Monday, June 02, 2008

Guest Blogger Karen Rose Smith


The Playfriends are very happy to welcome back one of our special guest bloggers, Karen Rose Smith. So pull up a swing and let's talk writing, romance, or just life in general...

Hi, everyone! It's good to be blogging with you. I'm excited about my May and June releases. My May release HER MR. RIGHT? is a romance that takes place in a broader context - a hospital takeover. The book wrote easily because I've had too much personal experience with doctors and hospitals! But my experience lent reality to my descriptions and secondary characters. Writing what I knew about made plotting and tempo easy. It also added depth to my heroine - a social worker in the hospital setting.

My June release is the second book in my Dads in Progress series. Sam is probably my most likeable hero in the series. He is a veterinarian so I had the chance to add another one of my loves to the book, a fondness for animals. My heroine is a veterinary assistant and she also loves animals. So these two characters were meant for each other. This heroine also is a bit different from some of my heroines - more guarded until Sam brings out her best qualities.

I'd love to discuss any aspects about writing that interest you, so feel free to ask questions and to comment.

Have a great Monday.

Karen Rose Smith

Check out more about Karen at her website . And don't forget her May release from Silhouette Special Edition, Her Mr. Right?.

Tomorrow we'll be hanging out with author Nicola Marsh, so stop back by for a cool drink and conversation. Boy, the Playground is booming this week!


KRS said...

It's morning everyone! Come join me in a cup of coffee and a discussion. What are your goals for this week?


Playground Monitor said...

I'm not a big coffee drinker but I have my cup of hot tea here. My goals? Sadly writing isn't on this week's list. I have an eye doctor appointment later this morning, a visit to the fitness center this afternoon and an aerobics class tonight. Sometime I have to paint the spot in the bathroom ceiling where we had a leak last month. And I have a project for my RWA chapter to start. My Red Hat ladies are having lunch on Thursday and since I've missed the last two lunches, I really need to go. Thursday night is aerobics again, and I have to squeeze in two more visits to Curves.

Oh, gee -- there are some empty days in there. Maybe my characters will start talking again and let me write about them.

Great to see you again Karen. I enjoyed HER MR. RIGHT as well as THE DADDY DILEMMA. I look forward to reading THE DADDY PLAN because I have a book I've been working on for way too many years with a similar premise.


Kathy said...

So glad you came to play, Karen!

What attracted you to the line you write in?

You said ideas for this book came from your experience with hospitals. How do you normally come up with your story ideas? And do you usually have to do a lot of research for them?

Are you a panster or a plotter and what it your process?

And most importantly, are you a Capt. Jack Sparrow fan?

Thanks for any and all answers to these questions. Have a great day!

Problem Child said...

Morning Karen! So glad you're here.

My main goal for this week is to get a handle on the next book--plot, conflict, *something* other than "there's this guy who meets this girl..."

I'm worried a bit about the 'sophomore slump'--actually writing because someone else has contracted me to do so is a bit frightening. I'll take any words of wisdom...

MaryF said...

Hello Karen!
Your new story sounds interesting (like you; I have plenty of experience with hospitals) and I'd like to see how you write about it.

As for me; I'm drinking my coffee and my goal this week is Three- fold:

1. To continue to write on my current manuscript.
2. Start working on my pitch for June 14, with Brenda.
3. Grudgingly show up to my day job. *sigh*
ok...its four-fold
Try not to panic and let my inner critic halt all progress.
Other than that; all's well!

And finally, Who was your favorite hero to write?

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Karen!

Goals? Survival? :-) I'll have both of the girls at the office with me on Thursday and Friday so anything I need to accomplish is goign to have to be first thing this week.

I'm working on a contest entry right now - writing the first chapter - and I owe my editor an updated synopsis that I'd like to get to her by the end of this week.

Oh, and a dentist appointment. And chapter accouting. And monthly invoicing for the day job...


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Wow, is Blogger misbehaving this morning or is it just me? Been trying to get here for the last hour.

Hi, Karen! I have my coffee (I think I slept 3 hours last night, not sure why, unless it's the WIP and the book about to go out the door....) and I definitely need it.

Goals this week:

1. Send off my editor-requested full -- TODAY.

2. Get back to WIP so I can get it to different editor ASAP.

3. Get my fat behind on the treadmill (I was doing so good until the in-laws arrived!).

I think Kathy has great questions, so I'll sit back and wait for the answers to those. :)

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome Karen. Glad you could stop by today.

I'm wishing I had a diet coke right now. My brain is mush after the weekend.

Goals? Right now, I'm trying to get my synopsis together for my next book. I need to start writing it soon, but after the whirlwind of the last one, my brain doesn't want to cooperate. It wants to go to the beach.

Then there's always my day job cramping my style.


KRS said...

Hi, Marilyn. You've got a busy week! Good luck with it. I need quiet time for my charactes to talk to me. This week digging out that time will be tough for me, too.

Kathy--I get my story ideas everywhere. Traveling helps-simply being in airports, hearing converstaions from different people than I'm usually with, going places I haven't gone before for a while--car shopping, etc. I write a lot of baby stories so the Discovery Health channel is good, too.

I research them more than I use! I have to be grounded in the subject and that takes a lot more research than what's on the page. For THE DADDY PLAN, I had to search artificial insemination, veterinary tech qualification, etc.

I'm definitely a plotter. Becuase of fibromyalgia and now fractured vertebrae, I'm in pain all the time. I need that roadmap so I can write even when I don't feel like it!

