This post is a couple of days delayed because originally I had planned to just post an interview. Then I saw the words ‘steampunk vampire novella’ and I couldn’t resist reading one of Karen Klein’s novels before posting! I went in to True Love Bites knowing nothing else except those three words (sometimes I don’t even read the blurbs because I like surprises!) and I really enjoyed it!
True Love Bites is a short book that manages to pack almost two stories in to it. We start with Alexa, a vampire, travelling by airship to deliver unwelcome news to her reclusive mother. But the story soon shifts to her mother’s own story of love and tragedy in a regency-style pre-airship society and her affair with a married woman in her town.
The one downside of a novella is that I want more of this story. I want to see more of this world that is similar to ours but not quite the same. I absolutely love steampunk and although there wasn’t a lot of exposition on the ‘modern’ setting in the story it was enough to have me hooked from the get-go.
The more substantial part of the story was my favourite; I loved the idea of vampire trying to exist undiscovered within the strict morals of upper class society, while also trying to remain close to the contradictory standards of a vampire family. Alexa’s mother is an impatient narrator, which gives her story quirks as she interrupts to tell her daughter off. It was cleverly written in terms of point of view and time setting. My only wish is that there was another book in the same series to sink my non-pointy teeth in to! I’ll definitely be checking out Karen’s other series in lieu though!
About the author:
Karen C. Klein writes fiction and non-fiction in a variety of genres and styles. She is author of Torin’s Legacy, which is the first book in her series Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild. She also enjoys writing short fiction and novellas. In addition to writing, Karen is a keen researcher, with a librarian’s eye for detail. While in grad school, Karen discovered an enjoyment of website design and has experience in web design using the WordPress content management system. She has experience utilizing search engine optimization and can do so for any content she writes. Karen also has a passion for all things geek culture and co-hosts the podcast, Pages & Pixels: from two geek girls.
Interview with Karen C Klein:
What has been your experience of publishing independently so far?
I have loved indie publishing so far. I get to tell the stories that I love with full artistic control. I get to work with my artistic community. I work with a cover designer I’ve known since high school and a copy editor I met in college. It isn’t an easy route, but there is no easy path in publishing.
What made you publish independently, rather than going a traditional route?
I stumbled across Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s business blog the Business Rusch in early 2013. I can’t remember where I found that first link. But, once I did, I went back and read her whole blog which at the time started in 2009. She wrote: your career is your own responsibility. At the time, it was a light bulb in my head, because I still though I had to get an agent to ever be published. Her whole blog talked about the publishing business. She talked about royalties when no one else would. I want to write full-time. She discussed how traditional publishers pay. She discussed how Amazon, etc, paid. It opened my eyes. In the fall of 2014, after further research, I published my first short story.
What advice would you give to new writers hoping to take a more independent route to publishing?
Don’t expect anything. I think that is true from either side of this business. Publishing is unpredictable. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a friend (whose name I can’t recall) who has a rule: would I be better off writing? For me: the answer is almost always yes.
What about your other projects? Where can we find more of your work?
My work can be found on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and iBooks. My most recent publications include a compilation of my School of Brides science fiction short stories, Shanti’s Story, which details a young woman coming into her own as the headmistress of a school where girls are sorted for their physical characteristics. As well as a short story, The Battle of the Door, about a woman who closes an interdimensional door that couldn’t be closed for generations with her self-sacrifice. I am working on the third book of the Mages’ Guild Chronicles series and hope to publish it later this year.
Check out more about Karen C Klein on her website!