Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Guest Author - Karen Hawkins

New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins  is best known for her many historicals but is making a name for herself in the contemporary world with her humorous and heartwarming new series set in the small fictional town of Glory, NC. When not busy writing books or blogging, Karen can be often be found adding to her extensive shoe collection, diligently researching hotties for FROS Sundays at The Goddess Blogs, spending time with her Hot Cop husband and sharing stories about her very funny granny. Please give Karen a warm Romance Dish welcome.


My latest release, LOIS LANE TELLS ALL, came out last Tuesday. This week, I'll get several hundred emails and letters from various readers, as well as requests to dish more info on various characters.

Here are some of the questions I've been asked:

Will you write a book about Connie? She needs her own book!

I loved your poker game scene and Rene really intrigues me. Who is the hot blond he once had a fling with back in New Orleans? Will we ever get to meet her?

Who will be with Ethan? I wish he was my next door neighbor. Can he install tile?

Do Nick and Roxie from TALK OF THE TOWN ever have children? I imagine them having two or three children, perhaps more.

Characters, characters, characters! I love it when my characters speak to my readers and draw them beyond the book and into the future where the next book is hiding. When the characters start talking to your audience beyond the book, then you know your series is taking on a life of its own.

Personally, I can't imagine NOT wondering what happens after I turn the last page, although I've heard that some people don't.

When you close a book, do you wonder what happens next? How the characters deal with this or that issue that might not be addressed in the book? Where they might go or do? If they have kids or not? Or, when you close a book, do you let the story go and move on to another?

Karen has graciously offered signed copies of TALK OF THE TOWN to two randomly selected commenters from today's blog.  Thank you, Karen!

Coming March 30th from New York Times bestselling author, KAREN HAWKINS --

LOIS LANE TELLS ALL, a Glory, NC book. When a small town newspaper editor who'd really like to be Lois Lane, finds herself the object of a series of potentially deadly pranks, who can she call for help other than the newspaper's seemingly mild-mannered Chief Financial Officer? Only, when faced with danger, it turns out this Clark Kent is definitely a SUPER man!

Also on the shelves, the final MacLean Curse book, a New York Times bestseller, THE LAIRD WHO LOVED ME!



  1. Yes, I wonder what happens next, almost always. If it is the final in a series I make up the futures in my mind.
    I can let them go eventually but in the case of series they are not gone forever, just until the next book.

  2. Dianna, I love that you make up futures for the characters if it's the end of a series. What a wonderfully creative idea!

  3. Hi Karen! Welcome to The Romance Dish! I loved Talk of the Town and am very much looking forward to reading Lois Lane Tells All.

    I can walk away from some characters without a backward glance while others will stay with me for weeks or months after finishing their stories. I guess that's why I love reading books in a series. It gives me the opportunity to re-visit characters and catch up with what's been going on in their lives post-HEA.

    Speaking of characters, what's up next for you?

  4. Good morning and welcome to The Romance Dish, Karen! Congrats on the newest release! I have it and can't wait to read it.

    I do sometimes wonder about characters after I close a book...especially those secondary characters that work their way into my heart. The good thing about books is that I can visit them again anytime I want. :)

    Karen, can you tell us what you're working on now?

  5. PJ said: Speaking of characters, what's up next for you?

    LOL! Great minds, PJ. ;-)

  6. Hi everyone! Thank you for the kind welcome!

    Dianna, that's cool that you make up futures for the characters! I sometimes do the same. Like PJ said, sometimes characters stay with you. Those are the ones I keep putting in imaginary scenarios . . . the ones that really 'talk' to me. :)

    Andrea, I love books in a series for that reason, too. Sometimes, opening a book from a series is like visiting an old friend . . . you know you're going to see some characters and already 'know' them, which is cozy and comforting in a way.

  7. I have two books coming out. One is my Secret/Lost Book, which I wrote under another name years and years ago. I have the rights back and I rewrote it to make it the prequel to BOTH the MacLean Curse Series and my new series, the Hurst Amulet.

    That book, MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE, comes out August 24th. Then, after that, in November, is the first Hurst Amulet book, ONE NIGHT IN SCOTLAND.

