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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
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August 2001

Every Romance Reader's Fantasy!

LISTER'S POLL: We Want More............Fantasy Romance!


Karen Fox

Karen Fox always had stories taking place in her head and started putting them on paper when she was 12. A fan of science fiction, her first tales incorporated distant worlds and a hint of romance. After discovering romance novels, she found what she wanted to write--stories of the love between a man and woman that survived no matter what happened to them.

Karen was born in Jackson, Michigan and graduated from Parkside High School. While in high school, she was editor of the school newspaper and won a local award for journalism sponsored by the local newspaper, The Jackson CitizenPatriot. She attended Jackson Community College for two years before marrying and following her Air Force husband around the world.

Karen discovered the Colorado Springs chapter of Romance Writers of America
(Pikes Peak Romance Writers) in 1992 and soon after became a part of the Wyrd Sisters critique group. En route, she grew as a writer and learned the publishing business. In 1996, she sold her first book, a futuristic romance SWORD OF MACLEOD to Leisure Books and followed that soon after with her second, SOMEWHERE MY LOVE.

SOMEWHERE MY LOVE went on to become a finalist for RWA's prestigious Rita award as well as a finalist in several smaller contests.

Married for 24 years to a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Karen is mother
to three teen-agers and works as a technical assistant for The MITRE Corporation. She considers herself a world traveler having lived in Tacoma,
WA; Charleston, SC; Mons, Belgium; Biloxi, MS; and settling finally in Fountain, CO.

Karen's third book, a contemporary fantasy for Jove's Magical Love line,
PRINCE OF CHARMING was published in December 2000. In addition, she has
a book coming out in Zebra's new Ballad line, designed for series of books,
along with other members of her critique group, The Wyrd Sisters. THE HOPE
CHEST SERIES: GRAND DESIGN will appear in August 2001 and a sequel book
to PRINCE OF CHARMING, BUTTERCUP BABY will be out from Berkley/Jove in October 2001.


An Interview with Karen Fox

PNR: Karen, its been said in the industry that romances with paranormal elements are hard to sell. You’ve sold five to date to three of the large publishing houses, Dorchester, Berkley, and Kensington. Do you have any tips for potential sub-genre writers?

Karen F.: Though it sounds trite, writing the book of your heart really is the key. I
had a long dry spell between my futuristics at Leisure and selling again to Berkley/Jove. During that time I tried writing what the market wanted and those stories sucked and were rightly rejected. Finally I gave in and the book that called to me. It sold to Berkley/Jove (after many rejections elsewhere) and became PRINCE OF CHARMING.

PNR: We are talking fantasy this month, and the sequel to your December 2000 Magical Love romance “Prince of Charming” will be released in this October. The title is “Buttercup Baby”. Both tales involve our present world and the world of the Fey. The tales stand alone but are interconnected?

Karen F.: The hero and heroine of PRINCE OF CHARMING, Kate and Robin Goodfellow make an appearance in BUTTERCUP BABY. In fact, the birth of their child is the reason the heroine of BUTTERCUP BABY comes to the mortal world. I've used the same Fae world from PRINCE OF CHARMING, but other than that, this book stands alone.

PNR: The hero of Prince of Charming is Robin Goodfellow of Shakespearean fame (Midsummer Nights Dream). He is the half-human son of the Faerie King Oberon?

Karen F.: That's correct. Legend has it that Robin Goodfellow was born to a
peasant woman after a liaison with King Oberon. Being half-Fae he was immortal with magical powers, but being half-human, those powers were limited. According to some of the literature I read, Robin Goodfellow could turn into animals, but I didn't want to go there. <g>

PNR: LOL. As a general rule faeries do not have children?

Karen F.: In my world faeries cannot procreate between themselves. Why should they? They're immortal. But a male faery can impregnate a mortal woman and a mortal man can impregnate a female faery. Of course, as you'll learn in BUTTERCUP BABY, there's a good reason why female faeries don't want to become pregnant.

PNR: Hm, Intriguing. Robin had grown up in his mortal mother's world and had watch those he had loved die one by one. This sends him to his father’s realm where he runs afoul of Queen Titania? She traps him in a painting? How does
he escape?

Karen F.: Titania hates Robin because he's an all-too-physical reminder of Oberon's dalliance, so she trapped him in a portrait of himself, supposedly for eternity. But Oberon was able to modify the spell slightly. He wrote Robin's name on the back of the portrait. When someone with faery sight saw the name and said it aloud, Robin would be freed. Kate, the heroine of PRINCE OF CHARMING, is the one who does this.

PNR: Once released Robin's problems with the mortal world have not changed. However he is not able to leave his liberator, Kate Carmichael?

