Thursday, September 6, 2012

Karen Victoria Smith


1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I used to write when I was young, like so many writers. But in high school I was dubbed a math person and with that went the preconception that math-types can’t write. So I didn’t… for decades. Then a few years ago, I had the idea for a character. More accurately, I started hearing her voice in my head. At the same time, a good friend wanted to take an on-line writing class with the wonderful Barbara Rogan. She hesitated to do it alone, so in the words that would seal my fate, I said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I haven’t stopped writing since.

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I write paranormals and urban fantasy with a very Druid twist. Besides a sick and twisted mind, I blame it on my upbringing. I grew up watching old Lugosi, Chaney, Carradine and Karloff movies. I watched the original Dark Shadows and read books on ghosts and other creatures. On top of that, my grandmother, who had come here from Ireland, would tell me stories of her life there in the early part of the twentieth century and the old ways. So in many ways the genre picked me.

3. What drew you to the subject of Dark Dealings?

I am a fan of the more traditional vampire myth, where they hide in the shadows. I also spent a decade working on Wall Street. I realized that the modern world was the perfect hiding place for vampires. We have become a 24-hour world, where even minor celebrities have security details and live behind high walls, where stocks are traded globally through time zones. I wanted to re-explore a world where vampires, shapeshifters and other creatures exist, but we sleep better at night convincing ourselves that they don’t.

4. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know.

I played guitar for the folk mass just after midnight every, technically, Sunday morning while I was in college. I went to school in Philadelphia and at the time the Archbishop could not have cared less what the Vatican had said over a decade before about Saturdays and mass obligations. So lots of devout, tipsy Catholics would show up. I doubt they ever knew if I played well or not.

5. What other time period besides your own would you like to experience?

I would love to time travel to Tudor England and meet the royals. They were so deliciously dysfunctional. Of course, it would have to be in a very “Connecticut Yankee” kind of way. I wouldn’t want to lose my head because I brought my iPod.

6. What three things would you want on a deserted island?

A laptop with a solar battery, coffee and chocolate. The complete life of an author 

7. What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?

I would love to learn to play piano. I wanted to as a child but we lived in a four room apartment and there was no space for one. Hence my guitar lessons and playing. It was more compact. Now all I do is sing loud in the car.

8. What is your favorite writing reference book and why?

Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and the DVDs that accompany it. He took Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and translated it first to screenplays and by extension to writing. It has helped me think about the effective story arc and re-work and re-shape stories that are floundering.

9. What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read for fun, I have taken up running and LOVE going to local venues to hear indie musicians and singers. We have so much in common in our paths and struggles, that mutual support comes naturally.

10. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

How can I make the stories even better? I know every reader has their own individual opinion, but I learned early from critique groups and betas that you look for the common elements in the feedback. I believe that it can help me become a better writer. That said, my protocol in reviewing for another author is that I feel that if I cannot give a book at least a 3 star review I will offer to send them private feedback. Regardless of how we publish, we work for the reader and should always strive to give them our best.

Wall Street has fangs. When international power brokers, creatures hiding in plain sight, threaten Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress of a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.


Karen Victoria Smith grew up with an Irish grandmother who tried to teach her the old ways and watched horror movies with her in the dark. From there she moved on the wider world of college and career. After 25 years in financial services working on Wall Street and for major national banks, she discovered her passion in writing. In Dark Dealings, she has found a way to bring the old ways together with the modern world.

Karen lives in New Jersey with her family who patiently allow her to believe that in a 24-hour world the monsters are real.


Wall Street has fangs. In a 24-hour world, does anyone notice the unusual behaviors of many, including the reclusive rich. When international power brokers, vampires and shapeshifters hiding in plain sight, threaten Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress to a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? Can she accept the friendship and love of others with strange and frightening powers? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.

Do you sleep better at night believing that vampires are things of fiction

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My blog: Storyteller’s Grove

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