Monday, July 26, 2010

Author Interview ~ Karenna Colcroft

It’s another fun Monday and I’m here at The Menagerie with Karenna Colcroft on our couch. Let’s all make sure we give her a nice warm Menagerie welcome.

Thanks so much for coming and hanging out with us today, Karenna. Make yourself comfy, snag a cabana boy and a drink and let’s get started.Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from my mommy’s tummy. Seriously, I was born in Maine and lived there until a week before my 39th birthday, when I moved to Massachusetts with my daughters to live with my real-life romance hero. There wasn’t a question here about that, so I won’t bore you with how we met—suffice it to say, we’re proof positive that love at first sight can happen. We met in May 2008, moved in together with my kids in June 2009, and we were married in April of this year.

Oh, ha ha ha… You’re a riot. Mommy’s tummy. You’re a bit of a pip aren’t ya. I love other people’s romance stories. Tell us your latest news?

I have a new book out! My paranormal romance novel Eternal Love was just released from Pink Petal Books I’m thrilled about it because it’s my longest published romance to date (my other stuff has been shorts and novellas; this is a novel of somewhat over 100,000 words), and because it contains a revised version of the first erotic scene I ever wrote.

Congratulations! I’m sure it will be wonderful. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Since the first time I wrote a story, back when I was five years old. Before that, I’d made up stories and told them to my parents or my stuffed animals, but when I was five someone finally showed me how to make those little squiggles on paper, and I started writing down my stories. My kindergarten teacher was impressed enough to make writing stories part of my language arts program (which she had to individualize for me because I already knew how to read). Realizing that someone other than me liked what I wrote, even when I was that young, clued me in that maybe I was a “real writer”.

Everyone’s writer story is so different. I love that you started so young. How did you come up with the title?

The original title of Eternal Love was Timeless. On my publisher’s request, I did an Amazon search to find out whether that title had been overused. I found about half a dozen books with the same title, including one that just came out last summer by Patric Michael, an M/M author who’s a friendly acquaintance of mine and who I respect too much to knowingly use the same title as one of his books. Since my novel concerns immortals, I needed something to indicate that, and Eternal Love was what I came up with after brainstorming for a while.

Huh, always interested in how titles of stories come abut. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

The hardest scene I’ve ever had to write wasn’t in a romance. Under a different name (which I’d prefer not to give out in this interview), I write YA urban fantasy. I was doing some heavy revisions on book 4 of my series (books 1-3 are already contracted), and had to completely rewrite the part of the novel where the female main character finally admits her mother abuses her and is taken into foster care. The scene is told from her best friend’s point of view, but he’s been worried about her for some time. The intensity of the scene as I rewrote it to include the research I’d done completely drained me. I was in tears, I was exhausted, furious, and I felt like I needed a long, hot shower to wash it all away. Hopefully that will come through to the readers when it’s published.

I sometimes think to myself, “This is the hardest scene I’ve ever written!” And then, it changes. What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?

Let’s see. You know asking an author to choose her favorite character is like asking a mom to choose her favorite child, right? My current romance favorite is Kyle Slidell, who’s the narrator in my current WIP, an M/M paranormal. Kyle is a vegan who is bitten by a werewolf, changing him into a were. Who refuses to eat meat even in wolf form. And who discovers that the man he’s fallen for is the pack Alpha. Kyle’s smart, sarcastic, funny, and something about him spoke to me from the moment I created him, which is why I’m writing his story.

I don’t know if Kyle makes it all the way to my all-time favorite character ever, though. Right now, that belongs to a couple of my YA characters, and I can’t choose between them.

LOL, I just like to see if you actually do have a favorite or if they all hold a special place in your heart. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Some of my characters are based on people I know, and some plot points are based on my personal experiences. In my novella Beginner’s Luck, even people who didn’t know me well recognized Kyla as me, and Alec is completely my husband. Not everything in that novella happened in real life, but a few things did.

In Eternal Love, nothing is based on anything in real life.

It’s great when we can pull bits and pieces of people we know into each character and give them depth and honor our friend all at once. What are your current projects?
Ohh… you don’t know what you’re getting into by asking this! In addition to the aforementioned M/M vegan werewolf romance, I’m revising a paranormal mystery novel with romantic elements, putting the final touches on book 4 in my YA series, and working on a short story for a submission call I spotted on Dear Author. The paranormal mystery involves a woman who works as a psychic reader at a metaphysical bookstore. A man comes to her and tells her he believes he’s a child who was kidnapped 20 years earlier. As she attempts to find out whether he’s actually that child, she meets and falls for another man who absolutely does not believe in anything psychic.

The short story… I haven’t written enough of it to describe it very well yet. Giving up control, pleasure/pain… yeah. It’s going to be fun to write.

LOL, yeah, we do know what we’re asking. And yet, we ask it anyway. Do you see writing as a career?

I see writing as being as essential to my existence as breathing. Possibly even more necessary.

I like that “as essential to my existence as breathing.” Very powerful. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn your craft. Keep learning your craft. If you ever reach the point where you think you’ve mastered it all and don’t need to learn anything else, remind yourself to learn. Writing is one of those things where you never, ever know everything, but you can always improve and grow.

