Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spotlight Feature on Author Karen Swart and Her Novel Kasadya


Book Blurb for Kasadya

In a constant battle between good and evil, evil is dominating the battle field and leading mankind to its destruction. With our Creator's intervention a creature destined to concur and destroy is created. He gives mankind hellhounds to fight back and reclaim freedom.

Join seventeen year old Kasadya Levourne as she fights against evil to protect us. With each step she faces destruction, and yet she has the talent to give it back tenfold. Stubborn and hardheaded she makes her mark in the fallen world and starts a battle none can escape. Not even her trainer, the very attractive Chax de Luca, was prepared for her presence.

Will evil prevail? Or will Kas and her fallen friends succeed in protecting us against it?

Hold on to your seats, this is going to be one hell of a ride. Check out our review here: Kasadya Review

R&M's Interview with Author Karen Swart

R&M:  Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
Karen:  I am a book addict and proud of it. I am banned from coming near any bookstore, with good reasons (thank the lord for ebooks).  Most likely anyone that knows me would say there is something wrong with me, but in a cool way. I am also a sci-fi and fantasy addict. If there isn’t something in the moving, picture or site biting or scaring the crap out of you I won’t be interested. Oh and I do not do zombies. Eeeuw, nasty stuff.
R&M:  When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
Karen:  Truth, I never dreamed of writing. I was enjoying books from the reader’s corner. The one day I just had to try and get Kasadya out of my mind and though, “Hey maybe write her out?” And the next thing I knew Kas was running wild in the world. Now I enjoy both reading and writing, and there is never a dull moment.
R&M:  When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
Karen:  I let the story take the lead and while typing down what’s going on in my head, I can already see the possibilities of what’s going to happen, or how I want the story to play out.
R&M:  Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
Karen:  No special places, I write where I find a spot or opportunity, but I always need my music.
R&M:  Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
Karen:  Many, Nanini are a mixture of my little girl and my best friend. Tiny, feisty and very busy, always running around the place. Chax and Max have a little bit of my husband in him, serious, protective, loyal but most of all a fighter. Lada is based on another friend of mine, the always doing the good thing and great personality bit.
R&M:  Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
Karen:  Music. The music sets my mood, and I write according to the beat I get. I most likely won’t even know you are standing next to me and talking for an hour, I zone out and don’t return unless you slap me or something.
R&M:  What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
Karen:  I think what makes Indie publishing so great is the relationships you build. Unlike mainstream it’s not just the agent and a representative you get to meet and talk to. In Indie companies you get to be part of a family, especially in AG. Constant chatting and exchange of info, spreading the word about each other and all of it. We stand as one, rather than being just another author in a big group.
R&M:  Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
Karen:  Yes, and I love it. Most of the time it would be how they experienced the book, but the best ones are when they ask question about the book and start talking about the characters. I don’t have worst interactions, so far everyone was great.
R&M:  What does your family think of your writing?
Karen:  I have always been the wild, weird and crazy one in the family, so writing about a hellhound girl was really nothing new for them. I am humble to have a great home team cheering me on all the way.
R&M:  How has being published changed your life, if any way?
Karen:  Wow, if I had a boring life it was officially over. Your constantly working, but in a good way. Either your writing on the next piece or socializing with your fans. And between all of that you still have to do the marketing. Hectic, but awesome.
R&M:  What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.
Karen:  Currently I am writing like mad on the second edition to Kasadya. And she is driving me nuts. In the second book Kas is forced to take a step back and re-evaluate herself, her brainwaves wasn’t working anymore and creating more problems than solutions. But most of all she gets whacked with surprises. Her to do list just went 10 on the Richter scale.
R&M:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Karen:  Research, you need to know what you are writing about, but most importantly you need to know what the readers are looking for. If you go YA make sure you know what they like and dislike. I suggest reading as much as you can, in other authors work you will most likely find all your answers. But you need to think out of the box as well. And when you start writing, just be yourself. Don’t try and be the next JR Ward or JK Rowling. You need to give people your passion, not another author’s.
R&M:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Karen:  The writing was the easiest part, but the editing. Oh my freaking soul! I have never edited so much in my life and Melissa still had to save my butt.
R&M:  What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Karen:  Many, first you start to second guess yourself, “Would people think I am crazy?”, “Are someone going to be mad about this?”. There are a lot of things that popped up and getting to the end of the line wasn’t easy, but with a great family both at home and in AG, it turned out stunning.
R&M:  What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Karen:  Oh that’s a big list. Katie MacAlister, JR Ward, Richelle Mead, Karen Marie Moning, Lara Adrian and the list go on and on.

Fun Questions:

1.Favorite flavor of ice cream:  Caramel fudge
2.Favorite color: Purple
3.Favorite animal: Horse
4.Favorite season of the year:  Spring
5.Favorite Author: Katie MacAlister
6.Favorite drink: Coffee
7.Favorite food: KFC
8.Favorite Halloween Candy: Rascals

Character Interview with Chax

Luzette: “Thanks for joining us today Chax, we know you are super busy,”
Chax: (Looks annoyed) “Indeed,”
Luzette: (Rolling her eyes at Chax) “Do you, as Kasadya’s Custos, think she has what it takes to become the warrior that she needs to be?”
Chax: (Put’s on his dead serious face) “Yes, but she has a long way to go. She needs to learn how to take an order and focus on the situation, which she is incapable of doing. She also has a problem keeping under control most of the times, this will not benefit her battles. She needs to be… re-educated in our ways,” (Chax gives Luzette an evil smile)
Luzette: (Luzette wide eyes, then regroups quickly) “What may be the reason for Seth not to see eye to eye with you when it comes to some of your training skills and methods?”
Chax: (Lift his eyebrow at Luzette) “Seth, is young at age, and to soft hearted. In order for our apprendo’s to survive you need to prepare them for everything. Seth lacks this in whole, and prefers to pamper them with kindness. There is no kindness in our world,”
Luzette: (shuffling in her seat) “Why do you have a dark gloom and doom personality?”
Chax: (Getting annoyed again) “I don’t understand the question? I am not here to play Mr. Popular, I am here to teach and defend,”
Luzette: (Bitting her lip) “Why would you say do you and your brother Caim have such different personalities?”
Chax: (Sighing) “Caim, has always been the gentlemen, I on the underhand prefer to get it over with. There is no time for nice personalities, it’s do or die in my world,”
Luzette : (Has an vindictive look) “Why did you just up and leave while you were kissing Kasadya, is it because you prefer males?”
Chax: (Looks pissed off at Luzette) “No I do not prefer males, and I have my reasons”.
Luzette: (Bites off her smile) “For a person that does not really show any emotions what would you say was your reaction when you saw your brother Caim after such a long time, and finding out Kas was the one that saved him?”


Chax: (Surprised) “I... I was grateful and relieved.”
Luzette: (Smiling evily at Chax) “Have you ever met Christian Grey?”
Chax: (Confused) “No, should I have?”
Luzette: (Considering Chax) “Mmm Perhaps. Well Chax thanks for the interview and good luck with the whole demon fighting thing.”

Karen lives in a small town in the North West Province, South Africa. She shares her live with her husband, two sons and daughter. If she isn't reading she is writing. Her preferred genres are Paranormal and Urban fantasy.




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