    And after that ... the third Glory, NC book, which will be about Ethan and ... actually, I haven't decided yet who will end up with Ethan. I had an idea, but now I'm rethinking. He's whispering in my ear about someone else, so ...hmmm. Who knows what might happen? :)

  8. Going to the store today to look for these books. Love the puppies on the covers. This is a great page too, I have to bookmark it. Happy Spring to you all!

  9. Karyn, I do most of my day dreaming about secondary characters, too! and sometimes about ones that will never have their own books. I wonder what sort of partner they'd do well with and the next thing you know, I'm matching the pick pocket butler with the uptight housekeeper. I like to mix things up. Heh!

    I've had readers ask me if certain couples ever had children after their book was over ... that always surprises me. I'll think, "Wow. DID they have children?' It sort of makes me feel as if I should ask the characters, which I have to do in order to answer the question! Good thing I have all of these voices in my head to help me out with questions like that! Lol!

  10. Thanks, Joy! You definitely need to bookmark The Romance Dish. I've put it on my list of 'places to browse' so I won't miss anything.

    Btw, I heard that Barnes and Noble haven't put the book on the shelves yet because they're doing promotional placement on it next week, so if you don't see it, ask them to fetch you copy. They're in the store, but not on the racks yet.

  11. Hey Ka-Hawk, good to have you here (cannot claim to be here often lately, unfortunately)! Maybe you know from TGB that I LOVED TOTT (well, I don't think you can remember what I personally said, but everyone at TGB loved TOTT *ggg*) und couldn't wait to have LLTA in my greedy little hands. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read it atm (although it'd be the perfect srping book, I guess) since I'm going to write my final exams in fours weeks' time - that's why I'm rarely seen anywhere in my beloved cyber-romance-world at the moment... *sniff*

    To your question, I cannot imagine not to wonder what happens to the characters in a book, either. I often even make up myself how their lives will go on. That's why I love epilogues and series so much becuase then you get to know what really happened to the characters!

  12. Hi Karen!
    I love the title for your new book. I'm such a superman fan that it made me squee.^^

    I do sometimes wonder what happens to a character at the end of a book. Do they continue to live happily ever after or is there divorce court in the future. Sometimes you know from the book that they're going to have lots of kids and grow old together. Some books i've read i've thought at the end "there is divorce court in the future because there is nothing there besides lust". Having sequels around for me is a great way to having a glimpse in the lives of past characters. You get to find out whats going on in their lives while learning about the lives of some newer characters. ^^


  13. I'm off to work. Have fun this afternoon. I'll be back tonight!

  14. Thanks for the B&N info, Karen. Now I'll know to ask for TOTT when I go into the city Friday rather than weeping that it's not in stock. :)

    I love conclusions to series that naturally work in appearances by the whole ensemble. And I have a long list of characters whose stories I never give up on the authors writing at some time. I waited fifteen years for Jo Beverley to write Dare's story. When authors don't--or can't--cooperate, I do make up my own stories. I grew up reading Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books, and for many decades now I've imagined that Tony, the beau Betsy rejects, came back to Deep Valley and married Margaret, Betsy's younger sister.

  15. Ooooo, Karen, now I'm wondering what the Secret/Lost Book is... The new series sounds intriguing!

  16. Welcome to the site, Joy! And thanks for bookmarking us. We hope to see you often!

  17. I bought my copy of Lois Lane Tells All at my local B&N last Tuesday, March 30. It was actually the only April release they had out that day. I had to go back Thursday for the others.

  18. Hi, Karen. Thanks for being here today.

    I do like to think about the characters after a story ends. I also like to imagine what may come for the characters and continue the story in my mind. This is one reason I really like authors to place previous characters into other stories. I like reading a series of books that is almost like a long on-going story.

  19. I think I have always liked using my imagination to continue stories I read. But, some endings have made me go - "Really???? What happens next?" A bad ending can definitely ruin a story, especially an abruptly ended movie where they save time by stopping too soon.

    Your Lois sounds like a fun read. I love that there is a pooch on the cover, very cute and different!

    Thank you for posting!

  20. I do wonder what happens to the characters in the story. I do enjoy series books that let you see how the characters grow.
    Your book sounds great. Would love to read.

  21. Karen,
    Thanks for leaving Mt. Oly to visit with us today. When I'm invested in a book, I do find it hard to let go of the characters. So yes, I wonder how things work out after the story is finished. That's one of the reasons I like reading a series. I can go back and reconnect with old friends.

