Karen resides in Louisiana. She loves to travel but the Bayou State has always been “home”. Besides travel, her other passions include cooking, reading, and of course writing.
Before becoming a novelist, Karen wrote articles, blogs, and short stories for local periodicals. Now readers around the world enjoy her inspirational fiction.
An Interview with Karen Lopez
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
For many years, I wouldn’t admit to anyone I wanted to write. I began with poetry but mostly kept it hidden in a notebook. About ten years ago, I became friends with several women entrepreneurs (not writers) but in our meetups, a familiar question would come up, “if you were independently wealthy, what would you do?” I admitted, I’d write. There was always the general encouragement to do it, but two friends especially stayed after me until one day, the final excuse was tossed aside, and I went home and began writing. The result was my first novel, Shaw Point. Never underestimate the power of friendship!
What is your favorite part of writing?
Character building. So far, it seems that it is my characters that get me going and keep me going in a story. Writing historical fiction can require hours of research and it is the human story enveloped in history that makes that work fascinating.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Research can inspire many details in a story, but in general, for me, there is a ‘movie’ that gets played in my imagination. I do realize our subconscious is taking in info all the time and I suppose that is how these ‘dreams/visions’ come to me. Often, I will wake up from having dreamed the whole book. Once, it took a week of dreams strung together. But, as many authors or songwriters may also confess, your imagination sometimes does a creative download on you as you're driving or showering (places it is near impossible to take notes)!
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Very likely! Ha! Of course, I people watch. My personality is what I like to term a ‘friendly’ introvert. In general, I’m much more comfortable waaaay in the background observing, but I do like people. And I also love when someone shares an unusual name with me, whether it's from a family member or their own.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
First, whether you are an author or not, my first advice is to recognize your worth. Believe in you! You are valuable without any qualifiers of what you do or how you do it. This is essential in my opinion because it isn’t really all the excuses we make (reference my #1 answer) that block our desires and hopes, it's fear. And most fear goes back to “I’m not good enough for or to do X”. I still must remind myself of this daily.
Next, you as a writer are NOT likely to look/feel anything like your idealized/imagined life of other writers. Whether you are writing your first or twentieth book, there are still parts that you get stuck on or will be more difficult. So, give yourself permission to not quit. Step away, sure. But never quit.
Finally, if at all possible, make some author friends. Join a support group online (many are free) or a local writing group. You may not find the perfect fit at first, but you will find a posse who truly gets your struggles and wildly celebrates your wins with you.