and more time goes by between these wonderful chats. I must apologize, but having a real job outside the home has cut into the time I get to spend doing the things I love, like chatting with new and favorite authors.
It’s been a while since Karina Thomas has graced the Round Table, and it brings me great pleasure that she’s found the time to join us this morning. Karina writes in different genres, primarily romance. Let’s welcome Karina and make her feel at home.
Good morning Karina, how are you? It’s been a while and I feel we have much to catch up on.
Karina – Good morning! Yes, it’s been a long, long while. Too long. We definitely need to get caught up again.
Annamaria – For your enjoyment this morning I’ve baked croissants filled with chocolate and pecan rolls. Can I offer you one of each?
Karina – Um, does anyone ever say no to an offer like that?! (laughs) Yes, please! They sound delicious.
Annamaria – What can I offer you to drink? I’ve got the usual espresso, late, cappuccino, assorted teas and juices.
Karina – A cappuccino with a little sugar would be amazing, thank you.
Annamaria – With such a dreary gray day, won’t you join me near the crackling fire to chat and eat?
Karina – Absolutely. This is beautiful. And cozy!
Annamaria – When did you publish your first book? What genre was it? How long did it take to generate sales and what did you do to acquire those sales?
Karina – I published my first novel, Country Girls, in January of 2012 – wow, that seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?! It’s women’s fiction and when I set out to write it, I was determined that there would be absolutely no romance and no male lead. I did wind up with two very strong, supporting men, but overall, I do feel that I wrote the story I intended to. Anyway. Things were very different back then, and even though I made a LOT of rookie mistakes, I did manage to generate some sales on it as well. Most of my success back then came through running heavily advertised free promotions on Amazon. How about you? I know you’ve been in this business for quite some time yourself. What are some of the marketing trends you’ve seen produce the most results over the years?
Annamaria – I have to disappoint you, but I haven’t done much marketing due to lack of funds. I’m trying to figure out how to get noticed with very little money. To be honest, working the long days I do outside the home gives me very little time to figure out marketing strategies since all my free time goes to writing.
This past Christmas my first romance novella came out in a box set, Christmas Pets & Kisses, with 15 other authors. I’ve joined three other box sets in the hopes of getting noticed. Have you ever joined any box sets?
Karina – I completely understand working with limited funds and time. It can be frustrating, which is why I ultimately depend on continuous writing and publishing to build an audience and find new readers. So, definitely keep up the writing first and foremost!
Congrats on joining the box sets – I’ve seen those be very successful in the last few years. I participated in one about a year ago titled Heroes to Swoon for. It was an incredible learning experience and I’m definitely glad I did it. Unfortunately, I discovered I have way too many control issues regarding my book babies to work well in a group environment, so I’ve had to steer clear of them since.
Annamaria – I understand that completely. I like to have control over my book babies too, but when it come to marketing the group I’m in for the Christmas Pets & Kisses knows so much more about it than I do, so I sit back and observe and try to learn as much as possible.
I’m very curious to know how many books have you published so far?
Karina – I believe I have twenty books published under my pen name at this time, eighteen of which are full-length novels. And, I’m close to finishing number nineteen!
Annamaria – I wish I could out put novels that quickly! What’s your favorite genre to write? Why?
Karina – Right now my main love is definitely contemporary romance/new adult romance. Aside from being an extremely sappy romantic at heart, I feel like I get to write a wide range of characters and settings here. Love can be found in the most unexpected places and often between the two least likely people to fall for each other. I like having that sort of freedom to take the story wherever it wants to go, to let my characters go on their journeys of growth and emotional healing while they seek out their happily ever after (sometimes unintentionally). It’s not just entertaining for me, it’s also very therapeutic, lol. Plus, who could tire from spending their time with all those hot book boyfriends?!
How about you, Annamaria? I know the stories I’ve read of yours were vastly different in every way. What are you focused on these days? What makes your ‘writer heart’ content?
