MFT Guest: Interview with Karen Chance and Giveaway of Chicks Kick Butt and Hunt the Moon!

Today I have one of my most favorite urban fantasy authors on the blog for My Favorite Things.  Karen Chance writes the Cassie Palmer series and Dorina Basarab series.  Book number 5 in the Cassie Palmer series, Hunt the Moon,  comes out today!  I was lucky enough to get a copy for review and loved Hunt the Moon!   She’s also in an anthology, Chicks Kick Butt which also comes out today!  There’s a giveaway for both books at the bottom of the post, so make sure you check it out!

Description for Chicks Kick Butt:

Chicks are awesome—and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.
Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).
Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers:
- Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe)
- L.A. Banks
- Rachel Vincent
- Karen Chance
- Lilith Saintcrow
- Cheyenne McCray
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Elizabeth Vaughan
- Carole Nelson Douglas
- P.N. Elrod
- Nancy Holder


Description for Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1):

 Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot. The undead are another matter. 
Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection. The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire-and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay…


So we can get to know you better can you share with us 10 things about yourself?

1) When I was young, I wanted to be a chef. Specifically, a pastry chef. My thighs are glad this did not happen.

2) I love Australian Aboriginal art. If I ever get rich and famous (ha!) I will probably end up with a collection. As it is, I have one item, a painting I bought at an aboriginal art gallery years ago. It’s been on my wall ever since.

3) I was almost caught in Hurricane Katrina. I don’t actually recall leaving the city, just hearing Mayor Nagin say something about “if you’re still here, remember to write your name in indelible ink on your arm so we can identify your body after the storm.” Half an hour later, I woke up in the car heading out of town.

4) When I came back to myself on the way out of New Orleans, I had four things in the car with me: a hastily packed satchel of clothes, a bottle of water, the above mentioned painting and a bunch of bananas. I don’t know what this says about my psyche, but there you go.

5) I helped open EuroDisney in 1992. I was working at Epcot at the time to help put myself through university, and they decided to send everyone on staff who could speak French to Paris. They were seriously behind and the park was scheduled to open in less than two months. Despite the song, April in Paris is cold and rainy. And our apartments were still being constructed and didn’t have heat yet. And I didn’t speak French so much as vaguely understand it. But it was my first trip to Europe and I ended up having a great time.

6) I play a mean game of chess.

7) I also play a level-80 undead warrior on World of Warcraft. No, I am not going to apologize for this. No, seriously, I’m not.

8) I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid, but assumed for years that I didn’t have the talent.

9) I have a Ph.D. in British Imperial History with a focus on India. It was a surprisingly fun field, since I specialized in the British spy network—early James Bond-type stuff.

10) I can’t play any instrument known to mankind. Not one. I know, because I’ve tried most of them. Desperately wanted to be musical, but finally faced the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. Still love music though.


Your world building is amazing!  It’s complex, but fantastic!  You go completely crazy with twists and turns and things that I can’t even imagine coming up with.  How do your ideas come to you?  Is it something that just flows as you write or do you pretty much have a good idea of where things are going from the beginning?
I figured out the hard way that writing to an outline doesn’t work for me.  I’ve tried it, but it always ends up sounding suspiciously like I am writing to an outline.  The way I do it now is to have five or six things that I know need to be in the book, and just focus on getting them on the page in the most entertaining way possible.

You also have a lot of characters but each one is so different.  They have amazing personalities that really make them memorable so I don’t think I ever found myself too confused.  Where do your characters come from?  Does it take a lot of thinking and developing to get them there like that?  Or do they just pop out at you and won’t go away?

I’m a plot-driven author, so my characters are there because the plot needs for them to be there.  I try to make them diverse and memorable, so thank you for that.  But basically, they’re who they are because that’s who the story needs them to be.

Names are very important to a story, but not always easy to come up with.  How did you come up with the names of the characters in your books?

Some of my characters are taken out of history, so their names are pretty much set.  As far as the others go, a lot of their names have hidden meanings that give clues to the storyline; others are there simply because they fit the era in which the character was born and I liked them.

What was your biggest obstacle to overcome when you were writing?

Lately, I guess fear.  As in, what I write just won’t be good enough/won’t come together right/won’t make the fans of the series happy.  I had a really hard time with that for a year or so, partly because I’m a perfectionist and partly because I’d been listening too much to some of the things said about the books online.  I finally dealt with it, more or less, by staying off of forums and by telling myself: “Look, it’s your story.  Write it the way you know it’s supposed to go, not the way this or that person wants.” I guess it worked, because I think Hunt the Moon is probably my best work. 

Your books kind of have everything as far as supernatural goes.  I mean you really go all out.  So what is your favorite?  I know that your ghosts and the role they play in the books is something I really love. 

