Welcome All and Hope everyone had a wonderful New Years.
Today we are happy to have Karen Mandeville chatting with
us. On behalf of Coffee Time Romance, I want to thank Ms.
Mandeville joining us, for answering a few questions and telling
us about her story, The Dead Forest on sale beginning January 1,
Karen, thank you so much for talking with us and I am looking
forward to the next book in this series with bated breath. Let me
say that your ending while not the norm was breathtakingly
unique and made me howl for the next installment. I mean that
in the most flattering way too. I can’t wait!
First off, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Well thanks so much for this opportunity. I’m excited that you are so excited about my
debut novel. I love suspense novels, and I was pretty happy with the way each chapter
ended with that story … it’s a bit of a pain if you just want to read to the end of the
chapter! LOL! Sorry about the howling … but hey – many readers will vouch that I’m a bit of
tease when it comes to that sort of stuff. About me … well … I’m 28 and I live in Australia.
I live in one of the east coast cities and I tell you – I am not coping with this Aussie
summer – it’s too hot! Makes it hard to concentrate. I have a shoe fetish. I have a cat …
the problem child! I’m a natural brunette. And I have eight releases set for 2006 so far.
Working hard on making a name for myself as a writer and hoping to go strong for years to
come. My background is journalism.
My next question has to be, what genre is your novel, The Dead Forest? There are so many
elements in it, horror, romance, and the paranormal among others.
It’s so hard to pigeon-hole isn’t it? I’d define it as a paranormal romantic suspense with
touches of horror. How’s that? LOL. It was hard to try and write the synopsis and tell
Triskelion which line I was actually writing for, but they seemed to like it and contracted it.
I love cross-genre novels. All of my works barring the erotica are cross genres.
I read that you got your idea for this book in a dream, or many dreams. Would you say that
your characters were ‘haunting’ you to have their story written?
Yes. Absolutely. This story invaded my life. When I was awake, I was writing about it,
when I was asleep, I was dreaming about. I would dream sequences of the story and then
wake up and get writing. I do think the characters were showing me the story. There were
parts that I had to fill in but I think I did them justice. If, for whatever, reason I didn’t
write about them, I would dream that they were standing outside my French doors. Just
creepy. They weren’t doing anything – they were just there! No peeping toms in my story
thanks! LOL! I dreamt the whole ‘three women in the forest’ sequence as if I was outside
watching this little girl trying to be coaxed into the Forest. But it’s funny – that’s the only
story out of the eight that I’ve had such vivid dreams about. I dream about all my stories
… that’s usually how I come up with the ideas but they were very strong characters.
Describe your perfect writing day.
Ohh, one where I wake from bed on my own accord – not from the problem child running
across my hair, or a whisker going up my nose! Walk out without stumbling over the high
amount of crap in the way and a cup of hot tea is waiting near the already running
computer. All emails are answered. No phone calls are coming in and I just write for hours
on end where each word makes perfect sense and compliments the next. LOL! My perfect
writing day doesn’t exist in reality! In all seriousness, a good writing day for me is to get
to my daily goal of at least 1000 words a day. Anything over is a bonus, if I don’t make it
today – I have to try better tomorrow. LOL – actually – a perfect writing day would be – I’m
one of the heroines from my erotica stories! LOL!
What is your favorite author to read and to write?
My childhood favorite author was Virginia Andrews from the Flower in the Attic series –
loved that story when I was younger, but it doesn’t have the same feeling now. I like JK
Rowling. As I said I love suspense stuff and an Aussie author (who I have become great
friends with but that doesn’t discredit her work in any way) is Maggie Nash – her debut
novel knocked my socks off! Favorite authors … oh gosh – that’s a hard one! I have too
many to list for the ebook world - but if they are worthy – they make it to my ‘fellow
author links’ on my website!
I noticed on your site that you mention your story was inspired by the poem The Lady of
Shalott. Do you get most of your inspiration from poetry? Or music, books, etc?
Love that poem. Don’t know why, but I just find it so beautifully tragic. I get inspiration
mainly from music. From paintings, comments, everywhere. I wanted The Dead Forest to
be a story of The Lady of Shalott after she went down to the river … but it evolved and
here we are! But inspiration comes from all places … I find when I’m really busy – the muse
will just not leave me alone. Sprays me with ideas and then goes away. Very frustrating
but I think it’s the muses way of saying ‘you think you will have a day off – think again!’
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing my stories for about 18 months now. As I mentioned before, my
background is journalism but it was too hard to live with those deadlines and chaos and
then come home and force myself to do it again – just never got a break. But now I have a
job that I can do and then leave there, not have to think about it again till I go in next.
Plus I work nights so I can do what I want in the mornings and then go into work. But I did
change careers to focus on my ‘creative’ writing. I don’t think I’ve done too bad – eight
releases considering I’m a debut author. LOL!
I just finished Dead Forest, and I was engrossed from beginning to end. Rebecca is the
type of character that pulls you into the story with her. Which of the characters in the book
was your ‘favorite’ one and why?
Well thank you. It’s always reassuring for an author to hear that! I’ve had some feedback
from people who have read the excerpts, one in particular hassled me for about a month to
see if I’d reveal any more about the story before it was released. She’d come to me with
her own theories of how she thought the story was going to go – in the end she gave up
because I wasn’t telling her any more. LOL! Hmm … who’s my favorite? I don’t know why,
but I have a soft spot for Cedric. A pity spot. But I do love Marguerite and Rebecca. Oh I
like them all for their warped ways. I laugh every time someone says that they hate
Rutherford – I must have done a good job at depicting him!
Do you have any upcoming events, appearances, or chats scheduled?
Oh my yes! Honestly, if I started here, it would never end. I have a comprehensive list on
my website under the news section of what’s upcoming for chats and releases. I also
announce a lot through my yahoo group. I have quite a few chats lined up for January and I
hope I can keep the variety up there … I like it when readers ask me questions – I hope
they like my work and come along to have a chat with me sometime. Check out my list of
chats and see which one works for you to attend.
Can you give us your website address?
Sure can – it’s http://www.karenmandeville.com And you can sign up for my newsletter,
BeDevilled, at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karenmandeville
Thanks so much for your time Jenn, loved your questions and I wish Coffee Time Romance
the best of luck and continued success. To all the readers – thanks for taking the time to
learn a little about me.
We are so pleased that Karen Mandeville took time out of her busy schedule to chat with
us. Thanks again from Coffee Time Romance!