  22. Hi LisaK! Yup, LLTA is a great spring break book -- it just begs to be read while you recline in a hammock and sun, so definitely save it for after your exams. I wish you the best of luck in those, although I'm sure you don't need it. :)

    jedisakora, my daughter is the big comic book fan, so that's where I got the concept of a heroine who loves Lois Lane. I'm more of an x-men fan, but hey, who doesn't love the classics. I'm with you on epilogues and I should probably write more, although I've been thinking of doing that and putting them on my website for free downloads. Why not? They'd be fun and it's always good to see how our happy couple does facing real life. I hope I never write a couple where all they have together is pure lust, although a LITTLE pure lust is good ... you are right and it just can't be everything.

  23. Janga, I think that's where a lot of really good fan fic comes from -- people wanting to take a character beyond the pages (or screen if it's a movie or tv series) and see where else they'll 'go' other than the path the author has for them. That's always fascinated me. Like you, I like large group epilogues, too, although they can be a bear to write. You have so many distinct voices, and so many people who are talking and have to be identified ... but you're right and it's worth it.

    Andrea, your B & N had LLTA out early and mine refuses to shelve it until next Tues. What's up with THAT? Lol! Well, I'm just glad you found it, early or not. :)

  24. Deb, I love it when I read a book and see old characters from another book. I don't know why, but I feel sort of welcome, like I'm at 'home' in the story, if that makes sense.

    Jessica, I hope to have a pooch on every cover ... it's a small town and people have more pets when they have bigger yards. I'm hoping to have a chow puppy on my next cover. Fingers crossed! I looove dogs (I have two right now and they're both sleeping at my feet) and want to match a dog/personality type to each heroine. Or so I've been trying! :)

  25. Denise, it's important for the characters to grow throughout a series. I absolutely adore this one series -- it's not a romance, but a mystery -- and the main character has stayed the same through a score of books and has shown no growth at all. That was very disconcerting, and I vowed to really work and make sure my heroines and heroes grow and progress without the entire series. We'll see how it goes! :)

  26. LSUReader, absolutely! It's nice when you get to know a place, too. I think the setting is just as much of a character as any of the people in a story and I want Glory to have that quaint-and-familiar-town-on-a-spring-day feel. I hope the books work that way for you, too!

  27. Hi Karen ^^

    It sounds like your daughter and i would get along quite well. ^^ Heads up to tell her that coming in may there is going to be a "Sense and Sensibility" comic adaption coming out by Marvel. There is also two new Star Wars comics coming out. One is based off of the new video game coming out and another called" Jedi" features a young female jedi living during the hight of the sith reign about 1000 years before TMP. ^^ Thats coming out in fall. There is also "Brightest Day" coming out, but i couldn't even follow "Blackest Knight" because there were too many issues.

    I think it would be awesome if you wrote some epilogues. ^^ I would love find out what happened to your characters. Sara and Nick have always been my favorite.


  28. Karen said: Andrea, your B & N had LLTA out early and mine refuses to shelve it until next Tues. What's up with THAT? Lol! Well, I'm just glad you found it, early or not.

    I'm glad, too, because when I went back Thursday to get the others, you were sold out. Ain't THAT grand? *g*

  29. Melissa said: Sara and Nick have always been my favorite.

    They've always been a favorite of mine, too, Melissa....right behind Anna and Anthony. *sigh*

  30. Hey Karen!! So glad you are joining us today!! Sorry for the late arrival, but that pesty little day job kept me busy until now. :P

    Congrats on the new release! I am really looking forward to reading it.

    I have to say that I'm a reader who wonders about all the characters an author introduces in a novel. That is one reason why I love series!!! I often find myself pondering why that sister is so shy or why that man doesn't get the girl.

    You mentioned in an earlier post here that LLTA is a great spring break book. The dh and I just returned from a weekend alone in Savannah while our kids are with the grandparents for spring break. So, have you already had your spring break? Or is it coming up soon?

  31. I'm a big fan of epilogues when you get a glimpse into the future of the characters. If there is no epilogue, then I often hope that the characters will be revisited in another book or I make up my own theory in my head as to what happened next.

