Karen Baney Stops by G&F

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Word has it that Karen Baney was bringing Carmel Kukamungas today.  For those who don’t know, Karen’s favorite drink is some kind of iced, caramel latte that those of us not into coffee can’t pronounce.  So our own Matt Patterson christened them Caramel Kukamungas!  Trust me, Karen is always good for a few laughs when she stops by… coffee or no coffee!  Also, for those who don’t know, Karen was the inspiration for Grace & Faith.  I was her article that sparked the idea that started this whole thing!  So if you want to thank someone, she’s the gal you should talk with…

Welcome Karen Baney!

We’d love to know a little about the woman behind the smile.  Who is Karen Baney?

I’m a doggie mom to Max (Maximillion P. Coaltrain) and Ginger (Pooh-bear Aliwicious Jones the third).   I’ve been married to my hubby for close to 12 years now and I still like him, so we must be doing something right.  🙂

Reading and photography are some of my hobbies.  And I’m totally addicted to the TV Shows “The Big Bang Theory” and “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded”.

Says something about me, I’m sure, but I’ve never even HEARD of those shows. LOL!  Now, you’ve been a historical writer and have just crossed-over to contemporary.  What differences have you noticed in writing and/or marketing the different genres?

I found the contemporary was easier to write.  I didn’t have to do as much research because I know how people talk and dress in 2012.  With a historical, I research everything down to the type of clothing worn, what my pioneer’s kitchen would hold, etc.

I think I’m still figuring out the marketing side for contemporary.  I know that some readers love both, so I’m excited to see fans who loved the Prescott Pioneers Series picking up a copy of Nickels.  But, moving to a new genre means building a second fan base.  It takes time and patience.

Time and patience.  Good advice.  In fact, you give lots of good advice to authors who are trying to market their work.  What is the most rewarding thing about the work you do helping other authors learn to do this?

My favorite part of working with other authors is when I get to witness their “ah-ha” moments.  Sometimes it’s the little things, like learning about a new distribution channel.  Other times, its big – like when they all of the sudden start to see sales ranking climbing like crazy during a promotion.

I’ve always been the type of person to share knowledge and I am happy to pass on what I’ve learned to others.  Sometimes it just helps having someone who has already walked a path help you navigate some of the bumps.

By my count, Nickels is your fourth book.    What is the most challenging thing for you as an author–writing, editing, marketing or something else?

My least favorite part of being an author (besides negative reviews ) is the revision and editing process.  There are times that I read the manuscript through so many times that I start to hate the book.  This is very bad psychologically.  I start to think no one will ever want to read it.  When I get to this place, I put it down and step away for a few weeks.

Every single time I do this, I come back to it and get excited again.  Yes, this is something that readers will love!

Again, great advice.  So what is the best thing about being an author?

Everything!  I love writing.  I also love the business aspect of it which appeals to my entrepreneurial side.  Most of all, I love getting email from readers who have grown because they were inspired by one of my fictional books.

I’m curious, how did you come to be a Christian writer?

Suddenly.  In early 2010, I had a series of health problems that gave me plenty of time to sit around and think.  I knew I wasn’t called to be a mom.  I even accepted it years ago.  But what I wanted to know from God is what He was calling me to do instead.

So, I asked and He answered (as He loves to do) with one word:  Write.

I had absolutely no clue where to start.  Through much prayer, I began writing A Dream Unfolding in March 2010. I had to learn everything:  plot, structure, point of view, dialogue.  The one area that seemed to come naturally was characterization.

Through the course of the last two years, God has shown me a second calling related to writing.  I’m not just passionate about writing fiction for readers, but I also have a huge passion for helping authors learn more about the business aspect of writing.  It’s something He has been building in me for years—I just didn’t get it until recently.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing and why?

My dream has always been to run my own business, so either that or continuing to plug away at my career as a computer programmer.

And you’ve even made that pay off with your latest book Nickels–which is a romance about computer programming!  Now that’s talent!  So, if you could give one piece of advice that’s not writing-related, what would it be and why?

Know who you are and whose you are.  If you aren’t grounded in the knowledge that the God of the Universe loves and treasures you, everything is so much harder.  It’s hard to balance a day job, with writing, marketing, and spending time with my family.  I absolutely couldn’t do it without know what the real priorities are and where my value comes from.

AMEN to that!  No wonder we “clicked.” 🙂  Is there a quote or saying that’s near and dear to your heart?

I’ve never been one to seek out a theme verse, but one keeps repeating itself over and over in my mind and heart these past few months.  Psalm 37:8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

The big part that speaks to me is the “do not fret—it leads only to evil.”  I mean, God is telling me that when I worry it can actually lead to something bad.  Not just bad but evil.  I’m certainly being challenged to trust him more and worry less.

Trust more, worry less.  More good advice!  So what are you working on right now?

Drum roll please…  A Hope Revealed (Prescott Pioneers 4).  This dramatic conclusion to the series will tie up several lose ends.  I’m bringing a few new characters into the spotlight, Mary Colter and Warren Cahill, while bringing back Will and Hannah Colter.

I’ll give you one hint: This book deals with yet another controversial topic that I think many readers will relate to – divorce.  And that’s all I’m saying.

Yes, you certainly know how to accept a challenge! So what are some of your writing endeavors other than the new book.

For readers, I’m still featuring indie and small press author interviews every Monday on my blog.  This is a great chance for readers to learn more about Christian authors and find new books to read. www.karenbaney.com

For authors, I’m continuing to develop articles on marketing and self publishing.  I believe a book may be in the works for authors sometime this year: The Business of Writing.  Stay tuned for more.

11)  Where can readers find you on the ‘net?


Twitter: @karen_baney

Facebook Fan Page

Karen Baney, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer.  Spending over twenty years as an avid fan of both genres, Karen loves writing stories set in Arizona.

Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing.  She is active in various Bible studies throughout the year.  Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs.  She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.



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1 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me!


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