Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Magical Mystery Interview...with KARI LEE TOWNSEND!

Today my guest is Kari Lee Townsend, author of “The Fortune Teller” mystery series.

Kari lives in Central NY with a very understanding husband, three busy boys, and an oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded!  They provide loads of material for her books :-) She has a Masters in English Education, and has been  both a winner and finalist in several online writing contests, including the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest, as well as being a freelance editor. She is  also a member of several writing organizations and love attending writing conferences. These days you will find her at home, doing what makes me happier than anything I've ever tried ... writing books!

And now, in my hotseat....Kari Lee!

R: Hello, and welcome, Kari Lee
K:  Thank you, Rocco.

R: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer? –
K: Well, let’s see. I am a mom of four (3 boys and 1 darling diva), been married for 23 years, and live in upstate New York. I have a background in English education, but I only went into English because I loved to read and write. I’ve always written in some form or another, but when I had my first child and decided to stay home with him, I finally attempted my first novel and have never looked back.

R: You are also a freelance editor-- which do you prefer, editing or writing?
K: I do love the editing process. With my background, I can’t seem to get away from it ;-) However, I truly love to write. There is just something so magical about finding the perfect words to tell the story in your head. I can’t imagine ever “not” writing. I mean, how do you shut off your brain long enough to retire?

R: What or who, if anything, inspired your “fortune teller” series. Are you a believer? Which is your favorite method: Tarot, crystal ball, tea leaves, or palm reading?
K:  I wanted to write a paranormal mystery series, but I wanted to do something different. Yes, my heroine Sunny Meadows is a real psychic, but the thing that makes these stories different is that she uses fortune-telling tools to help her tap into her abilities. I once went to a tea leaf reader and was hooked. I don’t have a favorite. I really love discovering more about all the different tools. I think my favorite changes with each book J

R: You have also written several other books—tell us a bit about those. –
K: I have a teen superhero series about a girl who is obsessed with technology, but after a freak accident, she becomes fused to her cell phone and suddenly has all of its powers. Not long after, she finds out she’s not alone. Digital Diva: Talk to the Hand and Rise of the phenoteens are out now, with Let Freedom Ring coming soon. I also write humorous romances under the name Kari Lee Harmon. Destiny Wears Spurs and Project Produce are out now, with Sleeping in the Middle coming soon.

R: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
K:  Funny you should ask. (R:  Hah, maybe I’m psychic – although the HUMAN would say psycho) A Hollywood director has already adapted my Digital Diva series into a screenplay and is currently shopping it to Disney and the Family Channel, so cross your fingers. I always thought Miranda Cosgrove of iCarly would make a perfect Samantha Granger.

R: What are you working on at the moment?
K:  I just finished book three of the Fortune Teller Mysteries, Trouble in the Tarot, and am just beginning to plot book four, Peril in the Palm. I am also almost finished with book three of Digital Diva: Let Freedom Ring. And I have a paranormal romance brewing in my brain. Good think I love what I do J

R: Are you a plotter or pantser? –
K: Well, I used to be a total pantser when I wrote my romances, but when I started writing action adventure teen stories, I had to start plotting more. And then when I moved on to cozy mysteries, I found plotting a necessity. I still like being surprised and can’t plot out an entire book first, so I tend to plot a bit, then write a bit, then plot a bit, then write a bit until the book is done. That way I end up with the best of both worlds.\

R: What is a “must have” for you that aids the creative process?
K: When I first started writing, my kids were little so I always wrote during naptime. Now that they are all in school, I still tend to write during “naptime.” That means coffee in the morning while doing promo stuff, then a diet pepsi or coke during creative writing stuff, and then relaxing with a glass of wine at night. I can do almost anything with other distractions, but with writing something new I need total silence and my diet soda. That’s why when summer rolls around and the kids are out of school, I don’t get much done. I tend to write in the early morning when everyone is still asleep. It works, but I don’t like it nearly as much.

R: Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
K: I’m always inspired. When I read a great book, I want to be like that author. When I hear about a touching true story or see a moving movie, I want to write a story like that. When I hear something funny, my fingers actually itch to get to the keyboard. I just love to write. And I am always looking to top what I’ve previously done. One of the most inspiring things is when I get home from a conference. Spending time with people who are just like me and who truly “get” it leaves me on such a high, I can’t wait to get home and back at it.

