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Past Interview




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Hello American Indian Romance Author Karen Kay, author of 17 books and counting. Welcome to Coffee Time Romance and More! It is wonderful to have you visiting with us today!

Thanks Destiny.  I love your name.

Thank you! The first thing that stands out about you, Karen, is your passion for the American Indian culture. How did this passion come about? I understand you have American Indian in your bloodline. Did you start learning about the Indian culture to learn about your family’s history?

Actually, it seems I’ve had that passion for the American Indian culture all my life – I can’t tell you why.  It wasn’t until I started writing this kind of book that I learned that I had American Indian heritage, although I always suspected it.  With my dark hair and dark eyes, I looked in the mirror and thought that there must be some heritage there somewhere.  Then there were ideas that I had and notions about things that were innate with me, that were always different from my brother and sister (who were both adopted).  It wasn’t until later in life that I learned these particular ideas were very much American Indian…  It’s sort of a “go figure…”

My love of romance has also been a part of my life – all my life – but it wasn’t until I had children that I began reading romance a lot.  And soon I was writing it. It wasn’t until I started writing about our American Indian culture that my writing really took off.

That’s a great story. What ways have you researched American Indians? What has been some of your most surprising discoveries?

My research tends to be intense – mostly because there is so much written about the American Indians that are outright lies.  And so one must research not only the tribe one is reading about, but who the author is, and if that author had any sort of prejudice or slant that colors his/her work.  I’ve researched with library books (even micro-film for the book LAKOTA PRINCESS).  I go to reservations and pow-wows, and I talk to lots of people, and mostly I listen and try to learn their viewpoint.

You are a very talented and established writer with an impressive career. What writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

Goodness what a compliment.  Thank you.  As an author, I think the most impressive thing I’ve done is each book.  That may seem a little strange, but each book I write tends to be different, and so each one that I write, as soon as it’s in print and I see it – that is impressive to me.  : )

Did you always want to be a writer? When looking over your career, what surprises you about your writing journey and where you are today?

No, I didn’t always want to be a writer.  My early life was spent very much in music.  My mother was a music teacher, and at the age of four, I taught myself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on my toy piano.  When my mother saw that, music lessons followed, not only for piano, but for clarinet.

Growing up in a small rural town is great in many respects, but in some ways, it was oppressive.  When I was 13, I found myself the object of ridicule and scorn from kids in my class, and I soon learned that music could soothe the soul for a little while.  Then, when I was in high school, my boyfriend dumped me in a bad way and I found myself writing poems (one was 20 pages long), and making up stories when I was practicing piano.

When my children were very young, and my husband was out of town quite a lot, I found myself often moved to tears, because there were times when I not only had to raise the children, but bring home the income, too.  We weren’t very well off financially and I didn’t have a piano to play or a clarinet to practice, to bring about the soothing feeling, but I discovered that pen and paper were somewhat inexpensive, and that is really what started my writing career. 

And we are so glad you did start your writing!
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I guess the toughest criticism is that I was writing for about 13 years before I became published by AVON, which is now HarperCollins.  It was when I found my voice in American Indian Historical that my writing clicked.  The best compliment is probably from fans who write to me and tell me that my stories are so real, they feel like they are the heroine of the story, often saying also that my writing helped them through a rough time in their life.  When I hear that, my heart sings.

How did you meet your husband? Were you recently married?

We’ve been married for 19 years now.  I just can’t bring myself to take down those pictures on my website.  LOL.

We met, of all things, on a blind date.  I’d been married before for about 18 years (a little more before the divorce was final), and jumped straight into a very bad relationship after the divorce.  So after that relationship ended, I wasn’t wanting to have anything to do with marriage again.

A friend of mine wanted me to go on a blind date for a friend of hers, and I really didn’t want to and hesitated and kept putting her off, but finally agreed, only because she kept hounding me about it.  When I met Paul, my husband, the first date was good, but I didn’t think he liked me very much, and so I called my friend to tell her I was sorry.  But then Paul called me back, asked me out again, and the second was…well, it was spectacular.  When he walked me to my door after we’d gone out, he kissed me and my goodness, talk about a kiss...  I actually swooned, lost my earring (which he picked up for me) – and I have pierced ears.  That kiss, my reaction to it is forever caught in the book GRAY HAWK’S LADY, which is the story I was writing at the time.

That is so sweet! Every woman wants to be kissed like that! Tell us about your recent release, Black Eagle.

BLACK EAGLE is a tale of two people, who really shouldn’t be together, who know they shouldn’t love each other, and yet who are destined to find happiness, it seems, only with one another.  Set in the same period as THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, and with a backdrop of a war-torn country, Black Eagle is a man on a mission and Marisa is a woman on the run.  The book was previously published under the pen name of Gen Bailey, but this newest rendition of the book is so different from the original story, that it really is like a new book.  The plot is significantly changed, many more scenes have been added, motivations of the characters are completely different and most of the scenes in the book were revised and are different.  And so, although this book was previously published, this new version is, for me, like a new book.

2016 is upon us. Do you have any resolutions for this year?

Yes, one is to finish the second book in the Iroquois series, SENECA SURRENDER, and to finish also the new story I’m writing, which is set back in the far West with the Lakota tribe – the first tribe that I wrote about.

Do you have any other upcoming news you would like to share?

I’ll be giving away free books at my blog site throughout January – some will be ebooks, some print books, but if you come to every other Tuesday, you’ll catch me there.  Or email me directly at and ask to be added to my newsletter, where I send out notices when I have giveaways.

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. We love book giveaways!
Do you have a message for your fans?

American Indian Romance has taken a backseat in recent years to several other kinds of stories.  But it is on its way back now, and I’m hoping that if you give my stories a try, you might find something in the stories that you might connect to.  Long ago I realized that my writing was not to satisfy myself, but to produce a story that might take a person to another place and time, that might uplift a person for a time, and most of all provide a means by which one’s soul might – when needed – be soothed.  That is my hope.

Thank you for the interview.

Thank you for being here! I truly enjoyed sharing this time with you, Karen.





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