Karen Dales and I met through Facebook, a great place for authors to meet and I love learning from each of them, especially Canadian authors, and supporting their work. I also love sharing them with you.
So meet Karen Dales, author of The Chosen Chronicles – three perfect Halloween reads, Canadian author and wonderful person.
Thank you so much for having me, Sarah.
1) You’re writing a book series titled The Chosen Chronicles and already have three books out while currently working on the fourth. How do you deal with the challenge of not putting too much in that bores your avid fans but using enough background to ensure readers of your second book first understand?
In each subsequent novel of “The Chosen Chronicles’ I always refer back to the previous book(s) as part of the current story. I’m not one into explanations and reiterations of what has already gone on before. Each of my books can stand on its own without needing to read the previous books, but, like most series, it’s always good to read them in order. When I do make reference to previous incidents in earlier books I make sure that it’s in relation to the current story and something that the character may be saying or thinking.
2) You took the creative writing course at York University. Do you find this just kept you on track to do what you already knew you could do or did its exercises give you the confidence you needed to move forward?
The courses in university did help quite a bit, but that was long before “The Chosen Chronicles” were published. Taking courses in writing is excellent, but what really refines one’s writing and builds confidence is to write a lot. This means writing every day, even if it is nonsense and you’ll end up deleting it.
3) I read in a previous interview that your characters were first created in a role playing game. Have you been surprised at who your characters have become?
Actually, yes! It’s amazing to me how the characters have evolved into different people than I had originally set out. It’s like having different people in your head who tell you what they want to do and how they want to do it. I have found that because of the growth of the characters more and more ideas for further books are coming to mind.
4) The first two books you admit took you 12 years to write to your perfection. I assume you’re much faster now that you have these on your shelf? What advice do you offer to emerging authors who want a best seller now without the patience to spend 8-12 years perfecting the same novel?
Take your time and do not rush. The reason why it took me so long to write those first two novels is because I was working full time and then started a family. I would also have to say a level of maturity comes with it too. The older I got, the more refined my writing became, and the better I got. Shadow of Death took me six months to write the first draft, but Thanatos (what I’m working on now) is taking longer because of other obligations needing to come first. It’s life.
5) Do plan to write books outside of the Chosen series?
Yes. I have a historical romance novel set in the Edo period of Japan that I have laid out to write once Thanatos is done.
6) Have you always read/ been interested in vampires and gothic ideas?
Always! I’ve always loved stories and shows that show the gothic side of life, such as “The Addams Family” (the original black and white with John Astin and Carolyn Jones). I have always been drawn to the paranormal too. I loved “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie.” I didn’t get to reading vampire stories until I was in high school, but once I discovered them I couldn’t get enough of them.
7) Do you remember that moment when you knew you’d love to spend your life writing? If so, please share.
When I was in grade four (or five) one of the class projects was to write a story and then publish it into a book that we had to make. Now remember this was before the invention of the personal computer for everyone’s use, so all this was done by hand and by typewriter. Well, I LOVED the whole process, from writing the story, editing the story, to laying it out, designing the book (inside and out). I still remember the name of that first book and regret that I don’t have it today.
8) As a fellow Canadian author, do you feel any restraint from making it in the big time? Do you have any advice for getting recognized/ sold outside of our country? Or within Canada?
I’m not sure. Sometimes I do, and then other times I don’t. I’m very lucky to live in this great country and Toronto has the MOST genre fiction conventions in the country. This gives me the opportunity to network with fans from all over Canada and many folks who come up from the USA. In that, I’m very lucky.
I’ve only had my books out for about 2 ½ years and one of the hardest lessons to learn was that it takes time to grow a fan base anywhere in the world. I’m still new at this, but it’s all good because my name *is* getting out there and I’m always surprised where people have heard of me.
9) You have many interviews posted on your web site at www.KarenDales.com. Are you surprised/ disappointed that no one has asked a particular question yet? If so, please ask and answer it here. If not, what was the best question you’ve been asked as an author?
I’ve had many people ask me many different questions, some of them are thought provoking and surprising. I think your question about being a Canadian author is the first. I’m not surprised that it hasn’t been asked before. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, eh?:)
10) What book containing vampires is your absolute favourite (besides your own) and why?
Oh my goodness! You sure asked a question that would take me pages and pages to answer!
I’ll go with some of the current vampire books that I’ve enjoyed.
I’m currently reading “Evolve: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead.” It’s the second book in the anthology edited by Nancy Kilpatrick. I don’t usually read anthologies, but I’m really enjoying this book because of several reasons: 1) It’s Canadian; 2) All the stories are written by Canadians; and 3) It’s all amazing vampire stories.
I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong, Charlene Harris, Jeannie Kalogridis, Freda Warrington and Anne Rice, to name a few.
Karen Dales’ award winning paranormal vampire series The Chosen Chronicles are available for Hallowe’en for only $.99 each! Visit Dark Dragon Publishers to buy yours today!
Thanks for reading and supporting!
author of Sending You Sammy, Arm Farm and Brain Tales – Volume One