We had a blast! It was my first time at this kind of event and it was very smoothly run by Leiha and volunteers from Team KMM. Karen was entertaining, funny, and showed up in her new Lamborghini which was pretty much a wet dream.
She asked that there be no photos or video while she did the Q and A, said she gets the willies over there being a bunch of pictures of her out there with her mouth hanging open. So I was taking notes on my phone as fast as my fingers would move and mostly in shorthand so it's been a bit of a bear to translate (between that and the typos =P) I may have missed a thing or two but I'm fairly certain I got all the good stuff down. So without further ado, here are the juicy bits =)
Will Dani and Ryodan get together? ---- "I'm definitely not answering that one."
What did you think of all the votes for Ryodan during the Alpha Showdown on Vampire Book Club? ---- So happy and thankful to everyone who voted. Wasn't even aware of it because she was overseas but so glad to have two alphas of hers that have won.
Will Dani be getting older soon? (I think, I couldn't hear the question properly) ---- Dani will be 17 soon. She will not be 14 very much longer, she will be 17 in Burned.
Will there ever be any Mac movies? ---- The Fever series has been optioned twice by movie companies. The most recent option, which was with Dreamworks, just expired. She is okay with this because she would prefer the series be done on TV. But after seeing how True Blood went far away from the books and hearing about the death threats that George RR Martin got, she's okay with just writing books. If it happens, she wants to have lots of control over it the way GRRM has over Game of Thrones. She doesn't want it to ever be out of her control. But she is still having fun writing the series.
Will Barrons and Mac ever have a baby? Would it be special? ---- She was very amused by this. "So what you really want is for me to tell you a story. If Barrons is capable of having a child, what would it be like? Would it be like his son? What would happen?" ..... "We'll see. I never say never."
Which character do you enjoy writing the most? ---- It changes but it is often whoever she is writing at that time. Often the protagonist. Whoever she is being annoyed by. She enjoys writing them but is annoyed by them. Which is natural.
How do your thought processes work? Do you get ideas while you're dreaming? ---- The idea for the Fever series came to me in a dream. I knew everything. Beginning, end, even where to stop each book. The subconscious is so important, that's why I get up at 3am and write while I'm still half asleep. I think dreams are archetypal.
Will there be more Lor? ---- To lady who asked the question, "You want a piece of Lor? But you're not blonde, honey. *laughs* Yeah, I love Lor. There will be more of him."
Will there be more Highlanders? ---- She never says never. She is going to Scotland in the fall. Scotland is very romantic. She can't say that she won't go over there and fall so in love with it that she wants to write something in the country again.
Talking about how she became a writer: She was an insurance litigator for 10 years and one day she realized she was 30 years old and she wasn't really living. She had gone to school, graduated, done the job that she had gotten a degree for but it wasn't what she wanted. She may have been living someone's life but it wasn't the life that she wanted. So she quit her job and wrote in her spare time. The rest is history.
Does the story ever continue in your head at night while you're sleeping after you're done writing for the day? ---- One of the tricks of the trade for her is after you're done writing for the day, block out the next scene. Then go to sleep. It always works for her.
Will we find out anything about Dani's dad? ---- "Please tell me you're not going to ask if it's Ryodan. Noooooo, it's not Ryodan!" Dani's father is not relevant. There is no red herring concerning him.
Will you ever writing anything from Ryodan's point of view? ---- "I don't know what the Nine will give me. I will never write something untrue to them. So I don't know. You know how hard it was for me to write something from Barrons' point of view."
What is the hardest part of writing? ---- "I love all of it but I would say the hardest part is trying to convey the vision on paper as it is in my head."
Do you intimidate men? ---- *laughs* "Why would you ask me that? Do you think I should?" Man in the room yells out, "Not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact." Lots of laughter.
What's with Jo and Ryodan? ---- Lots of loud opinions are shouted by the crowd at this question. Karen's laughing and starts heckling the audience, "What? You don't like Jo and Ryodan?" More loud opinions and Jo haters, LOL. "Sometimes you write a character too well. Why are you all pissed off with Jo?" Woman yells out, "Jealousy!" Karen says, "You're SUPPOSED to feel that way. It's supposed to piss you off. If you don't take, I can't give. It's all about transformation. We all make mistakes. We recreate ourselves. Without damage, we can't get better. Yes, we know Jo's not in his league. But tell me which woman here who had a shot at being in Ryodan's bed would give it up if she had the chance? Who would take that shot? Raise your hand." All hands were raised and there was much more yelling from the crowd. Quite a few said they are mad at Ryo for sleeping with Jo if he wants Dani. "If a book doesn't make you feel, why read it? There is a reason for everything I do in the books. I have laid the bricks of the foundation. In everything I write, I promise you a truly great romance. There is a bigger payoff. It's coming." ~ I loved this entire Q and A, Karen had the best info and wonderful answers. But this was my very favorite answer.
