Welcome to Goddess Born Author Kari Edgren! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about your life and book!
Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.
Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.
Goddess Born Interview with Kari Edgren:
Welcome to Cuzinlogic! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Cooking… traveling… running… loving… My life is filled with gerunds. I live in the Pacific NW with my husband and children, where I spend as much time as possible pounding away on my laptop.
Until ten years ago, I had never considered writing as a career, or even a hobby other than an occasional poem when the mood struck. Then one morning while reading Charlotte Doyle at the breakfast table, I decided to give writing it a try. To this day, I don’t know why — it was like the idea just fell into my head. No premeditation, no planning, no asking what ifs. That afternoon I started on my first book and haven’t looked back since.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved writing Goddess Born. Every single part of it, which is odd since I usually detest writing description. Insert trees and shrubberies. Now let’s get back to the story… But not this time. For almost a year, I lived and breathed 1730 Pennsylvania. My behind may have been planted on the couch in present day Pacific NW, but the rest of me was far, far away, as my husband and kids can attest. The Colonial people in general, and Selah Kilbrid in specific, had become my reality. They fully absorbed me, from the months of research to the moment I typed the last word.
What kind of research (if any) did you have to do for this book?
I have two shelves of books either written during or about eighteenth century America and England. Also, there’s several books on healing plants, Quakers, and Celtic lore.
Some of my absolute favorite novels from this time period are: Tom Jones by Henry Feilding, Roxana by Daniel Defoe, and Evelina by Frances Burney.
In addition to books, I visited Colonial Williamsburg and the oldest Quaker meeting house in Philadelphia where I spent time speaking to one of the resident experts.
What’s your favorite quote about writing or reading??
Easy reading is damn hard writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne
If you could visit anywhere in the world for 1 week, where would you go?
Can it also be a trip through time? If so, then eighteenth century England. The Enlightenment was in full swing, as were the people on all levels of society. They were bawdy, rambunctious, and full of life—not at all stayed and uptight like their descendants that would soon fill the Regency and Victorian eras. They had a sense of humor and used it liberally, whether laughing at each other or at themselves. I mean, who couldn’t love a period that gave us Shamela and The Beggar’s Opera.
What makes this book different from other books in the same genre?
GODDESS BORN is New Adult historical fantasy with sweet romantic elements. So in many regards, the antithesis of what people expect from NA—historic and sweet rather than college and hot.
What books were among your childhood favorites and why?
The Box Car Children by Gertrude Warner. During elementary school, I couldn’t get enough of this book and read it over and over again. The children’s independence really appealed to me, and I often pondered running away and living in a box.
eBooks, hardcovers or paperbacks and why?
eBooks. I am a true convert. They are so convenient and I can read in bed without an additional light (thank you Kindle Fire). The true conversion happened on a trip though. I must have had 50 lbs of paperbacks crammed into my backpack. My husband had 1000 lbs of books, but they were all compressed on his kindle. I ordered one as soon as we got home.
What are the most words you have written in one day?
I am a painfully slow writer. 1000 – 1200 words a day seems to be my sweet spot. Once I did write almost 2000 words and I was completely wiped out.
If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were writing your first book, what advice would you offer?
I wouldn’t. It was a good thing I was so naive when I first started out, or I may not have continued.
What makes a book appeal to you?
I admit to buying books solely for the cover. If the cover is brilliant, the premise has to be truly awful for me not to add it to my shelf. As for what goes on in between the cover– I want realistic character development, reasonable leaps of faith, and lots of dialogue. I also want a happy ending, or at a minimum, a good-sized kernel of hope so I can create my own happy ending.
What can your readers expect from you next?
The second Goddess Born will be released November 2014, with the third coming in June 2015. After that I’m thinking of either a contemporary or something with time travel.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Thank you for hosting me today!
Thanks Kari, for joining us today and good luck with the second and third book in the series.
Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.
A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it’s Selah’s sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there’s no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.
When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope—that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.
But when news of Samuel’s death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice—forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?
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