by Laura Simmons
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
What would you do if you woke up one morning and your life was inexplicably changed in the worst way imaginable?
Banished by his enemy into a hellish alternate dimension, Luke Decker fights to understand why his world has suddenly changed, and why is he on trial for the murder of his beloved Nina? What he doesn’t know is she’s not dead. Nina watches him vanish into thin air and is completely bereft, struggling to find out how and why he disappeared. Using all of her psychic talents and traversing the astral realm, she frantically searches for him to no avail. She owns a secret item which holds the key to his salvation, but will she figure it out before he’s condemned to live the rest of his life in a realm of darkness?
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I've wanted to write a book since I was a child, it was the first thing I can ever remember saying I wanted to do when I grow up. I love creating worlds in my mind and writing about them. My best days are when my characters decide to have lively conversations. They have developed a habit of giving me their best ideas and plot twists while I'm driving and can't write them down! All of my books can be read as stand alone stories. The characters carry over into the following stories with the major ones becoming a supporting cast and the previous supporting cast taking front and center to tell their particular story. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to look at my books.
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Determined, grateful, happy
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I can imagine both Tough Karma and Dark Karma being made into movies or even a mini-series on Netflix or HBO. Even though the stories are different and easily read as stand-alone novels, the characters carry over. Some more than others, but I think a mini-series based on these two books would be awesome. I would be jumping for joy!
What can we expect from you in the future?
More stories. Dark Karma is my third book and I have plans for two more books. There will be one more book in the unofficial Karma Series, and the book after that will either start a new series or be a single issue with no follow-on. As of now though, the fifth book will most likely be a new series. Some of the minor characters from Dark Karma are poking at me to tell their stories.
How did you come up with name of this book?
I wanted a title with the word “karma” in it to compliment the other books in my unofficial series. Since this is a darker story than my two previous books, the title Dark Karma felt right to me. I wanted to expand on the title a bit and added the words, Sword of Vengeance as I was finishing up the book. The title makes perfect sense if you read the story.
Who designed your book cover?
Outskirts Press. I’ve loved all of the covers they’ve done for me. They asked me to send them my cover ideas and they created two covers for me to choose from. I loved both covers for Dark Karma but couldn’t make up my mind which one to choose. A friend helped me decide and I asked the artists at Outskirts to make a small change to the one you see on this page. The one I didn’t select was more colorful than the current one, but it seemed too sweet for the story. I think the current cover for Dark Karma is perfect.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Dark Karma?
Our two main characters are Nina Perotti and Luke Decker. I don’t want to give too much away, so this will be brief. Nina is a part-time CIA psychic with otherworldly abilities who lives in the country and has a small farm. Luke is a former Navy SEAL and CIA operative. They are longtime friends and have recently become much more. Their happiness is shattered when they must face the fight of their lives.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
My first book focused on reincarnation, the second one focused on that same concept plus unusual psychic talents and a deranged villain. I wanted to use all of those concepts in Dark Karma, but take it to another level. The concept of traveling to other dimensions of reality intrigues me, and I thought it would be a wonderful element to include in this story. The main characters, Nina and Luke, are supporting characters in Tough Karma so it was easy to write for them. I’m just a channel for my characters, they work through me to tell their tales. I have to give them all of the kudos.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The plot twists given to me by two of the supporting characters. I had been struggling with a particular section and mulling over several scenarios to move it forward. I was driving to work one morning and thinking about that particular character when the new twist entered my mind, and it was so off the wall from anything I would have dreamed up that I didn’t accept it right away. I pondered it for a few days and decided to try writing to it. Once I started writing it came through loud and clear. The other twist comes much later in the book. That one was surprising too, but not off the charts. It made me laugh out loud and shake my head. It’s not a funny scene but it was great fun to write.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
If I told you, it would be a spoiler. I’ll provide a tiny hint for those who decide to read the story: DK. I love the vengeance and fight scenes along with the ending.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For the character of Luke, I can easily see Mark Wahlberg playing him. They have similar coloring and a muscular body build, and he would be a good badass. Although Luke has a shaved head and I can’t imagine Mark Wahlberg without hair, as long as an actor can capture the essence of a certain character, that’s all that matters. For Nina’s character, I can see Mila Kunis portraying her. Nina has short dark hair, but I think Mila could capture Nina’s personality and exotic look. Besides, I liked Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis together in the movie, Ted.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They all come from my imagination.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
For this story, I have to say yes, they hijacked it and I’m so thankful! One of the supporting characters was incredibly persuasive and changed the direction of the story. If the characters are intent on me writing a specific thing for them, they will continue to pester me by entering my thoughts until I write it.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
They typically come to me one at a time. New ones emerge as I start writing and need a supporting character to move the story along. I love it when a new character comes on strong and takes the story in a different direction.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the subject matter. For Dark Karma, I did some research on different types of swords from medieval times to present. My research consists of Googling information if I don’t need to go in-depth about something to buying books on a subject if I need to write something more substantial.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I would love to make a living writing stories.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think it’s wonderful that anyone who wants to publish their work can self-publish versus having to market themselves to a major publisher. There is so much information out there on how to do everything yourself or find a self-publishing company who can do some or all of the hard work for you, like Outskirts Press or Lulu. Of course, if you use one of those types of companies, it will cost a pretty penny if you want them to do the heavy lifting (get your book in major distribution channels, format Kindle and Nook versions, publish on demand, create custom covers, video trailers, etc.) for you.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
Yes, I read a lot and my favorite genre is Romance. I’m particularly fond of medieval romance and any kind of romance with time travel.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Background noise doesn’t bother me unless it’s really loud, then I can’t concentrate. My husband likes TV and he watches it while I write on my laptop. Most of the time I’m able to go into my own little world and focus to the point where I don’t hear the TV. I don’t have a preference, I use whatever time I can get and write when the characters are coming through. I’ve written to music before and found it amazing for writing love scenes.
Speaking of noise and writing, there are three songs which make me think of different scenes in Dark Karma. Whenever I hear the songs, Dreams or Love Walks In by Van Halen, I immediately think about Luke and Nina’s struggles and a particular incident toward the end of the story.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One at a time but that could change because I have some new characters pushing me to write their stories.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? Making sure the male characters are manly enough and don’t think or act like women.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about a year and a half. If I didn’t have to work a full-time job, I’m sure I could write stories much faster.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. I think it happens because I want the story to go in a particular direction and I’m trying to fit it into a neat little box or force it to an already prepared outline. Outlines are good for getting started on a new story, but I always go off-track in a more interesting direction.
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