Please will you tell us about your latest book?
MR IRRESISTIBLE, a Superromance, will be published June 07. Jordan King, the long-haired arrogant ‘Viking’ of my first book, MR IMPERFECT meets his match in columnist Kate Brogan. It’s a contemporary combination of Taming of the Shrew and African Queen (an adventure novel by CS Forester). If you want a visual, picture Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall.
How long have you been writing and what made you start?
I’ve been writing romantic fiction for six years (published for one!) and I’m a journalist by profession. So I guess I’ve always been a writer in one form or another. I was one of those annoying kids who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. It took me a long time to get serious about writing fiction though…acting on your dreams can be hard. But the alternative – giving up on them – is worse.
Many people spend a long time finding an agent, can you tell us about your agent hunt?
I was lucky enough to get an agent before I sold – Karen Solem of Spencerhill & Assoc. I wasn’t hunting for one, but Lucia Macro of Avon had rejected a ms I sent her and suggested sending it to Superromance, saying an agent would speed up the process. She suggested two she liked, and said I could use her name. I had to take advantage of the opportunity and Karen took me on. As an unpublished writer, you can really speed up the submission process if you have an agent.
Everyone loves a good call story, what was yours?
Loooong! Because I’d originally written the ms for Avon it was 50 pages too long for Superromance. They asked me to cut it, then I re-submitted then waited…and waited (not that long, it just felt that way). Finally on Friday the 13th, editor Victoria Curran rang me and we talked about the weather and eventually she said, we want to buy your book. My overwhelming feeling was relief…I’d been writing five years by this stage. Plus because I’d rehearsed a gracious acceptance so often in my imagination I felt like I was saying my lines…c’mon Karina, more EMOTION like we planned. The excitement came later when I finally accepted that this time, it’s for real.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Bum on seat, hands on keyboard. Accept that rejection is part of the process and don’t take it personally. Keep the faith. Simple eh? You’ll find the first one the hardest.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on now and what books are coming out in the future?
Mr IRRESISTIBLE comes out June 07 and I’m working on a proposal for the third book in the series, MR INVULNERABLE which tells the story of the third hero in the trilogy. I have a first line: “She was in bed with a man who wasn’t her husband.” Now I just need the rest of the book. G>
A scary birthday milestone had to pass before Karina Bliss understood that achieving a childhood dream required more commitment than ‘when I grow up I’ m going to be.’ A Golden Heart and Clendon Award winner, it took this New Zealand journalist five years of ‘seriously writing’ to get a book contract, a process which she says helped put childbirth into perspective. She lives with her partner and their son north of Auckland.Visit her on the Web at www.karinabliss.com