Monday, June 5, 2006

The Book Bitches interview with Karen Hawkins

Goody, I finally have you trapped *muahaha*! Karen, for an author you are really hard to track down! Someone told me you’ve been stalking, er, following Hugh Jackman around. I suppose that must be a full time job LOL, and since the cast of X-MEN 3 are promoting all over the place, no one could actually tell me where to find you! Ooh, btw, nice shoes. *g*


Thank you! (Holds out one foot, neatly shod in a red leather Dobrinsky spiky heel) They are lovely, aren’t they? I am usually quite a shoe lover, but right now I’m feeling a bit ambivalent about this particular pair of shoes. The left one got stuck in a grating outside Grand Central Station in New York and because of that, I missed seeing Hugh Jackman—again.

Well, I DID see him once, but now that he and his body guards have that picture of me, they’re really quick to turn and run in the opposite direction.

Who would have thought the resolution on that security camera was so good?


OMG, tell me about it! I tried to follow Johnny Depp once. I was almost successful, I tell ya. But boy, I didn’t expect those stupid cameras to work against my glorious mission. Seriously, all I did was try to sneak into his bedroom to give him a body massage. Apparently that’s a crime nowadays, stupid stalker laws.

Anyway, you know, Harlot and I are both size 9. If you want to send some of your cast-off shoes our way, we won’t complain! LOL Just send the prettiest ones to me. :P

Okay, let’s get to the interview then. What was the first romance you ever read and how’d you like it? Do you think it played some part in shaping your own writing style?


Arabella by Georgette Heyer. I fell in love with the genre because of her witty voice, her incredible characters, and her true appreciation for what constitutes a good relationship.

Heyer definitely shaped my writing style! I always try to write rich, multi-layered, but real characters and she is the standard to which I aspire.


*Embarrassed smile* Is it okay to admit I’ve yet to read GH? Should I hide from the tomato-throwing now? OMG, I’LL GET TO IT, PEOPLE! Geesh!

*Cleaning self from dripping rotten fruit, ICK* So, Karen, lately it has been a trend, especially for romance writers, to jump on every bandwagon that passes them. But you, you have stayed true to historical romances. Have you ever considered writing a contemporary?



I don’t know that it’s a modern trend for writers to want to write a variety of different things. Heyer, for example, also wrote mysteries. Jane Austen wrote short stories. Edgar Allen Poe wrote poetry and short stories.

Because of their creative nature, it’s natural for an author to desire to stretch their wings and do new things. And frankly, readers would be bored if their favorite authors didn’t grow in some way.

I might one day write a contemporary—and of course I’ve thought of it. If you had the crazy family I have, you’d be tempted to write a contemporary book, too! But for now, I am far too busy with my historical schedule to do more than THINK about writing something else. Maybe one day...


A crazy family revolving around a crazier main character (you, er *whistles*) ... sounds like a good plot. *g*

Tell us, what are your romance novel pet peeves?



Weak, incompetent heroines and inconsistent characterization. These two flaws drive me BATTY. I always reread my work before I turn it in to make certain my heroine is strong and capable, and that all of my characters act in a rational, logical manner.


I HATE spineless heroines too! Grrrr... What about the heroes? When doing research, do you ask “real” men, for example your BF (who I heard is a real hottie!) how they would react with a woman in a particular situation, especially sexually? *wink*


(Thank you! And yes, he is!) I have never asked a man how he might react to a woman sexually, though now that you mention it, that would be a pretty interesting conversation!

Pardon me while I make a quick phone call . . .


LOL. Alright, take your time.

(After twenty minutes, Karen’s still on the phone.) Karen? Yoo-hoo. When you get back, er, IF you get back LOL, could you please answer some more questions? (Ten minutes later, Karen finally comes back looking quite refreshed.) That’s one hell of a phone call. *g*

Okay, let’s continue. How do you handle romance book snobbery amongst your friends and the world at large? What is your favorite weapon for hitting those who patronize you over the head with? Royalty cheques perhaps?



I’ve only had a few people make snobby comments. The sad truth is that most people don’t even realize they’re being snobby because they mistakenly believe their reaction is “normal.”

I did have one woman ask me when I was going to write “a real book.” So I replied, “When they stop paying me in real money for these fake ones.”

