Today my guest is Karen K Samoranos. When not writing, Karen co-manages a music education business in Santa Clara County, California, with her husband, Clifford, that focuses on jazz theory and live stage performance for children ages 5 through 18. She has four adult children and two young grandchildren. In her off hours, she runs 3+ miles daily, hikes, fishes, rides motorcycles (dirt and street), and is an advocate for daily exercise, red wine, and whole foods.
Links to Karen on the web:
Links to books:
"Road Apples" and "The Curious Number".
Books can also be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I live in a very liberal region of California (the Bay Area), but I also reside part-time in a rural town in northeastern California, that tends to be fairly conservative politically and socially. In The Curious Number, I focused on interracial relationships, from the era of the 1950s, to the evolution of social ideals over a span of fifty years. It's the resistance to change in small town America, even in progressive California, that fascinates me, and gave me the inspiration for the story and characters in The Curious Number.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
From start to finish, The Curious Number involved approximately six months of outlining, character development, and historical research. I have to be very careful to weave a believable story without any loose threads.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Character development is my absolute first, followed closely by planning for shock value, which is always softened by a love affair (or sex). I enjoy the humanity of my characters, and I make a point to put a good "bombshell" element into novels - the kind where you say, "Gee, I didn't see that coming–!"
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Finding the tiny quirks, such as semicolons where they don't belong, or extra commas and periods. Misused quotation marks, that sort of mundane, and yet very important detail. It was a real challenge (pain) before I acquired Word for my Mac. Now the program really helps me through that tedious task.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
The late Wilma Mankiller, who was principal chief of the Cherokee Nation for a decade (1985-1995). She had a great sense of community, purpose and humility, and learned how to work effectively with people despite ego issues on either side. I admire her greatly for her accomplishments, and I know I'm not worthy of walking in her footprints.
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I have a half-full jar of shrimp paste, known as Alamang, that's at least ten years old. Alamang is highly salted, smells to high heaven like a fish just on the verge of stink, but is the perfect addition to certain Filipino dishes such as tomatoes and pork with tabungao (a Philippine calabash). I recommend only opening the jar once you're ready to scoop, and then closing it up quickly. The stuff is potent.
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Continuing love stories, despite my literary cynicism and my preference for the provocative. I think love is enduring, and if you spice it up with enough tasteful sex, it's a hell of a lot of fun to read about.