Welcome to my stop in the GAIA by Karen Ann Hopkins Blog Tour hosted by lKismet Book Tours. Today on my stop we have a Guest Post + an awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway!!
Watchers and Angels are at war. Which side will Ember choose?
Humankind is on the precipice of the apocalypse.
As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.
But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.
When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.
As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.
~~ The path at becoming an author ~~
I never seriously considered being a writer until six years ago, when I moved from Tennessee into an Amish settlement in northern Kentucky. I was suddenly surrounded by the Amish and their culture and it fascinated me. Amish teens were interacting with non-Amish (English) kids at my farm and I saw impossible friendships develop, even hints of romance. The seed of an idea of what would happen if one of those Amish kids fell in love with an outsider grew in my mind. That’s what inspired me to begin, but I still lived among the Amish for almost two years before I felt confident enough in my knowledge about the people to tackle a novel. I wanted to portray what seemed like an impossible romance with accuracy and honesty, and I was very careful to observe and interview my neighbors in person, rather than depending on research online or in a library. All the cultural details you read about in my Amish fiction are true and accurate to my own experiences in my community and the surrounding settlements.
After I finished Temptation, I did some research online and purchased a book at a local bookstore about querying literary agents to begin the process. I had around thirty rejections before Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York offered me representation. You might wonder what kept me submitting my manuscript after so many rejections. Persistence. In my heart, I felt strongly that Temptation was a unique story of forbidden romance and my personal daily interactions with the Amish people made me the perfect candidate to tell it. Most of the rejections I received included helpful advice and suggestions to improve my manuscript. I made changes, revised, and revised some more. I ended up with a better book by the time I submitted to Christina. Everyone I queried loved my idea, but my writing had to improve before Temptation was marketable. It makes perfect sense now, but at the time, it was a difficult journey.
After Christina took me on, she helped me revise Temptation further before she finally began submitting it to publishing houses. This part was just as frustrating as querying for agents. It was like beginning all over again. There were a few rejections initially, but two months after the first submission, two large houses made offers on the Temptation series. It was a great position to be in, but also frightening. I wanted to pick the right place to launch the series and my career. In the end, I went with Harlequin Teen. I felt a kinship with editor, Adam Wilson. The Amish intrigued him as much as they did me, and that played a huge part in my decision.
Temptation came out in 2012, followed by Belonging in 2013 and in 2014, Forever hit the shelves. It was an exciting time, filled with book festival tours, discussions and signings. I networked with other authors, developing friendships with amazing writers like Katie McGarry, Julie Kagawa, Melissa Landers, and Laura Bickle, just to name a few.
But for all the success that I’d achieved with the Temptation series, I found myself with several new series ideas that Harlequin didn’t want to pursue. I was faced with the dilemma of starting the process all over again, searching for a new publishing house or going on my own. After three years of learning the ropes as an author with a top notch publishing house, I felt I had enough knowledge, experience and a large enough fan base to become an Indie author. I liked the idea of having the freedom to create my own covers, sale pitches, and ultimately control the sale prices of my books. I’d already discovered that being an author meant spending a lot of time promoting yourself and your books anyway.
A year and a half later, I’m having a blast writing adult Amish mysteries in Serenity’s Plain Secrets’ series and dystopian/paranormal/fantasy with my young adult Wings of War series. I also published a fourth Temptation novel, titled Rachel’s Deception.
The main advice I have for aspiring authors is to be persistent, nothing really worthwhile happens overnight. It’s a long, lonely road. If you have a story that you really love and believe in, it will be easier to stay the course. The first thing you need to do is buckle down and write the entire book. Don’t get hung up on editing and making it perfect in the beginning. Let the flow of the story develop and take hold of you. You can always go back and revise, but if you’re stuck on page fifty forever, you’ll never get that book done. Also, please put on your rhino-hide coat. You have to have thick skin in this industry. No matter how great your story is or how knowledgeable you are about English grammar, you’re going to make mistakes. And people will unabashedly let you know. The learning process for a writer never ends. Please be willing to listen to helpful suggestions and put them to use, even if it means completely revising sections of your book when needed.
Lastly, surround yourself with great people, who want you to be successful. Not every critique partner is looking out for your best interests. Don’t be paranoid, but be thoughtful when selecting people to edit your manuscript, design your covers and promote your work.
Being an author is a fulltime job. It’s not glamorous and most of us don’t make a lot of money. But if you have a story that’s banging in your head, begging you to tell it, then go for it. The three Ps to keep in mind are: Persistence, Passion, and Patience. Good luck!
Thank you for being a part of Gaia’s blog tour! I love to connect with readers on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or at www.karenannhopkins.com. Please be on the lookout for the release of SECRETS IN THE GRAVE, the third installment in my mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, in early September!
Thanks for reading!
Karen Ann Hopkins
Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.
Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.
~ Monday, August 24th ~
Bittersweet Enchantment (Review)
a Bookish Escape (Review)
~ Tuesday, August 25th ~
Behind The Pages (Guest Post)
Lose Time Reading (Review)
~ Wednesday, August 26th ~
Taking It One Book at a Time (Guest Post)
~ Thursday, August 27th ~
Such a Novel Idea (Review)
The Perks of Being a Book Girl (Guest Post)
~ Friday, August 28th ~
Avid Reader Musings (Review/Guest Post)
Books and Things (Guest Post)
~ Monday, August 31st ~
Bewitched Bookworms (Guest Post)
Pause Time Reviews (Review/Guest Post)
~ Tuesday, September 1st ~
A Dream Within A Dream (Review)
Addicted Readers (Guest Post)
~ Wednesday, September 2nd ~
Actin' Up with Books (Review)
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club (Guest Post)
~ Thursday, September 3rd ~
Sassy Book Lovers (Review/Guest Post)
Fire and Ice (Interview)
~ Friday, September 4th ~
Read by Amanda (Review)
Curling Up With A Good Book (Guest Post)
~ Monday, September 7th ~
A Book Addict's Bookshelves (Review/Interview)
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales (Review)
~ Tuesday, September 8th ~
The Cheshire Cat's Looking Glass (Guest Post)
~ Wednesday,September 9th ~
On Writing and Riding (Interview)
Little Miss Drama Queen (Review)
~ Thursday, September 10th ~
Book Lovers Life (Guest Post)
So Bookalicious (Review/Interview)
~ Friday, September 11th ~
Rainy Days and Pajamas (Review)
Her Book Thoughts (Review)
~ Monday, September 14th ~
the bookdragon (Interview)
God's Girl, Books and Coffee (Review/Interview)
~ Tuesday, September 15th ~
Don't Fold the Page (Review)
Jessie Marie Reads (Review/Guest Post)
Sassy & Dangerous (Guest Post)
~ Wednesday, September 16th ~
Mortal Moments (Review/Guest Post)
Roxy's Reviews (Review/Guest Post)
~ Thursday, September 17th ~
The Forest of Words and Pages (Review)
Hearrs Reading (Review/Interview)
~ Friday, September 18th ~
Literary Meanderings (Guest Post)
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