Annamaria – Right now I’m into Romances, the genre I swore I’d never write. I’m having fun experimenting with a variety of personalities and what makes them fall in and out of love. But, soon I’ll need to sit down and write the second book of White Swans a Regency world. As a romantic at heart, I always want to find the happily ever after for my characters. I do have to admit, though, I want to write a romance where the hero or heroine dies, because in the real world terrible things happen to wonderful people.
My male characters are always strong while my females may be strong or grow to be amazing and strong by the end of the book. What kind of heroes do you enjoy writing about?
Karina – That’s a good question. My first thought, is that I too like to write strong male heroes. I think it falls in line with our knight in shining armor desires. We want a strong, brave hero who can slay the dragon. But, it’s also important to me to write a patient hero. A compassionate one. A man whose strength doesn’t show in a desire to control or exert his power over others. And, most importantly, a man who not only isn’t intimidated or turned off by a strong woman, but rather appreciates it.
I guess, my main objective when writing both lead characters, isn’t so much about which traits they each possess, but how they will balance each other by coming together. What will one bring out in the other? Will being together push them to be the best possible versions of themselves? Will it cause growth? Those are the things I think about when I write them.
Annamaria – Those are very good questions to keep in mind when developing characters. I do believe that most of us always sink into the knight in shining armor syndrome. For whatever reason we want the hero to be good and strong.
I know you’re about or have released another book. Can you tell us a little about the book?
Karina – I would love to! The book I just released is a contemporary romance titled One More Chapter. The story follows two characters, Karma and Jensen. Karma is determined to find Happy Ever After (even if she has to settle for it in her romance novels) and Jensen is convinced it doesn’t exist. It’s a story of love and loss, and figuring out that all the best parts in life just might lie right beyond the happy ending.
In spite of some of the heavy content, I had a great time writing this story, in part due to the very entertaining supporting characters that came a long for the ride to provide a great deal of the sarcastic humor I hope my readers have become accustomed to from me. Not to mention, the ongoing coffee addiction I have which always seems to appear in at least one of my characters, lol.
What about you Annamaria? Do you find that certain things work themselves repeatedly into your writing?
Annamaria – Oh my Goodness, yes! Inevitably, espresso coffee always seems to wiggle into my stories. Needless to say, I’m a huge espresso drinker. Many mornings, I enjoy six demitasse of espresso and most of my main characters also enjoy espresso and cappuccino.
I’m so glad you took the time to visit and hope my readers have enjoyed the chat as much I have. Please don’t be a stranger and come back soon.
Karina – This has been wonderful! Thank you so much for having me – I’m so happy we’ve had a chance to catch up again!
Annamaria – Don’t miss Karina’s new book One More Chapter on sale now.
Having overdosed on the cold, unyielding aspects of reality at an early age, books became a welcome escape I was happy to dedicate my life to. Editing romance novels seemed like the perfect career choice for the girl who craved fantasy and a world she could exercise a little control over. Bottom line, I like having a happy ending I can count on.
Where I prefer to have my head in the clouds, unattached to the tumultuous roller-coaster of real life, his feet are so firmly planted on the ground, they’re sinking in and getting buried there.
Jensen seems an unlikely hero for any story, let alone mine. He’s moody. And confused. And pretty damn sure there’s no such thing as happy ever after.
But then that’s the thing about all the best happy endings. They show up when you least expect them to.
Dog Lover who likes her pastries full of cream and sugar….oh…and I write some 😉
Aside from being an author, I am also a mom to a beautiful little girl. I tell everyone I named her after my great-grandmother (because that’s the mature answer), but really, I named her after my favorite princess – just so happens I got lucky and they had the same name…If I wasn’t a writer, I would work on a horse ranch – I’m an animal lover (in addition to dogs, horses are at the top of my list). I wear flip-flops pretty much everywhere I go. I would rather stay awake until 5 am than get up at 5 am (years of bar tending have left their mark), if I can, I’m going to the beach AND I will always be nice to people who bring me chocolate…or coffee…if you bring me both, I’ll probably love you forever.
A gypsy at heart, I write the way I live, following the story wherever it may lead, always ready to start the next one. This is clearly reflected in my body of work which to date includes everything from Children’s Lit to Thrillers.