Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I didn’t realize how much of me went into my characters until I was done with the book. Actually, others pointed out that they saw me clearly in several of the characters. I also saw parallels to my own life in subtle ways regarding the plot. The book is much more dramatic, but the threads are emotions I have struggled with.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know about quirky, but certainly one of the craziest things I’ve done was while vacationing in
with several friends. We went out on a pirate ship replica for the day, and the
captain invited us to jump overboard and hang on an inflated tube secured by a
rope. It was hot and the water looked incredible. Well, at least thirty people
jumped off and hung on to the rope and tube. I didn’t grab my snorkel and found
that the weight of so many people pulled the rope and tube underwater. We
bobbed up periodically and grabbed air. It was terrifying, but you couldn’t let
go since the ship was moving at a fast clip. You didn’t want to be left behind.
I realized that while we were being drug through the warm water, we were live
bait for sharks or barracudas. Finally a woman went crazy and let go. The ship
went quite a distance before the captain realized we were struggling not to
drown, and we had lost a passenger. Makes for a great story now, but it was
very scary at the time.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When my first book was a rough draft. Writing was for me, something done out of curiosity. I allowed some family and friends to read it, and due to their reactions, I realized that I might be a writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am a sucker for thrillers and the bizarre. I read a lot of King and Koontz when I was young. I just finished the Hunger Games series and loved them. I really enjoyed The Shack, and the trilogy, Black, Red and White.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I just check out at times. Friday at 5:00 is my favorite time. I don’t have to be anywhere, talk to anyone, do anything I don’t choose to do. I have kids, so I still have the parental responsibility, but I bring them into fun activities. One of our favorite things is movie night. We get in pjs, make snacks and curl up on the couch. I can shut off the brain and be entertained for a while.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes it is to honor friends or family. Other names just seem to suit the personality of who I want the character to be. Anessia, from my book, was a young girl I came to know in a women’s shelter where I volunteered. She touched my heart. Chantal was another young lady I fell in love with that lived with us for a while and struggled with life, but she was strong and survived. Ophelia, Bree, and Pam are cherished people in my life.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Bringing love and stability to our two foster daughters. To play a role in the progress they have made over the last two years is the most profound experience I could have had. We are in the process of adopting them, and we are so excited to be a true family, emotionally and legally.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
My girls and I talk about this all the time. I would be an eagle. The idea of being powerful, strong and able to fly would fulfill my fantasy. I’m not thrilled about eating raw meat, but figure I can snag ribs off of bbq’s if I chose. :o)
What is your favorite food?
Sadly, nothing healthy. I love carbs, sauces, sweets and chocolate.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time, life puts a lot of demands on my time. I am a mother now of a fourteen year old and a mommy to a six year old. I have my own graphic art business, a home to keep running, and a husband who doesn’t like to be ignored for too long. I wouldn’t say I have overcome it. Still working on the balance. Many times it is about who screams the loudest. Writing has had to take the back seat most of the time. Sadly, when I do have time to write, I am exhausted and the creative juices trickle rather than flow. I have realized that my writing is going to come in waves, and I write as much as I can during that phase.
Tell us about the featured book.
My book is about the life of a young child through adulthood. The story takes you on her journey and shares her choices that change a heartbreaking situation into a glorious life of love, truth, compassion and joy.
Pagne, my main character, finds the love of God and the support of her heavenly angel to get her through life’s emotional roller coaster. This angel protects, leads, and assures Pagne that she is not alone by using an unusual method of communication.
Pagne shares healing, tear,s and laughter with a group of broken people who become her family. She discovers the purpose of her life and the revelation of God’s destiny for her. Pagne will eventually understand the powerful ripple she created as she lived her life. She was not an accident. She was placed on Earth with divine intent.
Please give us the first page of the book.
In the Heavens
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;”
Draken walked swiftly through the marble passageway, which was only lit by a warm, golden glow that’s source was indefinable. The excitement was building, as he weaved his way through the network of stone halls, intricate stained glass panels, and vines with incredible cobalt and purple blossoms. Each flower’s center had a spray of tendrils that shimmered and flickered with light. They pushed their way in through small openings and cracks, covering the ancient stone walls with their winding tendrils. He had the ability to instantly think himself to her, but instead he savored the journey through the tabernacle. As Draken entered the great hall, he sent groups of colorful butterflies scattering. Some of the butterflies were tiny and flashed bright yellow and orange light, while others were massive and moved almost as in slow motion. Their deep-purple and metallic gold wings didn’t shine brightly like the others, but had a velvety luster that picked up the room’s light with each flutter. The spaces in between were filled with every size and color of these delicate creatures. This room never failed to take Draken’s breath away. There were sculptures in exquisite detail, cast or carved from every precious metal and stone, encrusted with jewels and pearls. Above him were strings of glowing orbs that didn’t appear to be connected in any way, glistening shades of pink, lavender, blue and green. Beautiful birds of every description dove and soared in the upper dome. Draken would spend hours in this room, simply appreciating its beauty.
As he came upon an area of comfortable chairs, he saw Anessia sitting on the hard floor in her usual position, both legs folded under her with feet twisted out to the sides. She would sit this way for hours.
“When will you ever discover the comfort of these lush chairs?” he teased her.
She just grinned and said, “Probably never.” Draken just shook his head. She liked the coolness of the stone floor on her skin.
Draken sat down in his favorite chair, an opulent purple satin with three times the stuffing most chairs would contain. He waited for her to speak, but silence. After a few anxious minutes, he could wait no longer.
“Well, Anessia. You summoned me here. You said you were ready.”
She hesitated, she seemed unsure for a moment and then handed him the delicate gold scroll. Draken, a regal man with long white hair and a full beard, took the scroll and fingered it gently, knowing the importance of its content. He took a deep breath and looked into Anessia’s eyes. He loved her eyes, so large, so engulfing.
“I am ready,” is all she said. Draken felt the contradiction of relief and dread. This would be a difficult quest, filled with many hardships and pain.
“You will have a lot of sadness to deal with, but you were selected with the knowledge that you are capable. You have a strong sense of justice and love.”
“Oh, Draken, I want to make a difference, to be part of these miracles!”
How can readers find you on the Internet.
How can readers find you on the Internet.
I have a website, anessiasquest.com. There are reviews, book trailer and the first three chapters as a free download. An autographed copy can be purchased through PayPal at a reduced price. I also have a fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Arnpriester-Anessias-Quest/207801102605310. Anessia’s Quest is also available on Amazon.com as paperback and Kindle format.
Thank you, Karen, for the interesting interview.
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Anessia's Quest - paperback
Anessia's Quest - Kindle
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