Hi guys, we have Karrie Roman visiting us today with her debut novel Saved, we have a fantastic interview with Karrie, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~
Detective Jack Mitchell is not a people person. After fourteen years dealing with the monsters of society, he has learned to keep people at arm’s length. Failing is his biggest frustration, and on the case of his career, he is having no luck hunting down a copycat serial killer…or the one man who survived the original case.
Six years ago, Will Blaikie was taken by a monster who changed his life forever. Narrowly surviving, he has become a prisoner in his own home. Friendless and alone, he watches in horror as a new monster emerges who only wants to copy the murderous deeds of Will’s monster…including taking Will.
When these two men are thrown together, and the monster comes for them both, one must learn to feel safe and protected, and the other must learn to feel love and peace.
Karrie Roman Interview!
When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
I wrote an almost complete novel about twenty-two years ago. It was a horror story, I was reading a lot of Dean Koontz at the time. I didn’t have the confidence then to do anything with it or show anyone. Then life kind of got in the way, but there was always that niggle in the back of my mind that I wanted to write. Saved was actually the next story I wrote.
Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I’m really lucky at the moment that I am able to take some time away from work. Other than the usual chores involved in maintaining a home for four people, that leaves me plenty of time to write. I don’t follow a schedule, I am an incredibly disorganised person so I really should. I usually fill my days while my boys are at school and my husband is at work with writing. Sometimes I have to hop up in the middle of the night if an idea or scene bursts into my head and I always carry a notebook with me in case I’m out and about and need to write an idea down.
Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
All I really know when I start out is that the two main characters will be doing whatever they have to do to get their happily ever after. I usually start with the character profiles and that drives the story. How they would react to situations, what they would do for the people they love. I may throw problems and events at them but I let the characters tell me the story. I don’t use a detailed outline at all, rather I tend to list certain scene ideas and it all flows from there. I also tend to use music to help me. So for example with Jack Mitchell I imagined him listening to classic rock and his personality developed from there, so I listen to classic rock when I wrote for him to kind of set the mood.
Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?
I came across the MM genre in 2011. I read Travis by Nicole Edwards, which has a triad relationship, but there were some scenes with just the two men and I thought ‘oh my God, wow, that was awesome.’ And bam! I was hooked. After that I sought out other MM novels and I pretty much read the genre exclusively now. I love it so much and I thought I’d really like to have a go at writing something myself. I’ve been a reader all my life- thrillers, mysteries, horror, historical- anything, but I never really got into romances until I discovered MM. I can’t explain it to be honest, but both reading and writing gives me a lot of joy.
How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
It depends what I’m writing. I research the situations, for example what happens when you shoot a gun at a door, because I haven’t experienced things like that in my life. I try to get things as correct as possible and research can be really fascinating. There is a lot of me and my friends and family in my characters because I find it easier to write what I know. To try to get that authenticity for my characters, I’ve found people are the best source. I ask myself and people I know what they would do if this happened to them. Not everyone reacts the same, obviously, but it does help.
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
Oh definitely creating the title. Character names just kind of pop into my head or come from people I know or meet. Right or wrong I tend to associate certain names with certain personalities. For example I tend to think of Jack as a name for a tough, sexy kind of man, I think that came from Jack Bauer in 24 and so it seemed the perfect name for Jack Mitchell. Until, I think, two days before I sent Saved to publishers I was still calling it “my craptacular book.” It took a couple of bourbons with my mate, Angela, for us to came up with the title of Saved.
How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
Well I tell them I’ve written a gay romance/thriller. A couple of times there has been stunned silence so I go on to say it’s like any other romance or thriller but the main characters just happen to be two men. I’ve been surprised by how many people didn’t know the genre existed- but they do now. I have also been really delighted with how many people think it’s great.
What does your family think of your writing?
My poor deluded husband sees dollar signs and I’ve had to explain to him that JK Rowling level of success is the exception and not the rule and he shouldn’t make plans to retire just yet. My mum had similar thoughts, she thought I was going to be “the Jackie Collins of the MM world.” My husband has declined to read my book but my mum plans to when she gets a copy- not sure how she’ll go but it should be interesting. My sons are eighteen and sixteen and they are thrilled. They are really proud of me and have told all of their friends. They’ve both read a snippet from Saved and both enjoyed it. I’m hoping my sixteen year old follows me into writing because he is crazy talented.
Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
I’ve written a two book series about a Syrian refugee in Australia who meets and falls in love with a young Australian man. The first book Hope is finished and the second book Courage is almost done. I wrote it after seeing some images coming out of Syria and I spent the day crying and I thought to myself what if that was my family and I was watching them being pulled out of the rubble and it kind of grew from there. I’ve done a lot of research on refugees, particularly those coming out of war zones and it is so heartbreaking. I’ve got about four other ideas at the moment so I’m not sure which one I will start next, I guess it depends on which characters scream at me the loudest.
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
Keep going. Don’t be afraid to show people your work. Not everyone will enjoy it and that’s okay- how boring if we were all the same. If you hit a block and can’t think of how the story should go, walk away, listen to some music or do something else you enjoy and you’ll probably find the ideas come to you. Write what you want to read.
If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
That’s a hard one. I’d like to go forward and see how all the craziness of this world turns out but I think I’d go back to when I was younger and tell myself everything that I know now. Like lots of people I wasted a lot of time doing things I really didn’t want to do because I was too scared to try and do what I really wanted. I would also tell my younger self that when my husband asks one day if I want to move to Queensland the answer should be NO, no way, because it’s hot here, too damn hot.
