Friday, May 11, 2012

Author Interview: Karen Schreck

Dropping in today is While He Was Away author Karen Schreck to talk about the book, writing, and more!

If you were in Penna’s situation, which reason for the letters to stop would be hardest for you: that something happened, or that his feeling had changed?

I love this question—you really cut to the core of her character in this particular situation.

If I were Penna, I think I would experience both feelings regarding David’s unpredictable letters, and I think I would go back and forth between my concerns. Oh, no! I’d think initially, when I felt more secure in our relationship. Something must have happened to him. But then as days passed, and there was no “official” news of trouble, I’d think: Oh, no. His feelings for me have changed. In the tumult of emotions that can come, being separated from someone I loved, I’d probably ping pong back and forth between these assumptions.

Describe Penna and David in three words each?

Penna: Creative, Loyal, Resilient

David: Charming, Sensitive, Searching

What’s your favorite kind of scene to write?

In writing While He Was Away, I discovered how very much I love writing the details of setting—and how developing a description of place can influence the depiction of characters and the plot. (I think While He Was Away taught me this, because I’m so deeply connected to Oklahoma. I don’t live there now, but I’ve visited family there all my life—and it’s very important to my sense of self.) So . . . I LOVED writing the description of David and Penna, taking that long, roundabout ride through the Oklahoma countryside on his motorcycle. I LOVED writing about the viaduct—and the painting there—and Red Earth, the restaurant where Penna and her mom Linda work, and were so many important things happen, and the paintball place, and even David’s house and room. Those place really anchored me over the course of the writing.

If you were a demigod, what god/goddess would be your parent?

I’m all about mythology. But I have to say, though I’ve imagined which goddess I’d be—please, oh please, let me be Artemis and roam the woods—I haven’t thought about a divine parental unit.

So . . . I’m going to go out on a limb and say, given the complex choices, I’d choose Athena for a mom. As the patron goddess of Athens (a place I’ve always wanted to go), she was the Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Weaving. She was also a warrior. I think she’d be a strong feminine role model, who would not just give advice, but truly wise counsel, and she’d probably weave me some incredible scarves (which I love), and when she’d teach me how to better access my own warrior spirit, and, when necessary, stand up for myself and others.

What kind of shoe would you describe yourself as?

I am first and foremost, red.

If that’s not specific enough: I’m a comfortable, low-heeled, pointy-toed, red cowboy boot.

Thank you, Karen, for the interview and congrats on the release!

While He Was Away is out now, so be sure to pick it up.

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