Karen Berner, author of Until My Soul Gets It Right, launches her book tour
Have you ever looked around at your home, your family, your life and wondered “Really? This is me?” What happened to that person who was going to live in a penthouse in New York City? Travel to the Arctic Circle? Save the world? We’ve all had those moments where we wonder if we’ve stumbled into the wrong life.
Of course, Catherine Ebert of Until My Soul Gets It Right has the moments more frequently than most of us. In fact, every time something goes wrong in her life she looks around and decides it’s time to move on to the next town, the next life, the next re-creation of herself.
Don’t miss the latest book in the Bibliophiles Series that follows Catherine, the actress of the group, as she searches for her real life.
Publisher: CreateSpace (May 23, 2012)
Twitter Hashtag: #Bibliophiles2
Until My Soul Gets It Right is available in paperback and e-format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local independent bookstore.
Book Giveaway Contests: If you would like to win a copy of Until My Soul Gets It Right, please enter the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, September 21 at 12:01 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
Book Giveaway Contest–Part Two: If you would like to win a copy of the Book One in the Bibliophiles Series: A Whisper to a Scream, visit Karen’s blog Bibliophilic Blather on Tuesday, September 18 for more details.
About the Author:
However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune of being born amid the glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much so that she majored in English and Communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificent Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the society that surrounds her.
A book lover since she could hold one in her chubby little toddler hands, Karen wanted to announce to the world just how much she loves the written word. She considered getting a bibliophile tattoo but instead decided to write about the lives of the members of a suburban Classics Book Club. The series is called, of course, The Bibliophiles.
When she isn't reading, writing, or spending her time wishing she was Jane Austen, Karen spends her time can be found sipping tea or wine, whichever is more appropriate that day, and watching Tim Burton movies or "Chopped," her favorite foodie TV show.
Find the Author Online:
---------Interview by Jodi Webb
WOW: We’re curious about how your series evolved. Why did you decide to create a series?
Karen: I couldn’t help myself. With each book club scene I wrote for A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One), I fell more in love with each of the members and wanted to know more about them. They intrigued me. I had to write their stories.
WOW: Did you plot out several books at once so you could “see where your characters were going” or take it one book at a time?
Karen: I am taking everything one book at a time. I’m not one of those people that plots out everything that will happen ahead of time. I like to let it flow, which is kind of funny, because in my personal life, people think I am pretty anal. I’m the type that plans out an entire trip before I get there, including two sets of driving directions and a trip folder with copies of everything from hotel confirmations to the impending weather forecasts.
WOW: I'd love for you to plan my next trip! (smiles) So what is it like to create a series?
Karen: It’s fantastic. Once I figured out this could be a series, I set out to make it a little different than most. Consequently, although there will be book club scenes in each novel, the protagonists change, giving each story a very different feel. It is the best of both worlds, writing six distinct books but joining them together under the Bibliophiles umbrella.
WOW: Unlike most series that revisit not only the same characters but also the same setting Until My Soul Gets It Right takes place somewhere completely different, in fact in several spots around the country. How did you choose the places where Catherine would grow up and transplant herself throughout her life? Were they places that are significant to you and, if not, how did you create such amazingly vivid settings?
Karen: My mother spent a few summers on a farm in Hayward, Wisconsin. She absolutely loved it. Riding horses. Doing farm chores. For me, nothing sounded more terrible. I’m a city girl who still has some urban withdrawal living in the suburbs. How does anyone do errands, for example, when the nearest shopping is twenty miles away? I’m a wuss, truth be told, with no understanding of how to live off the land, but with a great appreciation for those who do. Having Catherine grow up on a farm felt right.
As for the other locations, several years back, I went to Maine on a family vacation and visited with friends who live on Peaks Island. Portland is a great place and completely different from the Midwest. And San Diego? Who wouldn’t want to live there? Perfect weather. Gorgeous scenery. Koalas!
