Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Karen R. Hardin and the R stands for Renee. I grew up in Raleigh North Carolina. I enjoy writing, but I absolutely love to dance. I’m an introspective person and observant. I see things somewhat differently than others, yet I see the fluid way that life unfolds. I absolutely adore the nephews and nieces of my life and look forward to the type of love that can make it feel like a joy to become a mother myself. I love the beauty that shows up in life either looking at the sky or scenery or in the eyes of someone full of hope. I’m an author and a screenwriter and I enjoy both a great deal. I can be defiant in a playful way. I still watch Young & The Restless after growing up listening to the women in my family be so into what the characters were doing each day. I learned that one of my greatest audiences would always be women and I love writing strong female character stories, but I’m not limited to any particular story type or genre. Flexibility feels like the spice of life to me and I like to have fun with it.
Let’s talk about your novels, starting with “Loyalty”. What can readers expect to see in this novel?
“Loyalty” is a mafia series. It is intended as the first edition of a trilogy. The story starts with an affair and ends with the lead characters in a war that leaves everyone dead except the child born of the original affair. She carries on for the next two novels creating completely different storylines with the legacies of this first novel. The story has some metaphysical aspects if the reader is a deep reader, but it’s overall an entertaining story of the life of a hit woman deprived of her true identity. I’ve been told it’s a page turner. It’s a multi-story line of characters who all want to rule over something while dealing with love and family.
What can readers expect to see in your second novel, “Heart Strings and Love Nots”?
“Heart Strings and Love Nots” is very different from “Loyalty”. I played with a new approach to writing using a diary style that blends a year in the life of three women who are best friends with completely different personalities that cause the events to take on completely different perspectives. It has a dry humor to it if the reader isn’t too sensitive or concerned with being polite. The main characters are Reese, the church mouse who doesn’t speak up for herself and gets swindled by love, Dominique the bitchy boss who speaks up too much and accidentally gets tricked into prostitution and Skylar the shallow diva who’s clothing is more together than her life, but has opinions about everything.
When did you first realize you wanted to write?
Writing chose me one night in a dream. I awoke the next day and wrote “Loyalty” by hand. After I published the first version of it, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Learning to write better led me into screenwriting. Somewhere on that journey I realized I was a writer, so I just became it.
What prompted you to take those first steps and start writing?
The desire to see the characters I dreamed of again sparked the urge to write it all down. I didn’t want to forget them. They were very different from the nightmares I was used to.
Do you ever experience the dreaded writer’s block?
No. I experience distractions.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I like to just write when it comes to storytelling, but outlines help when it comes to writing treatments or Television show bibles or anything that involves keeping up with details that surround the story itself.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I enjoy writing day or night as long as the story is present.
Do you prefer a laptop, desktop, or good old pen and paper?
I like wireless keyboards for my laptop and I absolutely love to write by pen when I need something to register to my brain in a different way…I also love a good pen…I’m the type to ask if I can have it if I happen across one in the middle of signing something. I may actually have a slight office supply fetish. I also love beautiful dark lined college rule paper. As a little girl I was obsessed with getting a diary with a lock and key, but I didn’t get my first one until I was an adult, and I still haven’t found the perfect one that I can put my whole heart into as a keepsake.
What is one of the most surprising things you have learned in creating your books?
I learned that inspired writing comes from a similar place that all communicated knowledge comes from and that people have so many names for it all, yet in all of their determining the “facts…no one knows what it is, yet it feels so present with me.
When you write, do you need background noise, or do you prefer absolute quiet?
It depends on my state of being at the time. If I’m unfocused, quiet gets me there, if I’m focused and playful some noise settles that playfulness in me enough to get me going.
Where can your readers connect with you?
Please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/karenrhardin
Like me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-R-Hardin/163422787065946
And check for new releases and updates on my website www.KarenRHardin.comI look forward to making some new friends in the process.
Please enjoy this guest post from Karen:
How do you research for your books?
I am a naturally observant Virgo who was abused in early childhood. The combination of these made me an analytical thinker who hyper visualizes and is aware of life, characteristics, movements, and actions in a self-protective way. This isn’t always helpful for personal relationships, but it allows me to create characters with ease when it comes to storytelling. It allows me to see multiple perspectives and what makes people’s attitudes and moods change. For the majority of my novels and scripts my research was life itself. In the past year I did a lot of online study of what’s going on with people today and I found a lot of judgmental and supernatural thinking and I had almost taken my latest novel “Heart Strings and Love Nots” to a supernatural level as a flip side to the book. The idea was to take the girls into their spiritual life to observe what was moving their lifestyles on a subconscious or spiritual level, but I opted to keep with their natural movements based on their personalities and allow the readers to use their own perspectives to either like or dislike any particular character or their traits. I find that people are more entertained when allowed to use their own perspective as to why a character is doing something or how they would do it differently. People are generally judgmental even when they deny it about themselves. If it is not showing in their words, it shows in their actions and it’s simply gaging right or wrong and reasoning. When it came to my first novel “Loyalty” it was a dream that I wrote the next day by hand because I was so entertained by the characters and I didn’t want to forget their interactions. Usually when I get a concept I just know how the story wants to go and I allow it to flow.
One author, two stories.
Today we welcome Karen R. Hardin author of "Loyalty" and "Heart Strings and Love Nots"
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