Born from the genetic mash-up of lesser royalty, storytellers, wanderers and dreamers, KARINA COOPER was destined to be a creative genius. As a child, she moved all over the country like some kind of waifish blonde gypsy and thrived in the new cultures her family settled in. When she (finally) grew up, she skipped the whole genius part and fell in love with writing because, really, who doesn’t love making things up for a living?One part romance fanatic, one part total dork, and all imagination, she writes dark and sexy paranormal romance and urban fantasy. When she isn’t writing, Karina is an airship captain’s wife and Steampunk fashionista. She lives in the beautiful and rainy Pacific Northwest with a husband, four cats, two rabbits, the fantasy of a dog, and a passel of adopted gamer geeks.
Jonas Stone has been given his first independent operation: rescue the insurrection leader’s imprisoned grandson from the Mission. Getting the job done means more than getting Danny Granger out-it means staying with him while he heals. Staying too close, for way too long.Danny is everything Jonas isn’t: confident, optimistic, honest--a man to be reckoned with. If only it didn’t mean going against everything Jonas has planned. He’s kept his secrets for years, hid behind a mask no one could see through...until now. Danny isn’t the kind of man Jonas deserves. But he might be exactly the man he needs...
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
To be perfectly honest, it was an article I read about how LGBTQ kids in the mid-west are suffering under a policy that gags teachers from addressing LGBT language—in any capacity. It basically went on to say that LGBT bullying—whether directed at a straight kid or otherwise—was at an all-time high, because teachers are threatened with suspension if they so much as breathe anything that promotes or acknowledges equality in the school room.
That means that if a kid is calling another kid “gay”, there’s no way to address it. What can they say? “Don’t do that” is met with “why?” and these kids are long past the age when “It’s not polite to call someone names,” actually matters. Kids need to be told why it’s hurtful, and what kind of damage slurs can do to a community, but teachers are muzzled. So kids get away with it. They persecute these kids to such a degree, that LGBTQ-related suicides are not uncommon.
That is no way to raise our children.
I decided that I wanted to reach out somehow, to let these kids know—however I could—that I was out here, and that I respect them. I support them. And that there are ways to get help; it does get better. To that end, I wrote an email to my editor and said, “Hey. I have this story I want to tell, and I don’t know if there’s a home for it, but it’s about Jonas Stone, and his struggle to find his shot at love. He’s gay, he’s struggled, and in the end, it’s going to get better for him.”
She wrote back almost immediately. “I love this idea.”
So, here I am, talking about Wicked Lies, and donating every cent I make to the It Gets Better Project. Because Jonas deserves his shot at happily ever after, and so do these kids.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
It took me two weeks to write it, given my pace, and another week to agonize over it. Wicked Lies came pretty quickly—I knew where I wanted to go, I just wasn’t sure how Danny would do in the setting. Turns out, he’s just as cheerful trapped in a room with a damaged man as he is anywhere.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Everything. I mean, sure, there’s issues inherent in every job, but come on: I tell lies for a living. I make up stories, I weave life into it. I love my job. I can set my own hours, work as hard as I want to, take risks. I’ve been super fortunate in the support I’ve found, and I owe so many people so much thanks—Avon’s cover artists, my editorial team, my agent, all of my readers, everyone.
I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. I’m living my dream.
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The long, hard days when I’m overwhelmed by work—when I’m working on a deadline and a copyedit just came in, there’s cover copy waiting to be edited and blogs to write. When there aren’t enough hours in the day and I’m showing signs of Repetitive Stress Injury.
But you know? I still wouldn’t trade it.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Do you know? I thought about this for a while, and I can’t think of a single person I’d want to be for a day. Can you imagine the hassle they have to put up with? No, thank you! I’ll stick with my currently non-famous self and revisit after ten years.
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I have this bag of frozen meatballs in my freezer. It’s been there for two years. I keep meaning to throw it out, and instead, I just keep piling stuff on top of it. I’m thinking, maybe one day, I can create an ice bag out of the solid block of meatballness. When it turns to mush, it’ll conform really nicely around whatever limb I’ve wounded next.
That totally could work, right?
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
More Dark Mission! The last, actually. One for the Wicked wraps up the final confrontation between good and evil in the city of New Seattle, and we’ll get to see how Jonas and Danny work out their differences.
Afterwards, we’ll be seeing more from Cherry St. Croix, including another charity novella!
Thanks so much for having me, I’m so glad I got to stay a while. May you have many hours of fabulous reading!