I like using things from mythology in new ways.  My favorite recent find was the Bonnacon, a Celtic myth about a huge supernatural bull that, uh, excretes fire.  I came across it in an old mythology book and laughed until I cried.  I couldn’t believe no one had ever used it.  I mean, come on.  It sh-ts napalm!  What more do you want?

You have the art of creating sexual tension down perfect!  It’s so frustrating.  You know~ the good kind of frustrating cause your flying through the book praying that you’ll come up on that perfectly amazing kiss.  So is that as frustrating for you as it is for us?  Does Cassie’s romance not always go where you may want it to go and more where it ‘needs‘ to go? (Not sure if that makes sense… I’m trying not to be spoilery.)

Well, where it needs to go is tied into the plotline of the series, so…I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, though. Some people hate the dreaded “love triangle,” but this one has a reason for being there.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

No.

If you were to time travel what period would you travel to?

I know this might surprise some people, but I don’t know that I’d go anywhere. I mean maybe sometime close—like to hear Elvis perform in Vegas or something. But much farther back than that? Nope. I spent too many years studying history not to know that we live in the absolute best time there is. Plus, knowing me, I’d probably get bubonic plague and die.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?   

I really want to see Scandinavia. Some of my mother’s ancestors were Norwegian, and I’ve always wanted to see the fjords.  I also really want to go to Iceland and see the volcanoes. 
Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)
What is your favorite book or author?

It varies, depending on when people ask me. At the moment, I’m rereading some Agatha Christies. She was probably my first “favorite author” and I’ve been reading her most of my life.


What can we expect to see from you in the future?  And how many books are planned in the Cassie Palmer series?

I’m currently working on the next Dorina Basarab book. There’s also a short story with Dorina in theChicks Kick Ass anthology due out the same day as Hunt the Moon. And after that, of course, more Cassies! If you want to keep up with the madness, visit my web page at KarenChance.com or check me out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cassandra-Palmer-Series-by-Karen-Chance/111936312220825).

 

The Giveaway: CLOSED

Karen is giving away one copy of Chicks Kick Butt and I’m giving away my copy of Hunt the Moon (please note that this book came to me with a crease in the spine and has caused some loose’ish pages, if you’re picky about your books then don’t enter for this one :)Open to US/Canada onlyMust be 17 or olderEnds July 5th, 2011



To Enter: This Giveaway has ended

Tell me which book (or both) you’d like to win.  Then tell us where and when you would like to travel to if you were to able to travel through time.   Remember to leave contact info!

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Comments

  1. I’d love to travel to Ancient Egypt and visit the temples and markets and pyramids, maybe take a lazy cruise along the Nile in a rickety little boat. Staying well away from the crocodiles, of course!

    I have a copy of Hunt The Moon, or rather my mom does ;), but I’d love to win Chicks Kick Butt. Awesome interview, and thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Would love to win either. If I could travel back in time I would go Medieval! Knights, kings and castles!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  3. I think I’d have to travel back to Victorian London. I’ve always been interested in that era.

    I’d love to win the Chicks Kick Butt anthology (already have Hunt the Moon on my Kindle). Thanks for the giveaway!

    daniellesaunders1984(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. Hey great giveaway!! I’d like to win the copy of Chicks Kick Butt…if I could travel anywhere I’d go to Woodstock , I’d die to see any one that was there perform especially Hendrix!!

    tristan210(at)live(dot)ca

  5. I’d go back to the French Revolution. I’m just so fascinated by it.

    entering for Chicks Kick Butt
    GFC follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. Either book, they both look awesome.
    Take me to the Scottish highlands, now. I need a pint, and a kilted hunk about now.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  7. I’d love to win a copy of Chicks Kick Butt. If I could travel in time, I’d love to go forward at least 100 years, or maybe more. I’m fascinated with how things would have changed in that time – hopefully we’d have space travel by then and all kinds of cool advancements in technology and science.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  8. Please enter me for Hunt the Moon. And there are lots of times and places I’d like to travel to- Renaissance, ancient Greece- but probably only until I needed to use the facilities.

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I would love either, but mostly Chicks Kick Butt because I haven’t started the series yet, don’t want to start all the way at 5 LOL! Still either is great, I will start this.

    Love all the choices, but if I could travel in time, I would choose 1650s Rome and watch Bernini create the Ecstasy of St. Theresa. I saw that sculpture a couple of years ago in Humanities class and it never left me. Just amazing. Chance’s interview has me thinking about art right now LOL!