While writing the different sections, I had maps of each city sprawled across my desk to ensure I got the locations right. I plotted all of the fictional locations on the real Portland map. Although it is fiction, it’s still important to stay true to some sense of place. Same goes for the San Diego chapters. Books, pictures of the zoo and a map of the area helped me to recreate the feeling of being there. I also wrote a few scenes while I was on the beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado a few years ago.
WOW: You definitely did your research, and it helps ground readers with a strong sense of place. I'm wondering . . . Do you feel readers get more involved with your characters when they are in a series of books? On the flip side, do you ever worry that readers might write you those maddening “Character X would never have done that!” type of letters?
Karen: I hope readers will grow to love the Bibliophiles as much as I do. I don’t worry about the types of letters you mentioned, but I can tell you that when I was doing an appearance at a local book club, one woman basically started yelling at me about why I didn’t get therapy for Annie in A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One), which I found interesting. I was happy she cared so much about the character to have such a strong opinion.
WOW: Some people have a love/hate relationship with book series. They love following their favorite characters on adventure after adventure but they hate jumping into a series in the middle. Have you experienced the positives of series (readers clamoring for your next book) or the negatives (readers saying, “Well, since I didn’t read the first book I’ll pass.”)
Karen: Most readers have been very kind and are excited about the upcoming books. That said, each Bibliophiles novel can be read as a stand alone as well as within the series. I think that is important. I realize series require a huge time commitment for readers, so with mine, they can pick and choose which they find interesting.
Also, for those who prefer to start at the beginning, I am hosting a contest on my blog Bibliophilic Blather to win free copies of the first novel, A Whisper to a Scream. Visit http://karenwojcikberner.blogspot.com/ for details.
WOW: Recently on the Muffin, various bloggers have been posting about writing habits. Can you tell us a little about your writing day? How do you keep yourself motivated when you hit a brick wall or the demands of your non-writing life seem to take over?
Karen: I don’t have a set schedule. Some days, I concentrate exclusively on the books, while others are spent soliciting for flash fiction pieces for Flash Fiction Fridays on my blog, Bibliophilic Blather, or writing the week’s blog posts. Still other days are all about my freelance account and/or marketing. Then there are those glorious days when the muses visit, and I drop everything for fiction. Those are the most fun.
No matter what is on the agenda, the day begins right after my youngest leaves for school and continues until dinner, with periodic breaks for football carpool, a Starbucks run or texting my oldest in college. Oh yeah, and the weekends. I usually work some then as well.
I am really striving to achieve some sort of work/life balance, which is a bit easier now that my sons are older. I think it is something all women battle every day, don’t you think?
WOW: Definitely, it seems no matter what our passion, our job, our family life we have so many things vying for our attention and our time. So, for those of us still laboring over our first book, does it get any easier?
Karen: I hesitate to say writing the second book was easier, but it was definitely a lot quicker, despite the countless hours I wasted in fits of neurosis with second-book syndrome. You know, doubt, despair, what the heck was I thinking? Repeat.
Once I finished, there was a great sense of relief. The monkey was off my back, and I was ready to write more. I penned my upcoming holiday short story, “A Bibliophiles’ Christmas” (due out November 1) featuring Sarah and Annie from Whisper and began notes for book three.
WOW: What was the most important thing you learned while writing the Bibliophiles Series?
Karen: So much of writing is listening. Listening to the world around us. Listening to the characters as they reveal themselves to you. Listening to their speech patterns, side comments, their beliefs. Letting the characters tell their stories.
Although I write in third person, I am by no means the great and powerful Oz-like omniscient. Sometimes, I start one scene, get into a flow and finish on an entirely different track.
WOW: Bibliophiles isn’t your traditional series with one main character and a group of quirky minor characters. Instead it’s about a group—a book club—and in each book a different member plays the starring role. Can you tell us who will be getting the star treatment in the next book?
Karen: Book Three will focus on Spring, the daughter of leftover flower children from the sixties, and Thaddeus, the computer programmer with the heart of a poet. It should be a fun juxtaposition of writing styles between the mellow, chilled vibe of Spring and the prim, anglophile Thaddeus. Another exciting thing about this novel is that it will be my first time writing a male protagonist. Work on it has already begun, but I am not sure when it will be released yet. Hopefully around this time next year, but we shall see how it goes.