We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter (does not need to be sexual) between two characters, not your own, who would they be?
Oh so, so many, and wouldn’t that be awesome!! Um if I have to choose just one then I would have to say Jack and Ethan from Tal Bauer’s The Executive Office series. I love them, I love their interactions. Everything about them as a couple is amazing. I really think I could sit and watch and listen to them all day every day no matter what they were doing. Actually it’s books like that I would love to see made into a movie or TV show. Maybe one day…
If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
Please don’t, it’s embarrassingly filled with chocolate and cheesecake. I’d like to say that’s a rare thing and it’s usually filled with fruit and vegies, but I would be blatantly lying.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Invisibility. I could get a lot of good done if I could sneak into places and sort things out. I’m not sure I could be trusted to use my power only for good though- so many locker rooms, so little time. I guess that’s why I’ll never have that power bestowed upon me.
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Jack Mitchell. He’s how I always wished I could be: confident, tough, goes after what he wants, a cop and most importantly he has Will.
If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
A little cottage in the middle of nowhere where it would be cold, maybe even lightly snowing. There’d have to be a stream nearby and mountains all around. There would be a log fire for my cat Lu to curl up in front of, a cupboard full of tea and a fridge full of chocolate.
What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
My family will probably be cranky if I don’t say them and they’re right. I wouldn’t be living if I didn’t have them. They drive me absolutely bonkers at times but I am the luckiest person in the world because I have them. And now they’ll laugh at me for being corny- I can’t win with them.
What internet site do you surf to the most?
Probably Goodreads looking for new books to read. To be honest the internet terrifies me. My oldest son is an IT wiz, I suspect one day the Federal Police will come knocking to either recruit him or jail him, but he is trying to ease me into it, especially social media. I really just use the internet as a tool to get things done so I don’t do a lot of surfing.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
TJ Klune because I love his books and I suspect he’d be as hilarious as some of his characters. Agatha Christie because I think she had the most amazing mind. I’ve read all of her books and am ashamed to say that I only figured out who did it and how once. Thomas Harris because Hannibal Lecter scared the bejesus out of me and I’d really like to know what someone who can write something so terrifying is really like.
When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
Disbelief. I think I read it three times looking for how I was misreading it. Then I got my husband to read it so he could confirm for me that I wasn’t misreading it at all. Then I screamed a little and showed my kids and friends. Every time I showed someone I would ask them to confirm I hadn’t made a mistake. Weeks later I still couldn’t quite believe it.
Saved, Karrie Roman © 2017, All Rights Reserved
Will Blaikie didn’t often watch the news. It wasn’t because he preferred to bury his head in the sand about the world. More often than not, he was just protecting himself. He knew very well what happened out there, and he didn’t often want to be reminded of it. He had one television in his house, a smallish thirty-four-inch flat screen that was mounted over his fireplace. It was rarely on other than for movies or, of course, for The Walking Dead.
Tonight Will needed the background noise though. So he had left the TV on after watching a repeat of last season’s final episode before the new Walking Dead season kicked off in a couple of weeks. He would proudly admit to being a diehard fan if anyone asked. He could hear the news broadcast begin from the kitchen where he was whipping up a quick stir-fry. There was no point in elaborate and complicated meals if you were only ever cooking for one. The breaking news item immediately caught his attention and left him cold.
Hesitantly making his way to the TV, he picked up the remote and rewound, wanting to have misheard. He hit play when the giant red breaking news banner crossed the screen. Will stood listening as a flawlessly presented, heavily made-up woman, who smiled entirely too much throughout her report, confirmed his worst fears.
“Police have yet to confirm the discovery of a second body with the all-too-familiar cross carved into the chest. Having viewed the body found in a semirural field today, I can confirm that a cross was indeed carved into the deceased’s chest. An unnamed police source unofficially confirmed that this was the second body found bearing the cross. Sydney-siders will remember the Beecroft Butcher from six years ago when the city was paralysed with fear during the yearlong killing spree. Twelve men were killed before the killer, Russell Coburn, was finally—”
He only just made it to the bathroom before the entire contents of his stomach came up. Will draped himself over the toilet seat, heaving and sweating as he vomited into the bowl until nothing but bitter bile remained in him. He could still hear the low mumble from the television, but thankfully, no words were clearly audible. He’d heard enough—too much. His entire body shook, and he imagined his mind would look a picture of complete panic and chaos if he could peer inside it right now. He lay on the cool tiles, curling his body around the toilet bowl, unconvinced there would be no more vomiting. He felt a wet nose snuffle against his arm and reached back to give a reassuring pat to Henley. The furry dog took up his position, laying himself practically on top of his master. Protecting him as always, not just from physical harm, but from the mental hurt Will was now threatened with.
An hour and a half later, both Will and Henley were still curled up together on the bathroom floor. Though his body was still wracked with tremors, they were easing as was the chaos in his head. Could this really be happening again?
Karrie lives in Australia’s sunshine state with her husband and two sons, though she hates the sun with a passion. She dreams of one day living in the wettest and coldest habitable place she can find. She has been writing stories in her head for years but has finally managed to pull the words out of her head and share them with others. She spends her days trying to type her stories on the computer without disturbing her beloved cat Lu curled up on the keyboard. She probably reads far too much.