I am very pleased to welcome Karen King to my blog today! Karen very kindly agreed to an interview and has also provided an extract from The Millionaire Plan for you all to enjoy.
For those who don’t know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your book, please?
I started my writing career with the teenage magazine, Jackie and spent many years writing for various children’s magazines such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh before concentrating solely on writing children’s books.
I turned my hand to writing romance about ten years ago. I’ve had several short stories published in women’s magazines and The Millionaire Plan was my second published romance novel. It was published under the pen-name Kay Harborne by a US publisher, Astraea Press, and was nominated for the RONE Award. After attending my first RNA conference in 2014 I wrote my chick-lit, ‘I do?…or do I?’ which was published by Accent Press. They contracted me to write two more chick-lit novels and republished my two backlist romances, The Millionaire Plan and Never Say Forever, this time in my own name, Karen King.
Where did you get the inspiration for The Millionaire Plan?
I read about a website called SugarDaddy.com for women who wanted to marry a rich man and that gave me an idea for a heroine who hatched a plan to marry a millionaire. I wanted her to be likeable and to have a good reason for wanting to marry a millionaire so I decided it would be to save her parents having to sell the Tudor house that had been in their family for generations. Amber, my heroine, feels that it’s her fault her parents are in a financial mess because her ex-fiancé persuaded her dad to invest his life savings in dodgy shares. I had fun devising Amber’s ten point plan to hook a millionaire.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
How do you pick your character’s names?
Sometimes the character pops into my head complete with their name, as Amber did. Or I see or hear a name I really like so note it down for future reference. Other times I Google babies’ names websites, look in the magazines or the newspaper. It might take me a while to find the name I want, and sometimes I’ve been known to change a character’s name half-way through the story because I’ve thought of another name that suits them better.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell.
For me characters make stories so I usually start with the characters. I think about them for a while, fleshing them out a bit in my mind, then I fill in a character profile for them. I note down as much information as I can, what they look like, favourite colours, foods, places, their family and friends, what bugs them, etc, etc. Then I start to think about the plot. I write a short outline so I have a base to work with then start writing straight onto the computer.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Sharon Shinn, the author of the Samaria series. I’d ask her how she managed to dream up such a captivating and unique world with such credible, mesmerising characters.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. I was lucky enough to live around the corner from the library and would take out four books a day in the school holidays. My favourite at the time were the Just William books which used to make me laugh out loud. And Enid Blyton, of course.
When did you first start to write?
I’ve written stories and poems for a long as I can remember. I had my first poem published – in the children’s corner of the local paper – when I was eleven. However, it was some years later, when I was married with four children, before I started writing for a living.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I’d change the ending to Gone with The Wind so that Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler stay together.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on three books. First, and the most urgent one, is my third chick-lit for Accent Press which has to be finished by the end of January, second is a YA and third is a psychological drama. I also have several ideas for short stories I want to write up.
Do you have a new release date?
My second chick-lit for Accent Press will be released in the Spring. They are also republishing my YA Perfect Summer which will be released around Spring time.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Here are my social media links.
Thanks so much for interviewing me, Kerry.
Many thanks for answering my questions, Karen. It has been a pleasure! 🙂
Publisher: Accent Press (8th July 2016)
Amber Wynters is on a mission to find a millionaire to marry – and fast. Her parents are nearly bankrupt and being forced to sell their family home, a beautiful Tudor house that has been in the family for generations, thanks to Amber’s ex-fiance persuading them to invest in his dodgy shares. Armed with a self-help book and a ten-point plan, she sets off to hook herself a rich husband. On a millionaire’s yacht, she meets the drop-dead gorgeous Jed Curtess. The attraction between them is sizzling. It’s a shame that he is only a hired hand. Can Amber ignore her heart and follow her plan?
Rule number 1: Make sure you’re seen at the right places
Great. Here she was, dressed to kill and without a clue what to do, Amber thought, tugging self-consciously at the hem of her dress. Everyone else was walking around in groups, or at least in pairs, chatting and laughing together and making her wish that she’d taken up Callie’s offer to go sailing with her and Simon instead of wandering around Coombe Bay Marina alone. Honestly, dressed in this skin-tight, short white designer dress, high heels, and the pile of make-up Callie had insisted she wore, she might as well have the words ‘gold-digger’ written on her forehead.
