Welcome, Susan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Everything about my characters comes from me, and they are infused with my perspectives and worldview.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I appeared on Wheel of Fortune as a contestant back in the 80s.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In college, when I finally got some legit writing instruction during sophomore year, my prof used one of my papers as an example for the rest of the class.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading many genres. My overall favorite is historical fiction, because I learn so much from it. But I also read CBA,
ABA, and enjoy
psychological thrillers, mysteries, Regency romance, and contemporary fiction.
Older writers claim my attention as well – authors such as P.G. Wodehouse,
George McDonald (his adult fiction is amazing), and read older books such as Quo Vadis, and Kirsten Lavransdatter.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a supportive husband, a strong church family, and live in a small town. I try to balance my work with other creative pursuits and exercise, too.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
In my debut, A Match for Melissa, I originally chose the name Melissande. Many critiques came back saying that name was too distracting, so I shortened it. One nice outcome is that a young lady at my church, whose name is Melissa, is delighted that her name is featured in Mrs. K’s first book. One of the romantic leads is named Peter, and I was thinking of Lord Peter Wimsey from the famous Dorothy Sayers series. The other romantic lead, Mark, was given that name simply because I’ve always been fond of that name and never got to use it.
I like the story about the young lady at church, but I think your first choice fit your time period better. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
All my accomplishments were done only by God’s grace and with His help. That said, I am pleased and gratified that I was able to home educate my three children who are doing well as adults.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a koala, because they are so cute, and they are my youngest daughter’s favorite animal.
What is your favorite food?
Tomatoes are my favorite food. I love tangy foods, and tomatoes are so good cooked, raw, and appear in so many recipes.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was when I discovered that my first two books weren’t long enough, and I had to go back and lengthen them. I added more dialog and a sub-plot or two.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Match for Melissa is a Regency romance. It is set in
1816. This genre was popular for decades, and I read it because the romance was
“clean” and the love culminated in marriage. Melissa’s widowed father is a
wealthy businessman, who wants a titled husband for his only daughter. His
obsession with a title leads him to arrange a marriage for her. The fun begins
as my readers travel along with the story and find out how this works out. I
don’t want to tell too much and spoil the fun.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Stomping her feet on the hard-packed road didn’t relieve her frustration. Aggravation fueled her pace, destroying the usual peace found on her morning walks down country roads. But the spatters of wet clay weren’t worth it. The spatters of dirt would never come clean. Slowing, Melissa clenched her hand around the letter telling her she needed to return to
London. Father and his
plans took precedence over her wishes.
She stopped, unfurled the letter, and read the offending passage one more time.
You shall cut short your visit to the country. I have plans for you, plans that will be of much interest to you.
So like Papa to assume she’d fall in line with his schemes. She crumpled the letter and strode on, staring straight ahead. The hovering cloud of melancholy brought on by her mother’s death lessened each day. Visiting the vicarage to which her former governess, Miss Cleaver retired, helped restore her equanimity. And besides, she disliked
London with its smoke and the lonely life she
lived there. Returning to her home in the city did not sit well. But Papa’s
command brought further apprehension.
Regret about ending her visit lowered her mood further. Melissa took deep breaths and resisted thoughts of departure by concentrating on the cool, fresh, moist air entering her lungs. Spring mud invaded southern
but the road was good, and Melissa loved her morning walks too much to let a
little mire stop her habit.
Snapping out of her daze, she took in her surroundings again. She glanced between the light green forest views on either side of the road and the lane ahead. Avoiding mud now became a distracting game—until an indistinct brown lump came in sight on the shoulder. Puddles forgotten, she hurried forward to discover a monogrammed leather saddlebag. Ignoring the dirt-spattered bag’s condition, she lifted it and peered inside. Empty. She dropped it to the ground.
Scattered nearby, she spied a London Times half in a puddle, and an ivory comb in a muddy in a rut. Chills ran up her arms and tingled down her spine at the evidence of a traveler’s misfortune. Surveying the scene, she cast a glance down the banked slope. Her breath caught even as her heart raced.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have an author page on facebook (Susan Karsten – author) where you can interact with me and tag along on my writing journey, and I have a blog: graciouswoman.wordpress.com, where I review books, and share tips about homemaking and other topics of interest to women.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing your debut book with us. I’m eager to find out what happens next.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point) - Paperback
A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point Book 1) - Kindle
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