Q&A with Karen Witemeyer
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Voted #1 Readers’ Favorite Christian Historical Author in 2023 by Family Fiction Magazine, Karen is a multiple award-winning author and a firm believer in the power of happy endings. She is an avid cross-stitcher, tea drinker, and family board game player who makes her home in Abilene, TX with her heroic husband who vanquishes laundry dragons and dirty dish villains whenever she’s on deadline.
More about Fairest of Heart
Once upon a time in Texas . . .
Beauty has been nothing but a curse to Penelope Snow. When she becomes a personal maid for a famous actress whose troupe is leaving Chicago to tour the West, she hides her figure beneath shapeless dresses and keeps her head down. But she still manages to attract the wrong attention, leaving her prospects in tatters–and her jealous mistress plotting her demise.
After his brother lost his life over a woman, Texas Ranger Titus Kingsley has learned to expect the worst from women and is rarely disappointed. So when a young lady found in suspicious circumstances takes up residence with the seven old drovers living at his grandfather’s ranch, Titus is determined to keep a close eye on her.
With a promotion hanging in the balance, Titus is assigned to investigate a robbery case tied to Penelope’s acting troupe, and all evidence points to Penelope’s guilt. But Titus might just be convinced that the fairest woman of all has a heart as pure as her last name . . . if only he can prove it.
Scroll to the end of this post to enter to win one of three copies of Fairest of Heart.
Q&A with Karen Witemeyer
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, but we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
KW: I’m in bed by 10:30 every night. Sometimes I even fall asleep in my recliner before bedtime.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Fairest of Heart?
KW: Fairest of Heart is the first book in my new TEXAS EVER AFTER series, which will feature retellings of classic fairy tales with a Western spin. I’ve always adored fairy tales—the romance, the adventure, the battle between good and evil. Those elements find their way into all of my stories in one way or another, so why not pay more direct homage to the happily-ever-after tales I’ve adored since childhood? As you might have guessed, Fairest of Heart is a Western retelling of Snow White. A Texas Ranger hero, a beautiful heroine battling hardship, seven retired drovers at the Diamond D Ranch, and a villainess with a fondness for mirrors come together in this fun reimagining of a classic tale.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
KW: I like to wear bookish socks when I write at home. Half of my sock drawer is filled with socks that have books or cowboy designs. They make me grin and get me in the mood to write.
TG: What habits would you encourage someone to take up to be a more productive writer?
KW: Set mini deadlines and make yourself stick to them. Find out what type of deadline works for you. Many authors use daily word count goals, but since I still work at a full-time day job, I need more flexibility. I’ve chosen to set more flexible weekly goals. I write one polished chapter a week. Having a weekly goal instead of a daily goal allows me the flexibility I need while still keeping me on track.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
KW: I’m a hot tea gal. I drink various blends of Murchie’s Tea imported from Victoria, British Columbia. My daughter and I visited the historical seaport town several years ago, and I fell in love with Murchie’s Tea. My two favorites to drink while I’m writing are their original 1894 blend, named for the year their shop was established, and their Editor’s blend. Might as well have some literary inspiration in tea form while I work.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
KW: One thing I love to do is get my readers involved in the creative process. I have a fan group on Facebook called The Posse, and I will often brainstorm with them. Sometimes I’ll pose a story question and ask for their ideas. Other times I seek their help with characters or titles. Many times, I’ve found a spark in one of their comments that starts the creative juices flowing.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
KW: I am definitely an edit-as-I-go writer. I am a methodical writer with strong perfectionist tendencies, so I constantly polish as I write. I send each chapter to my critique partners as I finish it, so I can adapt on the fly instead of waiting until the book is done to fix things. I write one very slow, careful draft.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
KW: Explaining too much about who the characters are before jumping into the action of the opening scene.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
KW: Resist the urge to explain. I’m an explainer by nature, and I’m often tempted to make sure my reader “gets” what I’m trying to show in a scene or emphasize a theme. However, readers are savvy. They don’t need me to explain things to them. If I’m doing my job by showing things in a compelling manner, they’ll get it.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
KW: Book 2 in the TEXAS EVER AFTER series. I’m currently working on rewrites for If the Boot Fits, a Western Cinderfella story that I can’t wait to share with readers.
Enter for a chance to win one of three copies of Fairest of Heart*
*Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US mailing address.
Don’t miss Karen Witemeyer’s Chat Monday, June 5th at 5:30 PM CT on the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group! Click below to join the group + watch the LIVE!
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