Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Interview with Karen Cogan

Today we welcome Avalon writer Karen Cogan. Her latest book, Heart of the Mountains, will be available on Oct 25, 2011.

Karen, please tell us about Heart of the Mountains.
My husband has a family ranch in Salida, CO. I love the scenery and the rich history of Colorado. The inspiration for my book was a summer trip to Ouray. The scenery was breathtaking and the deer were wandering freely through the town. The plot for this story is: Deborah Palmer’s arrives in Ouray, Colorado knowing that, no matter what pain it might cause, the truth is better than the black void that has haunted her all these years. And with the help of Sheriff Jake Taylor, she now stands a chance of getting to that truth. She will finally learn the fate of her beloved father and whether the elder Taylor had a hand in it. The answers lie with an old man and an old mine shaft. All she and Jake need do is survive the outlaws long enough to learn the truth.

Would you tell us a little about yourself?
My life has been a series of stages. I always loved to write and submitted an article to Reader’s Digest when I was twelve. It was rejected, of course. After high school, I got a degree in teaching and taught for three years before my first child was born. Then, I stayed home for several years. During that time, I began to write again and to sell short stories. After that, I went into book stage and have enjoyed writing novels.

You have 16 other books published, 5 of them with Avalon. What are the titles of your other Avalon releases?The Secret of Castlegate Manor, A Flame in the Wind, Stolen Dreams, An Artful Deception, and The Secret of Holly Green Manor.

I note that your historicals cover several time periods. What are those period and why haven't you written all your novels during one era?
I am interested in many time periods. The romance of the old west and the intricate society of Regency England are fascinating. I also find the history of early Australia of interest.

You've written in many genres: inspirational, contemporary, children’s books, and historical. What do you like about each?
I like the opportunity to witness and reveal the love of Christ in inspirational. Contemporary is an opportunity to explore our society and how we deal with modern problems. I teach young children and enjoy educating and entertaining them. And, of course, there is and of course, there is the interesting research and romance of historical romance. I love being a visitor in other times and places.

Your children’s picture book, Pancho Finds a Home won the Moonbeam Multicultural Award. Tell us how that felt.
It felt wonderful. It is affirming when our “babies” are appreciated and applauded by others.

Do you plan to write more children’s fiction?
Definitely. I enjoy writing for children.

Why did you start writing?
Like most writer’s, it seems to run in your blood. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t make up stories, and later, write them down.

Who is your favorite writer and why?
My favorite writer is Dean Koontz. He is a master of word work and description.

Has this author influenced your writing?
He has influenced me to appraise each word to see if it is the best usage.

I noticed that most of your Avalon historicals contain a bit of mystery or suspense. Why do you add that element?
I find work with an element of mystery more interesting to write. It helps me deepen the characters and reveal their character.

Karen, thank you so much for dropping by. Best of luck with your career!


Sandy Cody said...

Nice to meet you, Karen. Heart of the Mountains sounds like a great read - as do your other books. I share your admiration of Dean Koontz.

Nice interview, Jane. You asked questions that really spotlighted Karen's talent.

Kudos to you both.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Thanks, Sandy! I do love getting to know other writers.