This is a chance to learn a bit more about Kara Jorgensen, author of The Earl of Brass (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #1) and The Winter Garden (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2).
I started writing . . .
When I was about nine or ten, I was infatuated with Sherlock Holmes after watching the Basil Rathbone movies from the 1940s and began devouring Conan Doyle’s stories. This love of Sherlock Holmes led to some very sappy fan fictions, but they did instill my love of writing historical fantasy. In my teens, I continued writing on and off, but while at university, I realized writing was my passion and pursued it wholly, adding an English major alongside my biology major. Now, I’m in graduate school working toward an MFA in creative writing.
What I love most about writing . . .
I love watching my characters grow. For months, I create a world for them to live in and no matter what hardships I throw at them, they make it through somehow. Often a little worse for wear, but they change and sometimes surprise me with who they are and what they truly want. My characters are like living beings that are thrust into the world by my writing. I always hope someone will connect with them and love them as much as I do.
The toughest thing about writing . . .
The toughest thing for me is staying on task. At times I wonder if I have ADD. I tend to bounce from thing to thing, baking or cleaning to avoid writing. Usually I find that I need to tinker with my plot and suddenly the writing begins to flow again. Making time to do that is hard with school and work.
If I wasn’t a writer, I would be . . .
If I wasn’t a writer, I would probably be a professor of literature. Books will always be part of my life and academia seems like something I will never escape from. Part of me would also like to work at a museum someday. Museums are an odd hybrid of creative and academic, and that suits me.
When I am writing, I listen to . . .
My dogs barking. I kid, but it’s kind of true. If I am feeling very down to business, I listen to some videos on Youtube that are called something like “Epic Music to Write to” or playlists of epic video game music. Nightwish also seems to help get the writing mojo flowing.
Some of my favorites are: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters, Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk, The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Mummy by Anne Rice, and Soulless by Gail Carriger.
Hummus and pita, Falafel, anything Middle Eastern. I imparted this love of Middle Eastern food onto my character Eilian. It’s so good I could gorge myself on it.
Modern convenience I can’t live without:
The internet. Otherwise, I would never come out of the library and would look like a hunchback from all the books I’d be toting around. While writing historical fantasy, I am constantly fact-checking or doing little bits of research to make sure it is at least pretty authentic.
I wish I could stop . . .
Stressing out. I have anxiety, and at times, it gets the better of me. Over the last few years, I have gotten better about it, and after having a panic attack (or five), I think I have mastered what sets me off and have realized my limit. I still am a daily worrier, which results in chronic tension headaches.
Worst advice I’ve received:
Write the next Twilight, Hunger Games, 50 Shades, etc.
Advice to aspiring authors:
Write for yourself. Don’t write for money or fame because it’s pretty much unattainable and writing commercially is not sustainable. Readers know when you’re being authentic and when you’re forcing your work. Be yourself and write what you would want to read.
The Winter Garden brings together a young spiritualist medium and a student of science as their souls are bound after a tragic accident. They part but soon find themselves captured by a nobleman who is in search of the secrets reversing death. With the aid of a dandy and a coroner working for the queen, they seek to stop the madman in his pursuit and figure out who is murdering spiritualists and stealing their souls.
Categories: 5 Minutes With: Author Interviews