Hello readers! Today I am happy to welcome Karn Witemeyer - author of A Tailor-Made Bride, Head in the Clouds, and upcoming release To Win Her Heart - to Reviews By Jane!
First off, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and something about you that might surprise your readers?
I'm a deacon's wife and an incurable romantic who believes this world needs more happily-ever-
afters. So, in order to help meet that need, I combine my fascination for bygone eras with my
passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels full of love and
laughter. I'm also an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bake a mean apple cobbler. I live in
Abilene, TX with my hunky, computer nerd husband and three children who are kind enough to
put up with Mom's imaginary friends.
Wow sounds like quite the life!
What inspired you to write Head in the Clouds?
Since I enjoy regency romances as well as those set in the American West, I thought it would be fun to blend the two by bringing an English nobleman to Texas. This book started with a clear idea for theme and the story grew out of that. I wanted to write about a woman with big dreams who grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers. The longer God is silent, the more confused and frustrated she becomes until she finally takes matters into her own hands and pursues her dreams in the way she thinks best. In the process, she makes a thorough mess of things. It is only when she learns to wait on the Lord that he begins to work in her life to bring about blessings she never before imagined.
What prompted you to write a story that took place in the 1800s?
I've always loved historical novels, and the 19th century is one of my favorite eras. Since I live in Texas, I wanted to set my stories here, and the late 1800s was a time of great expansion. By the 1880s, the Indians were no longer raiding and the railroad was making its way across the central and western areas of the state. New towns were cropping up and families were moving in, a perfect scenario for creating cozy, small town backdrops for my characters.
Yes I loved the setting and also how you had Gideon run a sheep farm instead of cattle - creative!
Has your faith influenced your writings? How?
My faith is an integral part of my writing. My characters are people of faith who struggle with
the same everyday issues that we do today. In fact, the themes that inspire me are often areas
in my own life where I need to grow spiritually. For example, in Head in the Clouds, Adelaide
grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers and has to learn to fully
submit to the Lord's plan for her life and his timing. Even though this was my second published
book, it was actually written before my debut novel, so while I was writing this story, I was
struggling as an unpublished author, wondering when God was going to open that door I felt sure
he called me to walk through. Submission is a hard lesson to learn when impatience is clawing
at you to take action. I had to wade through a series of rejections and a period of soul searching
much like Adelaide did before God opened my door to being a published author.
Did you base any of your characters on people you really know?
No, my characters live solely in the world of my imagination. Many of my own attributes and
emotions find their way into my characters, and I leaned on my experience as a mom when it
came time to write young Isabella's scenes, but none of my characters were inspired by any real
That's cool how you're life experiences - being a mom - have helped you when writing about Isabella.
Which book that you've written was your favorite to write?
That's nearly impossible to answer. That's like asking me to choose a favorite among my three children. There are times in the writing process for every book where I love what I'm writing and the words flow with ease. But there are many more times that I agonize and fret over words that come about as easily as pulled teeth. So which was my favorite? Whichever one I last finished writing. That feeling of relief when I turn in a manuscript is hard to beat.
Haha I understand - each one must be special in it's own way!
When you started writing, where did you begin? With an outline? Or did you just jump into it and let the story form as you wrote?
I do a little of both. I usually write a detailed synopsis (5-8 pages) at the outset, researching the plausibility of the plot points I've been brainstorming, so that I have a good feel for the direction
in which the story is headed. I need to know how the hero and heroine will meet, what conflicts
they will have to overcome, the ultimate resolution, and a few major plot points along the way.
Once I have that nailed down, I jump into the writing, and let the characters lead me through the
story. No outlines or in-depth plotting, just a general idea of where I'm going and few landmarks
to look for along the way.
You've written and published several books. Which one required the most research? Which
took the longest time to write?
My writing pace is a pretty consistent one-book-a-year pace. My debut book, A Tailor-Made
Bride, was contracted before it was finished and due to an early opening in the publishing
schedule, my editor asked me to finish earlier. I wrote that one in about 8 months. My most
recent book, To Win Her Heart (coming in May), probably required the most research. I studied
prison life and convict labor camps. I studied the craft of blacksmithing and limestone quarrying.
For my librarian heroine, I researched the Victorian art of flower pressing and 19th century
|Hugh Jackman as Gideon|
me to the exact time and place for the setting of my story that allows all the plot points to work
together. That's what happened with To Win Her Heart.
Who would you have play Adelaide, Gideon, and Bella if your book were made into a movie?
I would choose Hugh Jackman for Gideon, because really – who didn’t love him in Kate &
Leopold? His dimples aren't quite as pronounced as Gideon's but with his Aussie background, I
bet he can manage an enchanting British accent.
For Adelaide, I'd select Alyssa Milano. I need someone petite to match Adelaide's stature, and I
thought Alyssa could carry off the "girl next door" look that I always imagined for my heroine.
|Alyssa Milano as Adelaide|
Oh Hugh Jackman is PERFECT for Gideon's part, and I love your choice for Adelaide and Bella, too!
Who is your favorite author?
In the Christian market, some of my favorites include Deeanne Gist, Vickie McDonough, and
Lorna Seilstad. In the general market, I enjoy Julia Quinn, Jodie Thomas, and the old historicals
from Julie Garwood.
Do you have another book in the making? Can you give us some insight on what it's about?
To Win Her Heart, my May 1st release, pairs a blacksmith with a criminal past with an uppity
librarian who holds lofty ideals. But attraction definitely sparks between these two opposites.
|Joey King as Bella|
This story plays on the question – what happens after the prodigal son returns? So many times, we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received from his father, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living?
In To Win Her Heart, I play on those very questions. My hero is a man recently released from prison who has returned to his faith roots and rededicated his life to the Lord. The heroine is a woman who has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes
she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when his prodigal past comes to light, old hurts are exposed, and Eden must decide if she can give her heart to a knight with tarnished
WOW! Sounds amazing! I look forward to reading it!
How can our reader's reach you?
I'd love to have you visit me at my website: www.karenwitemeyer.com. I host a monthly
giveaway of Christian historical novels from a variety of well-known authors as well as post
interesting tidbits about my characters and the research behind their stories.
You can also find me on Facebook. Send me a message sometime. I'd be honored to chat with
Thanks for visiting Reviews By Jane!
Not only has Karen been gracious enough to allow me to interview her, but she is also willing to giveaway a copy of her upcoming release - To Win Her Heat - to one lucky commenter! USA ONLY! Enter soon! This giveaway ends on April 15th!
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