Author Karen Anne talks about her character writing experiences.
One of the most common questions I’m asked after someone has read one of my paranormal books is, “Who from your personal life inspired your characters?” Well, considering my past characters are a charming demon who could talk the pants off of you, a gorgeous shape-shifting woman with a thirst for the sins of the flesh, a five-hundred year old highland vampire who enjoys bartending in downtown Manhattan and an angel so uptight he may as well have been crafted from cardboard, I’d have to say… no one did.
I mean, with friends like that, who needs enemies? My characters are as equally flawed as they are intriguing. And it is with great pleasure I say they exist in my head, and my head alone.
But writing Death by Social Suicide was different, not only was it contemporary, which was a huge change for me, but it has a character within it’s pages who is every bit as real as I am.
When I came up with the idea for the book I was sitting on the couch watching Legally Blonde.
Having spent some time in the Greek system, that movie always made me smile. I decided it might be fun to read an NA that centers around a sorority. I started googling sorority books, but the book I was looking for— the one I wanted to read, didn’t seem to exist.
By the time the movie was over, I had outlined a vague idea of a story in a notebook. A few hours later I had written the first chapter. The next morning I wrote another chapter and started to tighten my outline. That’s when I reached the crucial stage of the book: is this something worth continuing? I was excited, but it was so different from what I usually wrote I had no idea if it was right for the category of New Adult Romance. So I contacted a woman who’s opinion I greatly value, a friend by the name of Kristen, and asked if she would be willing to read a few chapters. She agreed and I hit send.
Kristen was my Lil Sis in our sorority, I met her one day on campus when she was seventeen and I was twenty-one. But over the years she has become so much more than that. We’ve laughed together, cried together, been in each other’s weddings and held each other’s newborn in the hospital. From karaoke to cocktails she is more than a friend, she’s the closest thing I will ever have to a real sister.
I didn’t expect to hear from her for a few days, so I went out to run some errands. That’s when I got a text from Kristen asking if I had written anything else, because she was hooked and needed more. Laughing, I abandoned my supermarket duties and locked myself up in my writing room. I told her my plans for the book, and she loved the concept. That’s when I thought, Hey! The book deals with a sorority, why not make a character named, Kristen? The book began to really take shape after that. I had written my friend into the novel and I refused to let her down. I wrote faster than I had ever written in my life. Knowing Kristen was waiting to read the next chapter motivated me to push myself harder. In twenty-one days, weighing in at an initial 74K, the first draft was done.
In the book, Kristen is a strong female character who Brit grows to truly admire. They have more in common than Brit ever fathomed and for the first time Brit sees that being friends with a girl is a lot more rewarding than she ever thought possible. She begins to trust her and allows herself to let go and just embrace what is being offered. Their friendship is easy, and they fall into it as if they had known each other forever. That’s my Kristen. She put the wind in my sails and helped me launch this story.
A friendship that perfect is a rare thing— one you often only find in books.
Title: Death by Social Suicide by Karen Anne
Publication date: February 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
The night Brittany Wakefield kissed her best friend, Jaime, she lost everything. Who knew one amazing moment could send him running— spinning a web of deceit and avoidance for two years. Stepping onto campus, she’s ready to win him back, even if it involves pledging a sorority she has no interest in.
Erik Draxton fell hard for Brit the moment she walked into the art room. With vibrant purple hair, music in her veins and a rebellious flair, she’s all he’s ever wanted.
While Jaime shrouds himself in secrets, Brit finds herself longing even more to be a part of his world. Unable to watch the girl of his dreams get tossed to the side, Erik decides to take matters into his own hands. But when Erik crosses a line, Brit feels backed into a corner, and discovering Jaime’s secret leaves her devastated.
With a shattered heart from Jaime, and the risk of losing Erik on the horizon, she knows one thing: navigating the social circles can be a suicide mission.
Add Death by Social Suicide to your Goodreads shelf.
About the Author
Karen Anne is a New Adult Contemporary Romance author who lives in New York. She loves cats, coffee and deeply misses 90’s grunge.
Karen is also known as Kat Daemon, Paranormal Romance writer and lover of all things dark and twisty. You can find out more about her at www.katdaemon.com