I don’t know if she got the sarcasm, but I certainly felt it.


She’s stupider than a post if she didn’t get that. Seriously, what is so wrong with the romance genre that idiots treat it like literature’s leper? If you think about it, most books, no matter which genre they belong to, have romance in it. Oh well...

Anyway, now for the most important question of all (drum roll, please!): Do you stop by The Book Bitches blog often, and if not WHY aren’t you?



LOL! I have to limit my time online or I’d NEVER get anything done. But you know what? I can see that I NEED to stop by and so I will! Thank you for contacting me!


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27 comment(s):

Anonymous Vixen said...

Karen, great interview! I can't wait to read the rest later. I love your response to The woman asking you about writing a 'real book'. Tha was the perfect reply!

You are obviously very witty and fun, I look forward to reading one of your books. As mentioned before I am a Karen Hawkins virgin.

Is there one of your books that you recommend a newbie like me start with or should I just dive right in?

Also, do you like Nutella?

I hope you stop by the Book Bitches often, we have a blast here! :)

6/05/2006 08:56:00 AM  

Anonymous Karen H said...

Hi there, Vixen! (You all have such Fun Names! I need one ... hmmm ... what to pick? What to pick? Frenchie? Hugh's Gal? Trampolina?)

I'm sorry to hear you're a Karen Hawkins virgin! We must put an end to that sad fate immediately.

It's tough to say which you should read first. I would say it's probably best to begin with The Abduction of Julia, A Belated Bride, then The Seduction of Sara. From there, you can go on to The Talisman Ring Series (about Sara's five tasty brothers) which begins with An Affair To Remember.

If you like a touch of paranormal, I'd say read An Affair to Remember FIRST and go through the five books in The Talisman Ring series. An Affair to Remember is based on The King and I and I had a blast writing it.

In this series, five brothers have been charged with keeping their mother's favorite ring in their possession. The problem is, legend has it that whoever has the ring will meet their one true love and marry. None of the brothers want to marry, so the beginning of each book has one brother getting stuck with the ring, and it ends with him tricking another brother into taking it.

I had the idea for this story after being at a wedding and watching the groomsmen run from bride's garter -- quite different from the bridesmaids who almost killed one another in an effort to get the bride's bouquet.

Sometimes, men are so funny about that whole "c"ommitment thing!

There, Vixen! Hope that answered your question. :)

6/05/2006 09:18:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Hi Karen!

First, I love your books. I've yet to read the new one though but will be getting that soon. :D

I just want to say my favourite is "An Affair to Remember." Love your Talisman series!

Looking forward to the rest of the interview. :) Also will think of a question to ask for later. LOL

6/05/2006 09:26:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Oh forgot to say I love your pictures with Hugh! You two make a good couple. ;)

6/05/2006 09:28:00 AM  

Anonymous Karen H said...

Thank you, Petra! Yes, Hugh and I are soul-mates.

It's a bit of a paradox but one of the things that make him so sexy is the way he talks about his wife. He ALWAYS brags about her. ALWAYS. I find that amazingly charming. A man who knows how to love and enjoys commitment and yet looks THAT good -- WOW!

What's not to love?

Looking forward to chatting with you all! I plan on trying to check in every hour or so, so if you have a question, ask away!

:)

Karen who will be sipping Diet Coke and munching on Crunch bars today ... one must nourish the soul, no?

6/05/2006 09:36:00 AM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

Hi Ms. Hawkins. :) I'm sorry to say, like Vixen here, I too am a KH virgin. But par Petra's recommendation yesterday, and now yours, I'll be checking out "Abduction of Julia" and "Affair to Remember" ASAP.

Oh I wish I have a nickname too LOL. But I guess I'm sticking with my real name. :P (Casey though not Carrie LOL) I think Frenchie suits you. ;)

Not sure about the rest of the questions the Book Bitches had asked, so I'll be holding mine till I see the rest of the interview. I believe Trollop said they'll be posting the second part a bit later.

I hope you'll visit us often. Harlot and Trollop and the rest of the ladies here are fun to hang out with!

Love your answers! And oh, Hugh is HOT!

6/05/2006 09:39:00 AM  

Anonymous tinker bell said...

Karen, love your answers!

I just got "Her Officer and Gentleman" and looking forward to reading it as soon as I have some time off from work, lol.

