Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm participating in Armchair BEA!!!

Click here to go to the Armchair BEA site!
Click here to go to the list of blogs participating!

I had HUGE hopes of attending BEA this year, but was unable to get the time of work and so alas....
I will be participating in Armchair BEA instead!  The airfare was considerably more economical this way.
I am so excited that there is a way for those of us staying at home to participate!
Thanks for the opportunity of Armchair BEA!
Can't wait for the blogger interviews!

Quickie heads up about me - - 
I am a licensed teacher working as a media center assistant in a 6-12 school with approximately 600 students.  I am the advisor for a school-based reading club that I designed and implemented in my school.  The club is currently finishing up year five and our club membership has gone from 86 in year one to over 200 this year.
I am a single mom with two children (21 and 17), three dogs, 5 cats, one horse, one very patient/understanding boyfriend (who also has a child (18).
I have loved to read as long as I can remember.
I credit my third grade teacher for my love of reading as I clearly remember her giving me Black Beauty and telling me she thought I would love it.  I did and haven't stopped reading everything I could get my hands on since.  I have a serious book buying addiction that has continued to grow as I have gotten older and had more  income to feed the habit.  I have to say that my friend Kathy - who introduced me to blogging - has saved me by introducing me to the Kindle and the joys of ebooks!!!!!  It has been wonderful the last few years having someone who loves books as much as I do to spend time with and now with blogging, it seems there are so many more of us out there!  My home library has just under 7,000 books ranging from picture books to teaching resources (no this doesn't count ebooks - - thank the Lord for Kindle).  My favorite feature of my home library - aside from the books (don't you just love to feel the pages) is my library ladder!  My parents found it for me at an auction and bought it and the rails for me!  Now, if I can get all my ducks in a row and finish all the shelving in the library this summer, I will actually be able to mount that rail!
I have been blogging for a couple of years.  I started book blogging more recently - about a year ago.  I didn't realize when I started book blogging how much I would enjoy it or how much of my time would be devoted to it!!! I have met some amazing people (bloggers and authors alike) and have had the opportunity to participate in bundles of contests, giveaways, read-a-thons, blog tours, and more.  I have both given away and won a number of books and have learned more about authors and what's new than I ever knew before.  It has been a great experience so far and I look forward to the future!!!
(oh - and back to BEA - - - I plan to get there next year - - everyone hope for me!!!)

How will I Armchair?  I plan to try to check out all the blogs participating in the armchair - let us all support each other in our love of reading and our lack of either ability or desire to attend in NYC.  My goal is to stop by and comment on as many other Armchairers as I can each day!

Daughter of Deception Blog Tour ~~~ Interview and Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the tour!

Click HERE to see my review.
Want your own copy?  (click on the links below or enter the giveaway)
Here are some links:  Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble

A Bit About the Author:
Kara Thorpe started writing as a distraction in French class and never stopped (just don’t ask her to conjugate many verbs).  Born and raised in Texas, she loves all things historical, scientific, and downright geeky. Though she prefers to write short, character-driven stories, she ventured into the world of the novel with the first book of the Family Lies series "Daughter of Deception."

Kara was kind enough to take time out of her day to answer some questions for me.  
Please welcome Kara Thorpe!!!
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I realized I wanted to be a writer when I discovered I could amuse people with the stories I’d been making up in my head for years.  I like to entertain others, but I always laugh before the punch line of a joke and I’m a terrible actress, so writing works for me.
? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I’ve had the same job for over a decade.  It’s not always fun, but I can sneak a little writing in whenever I want.  I also transcribe taped WWII interviews for a museum in Texas.
? How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes about nine months to a year to finish one book, but I never work on just one project at one time.  I’m not entirely sure focusing on only one project would speed the process up any.  I’m very creative when it comes to procrastination!
? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Whenever I get stuck in a story, especially the Family Lies series, I write the following and close the file:  “And then the zombies ate them all.  The end.”  Just putting ‘the end’ on it makes it easier for me to walk away for a while and get my thoughts together.  My husband says that it makes it easy for him if I ever leave behind an unpublished book.  He can just add my ending and call it complete.
? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
No, no routine, really.  I write in small bursts whenever I have time.  When I do manage to schedule time for writing, I prefer somewhere without distractions like the tv or the cats and I listen to my character playlists.
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
I picked up my husband’s habit of people watching.  People are great, especially if you only take bits and pieces from each one.  If you can mash up your ornery Great-Uncle Fred with the matchmaking neighbor across the street, you’ve got potential for a great character.  I also read a lot, even if I can’t stand the book.  I make lists of character traits I like and ones I want to avoid.  I’m sure most of my characters could trace their lineages through my bookshelf (and my family tree).
? How do you decide what you want to write about?
It starts with the idea, really.  For instance, Daughter of Deception is really about Viola’s change and how she deals with what she’s learned.  Once I have the story’s basic idea mostly formulated, I choose the vehicle for that story.  With Daughter of Deception, it happened to be a world with demons and different dimensions.  It all depends on what works best with the basic story.
? What books have most influenced your life?
Oh wow.  I read anything and everything so this one is really hard.  The forensic journals really help with research and romances are great escapes.   I think Rebecca influenced me the most, though.  I just love mystery and entire feel of that book.  I know I’ll never come close to recreating that, but it’s a good goal to have.
? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Nothing terribly exciting.  I’ll do whatever I can to decompress, which usually means I’m in front of the television or reading.  I’ve been on a baking kick lately, though, and am trying to find sugar-free alternatives to my favorite foods.
? What is your favorite comfort food?
Bread pudding with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.  Yum!
? What do you think makes a good story?
I think fascinating characters you can connect to make a good story.  If I don’t give a damn about the characters, I don’t give a damn about whether they hook up or solve the mystery or come down with the bubonic plague (okay, that last one might make it interesting).
? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
I don’t know that I have a favorite author.  I tend to pay more attention to the back of the book than the author’s name.  There are a few authors that I’ll pick up because I know what I’m going to get:  Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb, Kay Hooper, Heather Graham, and Amanda Quick are just a few examples.
? What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
It’s going to sound like a cop out, but I have a huge edition of Shakespeare’s completed works.  I’m always going back to it because it has everything I could want – comedy, drama, tragedy.  When I’m in the mood for something light I’ll read Twelfth Night (yes, Mama Ashwood did name her children after the characters) and when I want something a bit darker I’ll flip to Hamlet.
Fun random questions: 
  • dogs or cats? Cats.  I have two at home who made me type this.
  • Coffee or tea? Tea.  Hot or cold.  Sweet or not.  Black or Herbal.  I’ll drink it all.
  • Dark or milk chocolate? Chocolate so dark and bitter it’s almost a sin, please.
  • Rocks or flowers? Rocks.  It’s no fun to throw flowers.
  • Night or day? Day.  For years I believed I was solar-powered.
  • Favorite color? Green.
  • Crayons or markers? Crayons.  Everyone needs to feel like a three-year-old now and then.
  • Pens or pencils? Pens.  Live dangerously.  Don’t erase!
Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole today!  
I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did!
Want to win your own copy?
Fill out this form: (rules: must be a follower 13 or older)

Next stop:  
May 24 –  Book Lover’s Hideaway