Karen Robards is the author of 40 books and one novella. She is the mother of 3 boys (25, 19, and 14) and lives in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. A regular on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others, she published her first novel at age 24. "I read, I write, and I chauffeur children," she says with a laugh. "That's my life."
Q: By now, most readers know a little bit about you. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself that not many people know?
A: I am- or was - a highly trained orthodontic assistant. My father was an orthodontist, I worked in his office during high school and college, and I can put braces on teeth to this day.
Q: Did you always want to be an author?
A: I had no idea that it was possible to earn a living writing books. I wanted to be a lawyer.
Q: How did you get your first break in publishing?
A: I wrote the first fifty pages of my first book as part of a creative writing class when I was in college. A year or so later, I sent those pages to a publisher, who asked to see the rest of the book. I wrote it, they bought it, and I've been writing ever since. That first book was ISLAND FLAME, by the way, which is still in print today. The full story of how I got published is available on my web site, karenrobards.com.
Q: I’m sure readers would love to hear how the publishing world has changed over the years. Tell us what you see as the biggest differences over the years.
A: Oh, gosh, there've been so many changes. The biggest is without a doubt the rise of the Internet and the ability to purchase - and write and sell - e-books. That's been huge. The shrinking of the mid-list is another area of concern for writers. It used to be perfectly possible for writers to make a decent living writing mid-list books. Now it's very difficult. Vanishing bookstores. Merging publishers. All of that has changed the landscape for writers and readers.
Q: Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
A: I can't really pick a favorite. I love Michael Garland, the hot ghost from the Charlie Stone series: THE LAST VICTIM, THE LAST KISS GOODBYE and HER LAST WHISPER. I love Clara the romance writer from NIGHT MAGIC. I love Susannah the preacher's daughter from NOBODY'S ANGEL. I love Sam from SHIVER. Okay, I'm going to stop now. I could do this all day long.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your latest book?
A: That would be HER LAST WHISPER, and what I learned is that math actually does have a purpose in life after all: it can be used to help find a serial killer.
Q: Was there ever a time when you felt like your career might stall? If so, tell us about it. If not, to what do you attribute your continued good fortune?
A: Every career has its ups and downs, and mine is no exception. Every time when I thought I'd hit a wall, I did what writers do: I wrote another book. The key is to never give up.
Q: What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
A: Write the very best book you can, every single time, no exceptions. Don't worry about getting a certain number of words on the page each day, or writing to trends, or trying to please anyone but yourself. Sit back, take a deep breath, and tell yourself a story. That's what writers do.
Q: If you could sum up your writing career in one sentence, what would it be?
A: She wrote good books and got really lucky.
Readers who relish heated passion and chilling suspense love New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards’s acclaimed novels featuring Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone. A heroine with a keen mind for catching killers and a soft heart for bad boys, Charlie is back in this third sizzling paranormal romance thriller.
Madness and murder invaded Dr. Charlotte Stone’s life when she was just a girl—and made her a woman determined to save others from the horror she survived. An expert in the psychology of serial killers, she’s faced down more than her share of human monsters. But Charlie can also communicate with the spirits of those who die violently, an extrasensory skill that has helped the FBI bring lethal predators to justice. Now, after narrowly escaping death a second time, Charlie’s ready to step away from the edge . . . before her luck runs out.
Too bad Charlie is too dedicated for her own good—and too devoted to federal agent Tony Bartoli to say no when he asks her to ride shotgun on yet another risky mission. Of course, she already has her hands full with Michael Garland: the handsome, roguish ghost with whom she’s hopelessly in love—a spirit who depends on Charlie to keep him from slipping forever into the dark side of the afterlife. But in the mortal world, beautiful single women are vanishing from Las Vegas hotels at night. All signs indicate that a psychopath is on the prowl in Sin City, and Bartoli’s FBI colleague Lena Kaminsky has reason to fear that her missing sister may be just the killer’s type.
In a town full of fast players and few rules, flushing out a smooth-talking stalker like the Cinderella Killer might be a loser’s game. But for Charlie, the only way to cage her quarry is to plunge back into the homicidal hell she vowed to leave behind—and may not leave alive.
Interview conducted by Bobbye Terry.