I'm a California gal who migrated to Texas to go to college, fell in love with a studly computer nerd, and never left. I now consider myself a Texan since I've got more years under my belt here than I had in California. Wes and I have three fabulous kids, and we both work for Abilene Christian University (our alma mater). He's a data analyst, and I'm the testing coordinator. I give ACTs, CLEP tests, etc. Writing gets squeezed in whenever I can wrangle a few minutes of free time.
What is your book, Short-Straw Bride, about?
Here's the official blurb:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?
What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
I live next door to my in-laws . . . and actually love it.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was always an avid reader but never really thought much about writing. Not until I graduated from college and started immersing myself in fiction again. After graduate school I vowed to never read another textbook ever again. Ha! I started jotting story ideas down in a journal and thought, maybe someday I'd give writing a try. But it wasn't until I was a stay-at-home mom with three kids in diapers and my husband came home to tell me his position had been cut that I decided to get serious about pursuing writing. At first I thought I could help supplement the family income from home while he searched for work. I know . . . don't choke on your snack while you laugh. I ended up going back to work a couple months later, but by then the writing bug had bitten hard. I haven't looked back since.
How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?
I've published four books so far. As for a favorite? That's like asking a mom to choose her favorite kid. It can't be done.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I'm one of those weird ducks who insists on editing as I create. Most writers create first then go back and edit. My perfectionist streak is too well ingrained. I have to edit as I go. This habit makes my writing pace very slow, but when I get to the end of the first draft, I have a polished manuscript ready to submit.
Where do you like to write?
When I'm writing at home, I need a place where I can close the door so my kids don't constantly pester me with questions or TV noise. Since I don't really have an office, you'll usually find me sitting on my bed, pillows propping me up, laptop on a lap desk on (you guessed it!) my lap.
What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?
The best, hands down, is hearing from readers. The worst is the stress of a looming deadline when you are not as far along as you should be. I try very hard to plan out my writing schedule with enough cushion to avoid this scenario, but every once in a while it sneaks in.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy cross-stitching, reading, goofing off with my kids, and just sitting quietly next to my husband watching movies from the comfort of our recliners.
Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
If money was no object, I would love to tour the castles of Germany. I love mountain settings, romance, and fairy tales. What could be more romantic than the castle that inspired the home of Disney's Sleeping Beauty situated in the Bavarian mountains? I get dreamy-eyed just looking at pictures of Neuschwanstein. I'd also like to see elegant Eltz Castle and historic Wartburg Castle. Wartburg is one of the oldest preserved castles as well as a place where church reformer Martin Luther lived and translated the Bible into German. How awesome would that be to see? My daughter would love touring the castles and my husband would dutifully ooh and aah, but I might have to bribe my boys with a ski trip or something to get them to tour the castles with me.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
Disney's Enchanted, the BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice, and the 1996 version of Jane Eyre with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg are some of my favorite movies.
What is your favorite dessert?
Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
The one that keeps me going in the middle of a project is: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6
The one I keep on my desk to remind me that writing is a ministry and not about the prestige or praise is: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. ~Psalm 115:1
Here are a few this-or-that questions:
Snowstorms or Thunderstorms?
Thunderstorms – I love seeing the fingers of lightning flash across the Texas sky when we are driving. And at night, they are a great excuse to cuddle with my husband (or a child if someone gets frightened).
Tea or Coffee?
Tea – I've never developed a taste for coffee. Even with tea, my tastes are pretty plain. Give my regular Lipton tea sweetened with honey, and I sit back and sigh in contentment.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Indoors – I love hiking and being in nature on special trips, but on an everyday basis, I'm almost always inside. Reading, writing, watching TV, cross-stitching. Plus in the Texas summertime, it is just too HOT to be outside for long.
Early-bird or Night-owl?
Early bird – I often fall asleep in my recliner before 10:00 p.m. My preference is to sleep in until 8:00 a.m., but my daily routine has me up at 5:00 a.m. in order to exercise before getting ready for work.
Cats or Dogs?
Dogs – Just can't beat that loyalty and protective instinct.
Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?
My editors usually steer me away from series, but we all had so much fun with the Archer brothers in Short-Straw Bride, that we decided to give another brother his own book. Be watching for Crockett's story, Stealing the Preacher, in June 2013!
Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
I love to hear from readers. The best way to contact me is through my website: www.karenwitemeyer.com. You can find extended backgrounds on my characters, deleted scenes, and monthly giveaways, as well as information about my books. I am also a regular blogger at a western-themed blog called Petticoats & Pistols. All the fillies over there have a grand time blogging about cowboys and life in the old west. You can find us here: www.petticoatsandpistols.com. Finally, I'd love to connect with you Facebook as well. You can find me at: www.facebook.com/karen.witemeyer.
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