Karen F.: Robin's problems are only beginning after he's freed. The spell binding him to the portrait is broken, but now he's bound to Kate and can't get further than 50 feet away from her. The last thing she needs at that moment is a magical man in her life and Robin desperately wants to experience the world again. Unfortunately, they have to learn to work together.

PNR: This leads to some humorous moments. Do you feel humor is important to a good story?

Karen F.: I enjoy reading humor and I like to have it in my stories, if it fits. Any humor I have has to arise out of the characters or the situation. I can't "try" to be funny. However, I love reading dark, intense stories as well so humor doesn't have to be there to make a good story. I just appreciate it when it is.

PNR: We won’t ruin the story, but suffice it to say that Robin and Kate live happily ever after. Now let’s back up a bit. Ariel of the Fey, Queen of the Pillywiggins, had voiced strong disapproval of Robin’s treatment at the hands of Titania. Tell us a bit about Pillywiggins, and what happened to Ariel as a result of her censure of Titania?

Karen F.: Ariel was Queen of the Pillywiggins, the flower faeries, and made the
mistake of telling Queen of the Fae, Titania, that she shouldn't have put Robin in the portrait for all eternity. Titania doesn't like to be told she's wrong. Being the vindictive type of person she is, she removed Ariel from her position as Queen of the Pillywiggins, in effect sentencing Ariel to a long, lonely eternity with no purpose in her life.

PNR: King Oberon is pretty good at circumventing the Queen. He takes pity on Ariel?

Karen F.: Yes, Oberon, who often covers for Titania's actions, decides to give Ariel amission, though it's supposed to be a temporary one. Robin and Kate have recently had a son and Oberon sends Ariel to the mortal world to check on the baby for him. This gives Ariel something to do and gets her away from Titania for a while.

PNR: We’ve said that children among the Fey is quite unusual, however Oberon is both a father and a grandfather. What is Ariel’s response to Robin’s infant son?

Karen F.: Ariel falls in love with Robin's son on sight. Cradling the infant eases the hard knot of loneliness inside her, so she decides to have a baby of her own. Then she'll be needed and have a purpose on her life.

PNR: Ariel is determined to ease her loneliness with a child of her own. She need a human father. How does she go about choosing one? What is his response to her suggestion? Tell us about Rand Thayer.

Karen F.: Rand is the brother of Kate's teacher friend, Stephanie, and tags along
when Stephanie comes to see the new baby. Ariel sees him and is impressed with his tenderness in handling the child. After learning more about him, she decides he's the one she wants to father her child. However, Rand, the only boy in a family of eleven children, wants nothing to do with children, especially his own. Besides, he's not the type for a one-night stand, which is all Ariel has in mind...then.

PNR: Rand is basically a family man, in spite of the fact that he thinks he already had enough woman and children in his life. Ariel isn’t the type of girl to give up on something she wants. Does Rand find her difficult to resist?

Karen F.: Let's just say when a faery puts her mind...and magic...into hooking a man, he doesn't have much of a chance.

PNR: A lot of humor is built into this situation. Ariel is not your average girl next door. Rand’s family is not the type to keep their noses in their own back yard?

Karen F.: As I mentioned above, humor is fun to read and fun to write. In this
situation, I just let Ariel go and chaos followed. In addition, I had no idea when I started that Rand's family would take control as much as they did.

PNR: You have a new time travel out this month as well. It’s the center pin in a five book series for Zebra’s Ballad line by members of the Wyrd Sister’s critique group. Tell us about the group. The series was inspired by veteran TT author Deb Stover?

Karen F.: Yes, Deb is a member of my critique group, The Wyrd Sisters, and had
spoken with Ann LaFarge about the new Ballad line. Deb suggested at a critique
group gathering in a restaurant that we as a group propose a series to Ballad. We actually started brainstorming on the restaurant's paper tablecloth that night and it grew from there. Unfortunately, Deb had to drop out of the series due to other writing commitments.

The Wyrd Sisters originally began in 1992 when four of us, all unpublished and writing paranormal stories, banded together as a critique group. Over time, we grew and one by one, sold. We took on the name Wyrd Sisters because Wyrd is an old English word for fate or destiny and we believed it was our fate to be writers and we were writing the weird stuff. <g>

Over time, we've added to our group (though not all of us critique together)
until we now have eight members. We do a lot of joint promotion which helps
not only financially, but in spreading the group name and helping all of us.

PNR: Tell us about the Hope Chest Series and a bit about your book “Grand Design”.

Karen F.: All the Hope Chest Series books are time-travels from the present into
the late 1800s. The first book is ENCHANTMENT by Pam McCutcheon, then FIRE
WITH FIRE by Paula Gill. My book is next, followed by Laura Hayden's STOLEN
HEARTS. The series ends with AT MIDNIGHT by Maura McKenzie aka Maureen
McKade.