Problem child--THe fear is a good thing. It means you care. But you have to get around it either by talking it through to the root, using music to get you someplace else, using anything to get you someplace else! I'm facing surgery at the end of the week and the fear is a problem for me this week with working. But I'm able to put it aside for short periods of time and write.

Maryf--Favorite hero all time to write about was Brady in The Bracelet.

Instigator, Smarty Pants
and Lynn--Hi! Glad you're here.


MaryF said...

Surgery is scary; sorry you have to face that; but if it relieves pain I hope it turns out to be a good thing for you. I am wishing you a very speedy recovery.

Do you have any deadlines to meet before the surgery? (That would stress me!)I hope you have time to rest.

Angel said...

Yep, Blogger (or my computer) is definitely finicky this morning. This is my third attempt to even get here!

My main goal for this week is to survive at home with my children. :)

Actually, I'm aiming to get my synopsis and pitch done, and hopefully edit chapters 1 and 2. Plus finish at least one of the tables I'm refinishing for my husband's business. Oh, and deal with 3 clients this week. :) Should be a busy one, but that's good. Keeps me from crawling into my hermit hole.

Here's hoping your surgery goes well, Karen! How do you manage to put aside your concerns and pain and focus on your writing? I have a very hard time with that.


Sherry W. said...

Hi Karen! Running late - Blogger did NOT want to come out and play today.

I have always enjoyed reading your work but somehow missed Her Mr. Right. But I'll fix that soon enough.

Sorry to hear about your surgery and I hope everything goes well!

KRS said...

Maryf, Angel, Sherryw--Thanks for the well wishes. Yes, I have deadlines. I'm in the middle of a three book contract. I finished one book after I did this, I have a synopsis to send in for the next book, and I have a deadline at the end of August. I am distracted this week but up to now have used work to keep from thinking about the rest. But my brain just doesn't want to plot this morning! I have five chapters left to figure out and I think I'm going to go back to my research to see if I can shake up ideas!

Also, it's a beautiful day outside in PA. I opened all the windows, birds are chirping and calling to me. But my kitties are keeping me company and I WILL get this done.

KRS said...

Speaking of plotting... Yes, I'm taking a break. But I finished plotting two more chapters. How do you plot when you plot? What drives the action? Is it a structure of the story itself? Is it emotion? Is it character background? Is it holidays or events?

Angel said...

For me, plotting is comprised of several pieces: conflict/events, character, and emotion/motivation. When I'm putting together a synopsis, I have to know not just what happens, but why it happens. What is each event teaching the characters? How is it giving them what they want or taking away what they need? What is the character's motivation for their behavior?

This stems from the fact that my writing is very emotionally based. Also, conflict must play into the action. Giving and taking away what characters' need and want. Making sure what fulfills one character opposes what the other thinks they need, etc.

Yep, I'm a little detail obsessed...


Liza said...

My blogger has been acting up all day(maybe my computer too). Welcome Karen! I have Her Mr. Right in my TBR pile. My day includes working until 5, heading to the gym, and going home and cleaning my house. If I get it done tonight, I can read every night this week after work and the gym.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

You plotters scare me. *grin*

Angel, that's just frightening! An outline with emotions? Ack!

I think, think, think for a long time about a character. I see situations, feel the emotions as, in my head, two people who seem unsuited for each other get together. And then one day, I sit down and write. I don't ask myself what someone wants in a scene. It'd probably be easier if I did.

But, for me, it's an organic process where what comes next grows out of where I am at any given moment in my life, head, world, etc. I could no more plot ahead a whole bunch of emotion/reaction units than I could sprout wings.

Dang, I wish I could though. It'd be easier.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I meant easier than what I do, btw, which is feel my way along like the three blind mice. I didn't mean to suggest that writing is easier for the plotters! I just mean I think it'd be easier *for me* if I could do it. :)

KRS said...

Angel--The way you plot is essentially the way I plot. Though recently, maybe because of the storylines I'm choosing, I write the synopsis, but then let my characters have their way with it, taking it in the best direction for them.

Liza--I give myself rewards when I finish my quota for the day, whether it be playing with the cats, making jewelry or listening to a new suspense thriller on tape.

Lynn Raye--I used to know mostly every thought in my characters' heads before I started a book. But now I'm finding I let them introduce themselves to me from a starting point I know but then going much deeper to make each situation unique. Maybe because I do so many books about babies and pregnant moms, I keep searching for those more unique moments in each book.

Just a thought I wanted to throw out for the final one of the day...I use creative visualization a lot for pain control and meditation. Sometimes I also use it for character development. I just go into a room with my characters--or one at a time--and let them talk to me about what is most important to them. I found it introduces new facets I never expected to use in plotting the book.

It's been great being here with you today. I wish everyone tons of success...or whatever dream you would like to reach with your writing.

I'll check back in tomorrow morning to respond to any final comments.


Nicola Marsh said...

Hi Karen :)

I love the scope of SE stories.
Do you have open slather when submitting your next synopsis? Or are you still fairly guided as to what topics you can and can't tackle?

Playground Monitor said...

Karen, I have fibromyalgia too, so I understand about the pain. Sometimes I just have to dig deep and find a place where I can block it out. I am blessed to not have as serious a case as many folks, and discovering and treating a sleep disorder has helped tremendously.

Good luck with your surgery.


KRS said...

Nicola--Hi! Thanks for stopping in. I couldn't get into the blog yesterday. Today I had no problem.

I think the romances I write for SSE are a slice of life with a softer edge. But in this market my editor and I both have are eye on what readers want most. Past sales help evaluate that for me.

Marliyn--Thanks for the good wishes.

Everyone--Have a great week.