R: What do you do when you’re not writing?
K:  I love to travel, take pictures and go on wine tours…but the reality of being a mom of 4 children who are all involved in everything under the sun means that I mostly play taxi, do laundry, cook, clean, help with homework and then collapse. As crazy as it is though, I love my life. I know I will miss it when they are gone.

R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
K: Mainly my website. www.karileetownsend.com I am also on Facebook and twitter  as Karileetownsend and my Facebook author page is karileetownsendAUTHOR. I’m on goodreads and pinterest as well, and you can always find me on my group blogs www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com  and www.killercharacters.com

R: What one thing would your readers be surprised to know about you?
K: While I am deathly afraid of rodents of any kind, I am the adventure junkie in my house. I am the dare devil. The more wild and scary, the more I love it. Yet I hate scary movies J I’m talking bunji-jumping, sky-diving kind of scary.

R: Do you have any advice for other writers just starting out?
K:  Never give up. It took me 14 years to sell a book. Also, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You never know what you might like or be good at unless you give it a shot. And never ever sit back and wait. Always jump on your next project.

R: Do you have a “how I got my agent” story? How did you feel when your agent told you your book was sold to Berkley? - 
K: My poor agent, Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency, is awesome. She’s the hardest working woman I know. I met her when I won the single title romance category for Destiny Wears Spurs at the New Jersey Put Your Heart in a Book conference years ago. We started talking, and a group of people followed us. She got stuck talking to them all because she thought they were my peeps. I met up with her again later at karaoke, and she’s never let me forget it. And trust me, after 14 years, I screamed and cried and was in shock. And it never changes J

And now, just for fun:
Your Favorite Movie: Any romantic comedy!
Your Favorite Author: Janet Evanovich
Your Favorite Book: Stephanie Plum Series
Your Favorite TV show: Castle
Tarot or Tea Leaves: Tea Leaves because it’s the first thing I ever had read J
Sorcerer or Warlock: Sorcerer because it sounds cooler
Detective or Demon: Hunky Detective any day!
Sunrise or sunset: Sunset
Cat or dog: Both but I am partial to Morty  (Good Girl! Meow!)

Thank you for a wonderful interview, Kari!  Folks, here’s where you can pick up the latest Fortune Teller Mystery, and also KariLee’s website:

Website Link: www.karileetownsend.com

And now…KariLee will be giving away a copy of CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL to one lucky reader! 

Teaser from back cover: Psychic Sunshine Meadows makes a dark discovery in the woods…
After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears. When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see can hurt her…

To enter,  Just leave a comment in the comments section with your email address – contest closes Midnight, June 17, winner announced June 18. Chosen at random using random.org, of course!

To get extra entries you can:
Friend moi, ROCCO, on Facebook
Friend the HUMAN on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
Tweet or FB about this interview/giveaway (gets you 3 extra entries)

Be sure you mention all you’ve done in your comment so you get credit! Now…get tweeting!

Next week…Geoff Rodkey, author of THE CHRONICLES OF EGG! Week after…Tate Hallaway!

Coming in July…Juliet Blackwell, Rachel Vincent, Carrie Vaughn…and our CASTLE FUNDRAISER! Stay tuned to the blog for details!




  1. Thanks for having me here, and good luck everyone :-)

  2. Sounds fascinating, really! And any Stephanie Plum fan is worth a look! (Do we know WHICH detective[s] Karilee prefers...police or private...Morelli or Ranger? LOL
    Now, Rocco, you stay away from Rex the Hampster!He's a friend, not a toy.)
    Oh, boy,more on my tbr list!

  3. I read Tempest in the Tea Leaves and loved it! would love to win #2!

    and i love ROCCO!

    auditgirl2010 at gmail dot com

  4. This book looks good, I am so excited to read it!

    To get extra entries:
    We are Friends, on Facebook.
    I FB posted the giveaway.



  5. I would love to win this book. kshaw1234@bellsouth.net I facebooked about this interview. Rocco and I are already facebook friends. I am already following him on twitter and I am friend with the human.