Karyn Pearson is the author of Spark (Hellfire Trilogy #1), Inferno (Hellfire Trilogy #2), and full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. Karyn enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters whenever she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”
Her current projects include Embers (Hellfire Trilogy #3) and the first novel of a new vampire series. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door.
Karyn is also one of my author-mates over at Distinguished Press. She’s been editing my stories for The Cities of Luna.
1. What do you do with all the ellipses you take out of my stories? Do you recycle?
I sacrifice them to the grammar god, along with all other grammatical errors. Particularly heinous ones are used to sharpen my editing chainsaw. I keep those.
2. Do you have a favorite out of the stories of mine you’ve edited so far?
So far my favorite is Moon Dragons. But I like all of your stories overall. Every single one of them is fun to read.
3. How did you develop a relationship with Distinguished Press?
I actually knew Catrina, the founder and boss lady of Distinguished Press, long before Distinguished Press even existed. We were friends and I shared my work with her for fun. Then one day she said she wanted to start her own publishing label, so I was signed on as one of the first, if not the first, authors at Distinguished Press.
4. When did you start writing the Hellfire trilogy?
I started the first book, Spark, on November 1, 2011 for NaNoWriMo 2011. I wrote all the way to about 12:36am on the morning ofNovember 30th when I finally finished it. The second and third books, Inferno and Embers, respectively, have also been NaNoWriMo novels for the years 2012 and 2013. (Three year winning streak, woo!)
5. When did the first two books come out? When will the third book come out?
Spark came out July 20, 2013 and Inferno was released on January 31, 2014. As for Embers, I have no idea when the release date will be. I’m still writing it!
6. What was the process of creating the book covers?
I spoke to Catrina about the vision I had in mind for the look of the covers, and she did her best to accommodate that and we went through several mock-ups before finally settling on Spark’s cover. With Inferno’s cover, I actually helped design that one. The seal depicted on the cover was put together by me with various elements incorporated into it. Embers will probably have a similar cover creation process.
8. What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
My desktop computer! I have a nice comfy chair and all my favorite music is on this one. Plus it runs faster than my laptop, so I can stop to quickly research things.
9. What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
My favorite non-electronic writing tool would have to be this little 3 x 5 sketchbook I keep across from my bed. It’s turned more into a notebook than a sketchbook. There are some outlines in there for the Hellfire Trilogy and other books that have yet to come.
10. What’s the most suspicious thing the NSA would find in your browser history?
All my research for the Hellfire Trilogy. I had to look up so much demonology and even the actual Latin exorcisms of the Catholic church. So I’m sure the people over at NSA think I’m some strange Satanist with an anime addiction who sacrifices goats on the weekends.
My most persistent distractions are real life things (i.e. chores) and Nikki, one of my two dogs. She likes to put her head on my chair’s arm rest or stick her cold, wet nose right at my elbow to get my attention.
12. Many writers go through a stage when they hate what they’re writing. Do you ever feel this way?
I live in a perpetual cycle of hating and loving my writing. Some days I love it. Then a week later, I’ll look at it and hate everything. It fluctuates with my mood, I guess.
My ideal writing environment would be somewhere cozy and quiet, possibly with some of my favorite music playing. But so far, I have yet to really create that kind of atmosphere here.
14. What is your editing/rewrite process?
Mostly, I edit and revise as I write. If I make typos, I fix them on the spot. If I write a line that I don’t like, I go back back change it, even if I’m a page down or a few lines down. My brain is constantly thinking over things I’ve written, and randomly I’ll figure out a solution to whatever issue I’m having with a particular line or word.
My dogs are usually pretty good about leaving me alone to write. They only bother me when they want to play or go outside to potty. Though Nikki is a ham for attention (and she’s also my canine shadow — as in, where I go, she goes) so there are times she can be a bit annoying by poking her nose into my elbow, or resting her head on my keyboard tray, or my chair’s arm rest. Then there’s the rare times where she uses her head to shove my hand off my keyboard or mouse. And that’s particularly annoying. Thankfully, Jamie is a bit more respectful and he doesn’t do that kind of stuff.
They’re big dogs! Nikki is a 50/50 German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever and Jamie is a purebred German Shepherd. I don’t believe in pocket dogs because: 1) Every time I see one, I think of starlets who walk around carrying their dogs in their purse. 2) They don’t seem like real dogs to me because you can’t really play with little dogs in the way you can with big dogs. And lastly, 3) Most, if not all, little dogs I’ve encountered have owners who suffer from “Small Dog Syndrome” which is basically where they misinterpret aggressive or other undesirable dog behaviors as their dog being “cute” by pretending to be a big dog, when in actuality, they need to send that dog to obedience school. (I’ve been charged at one too many times by small dogs.)
17. What’s the difference between an action RPG and a normal RPG?
Uhh… You know what, I don’t really know. I guess action RPGs are more fast-paced than regular RPGs. But then that begs the question, “what is a regular RPG?” and there’s no real way to answer that, since so many games can fit under that umbrella. The RPG genre is vast with many subgenres. You’ve got JRPGs, MMORPGs, action RPGs, and so forth. I honestly don’t really look at the type of RPG I’m playing. I just play the game and enjoy it as is. As long as the story’s good, I’ll play it.
18. How does your anthropology degree affect your writing?
I don’t know if my anthropology degree has really affected my writing at all. I’m not one to be very observant of these kinds of things. I feel like I have yet to apply my anthropological studies to my writing, but then it’s also possible I already have and I’m simply unaware of it.
19. J.K. Rowling recently said she now thinks perhaps Hermione should have married Harry instead of Ron. What’s your opinion?
I feel like the Harry/Hermione or, Harmione, comment JKR made was likely fueled by a lot of the Harmione shippers in the fandom, or people who generally feel that the hero should get the girl. Personally, I thought Ron and Hermione (Romione) were perfect for one another. They acted like an old married couple by Prisoner of Azkaban, so I was pretty much sold on that ship by then. Harry and Hermione’s relationship honestly didn’t ever come across as anything more than platonic to me. Ginny was the better match for Harry (even though for a time I was a bit weirded out that he was with his best friend’s sister — I was and still am a long-time Harry/Cho shipper, but that’s a completely different story).
20. Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Han shot first! I don’t care what they tried to do in the blu-ray release by making it look like Greedo shot first. Just because Han’s a “good guy” doesn’t mean he has to be pure as snow in the “good” department. Han’s not that type of good guy. It makes total sense for him to shoot first. That’s just his character. Hell, if I was in Han’s position, I would’ve shot first too. So when that was changed in the blu-ray, I feel that was a bad move and it was unfaithful to Han’s character to make things seem one way when they were another. Good characters aren’t inherently and completely good, just like bad characters aren’t inherently and completely evil. People don’t come in shades of black and white. It’s not natural; it’s not how human beings are at all. There’s a mix of the two in everyone.