Fangtastic Friday – Interview with Karen Hulene Bartell
Please welcome Karen Hulene Bartell, Lyrical Press Author of Untimely Partners.
Thank you for having me today, Dawn. It’s a real pleasure being a part of Embrace The Shadows!
ETS – Please tell us a little about yourself.
An only child, I began writing at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating my own happy endings – usually consisting of large families.
As an adult, writing has become my “second” job, where I squeeze in time between my day job and “life.” When I travel, however, I’m freed from my daily concerns. Everything is new. Not only does travel open my mind, travel triggers my muse. Gotta’ admit it, I’m a peripatetic writer. After my first book was published, I returned to school and received my MA in English. Then I began writing in earnest.
ETS – Untimely Partners is the first in a series, correct? How did you come up with the premise?
The inspiration for UNTIMELY PARTNERS was a trip my husband and I took to Teotihuacan, Mexico. Traveling always gives me ideas for stories. The locations spark ideas/plots/characters/conflicts. You could say that geography is the basis for my ideas.
For instance, a double rainbow that occurred on a walk in Teotihuacan was the inspiration for one of the opening images of UNTIMELY PARTNERS. A white dog that I met at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun actually became one of the central characters in the plot.
ETS – How would you describe Keiranne, your heroine?
KEIRANNE WEST is a passionate and compassionate woman, who is compelled to traverse time to save the man she realizes she has always loved: TLALOCELOT. Haunted by a childhood fear of dying at age thirty, as did her mother, Keiranne confronts her terror and, along her journey, she finds self-actualization as well as an ageless love.
ETS – Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Have always heard that the definition of an introvert is that s/he needs to be alone to “recharge,” while an extrovert needs to be in the company of others to energize themselves. By that definition, I’m definitely an introvert, although aren’t most authors – simply by the nature of our careers?
ETS – How long does it take you to write a novel, from thought to submission?
I conceived of UNTIMELY PARTNERS in May, wrote through the summer, and finished the first iteration by Labor Day (yes, it was a labor of love ;^) I began submitting it immediately. However, it took another year before it was accepted, and during that time I changed the ending to include a numinous, incense-laden ritual that transformed the climax.
ETS – Pantser or plotter?
Have to admit, I’m a combination of the two. Although I do plot extensively in the beginning, the story always seems to evolve a direction (AKA life) of its own. Then ending of UNTIMELY PARTNERS is just one example.
ETS – What’s coming next in this series? Can you give us a sneak peak?
Next in the series is a time travel set in Tenochtitlan, ancient Mexico City.
ETS – So, you must have done a LOT of research for these books. What turned you on to the Mayan and Aztec cultures?
My short answer is one word: travel. My husband is an avid diver (while I’m chicken of the sea). However, while he’s on these exotic dives, I’m visiting the ancient Mayan ruins. Add to that my love of reading, particularly about the Mayan and Aztec cultures, and I become immersed in them.
ETS – Alfred Hitchcock or Stephen King?
Definitely Stephen King. Although I admire the slow build-up of momentum, of which Hitchcock was a genius, I prefer faster paced novels.
ETS – Describe your perfect hero.
He has to be polite, intelligent, with a sense of humor. Of course, being incredibly handsome and great in bed help, too.
ETS – What authors did you grow up reading, and who are your auto-buy authors today?
I read everything and anything growing up. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, my earliest playmates were fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became my portable pals.
ETS – What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
What’s my advice for inspiration for writing? Travel to an unfamiliar (or exotic) destination; be open-minded; experience all you can…just taste life…literally and figuratively! Add imagination, stir well, and serve up as a novel.
What works best for me is establishing working relationships with other authors in my area. Join local writing groups; speak at authors’ meetings, or give readings at local clubs, all the while quietly promoting your name, not just your latest title. Word-of-mouth and networking really do open doors, which lead to new speaking opportunities that ultimately help sales.
ETS – Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us!
Thanks again for interviewing me today, Dawn. It’s a real pleasure being a part of Embrace The Shadows!
Don’t forget to leave a comment or a question! One lucky poster will receive a copy of Untimely Partners. 🙂