7 Questions With Writing Team Karen Nappa
Karen Nappa is a bi-continental writing team who create seasoned BDSM Romances with HEAs. Their stories are about ordinary people with kinky preferences. Don’t expect billionaires, werewolves or vampires from them, nor perfect beautiful people. Some of the events in their stories are true to life, others are figments of the imagination.
Tired of romance books with little realism and twenty- and thirty-something characters, they decided ‘if authors don’t write the books we want to read, let us try to write one ourselves.’ Reviewers praised the first installments of Club Indigo for the BDSM Romance, steamy sex, lovable characters, and a great plot.
When not texting, skyping or writing together the American half likes to spin yarn and make quilts, while the Dutch “partner in crime” prefers going for a run while listening to heavy metal. April 11th, 2019 will be a date to remember for them both. Not only was it the day their debut Trapped (Club Indigo 1) was released but it also was the day that the two halves of Karen Nappa met in person.
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What should readers expect from your next novel?
Our next novel will be Adored and it tells the story of Sonja and Derek. This is the blurb:
She didn’t know what she was looking for until he showed her what she’d been missing.
Sonja Madden is co-owner of a successful café and bakery, The Sweet and the Savory Table. Being successful in business hadn’t brought her happiness, though. Growing up as an orphan, Sonja longs for something more in life. Attracted to dominant men, she’d joined Club Indigo to find her perfect partner, but in five years she hasn’t found anyone and she has a reputation as a brat.
Derek Kiriakis comes from a Greek immigrant family and is an experienced social worker who works with abused children. Happy with his job and the influence he has on the children in his care, he’s looking for a special woman in his personal life. One who is strong enough to submit in the bedroom but who will also allow her inner child to be guided and cared for by a Daddy Dom.
Their fragile bond is tested when someone from Derek’s past appears and puts Sonja, her business and their relationship in danger. Afraid for Sonja, Derek distances himself as he tries to sort out how to keep the woman he loves safe.
Must Sonja lose Derek or will she find her own happily ever after in being adored as the little girl she never had a chance to be?
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
We’re probably a little bit of both. We do work with an outline and a timeline, but the story isn’t set in stone. With Trapped we started with a basic idea and wrote the first two chapters, before we wrote the outline. With Trusted we started the book by writing the prologue before figuring out the story. Funny fact about Trusted is, when writing the prologue, we had a different hero in mind. We were positive the burly man at the bar would be Chris, imagine our surprise when he turned out to be Connor. (And of course our characters were right, Connor is a much better match for Suzie than Chris could ever have been.)
How do you imagine your target reader?
Our readers are probably a lot like we are. Mature women, who like a little bit of kink with their reading (and in their lives). Readers who enjoy Cherise Sinclair, Lexi Blake, Candace Blevins and the like. It was great fun to discover our books were being discussed in Cherise Sinclair’s fan group on Facebook
What are the steps you usually take from writing your first draft to publishing?
Our books start with a general idea, like our first book Trapped started with a text message ‘Trapped in the laundromat. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting title.’
Our second and third book were born from side characters, who wanted their story to be told.
The manuscript we just finished starts with a scene between a Daddy Dom and a bratty submissive, that was a scene one of us saw in a BDSM Club.
When we have an idea, we toss it back and forth via Skype and an outline starts to form. We match characters, their story and events that will happen during their romance. With the outline in place one of us starts to write, the other reads and adds scenes and ideas and does the editing. When about one-third into the story, we tend to make a timeline, because at that time we usually start to fret and worry about things like. ‘Ehm, what’s the weather like?’ or ‘will it be Christmas soon?’
We have a great team of beta readers who’ll get chunks of the manuscript while writing and they’ll give feedback, share ideas and help with editing.
In about three months we have a finished manuscript and the fretting and worrying starts again. We reread the manuscript, scan for words you should avoid and try to clean up the language. A week later, we say a prayer and hit the submit button. It’s a bit like giving birth, painful but wonderful and exhilarating.
Blushing Books Publisher is quick with responding. The first time we were ‘welcomed to the family’ within a month of submission and with our second and third book we had a response within days.
In about a month the editorial team from Blushing does their magic. We had the same editor and cover artist for our first three books – Anna and Eris are wonderful. Two weeks before the release the book is featured on Booksprout, where readers can download a copy in exchange for an honest review.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
When we were done with Trapped we asked Maren Smith for advice. She’s such a sweetheart and very helpful. She told us about head hopping, show don’t tell, the repetition police and no-no words. When you’re writing a scene in third person it’s a common mistake to switch your point of view (head hopping) and you don’t want to do that!
Show don’t tell is where your skill as a narrator comes in. You can write about someone who’s frantically rushing to the hospital. (telling) or you can show like we did in Appreciated (Club Indigo book three).
Paula rushed to her car in the department parking lot. She hadn’t bothered to put on her jacket and a sudden cloudburst had her thin cotton blouse soaked before she reached her vehicle. Paula pressed the remote button on her key and jumped into her car. She had the Volkswagen Passat started and moving, before she’d even fastened her seatbelt. She struggled with the clasp as she backed out of her parking place. As she reached the exit, she had to slam on her brakes to avoid colliding with a bike messenger who ignored a stop sign.
Any other day she’d pull him over for a safety lecture! Paula passed a semi that was moving at a snail’s pace and had to brake again when the bonehead in front of her stopped for a yellow light. Who did that? She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel, impatient for the light to turn green again. Why did it have to take so long? The light changed, but the car in front of her didn’t move.
What the — Paula slammed her hand against the car horn and she could see the driver in front of her jerk. He started moving and as soon as she could Paula swung her car around him. She threw an angry glance at the driver through the side window and noticed the asshole talking on his phone. No wonder his driving was so bad! Phones were distracting and should be illegal in traffic.
The repetition police will be on you, when you use the same words, repeat sentences or keep explaining the same thing over and over.
And no-no words are words you want to avoid like ‘very’ or ‘that’ or ‘thing’.
Is there anything you learned from reader reviews?
We love reviews, because they show what readers like and don’t like in our books. We read them with care and we try to incorporate helpful feedback in our next story. A very special review was one on Appreciated on Goodreads. We liked it so much we tried to recruit the author as a beta reader. Sadly, they don’t have time, but the in-depth review was very dear to us!
How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
Since there are two of us, you get two answers for this one.
For me it isn’t very difficult. I barely watch TV and before I started writing I spend my free time reading. Now I write my own stories my reading has slowed down, but I don’t mind. My daily goal is to write 1,000 words and usually I don’t have many problems with achieving my goal. Of course, with a Dominant husband, sometimes I’m ordered to do something else and he loves to mess with us both.
My biggest problem is juggling writing and solitaire on the computer. I do most of my writing and editing at work. (I work in a call center and write between calls.) Because my available time is limited, I don’t give myself a word goal, although I will stop if I reach a point I don’t think I can get into the computer that night or the next morning. Then when I get home I have to force myself to focus on putting my day’s work into the computer. I’m easily distracted by solitaire, Fetlife and Facebook.
Find Karen Nappa here:
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And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.