Showing posts with label karen e olson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label karen e olson. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome Karen E Olson!

When I sent out an invite to join
us in the Kitchen, I was lucky enough
to get a couple of takers, so this week
is a twofer for me! First, we had
Gayle Trent on Sunday and today, I'd
like to give a warm Mystery Lover's
Kitchen welcome to Karen E Olson!

Welcome, Karen!

-What inspired you to become a mystery author?

I started reading mysteries only about 20 years ago. A friend gave me a couple of books to take on vacation with me: Sara Paretsky and Marcia Muller. I had no idea that mysteries could be so good, with such strong women protagonists. I began to read as many mysteries written by women as I could, and since I'd always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel, decided that this was the kind of book I wanted to write with a protagonist who could match the others I was reading.

-You have two series that you're writing - one is the Anne Seymour Series about a reporter (which is a former profession of yours) and the other is the Tattoo Shop Mysteries (a profession you have not worked in, right?). What are the differences in the series? The similarities? Do you find one easier to write than the other?

I'm no longer writing the Annie Seymour series, but I constantly get emails from readers asking me to! There are big differences between that series and the tattoo shop mysteries, in that the Annie books are a lot more gritty, more hard boiled. I call them journalism procedurals. Since I spent more than 20 years in newsrooms, I wanted to write about a reporter accurately. Annie is also very tough, although she has a vulnerable side. She's in a dying business, and she knows it.
When I started writing the tattoo shop series, my publisher indicated that they wanted something a little more cozy, although tattoos in Las Vegas did mean that there would be an edge to it, regardless. Brett Kavanaugh is younger than Annie, she owns her own business that's successful, she's much more comfortable in her own skin. And unlike Annie, she does not cuss. She's got good friendships, whereas Annie is more of a loner.
Both protagonists are strong women, and they are both curious. Annie, however, has to be curious for her job; Brett is what her brother Tim calls "nosy." While Annie is a compilation of people I've known throughout my career, I suppose you could say she was a little easier to write, although the more I've gotten to know Brett, I like her and am more and more comfortable writing about her. Also, the Annie books are set in my hometown of New Haven, and Brett is in Las Vegas, a city I've visited only three times but is easy to capture on the page because it's so crazy and quirky.

- Do you have any advice for writers looking to be published?
Stick with it. Perseverance can definitely lead to publication.

- What would your protagonists consider the perfect meal?
Neither of my characters cooks, but they do love food. Annie loves Wooster Street pizza in New Haven, particularly at Sally's Apizza. White clam pie. It's fantastic. Brett likes a good burger, mostly a Double Double at In-N-Out Burger, a fast food chain that sadly we do not have here on the East Coast.

- Do you have a recipe you want to share with our readers?
I don't cook. My husband does. But I do make a mean meatloaf,
the only thing my husband can't make!
2 pounds of freshly ground beef
a couple of slices of stale bread
1 egg
a dash of ketchup
1 package onion soup mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crumble up stale bread into a bowl and add a
dash of water to make it moist. Add the egg, ketchup
and onion soup mix, then mix in the ground beef. Use
your hands, it mixes better that way. Form it into a
loaf and put it into a loaf pan. Bake for an hour.
It's easy and very tasty.
Thanks so much for having me here!!

Thanks for joining us today, Karen!
I used to live in New Haven, and I am a huge fan of Wooster Street
pizza -- Sally's and Pepe's. Since I live so far away now, I have enjoyed
visiting with Annie, who brings it all back.

For more information on Karen's soon to be released
Driven To Ink (Sept 7th), check out her website: