Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview with Karen Michelle Nutt

I'm pleased to introduce intrepid writer and traveler, Karen Michelle Nutt. Her Moon Shifter was released this week by The Wild Rose Press

Which literary shapeshifter (besides your moon shifters) do you like best?

Lucien Andrakkar, a dragon shapeshifter with violet eyes and a fiery temper that you don’t want to provoke. He’s a character in Kendra Leigh Castle’s books. In Dark Highland Fire you meet his character for the first time. He’s actually the evil character they want to defeat, but something happens and you learn more about Lucien and why he’s acting out they way he is.
When the reader can actually feel empathy for the bad guy, that’s great writing. In Wild Highland Castle, he is back and has the chance to redeem himself. Lucien was one of the secondary characters, but I fell in love with the shapeshifter and found myself rooting for him to find happiness.

What was your inspiration for the Mac Tire clan?
I read about the intriguing werewolf tales from Ireland. The werewolves weren’t man-eating creatures, but rather protectors. The wolves protected children, guarded the wounded and also guided a lost person to safety. There are tales about wolf-men tribes that lived in County Tipperary. When threaten by war, the ancient kings of Ireland would ask these wolf-men for their help, knowing they were fierce warriors. There are other tales about half-men, half-wolves living in the mountain regions, too.
Wolves no longer exist in Ireland due to they were hunted and killed during the sixteenth century. The forests had been depleted and the wolves moved closer to the farms and hunted livestock. The farmers did what they had to do to survive. Later, Oliver Cromwell issued an order to have wolves exterminated. As of today, they no longer exist in Ireland.
In Ireland, the wolf is often referred to as the Mac Tíre, which loosely translated means ‘son of the country’. I thought since my werewolf clan, or moon shifters as they call themselves, fled from Ireland that the clan as a whole should be called the Mac Tíre. I intertwined behavior of the gray wolf with the moon shifter’s attributes to give an authentic feel to the Mac Tíre world. Wolves are fascinating animals with their own social structure, including an alpha male and an alpha female to manage the pack. It isn’t uncommon for a female to run the pack. If the wolf chooses a mate, they stay mated for life. It is very rare they have multiple partners.

Where is your favorite spot in Ireland? (Am I right in guessing that Moon Shifter is set in Ireland?)
Actually my werewolves are from Ireland, but they escaped persecution by leaving Ireland and starting over in other parts of the world. I do love Ireland though. Counties Dublin, Cork, Galway were among my favorites. I also enjoyed Co. Sligo where W.B. Yeats resided and wrote his wonderful poems. Moon Shifter takes place in Lake Tahoe. When I was young, my family and I vacationed there. I have many happy memories there where we hiked and camped. I knew my wolves could hide easily in the remote areas of the forest and upper lakes where few people would venture and discover them.

What is your greatest writing challenge and how do you deal with it?
Time. Like most who love to write, I also have a day job and a family. Writing is whenever I can squeeze in the time to sit down. Luckily, Mondays are my day off and I dedicate my serious writing to that day. I tend to write better in the early morning. By the end of the day my muse and I are spent.

Is there anything that you'd like to add?

I want to thank Mariposa for having me here today. It’s been a pleasure.
If anyone would like to learn more about my books, please visit me at my website: KMN Books and at KMN Blogsite. Of course, I’m known to frequent Facebook and Twitter.

Website: http://www.kmnbooks/

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's Cooking

Though the release date is TBD on Howl (I'm working on the final round of edits), check out my Tuxedo Chili recipe in the 2009 Garden Gourmet. The cookbook features recipes from authors of The Wild Rose Press and is available spiralbound or as a download.
So whip up a batch of chili and free up your autumn afternoons to curl up with a good book (or wrap up your next round of edits!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Enlightenment for 19.95 or Less

While writers agree that classes are a valuable source of professional development, for many spending hundreds of dollars to attend a writing retreat is too high a price for inspiration. Also there's the challenge of explaining to your significant other that you're leaving him/her with the kids, chores and pets for the entire weekend while you commune with the muse.
Much of the value in seminars is the opportunity to learn tips of the trade from published writers. Through attending book signings, I’ve found much insight can be gained in about an hour’s time for less than $20.00. I’ve even attended book signings with a child in tow which ups the initial investment at the cost of another book or a post-book store milkshake. Have a few key questions in mind as you hand over your book for signing. If you happen to stop by during a lull, you can extend the interview.
Avoid the multiple question approach with a well-known author, particularly if there is a long line behind you. Monopolizing his/her time won't endear you to your favorite author and causing a riot at Borders could derail your career.
If you have the opportunity to attend a writing seminar, go for it. Learning from others is essential to any art. However, if you are strapped for cash or time, consider book signings as an interim option.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time & Space

Usually when I tell people I write, they ask, “Where do you find time?” With two busy teens and a fulltime job, I have had to resort to stealing, grabbing a few stolen minutes while my loved-ones are otherwise preoccupied. My prime writing time is on weekend mornings, not because I’m an early bird but because the rest of the household is either asleep or taking their morning shower.
With all due respect to Virginia Woolf if I waited for a room of my own I would be stuck with a mind full of stories and a ream of blank paper. Lacking my own private study, I have written on the bus, in my car (parked of course) and in any vacant room in my house. You might not have the luxury of “seizing the day” but you are certainly entitled to every moment you can grab.