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Friday, May 12, 2006:
A Lovely Chat with Southern Lady and Author Karen Kelley - where's my Mint Julep?

I must have been born under a lucky star because another wonderful author, Karen Kelley, has agreed to let me pester her, um, interview her for prosperity...I mean posterity. Here she is, in all her charming glory. Any boring questions are strictly the fault of the interviewer....

SA: One thing people first learn about you is how determined you are to succeed at something, regardless of how long it takes. You quit smoking. You got you GED. You went to nursing school. You became published. These are all things that take time and dedication. You should be proud of yourself, Karen, for these accomplishments. What keeps you motivated and on-track?

Answer: Greed---I want more money. Ha! Wrong business. No, seriously, I think I've always felt a need to prove something to myself---that I could do what I set out to do. Besides the fact that I actually love to write and don't mind staying cooped up in a room (or closet) for hours on end and letting the characters inside my head create their story.

SA: My personal feeling about Kensington Brava is that this is a quality line. I seriously have not read a Brava I didn't like. The stories are top-notch and grab your attention from the first page. You must be thrilled to be writing for this line. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

Answer: It started with the fabulous Lori Foster. I entered her Brava contest, but didn't win. She loved my writing enough to pass it along to Kate Duffy who asked for more. I ended up with a three book contract., then another, then another and an anthology inbetween. It's enough to make my head spin---oh, great idea for another book. No, wait. That's been done already---drat!

SA: You are one of the 7 authors, along with Shiloh Walker, Dianne Castell, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Janice Maynard, and Toni Blake, who are part of the Vamps and Scamps group. How did you get involved with this group and any fun gossip you can share, on any or all of them?

Answer: The Vamps and Scamps are great. They invited me to join them a few months ago. What fun! Oh boy, do I know gossip on all of them!!! Let me tell you....$#@(_(&^%$%$$$&()_+_&%##@^^&&%$ and then %$#@@&(())))*&%%$ Oh no, it's the you-can't-gossip-about-the-group curse......eghhhhhhhh (SA: Yeah, likely story. I guess what happens with the authors stays with authors. Talk about drat!)

SA: I read at your website it was Rosemary Rogers' "Sweet, Savage Love" that interested you in the idea of writing. What other authors inspire/inspired you, and have you ever gotten an opportunity to meet with any of them? (Note: Out of the other authors you mentioned at your site, I grew up on Johanna Lindsey, and Judith McNaught is one of my all-time favorites)

Answer: Jennifer Blake, Sharon Sala, Helen R. Myers....the list goes on and on. I actually have met Sharon Sala and I was so tongue-tied it was pathetic. She's always been a favorite author of mine. She's one of the few authors who can make me cry, sigh and laugh out loud. Helen R. Myers is another favorite. Her Whispers In The Woods is one of my fav's. And of course Lori Foster.

SA: You have an extremely supportive husband who often goes along with you on various booksignings. Does he also read your books and how has he contributed to what you write, if at all?

Answer: I've been blessed with a wonderful husband. Karl has always supported me in anything I wanted to do, he gave me confidence in myself when I had none, and he showed me the meaning of real love. He reads everything I write and critiques it for me. He loves going to booksignings with me, he runs my contests, makes my calendars, orders my bookmarks---whatever is needed he'll jump in with both feet and get it done.

SA: You do have a book out-of-print, a Precious Gem by the name of "Bachelor Party". Have you come across fans that have read the book? I would love to get a copy!

Answer: Bachelor Party was my very first book. I got fan mail!!! That still surprises me. I kept a lot of the letters I got. Every "fan" letter I get is an absolute treasure. An extra copy---wow, they're really hard to find. Let me see if I still have a copy.

SA: "Texas Bad Boys". Your anthology with Dianne Castell and Rosemary Laurey. Another book I'm looking forward to reading. What is it about bad boys, especially those from Texas?

