Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Featured Debut Novelist: Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken, a 1920s inspirational romance, and Out of the Ruins, the first book in the Golden Gate Chronicles series, set during the time of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. 
 
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Karen has also written several articles that have been published byGuideposts and other national magazines, and in 2013 was blessed to be named the Cascade Awards Writer of Promise from Oregon Christian Writers (OCW). 

Karen lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, two children, three furry felines and an attention-hungry dachshund. When she's not writing and blogging, she enjoys playing guitar, hiking, decorating bizarre birthday cakes, and dragging her kids through boring history museums.

The following is a March 2013 interview with Karen.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of 
Mistaken or Out of the Ruins
by Karen Barnett



One copy to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 28 March - 11 April NZDT

 


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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife and mom—we’ve got both a teen and a tween at home, so I’m expecting the gray hairs to arrive any day now (Who am I kidding?). I’m also an animal lover, and a sucker for homeless pets, so we have quite a menagerie: three cats, a dachshund, and a tank full of tropical fish. The fish are the only ones we planned.


What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I was a voracious reader and spent much of my childhood in my “happy place”—the public library. I still remember walking through the stacks and thinking how fortunate I was to have access to so many books. I wanted to be able to give back, offering books to future generations. The dream faded for a time, as I pursued other interests. I worked in outdoor education for many years, working as a ranger and naturalist. Eventually I returned to my first love—books.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

As Christians, our beliefs shape the way we view the world and our circumstances. I can’t imagine trying to write novels where faith is completely ignored. Since I write historical romance, I’m often reminded how our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We humans have changed over history, and our view of God has changed, but He has remained constant. I love that!


How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

My prayer is that readers are reminded that God is present in every moment of our lives—as close as our next breath. He cares intimately about our lives and our decisions, as well as our hopes and dreams. He may not always plan out the easy path for us, but He always nudges us along the best one.

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What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist? 

I didn't expect to be so fearful about people reading my work. When I fantasized about being an author, I guess I never really got to the part where people were buying the books and reading them. When MISTAKEN hit the shelves in July, I found myself nearly paralyzed with anxiety. What if people hate it? What if it bombs? What if I made huge research mistakes, and readers are laughing at me? I confessed this fear to several friends, and they were kind enough to pray for me. In time, God showed me that the whispering voices were nothing but that—voices sent to distract me from doing the job He’d laid out for me. Now I do my best to lean on Him and listen to His voice, alone. Well, His and my editor’s. :-)


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

I have greater respect for His wisdom in choosing my path. As a novelist, I put my characters through trials and push them to the edge of themselves so they can grow and change. We often pray for our lives to be happy and easy, and for God to remove all trials. I know as a novelist that if a character is not challenged, she won’t grow. I want to get to the point in my faith where I can look to God and say, “Let me have it. You know what kind of fire it will take to refine me into the person You would have me be.” The idea terrifies me right now, but that’s my goal.


Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life? 

I’m enjoying watching my kids grow and mature, developing into fascinating people. I guess my #1 goal is to see them launched out into the world, as strong believers and compassionate toward others.


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love to travel and discover new places—whether it is visiting beautiful parks or dusty historical museums. I always get a blast of energy by doing anything creative, including photography, graphic design, crafts, cake decorating, and music. I play several instruments, and some of my happiest moments have been when I have dragged my guitar outside on a sunny day and played all my favorite songs.

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What can you tell us about your debut novel? 

Mistaken is a romantic suspense set in Port Angeles, Washington at the height of the Roaring Twenties. Since booze and Prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Federal agent Samuel Brown might be an answer to prayer—or he might be Laurie’s worst nightmare.


What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

Out of the Ruins, the first in the Golden Gate Chronicles series, releases this coming May. It’s set in one of my favorite points in American history, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.

As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?


 What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?

Ahhh, New Zealand . . . It’s long been on my “places I dream about visiting” list. I’ve heard it’s a little similar to where I live in Oregon, so maybe I’d feel right at home!

I love connecting with readers all over the world, either on social media or through book club Skype visits. You can find me at www.KarenBarnettBooks.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, and even on Pinterest.


Do you have any parting words?

Thanks for having me on Soul Inspirationz! I love chatting about books and I could do it all day long. Now here’s a question for you and your readers—I listed the library as my “happy place.” What’s yours? I’d love to hear about it!


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Mistaken

Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother's rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. 

Daniel has mixed feelings about returning to the dirty mill town of his youth, but grudgingly agrees to manage his grandfather's drug store until a replacement can be found. The moment he meets Laurie on the windswept bluff overlooking the beach, he knows that if he can earn her love, he might have a reason to stay. But when Laurie pushes him away—for none other than Federal Agent Samuel Brown—Daniel wonders if Laurie really is the upstanding woman he thought her to be. 

The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless rum-runners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when she realizes her brother is in danger, romance is the last thing on Laurie's mind. Yet the people she believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.

Purchase Mistaken
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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Out of the Ruins

While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best. As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. 

Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?

Pre-Order Out of the Ruins (Golden Gate Chronicles #1)
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]




Buy Karen's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of 
Mistaken or 

Out of the Ruins
by Karen Barnett


One copy to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 28 March - 11 April NZDT


Please comment about the interview, leave a message for Karen Barnett or answer the following question when making a blog post comment:

Karen has listed the library as her “happy place.” What’s yours?

 Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


Previously Featured Author Interviews


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