Sunday, July 8, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Karen Amanda Hooper!

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Amanda Hooper, author of Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity!
I’ve loved mermaids since as far back as I can remember. I grew up watching movies like Splash and The Little Mermaid, and you could find me swimming around the pool in our backyard with my legs stuck together, pretending I had a tail and fins.

Fast forward a couple (maybe a few) decades and I’m still playing make-believe with mermaids–except now they’re in my novels instead of a toy box.

I’m a self-proclaimed twisted little pixie. I believe that magic and true love really do exist, even in a world that can be ugly at times. I like to dance down rabbit holes and ride shooting stars while playing a never-ending game of “Imagine If…” Then I write about my impossible and fantastical musings and call myself an author. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love storytelling way too much.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but I’ve also lived in Colorado. Eventually, I had to move to a place where I’d be surrounded by water, so I now live in Florida.

When I’m not writing I can be found reading, people watching at Disney World, hanging with my amazing friends and family, listening to music, dancing, traveling, pondering the Universe, or enjoying breathtaking sunsets and a good glass of white wine.

I love great food, desserts, more desserts, movies that make me laugh or cry, thunderstorms, butterflies in my stomach, curtains blowing in the breeze, my dogs tails wagging because they are happy to see me, thrilling rides, books that make me think or learn something new, Ravens football, long warm baths, smiling uncontrollably, flavored coffee, an amazing dream that stays with me all day, popping popcorn the old-fashioned way, jumping out of airplanes, board games, lotto scratch-offs, and flying to Neverland.

I’m a constant work in progress.

Check out the teen focused blog that I co-founded with some other awesome YA authors: YA Confidential

I’m also grateful and lucky to be part of a talented group of authors called the Indelibles.
Let’s get to know a bit more about Karen, shall we? :)

1. Favorite movie? Oh, there are so many. Recently, I have a new movie crush on Crazy Stupid Love. 
2. Favorite candy? Twix. Or chewy caramels. Or York Peppermint Patties. (I like candy.)
3. Book you are currently reading? Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca. Love me some angels.
4. Current literary boy crush? Gavin from Inhale by Kendall Grey. An Australian rockstar bad boy who saves the world. Yum. But be warned, that book is adult and rated R.
5. Favorite animal? My two sweet and spoiled dogs.
6. Favorite guilty pleasure? Drinking a cocktail on the beach of the Polynesian Resort at Disney World. I'm there quite frequently.

Now, onto some harder questions!

1. What is one of your favorite things about writing your books and sharing them with the world?

Most definitely the comments and emails from readers who love my stories and characters. They make me all warm and fuzzy, and they inspire me to be a better writer and story teller.

2. Were there any differences between writing Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity? Was one book easier/harder to write than the other?

Yes, I wrote Grasping at Eternity first. It was the first time I ever attempted a novel and I cranked out a 150k word first (and very rough) draft in two months. I was obsessed. I didn't write in order, I didn't know how it would end, or even if my scenes would ever tie together to make a complete story. Somehow, magical intervention maybe, the pieces of the story all clicked into place. 
Tangled Tides was a slower process and I mostly wrote it in chronological order.
However, with both, I never plotted. My mind works best in creative chaos mode.

3. What is one of your happiest memories?

The day I got hugged and kissed by a honu (Hawaiian sea turtle). I was snorkeling in Hawaii and a giant sea turtle appeared beside me. We swam side by side for a few minutes and he led me to a whole family of turtles. I surfaced and took off my mask to talk to my friend about how amazing it was to see so many honu, but something brushed up the front of me and I squealed in surprise. I looked down and was nose to nose with a giant turtle--so I kissed him. And I swear, I think he smiled at me.  It was very surreal.

4. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Jumped out of an airplane with no one to instruct me except a radio strapped to my chest. Except the radio had no batteries. Of course, we didn't realize that until I landed dead center in the drop zone all on my own. *fist pump*

5. Being a Florida native, I just have to ask: besides the amazing weather and beaches, what is your favorite thing about the Sunshine State? Also, have you ever been to Weeki Wachee, the home of the mermaids (and my hometown!)?

So weird. We were JUST talking about going to Weeki Wachee on July 4th, but we weren't sure if they'd be open on a holiday. So, no, I haven't been there YET, but we ARE going this summer. My favorite part about Florida is Disney. I spend way too much time there, but it's my happy place.

6. Do you have any juicy tidbits from Taking Back Forever or Dangerous Depths that you would be willing to share?? :)

Ooooh, I WANT to share so much, but I can't because then it would ruin the surprise factor. 
How about a link to my Pintrest boards? Those have a few fun clues.

WOW! Thank you so much for stopping by, Karen, and for letting all of us get to know you better! *bear hug*

Also, Karen, being the amazingly wonderful and super kind person that she is, is going to be giving out one free copy of both of her books! (Click on the cover for Goodreads info!)
I loved Grasping at Eternity and Tangled Tides, and if you have not read them yet, then I would definitely recommend doing so!! This contest will be international, and just sign-up below to enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for the fun interview! :) And the bear hug! *panda hug*

  2. I have been dying to read Tangled Tides!

    The interview was great. (: Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  3. I have been wanting to read Grasping at Eternity. Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. thank you for the giveaway. :) I love mermaids too.

  5. mermaids!! Loved them! Karen looks so beautiful on that picture! And her book covers are gorgeous! Thanks!

  6. Thanks for entering, everyone. :)
    And Lisette, you're so sweet. Thank you for the compliments.

  7. I've heard a lot about these titles and I'd love to read and review them.

  8. me encantaria leer esos libros se ven interesantes


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