Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Conversation with Karen-Anne Stewart, author of 'Ash to Steele'



Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards. 

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the
Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.
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About the Book:

Emma

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It's my fault; I'm the one who isn't strong enough. I've been damaged...broken. Breck's words haunt me...'There's a consequence for every choice you make.'

Breck

I've had so many women I can't even remember over half of their names, but none of them are mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don't need or want anyone, ever...not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what's left of my soul and her touch sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my ruin...my sweetest hell.

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Can you tell us what your book is about?

Ash to Steele is more than just a story about a bad boy meeting a good girl.  There is a powerful romance with twists and turns, tears and humor, angst, personal demons, healing love, and a group of supporting characters that I want as my BFFs.  Emma Jones is a small town preacher’s daughter who is desperate to break free from her boyfriend and the image everyone has made her into.  Leaving behind everything she has ever known, she grasps her dreams and heads to Boston to start her art career but, more importantly, to find herself and the more she fiercely desires.

 At first glance, Breck Steele is a bastard wrapped in a panty-melting package of blue eyes, muscles, and tattoos…but there’s a heart of gold buried underneath his abrasive, cocky exterior.  He evades everything Emma believes and does his damnedest to hate her, but that’s so hard to do when she consumes his thoughts, desires, and soul. 

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

When I begin a book, I have the general plot in my head but the details are developed as I go along.  So far, I haven’t been able to sit down and write a novel straight from beginning to end; I bounce, then piece the parts together.  I’m very much an emotionally based person (my poor husband, lol) so I like to write scenes depending on my mood.  If I’ve had a frustrating day, I usually write a fight scene or a part with some action.  Writing is an amazing form of therapy ;). 

Your book is set in Boston and parts in Pickens, S.C..  Can you tell us why you chose these particular places?

I was nineteen when I visited Boston and I fell in love with the city.  I dreamed of moving there but never did.  Pickens is very close to where I live.  When I decided to create Emma’s character of being a small town preacher’s daughter, I decided that I wanted to use a place close to home.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Yes.  There are a myriad of differences between Breck and Emma, including him being a city boy and her being a country girl.  Although I don’t believe everything in the whole environment vs. nature theory, I do believe your surroundings and how you were raised does help to shape who you are, even though, ultimately, each person has the power to change…which readers will see some of this in Ash to Steele. 

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Read!  I’m an avid reader but I have less and less time to read now. 

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Ohh, this is a hard one.  I’m going to cheat and list two: Christmas and Halloween.  Christmas holds so many wonderful memories of families getting together all at once, which is so hard to do with different schedules.  Being able to spend time with family, drinking hot chocolate, playing in the snow (when we’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas), and seeing all of the beautiful decorations just makes this time of year magical to me.  I still get all warm and fuzzy at Christmas. 
Halloween is just loads of fun!  Being able to dress up and scour the streets for candy was a favorite childhood memory.  I love listening to my daughter change her mind a million times about what she wants to be each year and seeing what she settles on each time.  She’s very creative and always embellishes the costumes. 

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

If I could choose anywhere, we would go to Italy just because I’ve always wanted to go there and I hope you would enjoy it as much as I know I would.  If it’s local, I would take you to the Square Root for lunch.  They have great food and it’s always where I go if I feel a slump in writing.  I love sitting out on the patio, eating and writing. 

What do you like to do for fun?

I’m pretty simple.  I love reading, going to the movies, hiking, and hanging out with friends. 

Can you tell us about your family?

I’m so blessed to have the family I have.  My daughter is full of life and astounds me with the things she comes up with sometimes.  She’s a fire ball of energy and loves playing different sports.  My husband is very supportive and lets me bounce ideas off him even though romance books are not his ‘go to’ genre.  We balance each other well.  He’s very focused and rational while I’m more of a dreamer and base my decisions on emotions.  He’s also my very own bad boy with a good heart.  He’s great about taking care of me when I’m too busy writing to think of things like the need to sleep, and he teasingly threatens to hide my laptop if I’m not getting enough rest (at least I think he’s teasing, lol)! 

What do you like the most about being an author?

Other than writing, my favorite part of being an author is meeting new people.  I’m amazed by how wonderfully supportive the writing community is and how authors, bloggers, and readers help each other out.  Being able to have met the new friends I have now is something I will always appreciate with all my heart. 

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Never give up!  There will be times that are completely overwhelming, but just take it a step at a time and focus on what you would want to read when you write.  You can’t make everyone happy, but, if what you create makes you happy, then it will touch someone else, too. 

Thank you so much for having me!

1 comment:

Karen-Anne Stewart said...

Thank you for having me today on your great site! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week :).