Today, for Author Interview³, I welcome Karen Bovenmyer to the blog to share her work.
Karen Bovenmyer Author Interview³1) Tell us 3 fun facts about your writing history
• I’m dyslexic, so I had a rough time getting my ideas on paper until high school. To this day, I read and write much more slowly than many of my author friends, but it’s always an intense experience I feel deeply.
• A $.10 Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook I bought at a garage sale in fifth grade was probably the single most influential book I ever purchased. A burning desire to read it and play pushed me through some of my dyslexia and I developed coping strategies I use to this day.
• SWIFT FOR THE SUN was originally a short story. I sent it to Dreamspinner hoping they would buy it for their website, but they wrote me back saying they loved the characters and the setting and asked if I was willing to expand it into a novel.
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
Action-packed, dark, funny
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
Laurell K Hamilton, J R Ward, J R R Tolkien
4) Share your 3 favourite books
That’s like asking me to pick between children. So unfair. I love rereading J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, especially Rhage’s book LOVER ETERNAL. A book I tell other people to read all the time is CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell. My favourite Harry Potter is THE PRIZONER OF AZKABAN.
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
A Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack playlist, a lightweight MacBook air, and a 30-minute timer.
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
I have a writing room at home, but I often meet friends at coffee shops. My favourite might be the Periodical Room at Iowa State University Library because it’s a quiet zone—none of my students are allowed to talk to me if they recognize me.
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
TOR, Jabberwocky Agency, epic fantasy with something new to say.
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
1) Build supports into your life that help you write—for me it’s writing friends.
2) Volunteer slush-read for a magazine, you’ll learn a lot about the stories that are being sent out and how polished yours need to be to have a chance on the market.
3) Join writing groups with other writers who are slightly better than you are. They will inspire you to up your game. Don’t be afraid to leave a writing group if it’s not helping you write, polish, and submit.
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
1) Compete a Chinese-noir murder mystery novel I’ve half-finished and submit it to Jabberwocky
2) Draft some new short stories and poems and sell to professional markets
3) Create a complete outline for a sequel to SWIFT FOR THE SUN and start work on it if people seem to like the first one. Right now I know New Orleans, a circus, and a Icelandic volcano are involved.
10) Tell us about your latest release
When I sat down to write this story, I asked myself “What if Han Solo and Tarzan fell in love?” I wanted a historical tale with lots of adventure, danger, romance, spies, revolutionaries, volcanos, pirate ships and fisticuffs.
SWIFT FOR THE SUN is a historical romance about a young man in 1820s, who, like me, read too many adventure books. Benjamin has only ever wanted to be a sailor, a man of action. When he finally gets his chance to captain a ship in the Caribbean, it sinks, stranding him on a desert island. There, he’s rescued by an escaped pit-fighting slave named Sun. The two men build a life together, fall in love, and plan for their future—but the pirates, smugglers, and revolutionaries Benjamin was working for come looking for it and him.
I had loads of fun writing, researching, and editing this story with Dreamspinner and hope you enjoy it!
Mar 27, 2017
80k words / 230 pages
Cover artist: Anna Sikorska
Buy from Dreamspinner (Print & eBook)
Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gun runner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost, he is a survivor.
When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave, Sun, instead.
Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.
Karen Bovenmyer earned an MFA in Creative Writing: Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches and mentors students at Iowa State University and serves as the Nonfiction Assistant Editor of Escape Artists’ Mothership Zeta Magazine. She is the 2016 recipient of the Horror Writers Association Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship. Her poems, short stories and novellas appear in more than 40 publications and her first novel, SWIFT FOR THE SUN, an LGBT romantic adventure in 1820s Caribbean, will be available from Dreamspinner Press on March 27, 2017.