I had the pleasure of reading an advance reader copy of Karen Gowan’s novel House of Diamonds (see my review HERE) and now I have the pleasure of interviewing Miss Karen!
Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Karen! We met through author Susan Kaye Quinn and then I got to know you better on your excellent blog, especially for the Blog Barbecue you hosted last year. How did you come up with your blog title and design?
Karen Jones Gowen (KJG): Coming Down the Mountain came from the image of the writer being alone at the top of a mountain to write in solitude, and then needing to come down from the mountain to join humanity to promote the book. I originally named it: Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author. Recently I dropped that part and changed to A Writer’s Blog, because since I started blogging two years ago I haven’t been that reclusive! (And I never actually sat on a mountain top to write, but I can see them from my house in the valley.)
JL: Your blog is quite successful. What tips would you share with other authors who blog?
KJG: The first big thing I did was establish my platform, which is pretty well described above in naming the blog. This attracted other writers as we all tend to be a pretty reclusive, anxiety-ridden group of individuals. The second big thing is to get out and meet people! Follow blogs, and comment, and interact– don’t just start the blog, post and wait for people to find you. Unless you’re a big celebrity.Then the sit and wait approach might work.
JL: Please tell us about your journey to becoming a published author.
KJG: I was published years ago by selling stories to children’s magazines but had never written a novel. My first book, Farm Girl, came to the attention of an investor looking to start a publishing company. He wanted it for the first release, and he brought on members of my family who had edited and designed the book– William and Don Gowen– thus the name of the company, WiDo Publishing, which has since gone on to publish books by many different authors.
JL: You wrote Uncut Diamonds a while ago, and House of Diamonds follows the same characters years later. Would you consider this a series? How did you approach writing the second book?
KJG: I wrote Uncut Diamonds completely ignorant of my intended audience. Like I said, I was a recluse! When I wrote House of Diamonds, I had a much clearer view of my audience, and I wrote for them. I think the second one is a much better book for utilizing this approach. I don’t expect to write a third one because I get bored easily. What I’m working on now is a bit grittier and darker.
JL: What inspired you to write the Diamond books?
KJG: I wanted to try my hand at novel-writing and so I wrote what I know, which is family life. My own family, to be specific. They are both fictionalized, semi-autobiographical novels.
JL: Family life is obviously important to you. How do you juggle your family and writing? How do family members view your writing?
KJG: I have a really supportive family, especially now that my kids are grown and out of the house. They no longer mind that I’m cloistered in my writing room not fixing them dinner. I have supportive sisters as well, who have been very good sports about my fictionalizing them in these two novels.
JL: You and your husband are starting a company to help authors sell books. Where are you in that process?
KJG: Yay, I get to talk about Celery Tree! Celerytree.com is currently in the hands of the quality control guy, who is trying to hack the site. When he’s done, he’ll tell us where the weak points are so the programmer can fix them. After that, it will go out to the authors so they can review their book and author pages, and fill in anything that’s missing, and ask questions. That will be our soft launch. Once the authors have looked it over, it will go live and all of us will promote the heck out of it, because the concept is awesome and people are going to love it!
Thank you for visiting, Karen! I hope you and other authors join us today for the Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop. You can find instructions on Lisa Sanchez’s BLOG.