The Author Spotlight will focus on a different author every few weeks – it may feature an experienced writer who has a long history of published books, or a new author who is destined to be a future star. Today our Author Spotlight will be on Karen Stivali. You can keep in touch with Karen at the links following the interview!
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Author Spotlight: Karen Stivali
First off, I want to thank Karen for taking the time to answer these questions for me. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment section below!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What is the title of your newest or upcoming book?
Moment Of Truth (Book 2 of the Moments In Time series)
What publisher is this book being published by?
What is the publication date?
Moment Of Truth by Karen Stivali
THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter. Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life. When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh.
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?
Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.
What genre does it fall in?
Will you share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb?
MOMENT OF TRUTH is the second book in my Moments In Time series. The first book, MOMENT OF IMPACT, is a coming of age/coming out story that focuses on Collin and Tanner’s journey as they admit their feelings for each other and fall in love, but all of that happens in the conservative environment of their small town liberal arts college, where neither of them is out publicly. The second book is the story of the summer Collin and Tanner spend together on Fire Island, a place where they can, for the first time since they got together, see what it’s like to be out as a couple. This phase of their relationship is full of new challenges, new pleasures and unexpected events.
Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?
Collin and Tanner are twenty-year old roommates at a small, conservative liberal arts college. They’ve been friends for a few years but they’ve only been roommates the past several months. Collin is from a very old-school Catholic family in a nearby Connecticut town whereas Tanner was raised by very open-minded and free-spirited parents in New York City. The story is told from Collin’s point of view as the focus of the book is on his path to self-discovery as he realizes that the feelings he’s secretly had for Tanner are quite mutual. Collin is sweet, passionate and torn between his upbringing and his feelings—he struggles with feelings of both immense relief that he’s finally able to express his truest desires and absolute terror about what that will mean for his future. Tanner is much more at peace with himself and in touch with his emotions, but his patience and love are put to the test as he embarks on this new relationship.
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Yes. This is book two of a trilogy about Collin and Tanner.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
Late at night when everyone else is sleeping. I think best at night. But there are times when I write around the clock. I don’t sleep much.
What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
Served Hot by Annabeth Albert—I loved it.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
I wanted to be a writer since I first learned to read and write when I was 4 years old. I didn’t make it a reality for several decades because I was too scared. I’m glad I finally followed my dream but it took a huge amount of courage—it was terrifying to try something I’d wanted that long knowing that failure was a very realistic possibility. I’ve been lucky enough to write full time (apart from some part time work doing odd jobs). In the past I’ve worked as a hand drawn animator, managed a busy NYC espresso bar, been a custom cake baker and decorator and I spent several years working as a clinical social worker counseling young adults and families.
What does your writing process look like?
I have to see a story play out in my head like a movie before I can write a word so I concentrate on making sure I see every detail then I write what I saw. Because of this I’ll spend a chunk of time thinking about a story before I write but once I start writing I tend to go fast and furious until the entire book is finished. Once I have it all out I hand it off to several trusted beta readers and use their reading time to think about something else so I can approach edits with a clear head and fresh eyes. Oh, and I worry incessantly throughout all of this. That’s the main part of my process. Fretting.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
I wouldn’t say I choose to write GLBTQ romance, I just choose to write romance. I’ve been a published contemporary romance author for years, and I’ve always written stories about whichever characters have been talking the loudest in my head. Most of my m/f romances have had secondary characters who were GLBTQ so it was just a matter of time before a GLBTQ couple got the starring role. As soon as Collin started talking in my mind I knew he needed his own story.
One last questions…totally unrelated to books! I am a passionate foodie. Is there one thing in your pantry that you would be horrified for people to know that you eat?
I’m a very passionate foodie myself and because of that I don’t believe in guilty pleasures where food is concerned, just pleasures. I think everyone should eat whatever it is they enjoy. I love to cook and bake so I’d guess the most surprising things in my pantry would be store bought baked goods. I’m a sucker for Oreos and Little Debbie Oatmeal Cremes. People who how much I bake also know I can make anything from scratch but if you give me a boxed mix I’ll somehow screw it up so I think some people assume I don’t eat mass produced baked goods. Very wrong assumption! Oh…and people usually freak out when they find out that I will often eat a huge spoonful of Marshmallow fluff straight from the jar. Yum.
Thankyou so much for answering my questions. I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you! Good luck in your future writing!