Great advice. How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on what genre and what length I’m aiming for. First draft, I average about 2-3 weeks for a novella and about 5-6 weeks for a full-length novel, with an additional 2-3 weeks of revision regardless of the length.

Wow, so you’ve got it down for the most part. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Hmm… I wrote my first story when I was five, back in 1975. My first book-length effort was in 1982, when I was 12. I still have that one kicking around here somewhere; it’ll never be published, because even with extensive revision it just isn’t that good, but I was proud of myself for finishing it.

Wow, ambitious! What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I’m supposed to have times when I’m not writing?

I kind of wonder the same thing, but then my family demands said time. Go figure. What does your family think of your writing?

My younger daughter complains that I spend too much time on the computer. However, she and her older sister are pretty proud of my YA stuff (especially since my older daughter’s entire high school has to read my first YA novel this summer), and they cheer me on when I get contracts or have new releases. My husband is completely supportive and proud of me; he prefers not to read my stuff because it just isn’t his thing, but he loves that I write it and proudly calls himself my “research assistant”.

It’s great to have support, even if it’s “You need to eat before I force feed you” kind of support. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Beginning with that first book-length thing I wrote when I was 12, and counting first drafts, in romance and YA…around 70, I think. I kind of lost count.

Wow, busy girl. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I don’t hear as much from my readers as I’d like. I’d love to have more communication with them on Facebook, my blog, and so on. (My blog is on my website,, and my Facebook is!/karenna.colcroft) When I do hear from them, I usually get great questions about my stories and positive comments on them.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong, realistic characters. When I say strong, I don’t necessarily mean their personality; I mean the way the author presents them.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I’m doing it 

LOL, you can’t beat that. We’d all love to be doing what we dreamed about. And now for your “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Cats. They’re cuddly sometimes, but don’t demand your attention constantly. You don’t have to take them for walks, and they don’t slobber all over you. And they’re small enough to hold.

Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

I’ve always hated my pictures. Some spark or something in my personality gets lost in pictures, and they always come across looking flat and boring. Plus I’ve always had issues with the way my body looks, though I’m getting past those, and to me pictures always accentuate the worst of my features.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Honestly, I’ve been through hell in my life, but I wouldn’t erase any of it. Everything I’ve gone through has contributed to making me the strong, determined, persistent person I am today, and I’ve learned from every single experience. Some things were far from pleasant, and I wish I hadn’t had to deal with them, but I wouldn’t delete anything from my life.

What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

“Sarcasm is a defense mechanism.” It came from one of my YA series. One of the main characters had a counselor who said it constantly, and the character’s mother began saying it as well. Next thing I knew, it showed up in every single subsequent book in that series, at least the books in which that character appears, and I think every character says it at one time or another.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m not really sure. I’ve become a morning person by default, because I worked in schools for a number of years after graduating college, and I also have two children. So I have no choice but to get up early in the mornings, and because of that I go to bed relatively early. Left to my own devices, with no one’s schedule to follow but my own, I don’t know which I’d turn out to be.

Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms. The electricity in the air charges me up.

How many fingers am I holding up?


Amazing! Absolutely…. Lol. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

A contract from a New York City publisher with a sizable enough advance for me to replace the car I own, which is older than my 15-year-old daughter. And a nice house with an ocean view (which describes half the houses in my town).

Well, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Karenna. It was great fun having you here with us today.

Karenna Colcroft is the naughty alter-ego of a very sedate school teacher and mom. She- well, her mild-mannered counterpart, at least- wrote her first story at the age of five, and was immediately hooked by seeing her imagination printed on paper. Throughout elementary, junior high, and high school, she continued writing, though was too shy to show her work to anyone. By the time she graduated college, she had written over 20 book-length manuscripts, all longhand. *Shudder*

In 2004, after abandoning writing for nearly a decade, she began work on what morphed into a 30-book young adult series, which she still hasn’t quite dared to send anywhere. In 2006, on a challenge from a friend, she wrote her first erotic scene and discovered a talent for erotic romance. She began posting her stories on a free site, where feedback encouraged her to continue and develop her skills.

Currently, Karenna has three e-books and an anthology short available and a few other things under contract, and is looking forward to building her career further in 2010. She currently resides in Massachusetts, just north of Boston, with her fiance, two daughters, two cats, and a fish.

You can find out what’s going on with her at her website:

Eternal Love by Karenna Colcroft
935-year-old immortal Rhys Trevellian has been in love with the same soul since childhood. Unfortunately, his childhood love Gwen is mortal, and through eight lifetimes has entered Rhys’s life only to be taken from him by fanatic immortals who wish to prevent Rhys from transmuting her to immortality.

Gwen Davies came to a small town in Maine to escape her abusive ex-fiance. When she meets Rhys, something in her recognizes him. Although she has a hard time believing his story of immortality, she learns to trust him.

But the fanatics are after them again, along with immortal authorities who seek to execute Rhys for murder. Can they escape their pursuers and find eternal love?

1 comment:

KarennaC said...

Thanks for the interview! I had a lot of fun with it, and I look forward to answering comments from readers :)