Thursday, September 7, 2017

Interview with romantic suspense author Karla Brandenburg

My special guest today is romantic suspense author Karla Brandenburg. We’re chatting about her newest novel, The Mirror.

During her virtual book tour, Karla will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Karla Brandenburg is the author of contemporary romance, including her award-winning paranormal MIST series. Raised on the gothic romances of Victoria Holt and the horror of Stephen King, she is an avid reader and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Karla is a card-carrying cookie-holic, enjoys baking and travel.

Welcome, Karla. Please share a little bit about your current release.
When Sandra Meyer's violent ex-boyfriend returns to sleepy Edgarville, Illinois, she turns to the man who stood up to Nick Benedetto years ago. If brawny Garth Benson will pose as her boyfriend on social media, maybe Nick will leave her alone. Sandra adores Garth, but she doesn't want any more ties to Edgarville. Now finished with a decade of dedicated service as her mother's caregiver, Sandra is planning her exit from this one-stoplight town.

Garth is firmly rooted in Edgarville with the family monument business and a trophy shop that will need a "mom" to his "pop." Garth has wanted Sandra ever since he slugged Nick more than ten years ago. Her secrets run deep, as do the strengths that he admires within her, but whenever he tries to move their casual flirtations from talk to dating, she backs away.

Small town life has strangled Sandra as effectively as Nick tried to back in the day. Garth might be the one man who can protect her from Nick, but what he expects in return is too much. On top of that, her deceased father’s unexpected appearance in the mirror of her new home exposes long-held secrets that will change Sandra's view of her family and hometown forever.

When the last tie holding her to Edgarville is cut, Sandra runs as fast as she can, but the world outside her small-town community isn’t all she expects.

What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing Epitaph in 2009, but couldn’t get it quite right. I set it back on the shelf and, over the years, I kept pulling it back down. It wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t seem to relegate it to the crap pile. I finally got it right, in part by expanding the families of the characters and opening the door for the siblings to continue the series. The Mirror is the third in the series, and was inspired by characters in book 1.

Excerpt from The Mirror:
“Look, I don’t want to tell you what to do,” he started.

She chuckled. “Oh, yes you do.” She crossed her arms and faced him. “Let’s hear it.”

“For starters, you need to file a complaint,” he told her. “Against Nick.”

“And what good would that do, unless Micah or PJ wants to follow me around town all day every day? Nick isn’t the type to be deterred.”

“It makes your case for the next time he comes after you. Or, I could take him hunting,” Garth said, one eyebrow raised, “and arrange for an accident.”

He was probably kidding, but she didn’t like the aggressive male testosterone manifesting itself. Fists or guns, both could be lethal.

Had Nick killed Tammy?

Sandra rose from the bed and stared Garth down. He didn’t move.

“I’m not stupid enough to go to jail for killing him,” he clarified.

“I’ll file the complaint,” she said. “You said for starters. What else? Might as well tell me what else you think I’m too stupid to come up with on my own.”

“I never said you were stupid.”

She knew she sounded unreasonable but she couldn’t help herself. This had been one hell of a day so far. “What else?” she asked.

“Find someone who can translate the journal for you. You could track down an old business teacher at the high school, or someone who could point you the right direction.”

She shook her head. “No can do, big guy. Whatever’s in the journal is private. I don’t want the whole town to know my mother’s business.” Especially if her mother did have an affair, or affairs. “Keep going. You’re on a roll.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the fourth in the Epitaph series, Kathleen’s book. While I’d originally given her a hero and a conflict in Book 1, I was surprised that he didn’t want to play along in Book 4. She has a new hero. I’m excited to use New Orleans as the haunted backdrop for a part of the story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until my first book was published. Yes, I’d been writing most of my life, but it wasn’t until then that I’d proved to myself that I could take all those disjointed scenes that played in my head and put them into a cohesive story.

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? I have a regular, full-time job. Writing is NOT lucrative as a career. I write every chance I get, and because my day job is seasonal, I can work part time during off times and spend that time writing. During busy season, my writing time decreases drastically, and in some years, I have to stop writing altogether for a month or two. On a good day, I can write for six hours. On a day where the day job conflicts, I might not have time to write more than an hour.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a tendency to “work ahead” in everything I do. This spills into my writing. I tend to bring my main characters together before they’re ready, just so I can make sure they have chemistry. Then I “rip out the stitches” and back up, introducing them to each other and let the relationship develop more naturally.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer, although there was a time I was sure I wanted to be a professional tennis player.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Karla said...

Thanks for having me 😊

Unknown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Karla Brandenburg said...

Thanks Lisa. Good luck

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing :)

Karla said...

Thanks, Rita and Victoria, for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It's one of my favorite scenes.