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Karyn Lawrence: Keep

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Karyn will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon, a signed paperback copy of both Keep and the first book in the stand-alone series, Stay, bookmarks from Stay and a can kozie with the logo from the fictional beer company that the hero owns in Keep (Swag and print book are US only) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Interview with Karyn Lawrence

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Karyn: I’ve been writing my whole life. It was short stories in high school and then on to screenplays when I hit college. When I was supposed to be studying database programming, I would stay up late at night and write terrible screenplays for features. They were usually action movies with romance . . . the film equivalent of romantic suspense. After fifteen years with some success, I got the crazy notion to write a novel version of that first screenplay I completed. I started in January of 2013 and published my first novel, “Stay” in May of this year.

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Karyn: The characters, absolutely. Once I have a strong idea of who they are, the plot develops from that. This is a huge departure from screenwriting; it’s typically the other way around in film. It’s ALL about the plot and action, even when it’s a character-driven film.

Susana: Are you a plotter or a panster?

Karyn: I’m a hybrid of sorts. I don’t write anything down or make notes. Structure has been so beaten into me through the years that I have all of the major story beats mapped out in my head before I begin, and I don’t start a scene until I know exactly how it’s going to end. I find if I write outlines, I lose motivation to write the story and I feel locked in to the decisions I made at the outline stage. It should be noted that this lack of outline makes my husband crazy.

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Karyn: I am polishing the second draft of the third book in this series, working title “Surrender”, and it’s due to the editor at the end of December. I’d like to put that book out by April 2015.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Karyn: I have a nine-to-five job and write during my hour lunch break. I polish whatever I wrote in my last writing session, and usually average about 500 words. Then, after dinner with the family and the kids are in bed, I write from nine to ten-thirty. On the weekends, I write for an hour or so in the morning, during my three-year-old’s nap, and after bedtime.

Susana: What author has most influenced your writing?

Karyn: Anne Stuart. I picked up her first book in the Ice Series (Black Ice) right after it came out, and it blew me away. It was the first romantic suspense book I’d read that featured an anti-hero, action, an international setting, and some steamy sexy-times. It was firing on all cylinders for me. I was completely addicted, and I’ve read all of the books in her series multiple times.

Susana: Who gave you the writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Karyn: I have two: I had a screenwriter instructor (I unfortunately can’t remember his name) tell me that there must be two people in every scene who don’t agree with each other. Conflict moves plot forward and disguises exposition. So even if it’s two people talking about grocery shopping, make them fight about which brand of cereal to put on the list. The other is my editor, Karen Dale Harris, who told me to imagine my characters are blindfolded when writing a love scene. Originally my scenes were little more than stage directions and lacked any feeling.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one?

Karyn: I’m getting ready to publish under a pen name in the contemporary erotic romance genre, and I have a book in the hopper to write that will be a romantic comedy.

Susana: What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?

Karyn: Finish that first book, script, novella, etc. Even if it’s garbage. (You can edit! You can fix!) After the first one is under your belt, the second one is easier. It’s like running. It doesn’t matter how slow you are because it’s amazing how quickly you can improve. Just keep slapping those fingers on the keyboard and you’ll get to the finish line.

About Keep

Billionaire CEO Shawn Dunn has plenty of sex, power, and money. A woman turning down his advances? Unfathomable. Yet that’s what she does, again and again.

Kara Hayward is supposed to be off limits. Her sister is hiding from the dangerous assassin she escaped from, and it’s best for everyone if Shawn keeps his distance. Certainly as far as Kara is concerned. Shawn’s only after one thing and then he’ll walk away, just like her ex-husband.

But Shawn has larger desires and he’s used to getting what he wants. He doesn’t care if being together is dangerous. He doesn’t believe that threat to him, or his empire, is real. Right up to the night he has everything taken away.

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Excerpt

This man moved with an elegance that was off-putting, as if everything was calculated, and then the gun disappeared into his suit coat.

Cover_Keep copy“Does that make you feel safer?” he asked.

“No. It doesn’t.”

He gave her a pleasant smile. “Why do you think that is?”

Maybe she could stall him. Maybe the police weren’t far behind and any moment they’d burst through the door.

“I’m not naïve,” she said, for her benefit more than his. “Plus I know what kind of man you are.”

“Really?” He looked, for lack of a better word, delighted. “What kind of man am I?”

“You’ll do anything to get what you want.”

“How do you know that?” His tone mocked her.

“I used to be married to a man like you.”

He gave her a look, his pure eyes shinning, one that said he highly doubted Paul was anything like him. That he was so, so much worse than her ex-husband.

“We’re going to have fun together, you and me.”

A chill ran down her spine.

About the Author

AuthorPic_Keep copyKaryn Lawrence is an author, graphic designer, and screenwriter. She published a nonfiction book about color guard after an editor discovered her blog, way back in the infancy of the Internet and long before blogging was really a thing.

She has been a screenwriter for more than fifteen years, with rather mild success, and grew tired of her stories only reaching a handful of readers. The decision was made to try fiction in early 2013 and once she figured out how to write internal dialogue again, the prose came fast and furious. She most enjoys writing smexy (smart-sexy) books featuring a lovable SOB hero and a tough-as-nails heroine.

Karyn is a Chicago native who lives in Kentucky with her epic husband and two adorable sons.

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