Well, that’s what she was, wasn’t it?
Not for the first time she wondered how she’d let Callie talk her into coming here to try and hook a millionaire. It was mad. Insane. Immoral.
And her only option if she didn’t want her parents to lose their home as well as their business.
Spotting a café overlooking the marina, she bought herself a latté and was making her way over to one of the tables when a white yacht caught her eye. It wasn’t huge or brash, like some of the yachts in the marina, but it was definitely classy. The sort that a millionaire would have for his own use, to sail around in rather than show off and entertain his friends. As she peered over at it, trying to read the name painted on the side, she collided into something hard. Her coffee cup went flying off the saucer, emptying its contents over a pair of cut-off denim shorts that were hugging lean, definitely male, hips.
‘Whoa!’ Strong, suntanned arms held her steady. ‘You want to try looking where you’re going,’ an incredibly sexy voice drawled in an unmistakeably American accent.
‘Sorry.’ She looked up into a pair of twinkling tawny eyes that laughed at her from a ruggedly handsome face, topped by thick, light brown hair with sun-kissed highlights. Phwoarr! was her immediate reaction, but she quickly pulled herself together. She’d just spilt coffee over this guy, for goodness sake, the least she could do was apologise instead of drooling over him like a lunatic.
‘I’m so sorry,’ she apologised again. ‘I was looking at that yacht over there. It’s fantastic, isn’t it? I’ve never seen one like that before.’ Not the thing to say, Amber, she scolded herself. You’re supposed to be acting smart and sophisticated as if you come to these sort of events all the time, not twittering away like an idiot and letting the first person you bump into know that you’ve never seen anything bigger than a dinghy before. Then she remembered that she had quite literally ‘bumped’ into this man and drowned him in coffee in the process.
‘Gosh, I’m so sorry,’ she said, fully aware that this was the third time she’d apologised but unable to stop herself gabbling. She looked down at his wet denim cut-offs, trying not to let her gaze linger on the sun-tanned legs below them, then shifted her eyes hurriedly back to his face. ‘Er, I’ll go and get a cloth so you can clean up.’
‘No need. I’m working on that yacht you were admiring so I haven’t got far to go and get changed,’ he replied. ‘Perhaps you’d like to join me and clean yourself up too? You don’t want to leave that to stain. It’ll ruin your dress.’
What? She glanced down in confusion and saw that coffee was splattered all over the bottom of her – or rather, Callie’s – dress and running down her legs. How could she have not noticed? Because I was too busy gawping at him, that’s why.
She hesitated. He had said he was working on the yacht, which meant he didn’t own it – more’s the pity. So his boss could well be on board. And whilst the ‘How to Hook a Millionaire’ book Callie had brought and insisted she read from cover to cover had declared she should ‘seize any opportunity to mix with the seriously rich’ – and let’s face it, anyone who owned that yacht was seriously rich – meeting them with a coffee-stained dress and legs was not a good idea. ‘Always be perfectly made up and elegantly dressed’ was another rule.
‘Is your boss on board?’ she asked.
‘No, only me.’ He was looking at her intently. ‘Perhaps I should introduce myself, I’m sure your mother drilled it into you to never go off with strangers.’ He held out his hand. ‘Jed Curtess.’
She took his hand. It was strong and warm and his touch sent tingles running up her arm. ‘Amber Wynters,’ she told him.
‘Now we’ve been introduced, Amber Wynters, would you like to come on board and get cleaned up?’ he asked, a playful smile hovering on his lips.
She most definitely would but should she? She didn’t even know this man, although she had to admit that she definitely found him appealing. Should she risk going onto the yacht with him? He might not be as harmless as he seemed. She saw the teasing twinkle in his gorgeous tawny eyes and her heart flipped. Cancel harmless. This guy was a danger to her blood pressure if nothing else.
‘I promise I won’t try to seduce you,’ he said solemnly. ‘Unless you beg me to, of course.’ His eyes danced with humour and she thought there was probably a queue of women who would love him to do just that.
Oooo, make sure you click HERE to buy a copy!