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 http://www.thewildrosepress.com/


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/
Blog: http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Michelle-Nutt/90291526546?sid=bf3f82400451c25132a9450149b3f370&ref=search
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KMNbooks