Will Christian be coming back from the Crimson Hag's clutches? ----
Will we see more Dancer? ---- "Yes."
Lots of good writing questions during the Q and A. Karen talking more about writing and how she likes to write.
"I like to take my time with writing. Would you rather watch Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly or the miniseries with Colin Firth? Two hours versus six hours." She prefers the more is more approach. When she writes, she is like in the zone. Almost like a zombie. "I think I only left the house four times by myself while I was writing Shadowfever."
When is Burned coming out? ---- "If you didn't know, it has indeed been pushed back to April." Lots of groans and complaints. Doesn't know if there will be a book launch like there was with Iced. It depends on the next book. She may write them back to back.
Is Dancer like the Dreamy Eyed Guy? ---- "No. He is not part of the Unseelie King. Not everything has a hidden meaning. Sometimes a tree is just a tree."
Does Dani lose her V card in Burned? ---- "Really? V card? What does that even mean? There's no way I'm answering that."
Does/will Ryodan surpass Barrons? ---- "Next question."
Question from an aspiring writer - How do you decide what stays or what goes? What to keep and what to cut? ---- "It's very difficult. If you're a good writer, really good stuff gets cut. Good books don't tell all. You give the idea. Let the readers fill in the outline. If I sit back after reading over something I've written and think, 'Damn, that's good!', I cut it. Because my ego is invested in it. The book is not about that. I follow the dialogue. Then I go back and fill in the plot around that. I love the dialogue. That's my favorite part."
Who are your favorite authors? ---- "Stephen King, Dean Koons. SciFi writers, I grew up reading scifi. I love JR Ward. I love some Charlaine (Harris.) I love some Lauren K. Hamilton stuff. Linda Howard, she writes some great sex. Especially her older books. You should definitely read her if you haven't yet."
Someone asked about her trip to Ireland. "Ireland is amazing. Gorgeous."
How do you overcome writer's block? ---- "If I have writer's block, I know I'm doing something wrong, something that's not supposed to happen. I'm not listening to the characters. I will go back over the entirety of what I've written from the beginning to find out where I lost my way."
Will Mac and Barrons be in Burned? ---- "Yes! Part of the reason the release date for Burned was pushed back is because I have two versions of Burned and I'm trying to decide which parts of each to use." I can't remember the exact phrasing of the following info but she said one is Dani POV and the other is Mac POV. So we will get either two more books, or four more books. This would be presented as two more books with combined point of view or four more books, the first two being books #2 and #3 in Dani's trilogy and the next two being the Mac and Barrons books as was discussed here ~Personally, I'm hoping for four more books. I'm greedy =D
Will you ever write anything from Fae point of view? ---- "I don't know. I have written a diary from the Fae point of view but no one has seen it. It's possible."
If Fiona knew so much, why wasn't she killed? ---- "She didn't know as much as she thought she knew and as such, she wasn't considered a risk. The Nine would have killed her if she had known anything of value."
Someone asked about her shoes, which were fabulous black silver studded heels. She put her foot up to show them off.
Did you enjoy writing your graphic novel? ---- "I loved working on Fever Moon, it was a fascinating process. I had to write up a synopsis. I have a whole binder of information from it. I should bring it to the next gathering or launch. It was a different process because of how the artist translates your story with his drawings." She talked about Al Rio committing suicide with only 30 pages left in the book. She was very sad and didn't know if she wanted to continue with it. Said she knows she was very difficult at the end and said Cliff Richards did an amazing job dealing with the end of the book. This was supposed to be the last question but she said she didn't want to end things on such a depressing note so she took a few more questions.
Next to last question - When will you free Cruce? ---- *smiles* "When would you like me to?" Many shouts were heard. "Nice try. Next question."
Last question - Will we learn about the rest of the Nine? Will they each have their own book? ----
"I don't write like JR Ward. They won't be all paired off with someone. If I can't follow my views, I can't write a good book. I get shut down by deadlines. That's why I refused to sign any more contracts. I can't work with them. I'm in it to tell stories. I answer to the muse."
It was a fantastic day! Karen was so sweet and lovely to chat to. I asked what her favorite thing about Ireland was and she said the pubs and the Guinness, and recommended that I go see the Burren because it was incredibly beautiful. She told me to have an amazing trip and to be careful. I told her I'd avoid the Shades =) She signed everything people brought to her, her poor hand must have been ready to fall off. We had a hilarious bunch of ladies at our table. They were all so happy and lively and it was wonderful to get to fangirl over the books with like-minded people.
A few more pictures:
Two girls had these great shirts made. The front (which I apparently didn't get a picture of) said: 'Barrons breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons fucks you up. Ryodan makes you fuck yourself up.'
The Mac Halo!
I don't know what I coveted more, Karen's Lambo or her gorgeous Valentino handbag!