Monday, December 29, 2008

An Interview with Kara Lennox

In honor of Harlequin American Romance's 25th Anniversary, authors old and new have answered a series of questions. Here are my answers--but I only answered the questions I liked!
1) How long have you been published?
20 years. Is that scary or what?
2) What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Don't take everything so seriously. If you're in this for the long haul, there will be ups and downs. Go with the flow.
3) What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Telling a good story. So long as you can keep readers turning the pages, nothing else matters.
4) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
The time I sent a private message to a friend--only I hit the wrong button and it went public.
5) What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
A fish eye. It was dark.
6) What comes first: the plot or the characters?
For me, plot.
7) When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Who is that old lady in my bathroom?
8) Describe your writing space.
A total mess. Post-It notes everywhere. Can't see the top of my desk.
9) Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
I did for the first time this year! I waited it out. Eventually it went away.
10) What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Victoria Holt and Mary Higgins Clark. Later, Janet Evanovich.
11) What are you reading now?
A Lisa Gardner book.
12) Do you re-read your books once they're in print?
13) What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
It's a pretty normal 9-5 workday, writing more in the morning and editing/brainstorming/plotting and problem-solving in the afternoon.
14) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've sold 57 (as Kara Lennox and Karen Leabo) but I've written lots more that haven't sold. My favorite is a Silhouette Intimate Moments published in 1995 called INTO THIN AIR.
15) Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I get letters and e-mail now and then. Many of my readers are teenagers and people from other countries. I've corresponded with readers from Africa, India and Bulgaria, and I love to hear from them especially.
16) Are you working on anything at the present you'd like to share?
I'm playing around with a young-adult paranormal romance.
17) Did you ever eat paste or Elmer's glue when you were a kid?
No. Blech.
18) What did you do career-wise before becoming an author?
I was an art director for a magazine, then a freelance nonfiction writer. I also did some crazy odd jobs. I was a blackjack dealer and a hamster wrangler for an entertainment company.
19) How has the American Romance line changed since you first began writing for it?
My first American came out in 1999. I think it's broadened a lot. You see more diversity in the line. It's more author-driven, I think.
20) What helps inspire you when you write? Do you have any ‘rituals’ (like music, candles, a favorite scent) that helps you find your writing zone?
I like groceries, that's what inspires me! No rituals. I just like it quiet.
21) What do you want to know about the future?
Nothing--I'd rather be surprised.
22) Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?
Yes, and I prefer Coke, though I seldom drink any kind of soft drink.
23) Have you ever made a crank phone call?
Yes. I was a horrible child.
24) What is your dream car?
A silver Nissan Roadster.
25) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Any place with a beach and umbrella drinks. No, seriously, I love to travel, and I love going to strange, out-of-the-way places like Bulgaria.
26) If you were locked in a closet for one hour who would you want in there with you?
My husband. He has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, and I would get him to kick the door down. I'm claustrophobic.


Gillian Layne said...

What a fun interview! Congratulations on your successful career. The fish eye gave me pause. I'm impressed--I'd never be that brave. :)

EllenToo said...

You had me laughing at some of your answers. Loved the interview.

Kara Lennox said...

Thank you, Gillian and Ellen. I just looked at the interview for the first time since it posted. Eeks, I'm rather long-winded!

The fish eye was an accident. I was in Belize, and we were cooking our fresh-caught fish over an open fire and it was dark. The fish eye just accidentally ended up in my mouth and by the time I realized what it was, it was too late.

Estella said...

Great interview!
A fish eye???

Linda Warren said...

Great interview. Hamster wrangler? Please tell me what that is. I'm dying of curiosity.
Linda Warren
Mar '09 - The heriff of Horseshoe, Texas

Victoria Chancellor said...

Actually, I've heard fish eyes taste a little better with Elmers Glue. :) Happy New Year, Kara/Karen

Ann Roth said...

Great interview, Kara. I've always loved your sense of humor.

Kara Lennox said...

Sorry it took me so long to reply to you--I forget to check back!
I worked for a party company that did "casino night" events for companies. Usually I dealt blackjack but a couple of times I had to run the hamster races, which involved placing them on a set of vertical tracks with a plexiglass window and luring them to the other end ...