Will check back later for part two of the interview. :)

6/05/2006 09:49:00 AM  

Anonymous kristin said...

Hi Ms. Hawkins, great interview! I too love your Talisman series. :)

I don't know if this question is on the second part, if it is, just ignore then, LOL. If it's not, here it is-

What are your favourite romance novels that will always be on your keeper's shelf? Top 5 maybe? Or even 10? :P

Thanks!

6/05/2006 09:58:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Karen, I agree about Hugh and his obvious commitment to his wife. He's so charming. Sigh. Such a lucky woman his wife is. If I were her, wouldn't let Hugh out of the bed. LOL! :P

According to the BB's, Nutella is the best nourishment of all. They call it "food for the gods" if I'm not mistaken. Or was it "food for the bitches"? LOL! I think both are appropriate. ;)

6/05/2006 10:07:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Hi Karen! *big wave* :D

I have to say i'm one of those who love the Talisman series. I didn't read it in order though as i've discovered your books through CONFESSIONS OF A SCOUNDREL. Such a fun read and i LUB Herbert the butler! LOL

Karen, i just want to know, how's that chocolate sculpture of Hugh? Still, err, complete with ALL his parts?

What?! Was just wondering if she bit some off already... geesh. You people have dirt minds!!! (You know, ladies, i heard that Hugh scuplture of Karen's is life-sized... and *whispers* naked. *gasp* I know!)

6/05/2006 10:37:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Thank you, Petra. And yes, Nutella IS food for the gods. But like they say, after the gods, the bitches. ;) LOL

6/05/2006 10:39:00 AM  

Anonymous Ollenska said...

Ms. Hawkins, great answers, especially to the snobby woman. What is wrong with these people?

I too will go back later for the 2nd part and for my question. :) Glad you can join us here Ms. Hawkins. You and Hugh!

Olly

6/05/2006 11:09:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Hullo guys :)

I LOVE KH! Though I haven't read all of her books *sniff* so bloody hard to get books here ya' know. Still An Affair to Remember is a must!

Karen please please please call yourself Trampolina LOL LOL such a fun name, and it will fit right in :P

6/05/2006 12:11:00 PM  

Anonymous karen h said...

Hey all! It's Tampolina here!

I was having a wee bit of a problem posting, but things look good now, so I shall try again. I will NOT be defeated by technology!

My five fave books ..

Romance:
A Well Favored Gentleman - Christina Dodd
Arabella - Georgette Heyer
Devil's Cub - Georgette Heyer
The Last Hellion - Loretta Chase
Charming The Prince - Teresa Medeiros

Non-Romance:
The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
The Belgariad Series - David Eddings (if you liked Harry Potter, you'll love these!)
Sex Lives of Cannibals (A MUST-READ for anyone who travels)
Napoleon and Wellington - Andrew Roberts
The Birth of Venus - can't remember the author, but it was a delightful little read

It's wonderful to be here. I'm sorry to see so many Karen Hawkins Virgins (KHVs), but I am sure that can be remedied. A lot of my backlist are still on the shelves, so the books are accessible.

I'm off to comment about my chocolate statue of Hugh J in the lower blog. Gotta love it - chocolate AND Hugh. Makes you believe in heaven, doesn't it?

Karen

6/05/2006 01:21:00 PM  

Anonymous karen h said...

I have never bitten ANYTHING off of my Hugh Jackman chocolate sculpture. I'm afraid if I begin, I won't quit. However, there are some places that are a little ah, melted.

My hands can be pretty warm at times . . . .

Karen, yours in Nutella Love

6/05/2006 01:23:00 PM  

Anonymous Die Hure said...

I am a virgin too, at least a KH one :P

I will look into the paranormal books, as I like that type of novels. :) you bitches always have good books for me to get, but it's getting very expensive!

6/05/2006 01:55:00 PM  

Anonymous Lola Lovegood said...

I like this site!

I'm a book lover and a big fan of many authors I see mentioned here.

Karen, I loved Confessions of a Scoundrel, and will difinitely get more of your books on my next stop by B&N.

Oh, and Trampolina is a great name!

6/05/2006 02:04:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

IS IT JUST ME WHO CAN'T POST COMMENT??!! ARRRGH

6/05/2006 02:20:00 PM  

Anonymous Vixen said...