Answer: I think it's the forbidden fruit syndrome. And Bad Boys from Texas---well, they're not afraid to get down and dirty.

SA: Speaking of hotties, you've made no secret of the fact that Johnny Depp rocks your world. Is there anyone else who might also fit that description, and what do you find appealing about your hotties?

Answer: Oh, my, (fanning self) Johnny Depp---it's got to be is eyes. Shoot, I think everything about him is soooooo hot. I love watching the way a sexy man moves, the way he looks at women, his sense of humor. Too much to list, too many men, so little time.

SA: Okay, you had to know this was coming: is it true you named a dog after your mother-in-law? Do tell us the story!

Answer: Did I? They say the mind is the first thing to go---okay, I can live with that. Hey, I'm happy in my own little world! I do remember naming a pig after my mother. Karl and I tried our hand at raising pigs once. We bought when they were cheap and they got cheaper. But, each one of those little pigs were like puppies to me. They thought they were human.

SA: Other than hubby, who are some of the people that belong to your support system? The ones that read your work, give you encouragement, keep you laughing?

Answer: My daughter reads what I write and does a wonderful critque. I have two wonderful critique partners: Mary Beth Lee, and Sheila Curlin who are also in my writers group. My son-in-law always offers encouragement as does my son. My wonderful agent: Pamela Harty with the Knight Agency. My writers groups: Red River Romance Writers, DARA and NTRWA. keep me laughing? My brain is fried so I can pretty well do that on my own.

SA: Where do you like to go on vacation? What would be your dream getaway? A house on the beach? An Italian villa? An Austrian castle? A ritzy 5-star hotel in New York? Somewhere else?

You hit the mark with two destinations. I've always wanted to go to Italy and I love the ocean. In fact, Karl and I are hoping to get to the ocean this year (Texas coast).

SA: Outside of writing, what other hobbies or passions lay claim to your time? I'm fascinated by what interests people, especially writers.

Answer: I used to sketch and crochet but I don't have much time for either. I'm not a gardener but occasionally will pull a weed or two. Shopping is a passion *smile* and I love antique stores.

SA: Do you like music? What kinds? Favorite movie and why? And what are you reading these days when you're not writing?

Answer: Love music. I listen to it when I write. I'm listening to Shakira with my current book. I like Yanni, Enya, Cher. Just about anything except RAP. As far as reading I just finished Mary Janice Davidson's Undead and Unemployed--I'm hooked. Just started Jude's Law by Lori Foster--HOT!

SA: Anything you'd like to add? Some deep, dark secret, or maybe "people don't know that I...." Well, now here's your chance..... :)

What you see is what you get. I tried to mold myself into what I thought people wanted. I finally gave up and decided to try being myself so what you see is what you get. I'm thankful that I'm getting to live my dream of writing. That Lori Foster saw something in me and that Kate Duffy has given me the chance to grow as a writer. I feel very blessed with all the new friends I've made, the fans who write to tell me they enjoyed a book---that's still so awesome! And that's about it. Now you know everything about me. Except for the time..........Oops, just ran out of room.

Available June 2006

Sure, sure. All good things must come to an end....sigh. Seriously, thanx again, Karen, for playing! It's been a total blast. And readers, don't miss out on Karen's latest release, "Hell on Wheels", coming in June - woo hoo! Sunglasses, leather, and a motorcycle - now that's the ultimate bad boy, and just the kind I like! And because Karen is so funny and interesting, don't miss out on her blog....and don't forget to tell her who sent ya!


  1. Great interview, Stacy. I just love Karens books. I cant wait for Hell on Wheels.

  2. Stacy another great interview. You do them so well, and I loved reading about Karen. I am looking forward to Hell on Wheels. Thanks for doing this.

  3. Thanx ladies. Karen is a sweetie. It's so surreal interviewing authors - like they're my good friends, but that's what it's been like. Thanx for stopping by.

  4. Great interview as usual Stacy! I'm looking forward to Hell on Wheels:D

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