Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Interview with novelist Karen Michelle Nutt

Novelist Karen Michelle Nutt has stopped by today to chat with me about her time travel romance/rock star fantasy, Two Worlds Collided.

Bio:
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”. You can also check out her published cover art designs at Victory Tales Press and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Welcome, Karen. Please tell us about your current release.
Evie Reid on a whim agrees to travel back in time to 1997 to change bad boy, rock star Bellamy Lovel's path of destruction. She's smart with a college degree, but she is still fan-girl crazy for the rock band, Civilized Heathens. Evie knows despite all Bellamy's smiles and enthusiasm on the stage, he's destined to end it all on one lonely night in a hotel room unless she can change his path.

Bellamy isn't keen on having Evie as his personal assistant, hired by his band mates to watch over him, and keep him on schedule. However, there is something about the woman that sparks his interest, despite his best to ignore her. When darkness threatens to consume him, he realizes she may be the only light that will chase the shadows away.

What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter and I watched 'INXS- Live at Wembley' on DVD. We were sad to think the lead singer had died so tragically and there would never be another song written or performed by him. The time travel tale about Bellamy Lovel took root, but I wanted a happier ending for my rock star and sent Evie back in time to try and save him.


Excerpt from Two Worlds Collided:
Her gaze landed once more on the letters printed on the door, stating roof access and the implications of Bellamy being up here registered as a warning bell in her mind. Dear Lord, why had they allowed such a thing in his unstable condition? Then she realized the band didn't suspect he was suicidal. They believed he had a drug and alcohol problem he was trying to kick.
Leon opened the door and they took a flight of stairs to another door and opened it. The bright sunlight blinded her at first until her vision adjusted. She spotted Bellamy standing on the ledge a few feet in front of her. Fear rose up inside of her like a tangible force that urged her to go to his rescue. Her legs carried her swiftly and her hands grabbed his dress shirt with some kind of wild print on it, and she yanked him toward her.
Bellamy's hands flew out in front of him as if to grab onto something to steady his fall. "What the–" Her cry of alarm muffled Bellamy's curse when she realized he was going to land on top of her, but at the last millisecond, Bellamy twisted, grabbing hold of her as he fell onto his back with her sprawled on top of him in an unseemly manner. Her hair had come loose from the knot at the back of her neck. Her glasses were askew on her nose and she tried to adjust them as she pulled on her blouse, which had risen above her waist. Bellamy's hot hands were on her flesh and for a moment she'd forgotten to breathe. She met his startled gaze and his lips pursed into a fine line.
"What is wrong with you, lady?" he said and shoved her away, not exactly rough but with a purpose to be as far away as possible from her.
She sat in a heap next to him, feeling a bit deflated that he didn't appreciate her attempt to help. "I was saving you," she said and lifted her chin.
"Saving me? Lady, you almost sent me tumbling over the edge."
"I most certainly did not," she sputtered. "And what were you doing up there, anyway? Who stands on a ledge and not think: Hey, I might fall to my death." She rolled her eyes and that seemed to set him off.
His nostrils flared and he looked like he wanted to say more on the matter, but then he turned toward Leon, who stood there with his arms folded against his chest and his lips appeared to be twitching as if he were holding back a full out smile.
"You need to fire the security guard," Bellamy stated, "that allowed this crazy broad up here." He flew to his feet and brushed off his white pants that were smudged with dirt from the gravel rooftop. He flipped his curly hair away from his bright and beautiful blue eyes. God, he was handsome. A lean five-foot-ten, he appeared taller than he truly was, or maybe it was because she was still sprawled at his feet.
Leon cleared his throat. "Bellamy, I want you to meet your personal assistant."
It took Bellamy a moment to realize what Leon meant, and then he shook his head. "No. Absolutely, no." He narrowed his eyes on her, and she scrambled to her feet as graceful as she could, considering how she ended up there.
"I'm Evie Reid." She extended her hand.
He stared at her outstretched palm for a second then leveled his gaze on Leon. "I don't need a personal assistant, and especially one who thinks attacking a person is a great tactic to get to know each other." He turned on his heels, and murmured something in Romanian, which she knew he spoke since his parents were both from there. She loosely translated it as Crazy chicks are not my thing.
"Well yeah," she shouted back. Then decided to play his game and spoke in Romanian too. "Good thing I'm not crazy then." Loosely translated of course, but that seemed to catch his attention for about a second. He turned around and met her gaze in what she believed was supposed to intimidate her, but she refused to look away. "Giving me the evil eye doesn't work." She stared back and he dropped his gaze first.
He harrumphed and grumbled something that she was sure hadn't been flattering, and continued on his way to the door that would lead him back inside the hotel.
"Well, that went splendidly," she muttered. "Why was he up here anyway?"
"Sorry, should have warned you. It's his thing. When we're about to begin a tour, he heads for the roof of the first hotel we stay at, to meditate and put him in the right mindset, or so he says." His shoulders lifted in a shrug. "For good luck, I guess," he added.
"And I just messed that up."
"Don't worry, I have hope he'll warm up to you. You did speak Romanian to him, right? Usually, he's thrilled when someone knows the language."
Maybe, she thought, but not if he believed she was crazy.


What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm working on a rock star/ghost story with a mystery and of course a romance. It's titled: End of the Road.