Each traveler is sent back into time by touching an item in a hope chest they find the present day ruins of the Chesterfield Resort. Back in time, the Chesterfield is thriving and Miss Sparrow, the one in charge of the female staff, takes the time traveler under her wing and puts that individual to work. She apparently has her own reasons for wanting these folks back in time, but that isn't resolved until the last book.

GRAND DESIGN actually had its origins in the same place as PRINCE OF CHARMING. At the time we were plotting this, PRINCE OF CHARMING was still gathering rejections so I took the idea of someone in a portrait and went from there. Only in this case, my heroine Cynda is a frustrated artists who can't sell her own work so she earns her living by restoring old and damaged portraits. She's given the assignment to restore the portrait of Prince Dimitri Karakov, which had been taken from the ruins of the Chesterfield. As she works on the portrait she finds herself wildly attracted to this prince and goes to learn more about him. In doing so, she discovers he was murdered while staying at the Chesterfield. Her abrupt trip back in time lands her at the resort where she comes face-to-face with Dimitri. He's alive and she's determined he's going to remain that way--even if he does think she's crazy.

PNR: Interesting, I didn't catch the portrait connection <g>. What is next for Karen Fox?

Karen F.: Many things, I hope. I have two more faery proposals before my editor at Berkley/Jove now and am working on a dark paranormal proposal for them as well. I always have more ideas than time so I writing as fast as I can and keeping my fingers crossed that they'll sell in the near future.

 

Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with :
Karen Fox
Holly Fuhrmann

Tanya Huff
Sharon Shinn
Lois McMaster Bujold


Karen Fox

Website

 Books


The Fae series


Buy it now!

Jove Magical Love
October 2001
ISBN: 0515131695

BUTTERCUP BABY - Ariel of the Fae had never seen a baby before. But then why would she have? Children do not exist in her realm. So the moment she finally enters the mortal world and spies a sleeping child, Ariel falls instantly in love--and decides she wants one. All she needs is a suitable mortal man...

Rand Thayer meets all the criteria. He is handsome, healthy--and fertile. Perfect. Except for one small problem... When Ariel boldly marches up to him and asks him to impregnate her, her flat-out refuses! While Rand may be a good catch, he certainly is not an easy one. Now, Ariel will have to rethink her less-than-tactful tactics and consider the strange possibility of getting to know him first...

Jove Magical Love
December 5, 2000
272 pages

ISBN: 0515129747

PRINCE OF CHARMING - OUT OF THE PICTURE...AND INTO HER HEART.........

Kate Carmichael has not had an easy life. After her mother's death, her father left her in the care of a kind friend while he attempted to settle his debts, but he never returned. Now, twelve years later, Kate's guardian has passed away. And without a will promising her the Victorian house, the guardian's next of kin is ready to take possession and throw her out on the street.

With only a week before she's evicted, Kate must find the will. During her search, she inadvertently frees Robin Goodfellow from the portrait he has been magically trapped in for the past two hundred years, but the spell isn't completely broken. Some mysterious force compels Robin to remain at Kate's side. And even as they agree to help each other, a different kind of magic takes hold--leaving them spellbound in love...


Other paranormal titles

Hope Chest series: book 3
Zebra
Ballad
August 2001
352 pages
ISBN: 0821769030

The Hope Chest: A time-travel series by the Wyrd Sisters

The historical Chesterfield Hotel once offered visitors the graceful charm of its sumptuous rooms and the healing waters of its nearby hot springs. In the present day, as five people unearth the hotel's century-old hope chest, each will be transported back to a bygone age--and transformed by the timeless power of true love.

GRAND DESIGN #3 - The Perfect Prince Charming

Restoring old paintings for Hope Springs' Historical Society isn't exactly what frustrated artist Cynda Madison wants from her career, but she has no idea just how challenging her job will become when she works on the damaged portrait of devastatingly handsome Prince Dimitri Karakov found in the ruined Chesterfield Hotel. Moved by the tragic loss of a young, vital man, Cynda begins to investigate his death. When she finds the painting's tarnished nameplate in the ruined hotel's hope chest, she is instantly swept back in time to 1887 where she meets the prince himself--very much alive and disturbingly attractive. Cynda knows she must prevent Dimitri's death to get back to her own life--but can she prevent herself from falling in love?

1998 RITA Finalist:
Paranormal Category
SOMEWHERE MY LOVE


Buy it now!

Love Spell
July 1997
320 pages
ISBN: 0505522101


Buy it now!

Love Spell
January 1997
320 pages
ISBN: 0505521601

 

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.



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