Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Ash to Steele' Karen-Anne Stewart



Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards. 

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the
Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing New Adult Romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity. 

Karen-Anne loves to connect with readers! 

Website:  www.karen-annestewart.com

Facebook author page: 
https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne

Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/SKarenAnne

Instagram: 
http://instagram.com/skarenanne/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/SKarenAnne/


Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always been a shy person who is perfectly happy to blend in the background.  When I write, all shyness evaporates; it’s unbelievably liberating!  I knew in college that I wanted
to become an author one day, and I’m thrilled I finally decided to follow that dream. 

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Writing is my more.  The perks far outweigh the demands.  What I consider the biggest perk is having the opportunity to have met amazing authors, bloggers, and readers.  I feel very blessed to have the new friendships I never would’ve had otherwise.  Another perk is how writing is the best form of therapy…If I have a bad day, I vent my frustrations in a fight scene.  The demands can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I’m loving the wild ride. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I’m a self-published Indie author and I’m loving this route so far.  I have a huge amount of respect for both traditionally published and self-published authors.  I would like to try being traditionally published in the future, to experience the differences myself.  The hardest part of being self-published is self-marketing and lack of sleep ;). 

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I know this is boring…but I don’t have anything snarky to say about the industry.  I have had a few snarky comments, not from the publishing industry, made to me about how it must be nice to be able to have a job where I just sit in front of a computer all day…does that count, lol!  Ohhh, how that drives me nuts!

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

This question came at the perfect time because this has been one of my busiest weeks!  My family has always been a close-knit family, but writing has brought us closer, despite some bumps in the road.  I’ll throw it all out there for ya…being an author does take massive amounts of time, so finding a balance that makes your family and you happy while getting the needed work done is harder and just as painful as walking barefoot on a sharp wire.  Luckily, I have my very own bad boy with a good heart who has stepped up and made sure I’m taking care of myself while I’m taking on the responsibilities I had before being an author, on top of all the new tasks.  He has teasingly threatened to hide my laptop when I’ve missed too much sleep (I think he’s teasing, anyway J).  My daughter is the one I worry about the most.  I don’t want to shut myself up in a room and miss anything with her, so I do quite a bit of my writing on the living room couch while she’s doing her homework and my husband is watching TV.  I do close myself up in my office when I have a tough scene to get through, though.  Balance…that’s the key. 

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

OMG…I’m so boring.  I haven’t had any wild, crazy publishing moment yet.  I am going to Vegas for the Romance Novel Convention and getting a tattoo while I’m there, so I’ll keep ya posted ;). 

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I SUCK at marketing, but I’m getting better J.  Twitter seems to be the most beneficial for me so far.  I recently got on Instagram, which is a lot of fun.  Pinterest is one that I should avoid…not because it’s bad, but because I get completely sucked into all of the awesome pictures on that site and spend way too much of my time that I need to be doing other things scrolling through all its awesomeness!

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

It was exhilarating when Ash to Steele became a best seller in a few categories on Amazon, but I know that ranks constantly shift and that you can drive yourself crazy watching them jump and fall. As far as sparking some sales, I like putting excerpts on my website of my novels with their purchase links below.  Doing this gives the reader more of an idea of whether or not he/she will like the book before they do the whole one click thing I’m obsessed with doing on my Kindle.  Reducing the price of your novels every once in a while is also a great tip. With the way I published The Rain Trilogy, I don’t have control of putting those novels on sale, at least at this time.  Live and learn!  I published Ash to Steele directly through Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space and have done the Kindle Countdown Deal, which proved very beneficial.  Personally, I love a great sale, so I was thrilled to be able to put Ash to Steele on sale for .99 cents for a few days. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Human trafficking.  I HATE this form of modern day slavery and was sickened and enraged with all I learned while doing research for The Rain Trilogy. 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Lack of sleep, rolling with the not so great reviews, pushing through those overwhelming moments when you’re reduced to tears and non-coherent mumbling is worth every minute of doing what I feel I was born to do (I know that sounds cliché, but work with me here ;))!  Writing a book that I love makes me happy, and I hope that readers will find the same joy when reading my stories.  Hearing how one of my novels has touched a reader is the most amazing and humbling feeling ever.  My advice to authors would be to focus on the good reviews and write what he/she wants to read without trying to please everyone (which is completely impossible to do anyway because we are all wonderfully different), and never give up…everything else will fall into place. 
I LOVE connecting with readers, it’s another thing that makes being an author so much fun.  Feel free to connect with me at any (or all) of the sites below:
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne

1 comment:

Karen-Anne Stewart said...

Thank you for letting me stop by and chat with you today! Enjoy the rest of your week :).