Lars Gunner, the frontman for Silent Plaids, died 23 years ago and is trapped in limbo until his daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal and is able to see him. His death was ruled an unfortunate accident, but he's convinced it had to be murder despite the fact he can't recall what happened in his last moments of life. Cecilia seeks help from Kaleb, a psychic, but as they resurrect the past, the secrets and lies surrounding Lar's rock and roll life just may be the death of them too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Good question. I started writing down my stories when I was about nine or ten. I wrote plays at first. My fifth-grade teacher let my friends and I perform one of them too. It was very exciting for a ten-year-old.

Later, I jotted down stories in notebooks. I still have those early writings. They were written in ink, not on a computer. So 'spell check' wasn't available. I couldn't erase or add words if they were needed. Definitely, a rough draft. lol My daughters, when they were young, loved those stories and read them over and over again.

In high school drama class, we performed a skit I'd written. Tea for Two- a quirky murder-comedy. I was pleased when the audience laughed at the appropriate times. :)

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
By day, I work at a dental office and have worked in the dental field for over thirty years. Though writing is my passion, it's not always a reliable income. 

I usually write on my lunch break. I also devote Mondays to writing, which is one of my days off from the dental office. Yoga, coffee, then it's time to write.

I'm published with The Wild Rose Press. Highland Press, Victory Tales Press and Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. I also work behind the scenes with Victory Tales Press (http://victorytalespress.com) as the VTP Anthology Coordinator and am the Executive Assistant at Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery (http://rebeccajvickery.com/). We're always looking for short stories at VTP for our themed anthologies released throughout the year. This year at VTP, the theme is medical romances. All romances will take place in someway at Hart Medical, a fictional hospital located in the 'real' town of Hartsville, SC. Get your dose of romance, STAT! Can't wait to read the stories.

My daughter and I also run Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". We're contracted with VTP and PbRJV and also take on private clients. I usually create book covers after the day job, while watching TV or listening to my favorite rock bands.

My duties at both publishing houses involves some light editing, formatting, creating book covers, and loading books to the online bookstores. It's been interesting learning all there is to know about the publishing world. I have a newfound respect for what goes on behind the scenes and how much time and effort goes into publishing a book.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Before I can begin a story, I must know what my characters look like and what their names are. I'm very visual and must see them in my mind before I type one word of the story. I'll browse through baby books for names and what those names mean. Sometimes my daughter and I will discuss the names and what the characters look like and what they do for a living. She works at the library and she'll bring home books from there for more visual aids.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A belly dancer. Well, I was about four years old when I announced my career choice to my parents. I really meant I wanted to be a ballerina. My mother had read the book Ballerina Bess by Dorothy Jane Mills to me. See Bess dance... So of course, I wanted to also.

When I was twelve, my cousins and I planned to start a rock band. We were going to call ourselves the Crystals. I'm not sure how we came up with that name now. My parents lived right behind Knott's Berry Farm (an amusement park in California), where they had the Good Time Theater. We would purchase tickets to see bands, and big time performers. We were convinced this is where we'd make our big debut. However, our plans for rock stardom never left my parents' garage.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Readers are what writers can never live without. The novel doesn't only belong to the writer; it also belongs to the reader as well. Without the reader the story is just ink on a paper and nothing more. Opening the book, reading those first words, this is where the true magic begins. I love readers! Thank you so much for loving books.

Lisa, I want to thank you for having me here today. You have a lovely blog and ask some great questions. :)

Links:

Gillian’s Book CoversJudge Your Book By Its Cover” | Anthology Coordinator at VTP

Books Available at:

It's been a pleasure chatting with you, Karen.

8 comments:

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Lisa,

Thanks again for having me on your blog. :)

Linda Swift said...

Karen, it was interesting to learn more about you today since we are connected through PbRJV. Lisa asked all the right questions to give her readers a vivid picture of you from early childhood to the present. I am in awe of how much you do, and do well, all the time. Yet, I know from personal experience that you never are too busy to take time to help the PbRJV authors when we need it. Your stories are always fascinating and you move in the fantasy and paranormal worlds with as much ease as you do the real world. I wish you continued success in all that you do.

dstoutholcomb said...

loved the Q&A

denise

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Linda,

Thank you so much for your sweet words.
I'm never too busy to help and answer questions. :)


Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Denise,
Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I like that you use pictures you find to visualize your characters. Without a story board I would have a hard time envisioning my story, so I understand that aspect of your writing preparation completely. I so enjoyed reading this interview of you and learning new things about you--like how young you were when you first started writing and that you wrote plays. You could have gone a whole other way in writing I see.
Time travel stories are among my favorites. There is something so enticing about being able to go back in time. I like that your heroine is on a mission to save the hero. I know WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE is going to be a fantastic story to read. I read a number of your paranormal books, and I have absolutely loved them.
I wish you all the best, Karen. You're such a wonderful and talented person.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Sarah,

Thank you for stopping by. It means so much to me. :)

I really enjoyed writing those plays way back when. lol

I have to say time travel is my favorite genre. :) I've loved your time travel tales also. Nothing like a great adventure and the possibility of what if... :)

Charmaine Gordon said...

What a woman! I so admire you. Ever since we met a few years ago when you had a First Kiss event and I may have been the first writer to tell my story. Best to you, busy woman. You are terrific.