Trampolina, (love the name btw) thank you so much for recs. I am very excited to get started and lose my Karen Hawkins virginity. LOL.

Now about Hugh, do you know of any naked Hugh pictures you could share with us? We are big fans of Sexy Naked Men around here (you should check out Naked Chef Brian, he's mine but feel free to take a peak) :)

6/05/2006 02:23:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Oh NOW I can post! I tried to, like four times!!!!

Anyway, hehe, just want to say hi to Karen. I love your answers. :)

Just in case Blogger won't let me post again later, I'm going to ask my question now. (I hope the BB's haven't asked this yet).

Ms. Hawkins, if you can choose any place, any period in history you can live in, which are you going to pick? Sorry, I'm nosy. LOL

P/S. I just both "Abduction of Julia" from the girls' recommendation yesterday. Will start it later. :D Thanks!

6/05/2006 02:30:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

(This better work; i've been posting for a while now, grrr..)


Karen, you melted some parts?? May i inquire which parts? LOL :P

Maybe i should have a chocolate sculpture of Raoul. Hmm.. Am seriously thinking of this, you know.

The Belgariad Series - David Eddings (if you liked Harry Potter, you'll love these!)

Have never heard of this series. :S Will definitely look them up, as i'm a huge HP fan. Thanks, Trampolina! :D

6/05/2006 03:22:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Posting for Di, who emailed us her comment:

I have posted a comment like 10 times and it wont show. Now it's gone and I refuse to write it again LOL Might try later.

I do want to say that I love Mrs. Hawkins. Wanted to at least be able to post that!

6/05/2006 03:27:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Trampolina!! Perfect! Hi so glad to "meet" you here :D

Loved your talisman series, sort of brings a bit of magic to the stories. And just finished HER OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN. Christian is so so sexy :P and loved the character Reeves!

Oh, have to agree about CDs WFG. The whole selkie thing and Ian *sigh* delicious. Vixen, you should definitely read that too! lol.

Is it possible I missed AFFAIR TO REMEMBER? I can't recall the paranormal thing, which I do love.,well, time'travel.

I confess, I'm addicted to frozen, min Reeses cups and cold Raisinettes. Can not get through a day w/out those and a good romance :P

Catch ya later!

6/05/2006 03:28:00 PM  

Anonymous karen hawkins said...

Thanks, pall! Glad to see the Blogger eople got things together. Of course, if you knew how much laundry I have piled up, you know I cannot critique others!

If I could live in any time period? Hmmm .... Of course the Regency would be one of my top choices.

Did you know they LIKED plump women then? None of this thin-as-a-rail stuff, but curvy, pouchy, women-with-stomachs. Even the clothes were favorable to them -- no waists, just draw strings under the breasts! I would LOVE to live then!

Next, I'd like to live in the Elizabethan period. Gotta love those dashing men and strong women! It seemed like an exciting, thrilling, quite challenging time. There were dashing gentlemen, privateers, fortune-seekers, adventurers -- and more!

Of course, I say that and yet ... they didn't have chocolate - at least not the kind we like, so I wouldn't last more than a half a day.

I do so love my modern conveniences! Which is why it's delicious reading about the times I DON'T really want to visit, too.

Ok, off to edit another chapter of my next series ... which is set in SCOTLAND! Gotta love a man in a kilt!

Trampolina

6/05/2006 04:02:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Perfect answer to the snobby woman!

This is such a good interview. And more importantly, everyone had so much fun. I should have come earlier. :(

Anyway, may I just say, Hugh Jackman is extremely hot, LOL and i agree with Petra. Karen, you two look good together! Trollop love the pics!

6/05/2006 10:39:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

I should have read this part first! Love the name Trampolina! LOL

I think you're referring to Sarah Dunant, author of "Birth of Venus". I too love that book. :)

Karen, LOVE your answers. You are so funny! And love the fact that, like me, you too are a hopeless chocoholic. :P

6/05/2006 11:26:00 PM  

Anonymous kristin said...

Yikes. Karen, I've only read one in your top 10 books. Should remedy that.

Chocolate and Hugh Jackman, heaven indeed. LOL

Thanks, Karen!

6/06/2006 07:25:00 AM