Writer Wednesday: Karen Azinger

I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest author, Karen Azinger.  Find out about her epic fantasy saga, her advice for beginning writers, her favorite comfort food, and more…

1.  First things first…a name and bio:

Karen Azinger

I am a chemical engineer, who became an international business strategist, who became an epic fantasy writer, and it is a dream come true.

2.    Where are you from and what’s your favorite thing about where you live?

I live in Portland Oregon. I love living in nature. I love the forests, the ocean beaches, the snowcapped mountains, and the Columbia Rive Gorge, beauty in every compass direction.

3.    Tell about your latest book.  What made you want to write it?

I am writing a five book epic fantasy saga, The Silk & Steel Saga. The first three books, The Steel Queen, The Flame Priest, and The Skeleton King, are published and getting great reviews. The fourth book, The Poison Priestess will be published the end of November. I write what I love to read. I love sweeping epics that capture the reader with tangled plots and complex characters and breath-taking vistas. I love castles and knights but I also love to write strong women who will never let you underestimate the “weaker” sex again.  I wanted to write a saga that would surprise readers and make them think while taking them on an irresistible adventure.

4.    Where can people find your books?  

Online at Amazon or Barnes&Noble. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=karen+azinger

6.    What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve always loved fantasy and I wanted to give back to the genre a little of the joy that reading fantasy has always given me.

7.    Who is your favorite character in your stories? Why?

I have four characters that I love to write. Kath because she lets me swing a sword and indulge my love of adventure. Queen Liandra because she is based on one of my heroes from history, Queen Elizabeth I, and because she is so brilliantly strategic. The Priestess because she is wicked good fun. And Steffan, because he is so very male and such a walk on the Dark side.

8.    What is your favorite comfort food?

Right now, I’d have to say homemade apple pie.  

9.    What character from your stories was the hardest to write?

The Mordant is the biggest challenge because he embodies a thousand years of evil.

10. What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?

As an indie author, the biggest challenge is definitely marketing, how to get the word out about your books and find new readers.

11.  Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Write what you love. Write and keep writing and get as much feedback on your writing as you can. And keep reading. Read always, because reading a good book should challenge you to write better.

12. Who are your favorite authors and why? 

There are three authors who most inspired my own writing. JRR Tolkien because of his unparalleled worldbuilding. I fell in love with Middle Earth, from the Mines of Moria, to Rivendale and the Argonath. George RR Martin has taken fantasy characters to a new level of complexity. I’ve modeled my writing style on Game of Thrones, with each chapter told from the point of view of a different character. And lastly, Frank Herbert’s Dune. Frank Herbert was a master of incorporating complex themes like environmental science, religion, and politics, into the weaveof his story, turning Dune into a classic. In writing my saga, I’ve tried to learn from all three of these masters. I know this is reaching for the stars, but why would anyone ever reach for anything less?

15. Where can people find out more about you and your books?

You can find me on Facebook or on my author webpage http://www.karenlazinger.com/

16.  What question(s) did I forget to ask?

Tell me about your latest book?

The Poison Priestess is the fourth book of The Silk & Steel Saga. While Kath and her companions chase the Mordant into the far north, the southern kingdoms erupt in Flames. The Lord Raven marches south, unleashing a holy war against Lanverness. Vastly outnumbered by a ruthless enemy, Queen Liandra spins desperate gambits in a dire struggle to save her kingdom.

New alliances and new awakenings hatch deeper levels of intrigue. The Oracle Priestess and the Lord Raven form a tenuous alliance, while deep in the Southern Mountains the Kiralynn monks stir, revealing more than prophecy.

Armies clash, battles rage, and cities fall, as lives, loves and crowns hang in the balance, but swords are not the only way to wage war. Treachery, deceit, assassins, and the power of seduction will face-off against steadfast courage, forgotten magic, and the power of truth. The Poison Priestess is the fourth book in this epic tale of Light versus Dark.

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