    Great interview and giveaway guys. Thank you :)

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. I’d love to win Chicks Kick Butt since I am a fan of basically every author that contributed and the book’s a little hard to find in my area.
    I’d love to travel from Mexico to the time of the Aztecs and the pyramids and the city in all their glory.
    Thanks for the contest ^_^

    faefever25 at hotmail dot com

  11. I would love to win Chicks Kick Butt. And if I could travel to anywhere in anytime I’d have to say the biblical times…just to see what really happened.

    aliciacald at gmail dot com

  12. I would love to be entered for Chicks Kick Butt. I love the synopsis. If I could travel anywhere I would go to Ancient Egypt or the future, I love the Egyptians of that time period and I would love to see the technology of the future. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  13. i would love to win Chicks Kick Butt! i would just want to travel back to the early 90’s so I could experience the Seattle music scene as an adult :)
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  14. What an extraordinary giveaway. Thank you so much. I am a greedy girl and would be happy with either of these books (hee hee or both for that matter:)) These authors are all wonderful to read! If I could travel back in time – hummmm, my idea of roughing it is generally Motel 6, but to have the opportunity to actually see history would be fabulous. Perhaps Scotland, England, or New Orleans in the mid 1800s.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  15. I love Karen Chance and I’ve been reading this series from book one. I have not however, been out to the bookstore recently so I dont have either of these new books of hers. Both sound awesome but I’m dying to read the next Cassandra book so I’d like to win Hunt the Moon.

    If I could travel back in time, I would like to go back in time when Pangea was still intact and see my hometown and what was here way back then. An odd notion I know, but its what I would like to see. The world in the beginning. Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  16. I’d like to win either – I love the Cassie Palmer books and am super excited about the next installment. At the same time, who can resist a kick butt anthology? ;p

    If I could travel anywhere in time (Oh so many places, where oh where is my Tardis?) I’d travel back in time to meet Queen Elizabeth. A) English history is my crack, and B) talk about your kick butt chicks! She was amazing, redefining traditions and paving her own road.

  17. I would love to win either book! Thanks for the opportunity:)
    If I could travel to any time I would travel back to the time of the Roman Empire, when it was the hot spot to be!!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  18. I would love to visit ancient Ireland, during the time of the Celts. Ohh, also visiting the pyramids during the time of Ramses I think. I would love to win either of these. I love her books, have read them all except these newest. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!! Artesia at comcast dot net

  19. I don’t know if there is any ONE time period I’d travel to. I wouldn’t mind visiting ancient lands, but only for a short time (I’d miss indoor plumbing). But to pick one… oh give me a smexy highlander I suppose. ;D

    books (Dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Oh and I’d like a chance at both books, please

  20. I’d love to win the Chicks kick butt anthology. And where I travel would be December of 1983. I would love to have a talk with my mother. She needed an operation which she refused to have and she passed in Feb 84. IMO she’d had to talk to the DR before refusing if i’d known about it.

  21. Tough choice….Chicks Kick Butt (cuz they do)

    Travel to Scottland 1300, but only if I can have a big handsome highlander to take care of me!

    leximadson(at)yahoo(dot)com

  22. This is such a great series, and I would love to win Hunt The Moon.

    As for time travel, I would love to travel into the future and take a peek at my kid’s and their families in about 50 years.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  23. I’d love to win either book.

    Hmmm, I’ll say the Regency – polite, but sexy, with somewhat modern conveniences. I’ve read enough historicals to blend in well there and enough to know that Scottish highlanders wouldn’t take well to me and my feminist notions.

    andra(dot)always(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. Great question and a tuffy as there is a lot of periods/places I’d love to visit! I’d have to say take me to see some highlanders :D… or Victorian England. I don’t have either so please enter me for both :).

    pams00 @ aol.com

  25. So many choices! I’d love to see the Wild West. And medieval Europe would be really cool to see and experience, but perhaps not the safest. So I think I’d choose a visit to Italy during the Renaissance. Heck, I’d love a visit to current day Italy some day!

    I’d really love to be entered for a chance at Chicks Kick Butt! Thanks!!!

    -Spaz
    zsaz1029(at)yahoo(dot)com

  26. I’d love to win Hunt the Moon but both books sounds good. I just discovered Karen Chance and am enjoing her Cassandra Palmer series.

    I would travel back in time to Ireland in the medieval times. Just imagine the myths, magic, and danger.

    Cambonified{at}yahoo{dot}com

  27. Please enter me for both. I’d love to travel back in time to the 1960s through 1990s. Then I could disco, meet hippies, and wear off-the-shoulder shirts and jean jackets.

    lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  28. I would love to travel to the Druid/Viking times in Europe and to be around for the start of America (though only to visit as I do like plumbing)

    Great interview! I would like to be entered to win Chick’s Kick Butt.

    Thank you!

    Mare
    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

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