Karenna Colcroft whose most recent release is Eternal Love is my guest today. Here she shares with us her tips for writing, how she got her pen name and what’s next for her. Visit her Web site at http://karennacolcroft.com/
Susan Palmquist (SP)-Your pen name sounds so romantic…how did you come up with it?
Karenna Colcroft (KC)-When I was a kid, I always liked the name Karen; no particular reason, I just liked it. So when I was trying to come up with a first name for my pen name, I decided to use Karen, and added the “na” at the end to give it a softer sound. “Colcroft” was sort of a friend’s idea. I told him I needed a last name for my pen name and he said, “Well, I used to know someone whose last name was Cockroft. That sounds like a good name for an erotic romance author.” I decided “Cockroft” sounded a little too obvious, so I modified it to Colcroft.
SP-Not only are you a writer but a school teacher too. Do any of your students know that you write books? If so, what do they think about it?
KC-I actually don’t teach anymore. Health problems plus a move to a different state (which hassled me about transferring my teaching certification) caused me to leave teaching. However, I started writing romance while I was still working in schools, and my students did know I wrote, they just didn’t know what genre. They thought it was cool.
SP-Pink Petal, Siren, Noble are some of the publishers you’re contracted with. What should a writer look for in a publisher?
KC-In my opinion, it’s vital to do your research on any publisher you choose to submit to before you submit. A writer should look for a publisher that has solid sales, that pays royalties on time, that provides editing and works with the author on edits and revisions, and that offers support in marketing and promotion. If you can take a peek at the publisher’s contract template, do so to make sure there aren’t any red flags. With so many new publishers starting up thanks to the relative ease of e-publishing, it’s important to make sure you’re dealing with a company that knows what they’re doing business-wise and that has their authors’ best interests in mind as well as the company’s best interests.
SP-Tells us about your latest novel, Eternal Love; the plots sounds very interesting.
KC-Eternal Love contains the first erotic scene I ever wrote, which was the scene where… Oh. Wait. I don’t want to give any spoilers. Anyway, it contains the first erotic scene I ever wrote. After I wrote that scene and shared it with the friend I mentioned earlier, who’d challenged me to write it, we realized I didn’t have a short story there, I had part of a novel. He and I brainstormed the rest of the plot, but then it took me two and a half years to actually get around to writing the novel.
I believe in reincarnation, so the idea of an immortal man whose true match was mortal and kept dying and reincarnating intrigued me, as did the idea of a love so strong Rhys would continue seeking Gwen’s reincarnations for hundreds of years. Of course, even when he finds her, things don’t go smoothly; they have to contend with a group of fanatic immortals who think immortals and mortals should remain separate, plus the immortal authorities who want to execute Rhys for murdering another immortal. (Yes, immortals can die—but only if they’re killed with a weapon designed specifically to kill immortals.)
SP-You write a great blog on your site. I found your entry about you writing an erotic romance that really didn’t have any erotic elements to it very interesting. Do you think writers need to be in a certain mood to write say a romance, paranormal etc.
KC-Thanks! I think a writer’s mood definitely impacts what they write. I’ve been going through some personal stress lately that’s made it very hard for me to write any romance at all, because being stressed and anxious makes it hard for me to think in terms of happy relationships and happy endings. On the other hand, my current mood is perfectly suited for the young adult dark urban fantasy I write under a different name, so I’ve been primarily focusing on that. As far as the blog post you mention, in real life sometimes people are in the mood for sex and sometimes they just want to cuddle; I think the same is true of writing. With that particular story, I just wanted to cuddle. (Though I did revise it and put in some pretty hot sex… I was given a revise/resubmit request on it, and that’s next on my to-do list.)
SP-What are you working on right now?
KC-In addition to revising the novella I mentioned above, which needs less angst and more emotion, I’m working on a short story for an anthology that several other authors and I are contributing to in honor of a friend. I have another revise/resubmit request on an MFM novel, which I need to tackle soon, and I have a couple projects going in young adult as well.
SP-If you had to give three tips to aspiring writers what would they be?
KC-Learn the craft of writing. Practice the craft of writing. Keep learning the craft of writing, because you’ll never completely master it, there’s always something new to learn.
SP-Any genres you think you might try in the future or any stories you’re dying to tell?
KC-Someday I’d love to write the story of how my husband and I met. It was such a weird string of coincidences, and we met after we’d each given up on meeting anyone and pretty much fell in love the night we met. I call him my real-life romance hero for many reasons, and that’s one of them. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to write that story, though, because it’s a little too personal and I think I’d get too hung up on getting all the details right. I’d also really like to write an urban fantasy romance; I can write romance, and I can write urban fantasy, but I’ve yet to manage to combine the two.