WOW: It sounds fun, and we can’t wait to hear about the challenges of writing for a male character!
---------Blog Tour Dates
Tuesday, September 18 @ Bibliophilic Blather
Stop by Karen’s blog to learn how to win the first book in the Bibliophiles Series!
Wednesday, September 19 @ A Writer’s Life
Learn more about Karen Berner and the second book in her Bibiliophiles series today.
Friday, September 21 @ Book Spark
Try your hand at a quiz on Shakespeare—a favorite of Catherine, the main character of Until My Soul Gets It Right by Karen Berner. Then enter to win a copy of this can't-put-it-down novel!
Tuesday, September 25 @ Empty Nest
Don't miss today's review of Until My Soul Gets It Right, book two in the Bibliophiles Series by Karen Berner.
Wednesday, September 26 @ Musings from the Slushpile
In the mood for a Bibliophile's Tour of Chicago? Join us for today's tour with author Karen Berner as your guide. You can also win a copy of Berner's novel Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Thursday, September 27 @ Donna’s Book Pub
When the going gets tough, the tough get going...at least that's the motto of the latest star of the Bibliophiles Series by Karen Berner. Don't miss a review of Until My Soul Gets it Right.
Friday, September 28 @ CMash Loves to Read
Have some fun today when Karen Berner tells you how to "Be a Character: Dressing Up Like Your Favorite Literary Hero/Heroine" Don't miss out a chance to win Karen's latest book, Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Sunday, September 30 @ Fresh Fiction
Stop by for a bit of Shakespeare from Karen Berner's latest character and a chance to win her latest book: Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Tuesday, October 2 @ Thoughts in Progress
Learn how to organize your own classics book club and enter to win Until My Soul Gets It Right, Book Two in Karen Berner's series The Bibliophiles.
Wednesday, October 4 @ Words by Webb
Stop by for thoughts on a new kind of book series and a chance to win A Whisper to a Scream by Karen Berner.
Thursday, October 4 @ Kerrific
Get the scoop on the second book in Karen Berner's Bibliophiles series: Until My Soul Gets It Right with today's review.
Friday, October 5 @ Kritters Ramblings
Can Karen Berner follow up the success of her debut novel A Whisper to a Scream with her new novel Until My Soul Gets It Right? You bet! Don't miss today's review!
Saturday, October 6 @ Kritters Ramblings
Can’t get enough of Karen Berner. To celebrate Book Two in the Bibliophiles Series she’s back for Day Two at Kritters Ramblings with a guest post.
Sunday, October 7 @ Writer Unboxed
Looking for some extra fun this Halloween? Author Karen Berner has some ideas for throwing a Literary Halloween Bash. And if you hate coming in after the first act this is your chance to win BOTH books in Karen's Bibliophile Series and meet all her characters from the very beginning.
Monday, October 8 @ Melissa’s Midnight Musings
Melissa's getting in the mood for Karen Berner's tour with her latest book by reviewing her first book: A Whisper to a Scream. Come back Wednesday for Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Tuesday, October 9 @ Lovey Dovey Books
Learn how to organize your own classic book club and learn more about Karen Berner's new addition to the Bibliophiles series: Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Wednesday, October 10 @ Melissa’s Midnight Musings
If you threw Halloween and literature in a pot and stirred, what would you get? Stop by and find out with a fun guest post from Karen Berner, author of the novel Until My Soul Gets It Right.
Thursday, October 11 @ Celtic Lady Reviews
Don't miss a visit from the author of the Bibliophile Series, Karen Berner!
Friday, October 12 @ Writer’s Corner
You don't even need a ticket for today's journey! Karen Berner, author of Until My Soul Gets It Right is taking everyone on a Bibliophile's Guide to Portland Maine.
To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar here. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a copy of Until My Soul Gets It Right! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget this Friday, September 21.
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