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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You Gotta Lotta ’Splainin’ to Do, Karen McQuestion


Fast Lane is with a proofreader now, and it is my hope to make it available in the next week to ten days. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a look into the mind of Karen McQuestion, whose newest book, Secrets of the Magic Ring, comes out Nov. 8.

M Magazine reported a couple months ago that Karen had sold half a million books. That puts me only 499,995 behind her, but she has no problem remembering what it was like when the counter was at zero, since she started publishing them just two years ago.

Some of her books, especially Easily Amused, contain elements commonly found in romance novels, but she says they’re not really romances. I asked her to ’splain, and here are her ’splanations:

A Scattered Life, Easily Amused and Favorite pit your heroines against female antagonists. Do you think readers can identify because every woman has a female nemesis somewhere in her life?
When my kids were little, I did daycare in my home, and I noticed a striking difference in the way boys and girls treat conflict. Boys (and I’m generalizing here, of course) were more forthright. If they had a problem with another kid, they put it out there, front and center. And when the conflict was over, it was over. It was never spoken of again, and no grudges were held.

Girls, on the other hand, could be sneaky. The girls in my care had the faces of angels, but were masters of duplicity and manipulation. They’d target another little girl and say things like, “I’m going to have the biggest, best birthday party in the world, and I’m inviting everyone but you!”

How do you fight against something like that?

In my opinion, women make more interesting opponents. I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more women villains in fiction and the movies. And yes, I hope readers can identify, because it seems to me that every woman has had a female nemesis in her life at one time or another.

If Easily Amused isn’t a romance novel, what is it? How is it different from a romance?
In the past, I’ve referred to it as a romantic comedy with more comedy and less romance. It’s probably technically a chick lit novel, but since I’ve read that chick lit is dead, I was reluctant to label it as such.

How is it different from a romance? Heck if I know.

In Easily Amused, Lola says she never wondered what Hubert looked like naked. I don’t get that. They knew each other in high school, and when I was in high school, I wondered what all females looked like naked—even my platonic friends. What does it take for a woman to wonder what a guy looks like naked?
I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Dodger dogs? Did you know they have their own Facebook page? And a best-selling book in which they were rated the best hot dogs in baseball.*
I’m sorry to say I really don’t know much about Dodger dogs. In Easily Amused, I used the Dodger dog reference to get a cheap laugh, and kind of forgot about it until I saw your question.

But thanks for letting me know their status as best hot dogs in baseball. I’m always up for learning something new.

As for Facebook, I’m really out of the loop in that department. I have an author page that my publicist set up and I try to update it, but sometimes I completely forget about it. To me, that’s the joy of the Internet. You can be plugged in when you want to be, and opt out if it gets to be too much.


* From Facebook: Dodger Dogs to Fenway Franks: And All the Wieners In Between is a 1988 bestselling book by author Bob Wood. In 1985, the then-28-year-old Wood was a high-school history teacher in Seattle, Washington when he took a trip to all 26 Major League Baseball stadiums in one summer. Wood decided to assign a letter grade in each of eight categories and rank the stadiums from best to worst. Dodger Stadium and Royals Stadium tied for first, while the Astrodome and Exhibition Stadium finished as the two worst.

4 comments:

Karen McQuestion said...

Dave, thanks so much for letting me guest on your blog! I'll have to return the favor, maybe sometime soon?

Dave said...

Yes, but if it's an interview, you have to ask me at least one stupid or obnoxious question.

Karen McQuestion said...

My pleasure! This is going to be good.

Christi Craig said...

Fun interview! I agree, we can learn a lot about heroes and villains by observing kids. And that whole bit about wondering what other people look like naked? Interesting question; excellent response :)