  32. jedisakora, my daughter will be thrilled with that info. I know I am! A Jane Austin graphic novel. Who knew? That's such a great idea ... wish I'd had it. Heh!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Sara and Nick. That was probably the most difficult book I ever wrote, but I do like how it turned out.

    Andrea, sold out! Those are sweet words, indeed. I hope it's a phenomenon that is sweeping the nation as we speak. Ahhh . . . what a lovely dream! :)

  33. Buffie, my kids are in college and had their spring break two weeks ago and during that time, I read Rachel Gibson's up and coming book because I managed to wheedle an ARC out of her. (It is PHENOMENAL, btw.) I love vacation time with the family and while we didn't go anywhere this year (the kids had homework and I had a deadline looming) we had a great time and managed to hit the beach for a day or two anyway. We're lucky it's just a 50 minute drive to the ocean so we can make a day trip out of it. Where are you and your family going? Or are you relaxing at home together?

  34. Jennifer, I can see that I need to do more epilogues. I love them, too, but not all stories seem to need one especially (as you pointed out) there are sequels coming up and you'll get to see the couple in those books.

    I do love mixing my characters and have them visiting other series just for laughs. I'm even going to have a modern day MacLean come to Glory one day . . . That will be SUCH fun!

  35. If I really love a book and their characters I will imagine what happens after the HEA. I love series that continue the stories of main characters in a story arc in the next book and noiot just give them an honorable mention.
    Love & Hugs Pam

  36. I have only read Karen's historicals. This series of contemporary romances sound like fun.
    If I enjoyed the book and liked the characters, yes I do wonder what happens to them. I'll often continue the story on my own. Liking characters and wanting to know what happens to them is the reason I read series whenever I can. One book is usually not enough to follow characters you really like.
    Good luck with the new direction you are taking, Karen. Whoever is doing the covers is doing a great job. Puppies are always winners.I hope you continue to write your historical romances. I enjoy your post on The Goddess Blogs.

  37. Karen, I forgot to tell you this a.m. that I really have enjoyed your Scottish/Highlander books. Gotta love a man in a kilt. (Yeah, ask anyone here; they know I like those brawny Scotsmen.) :)

  38. Hi Karen! I'll be reading Lois Lane Tells All next and I cannot wait! :)

    I often wonder what happens next, especially if it's a book that I love and stays with me for a while after I'm finished reading it.

  39. Karen, thanks so much for visiting with us today and many thanks to everyone who stopped by. I'm sorry I was gone for most of the day. It was a *really* long work day!

    We'll be posting the winners of Karen's giveaway by the end of the week so be sure to drop by to see if you're one of the winners.

  40. Nope, i just let the story go and move on to another.

    i just don't want to get a 'different' story of what i expected from first series, when i read the next series of the book :)

    I guess Authors know better than readers about the ending.

  41. Pamela, it sounds as if you're talking about a series like Nora's J.D. Robb series. Those are awesome! I love Suzanne Enoch's Rick and Sam books. They are SO wonderful and it is neat to see the characters travel through book after book.

    librarypat, aw, thank you! Yes, I'm still writing historicals. I can't imagine NOT writing them. But when I am writing an historical, I can't read one because well, I'm working on one eight to ten hours a day, so I began to read contemporaries. And then I had an IDEA for one and ... so now I switch back and forth and it's very refreshing and fun. I can't imagine a better combination.

  42. Oh, Deb, thanks for the visual -- a man in a kilt. ****happy sigh!**** Oh yes. What's not to love? :)

    TrishM, oh I love that feeling after you've read a book and you can still 'hear' the characters in your head. It's like the story is echoing through your imagination and you don't want to give it up just yet.

  43. mariska, I will wait to read a sequel until I'm finished thinking about the last book. Sometimes it only takes a day, sometimes longer, but I do try to wait. I think endings are the hardest part of a book. I always want my characters to go on and on and I often leave them very reluctantly. That's tough!

    PJ, no problem! We had a lovely time here the board today. It's been a lot of fun!

  44. Thank you guys for having me here today! You all have been such a great group and I appreciate your time and comments.

    In about three weeks I'll be starting on the third Glory, NC story, this one about Ethan and ... actually, I haven't yet figured out. I had someone in mind, but now I'm not so sure. :) We'll see!

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