Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Karen Docter

I'd like to welcome K. L. Docter to BBB. She even took the time to do her own interview-I couldn't have asked for more.
Margot Justes

Thanks so much for having me on Book Beat Babes! I’m so excited to reveal my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, Patrick’s and Rachel’s story to your readers.
Since I know you’re much more interested in my new release – I know my book is a lot more interesting J – I’m going to conduct my own Five in Five Interview. I will answer five questions in five minutes or less. Maybe. I have a hard time writing a grocery list without adding a second page. I’m just sayin’!
So here goes….
1.     What appeals to you about the genre that you write?
I actually write in two genres. I write contemporary romance with a kick of humor as Karen Docter. I’ve released two contemporaries, Satin Pleasures and Catch That Santa, a novella. I love writing these because they’re lighthearted, cute and spicy. I love to write about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so I can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile. I don’t think of myself as naturally humorous but some of the situations my characters get into just make me laugh out loud, probably because they’re real people to me.
I plan to continue writing these lighthearted romps because I need a breath of fresh air between suspense novels. Well, the real reason is my critique partners say I have to give them something light once in a while, or they’ll have to kill me.
With the release of Killing Secrets, I’m adding romantic suspense to my genre mix. For the longest time, I wrote exclusively what many know in the traditional markets as short contemporary romance, around 50,000 words. What I found over the years was that I often wrote suspense elements into those stories but they were more backstory. I read across the genres – so it’s not surprising that I’d finally break down and write suspense, too.
I enjoy the more complicated storylines that these books provide me. They’re twice as long. Killing Secrets is 110,000 words, although I’ve been told it’s a “fast read”. I also enjoy handing out justice to villains. When I was a kid, I had considered becoming a police officer (another long story I can’t answer in five minutes J ) to make sure bad guys paid for what they did. It didn’t take me long to realize I was not law enforcement material, but I can still kick some villainous butts in my books.
2.     What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?

My first impulse is to say “all of the above”.  I believe these elements are so intertwined, it’s difficult to pinpoint which gives me grief most often. If I don’t know how to write a character’s emotions, it’s because I don’t know their conflict. If I don’t know the character’s conflict, I don’t know enough about the character.

I don’t usually start writing a story until I feel connected to the characters well enough to know how they’ll react in a given situation. I use the “W” plotting technique to outline my basic story before I start writing so I don’t generally run into these kinds of problems. If something’s not working for me, I simply go back to my character development and retrace my steps.

That said, I think emotions are the hardest on me…from a writer’s point of view, not because I can’t pinpoint the characters’ emotions. I get so invested in these people – even secondary, one-off characters – that I feel everything they’re feeling. I experience their joys and frustrations, their fears and emotions. I can relate to Joan Wilder (Romancing the Stone) when she’s sitting at her desk, hammering out The End, and crying like a baby because she’s me.

In Killing Secrets, I had to actually kill one of the serial killer’s victims. It’s not particularly visceral (I don’t do overly graphic), but I had to leave my office and go out in the sunshine for half an hour after I was finished the scene. The entire time I was writing, I was thinking about my two daughters and how I’d feel if this girl was one of them. I’d tapped into my fears, and it made for an effective scene, but it took a lot out of me.
3.     Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Everywhere. I may seem quiet when you put me in a room full of people but I’m watching everything, ferreting away little tidbits of characterization, mannerisms, speech patterns, etc. Yeah, I’m a real party animal! J I get ideas from articles, conversations, television, radio, songs, etc. Rachel’s story in Killing Secrets was prompted by a news article I read about a con artist who was maintaining two lives while bilking millions out of his friends and acquaintances. It’s not Rachel’s exact situation, but it made me think…and watch out when you make me think! Once I get the kernel of an idea, it’s just a matter of time before I flesh out the rest of a story.
4.     Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?
I live in Colorado and love it here. We’ve moved several times across the country and kept coming back. I missed my mountains. The weather is wonderful, too. We get occasional blizzards and other nasty weather, but we have sunshine more often than not. It can blizzard one day. The next day the sun will shine, the snow melts, and it’s 70 degrees . We teach our children to dress in layers because we can see major weather changes in a single day. I don’t ever intend to move again.
However, I’d also love to be a snowbird, although I don’t want to move south. I want a condo in Maui where I can sit on the lanai and write while watching the sun set. The pace on Maui is laid back. I would own one dress, some shorts and T-shirts. But I’d live in my swimsuit and sarong. I’d escape there when the colder weather really hits Colorado in January, February and March. I’d probably also not get a lick of work done in January, February and March. It’s too easy to slip into the island pace. J
5.     Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter is my next book and it released on April 14th! You can read the prologue and first two chapters on Amazon for a sneak peek but I’ve added a teaser excerpt below. Killing Secrets is the first novel in the Thorne’s Thorns series about six foster brothers, the dangers that enter their lives, and the women they come to love and would die to protect.
Book Blurb:
Some secrets are better left dead.
Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.
Thorne’s Thorns Series – Book 1
Four weeks….
Two Days….
Sixteen hours….
     …’Til death.
The first time he laid eyes on her, he stood on the threshold of a doorway he dare not cross. He fell into her fathomless dark gaze, unable, unwilling to shake his soul free and, in that one moment, he knew.
She was meant for him to love.
Untouched by the sordid life that flourished around her, she was sunlight in a gray existence. A smile in a dingy room. A joy such as he’d never known. She was a gift from a cold, unforgiving God. Forever innocent.
Why God would give him such a precious angel, he hadn’t a clue. But he suddenly knew what he was willing to die for. What he’d kill for.
In that instant of clarity the monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind was freed. A creature designed to kill. To live and die. Over and over again. Until his angel ascended once more to her place in Heaven at God’s feet where he couldn’t reach her.
‘Til death parted them, she was his and his alone.
Certain she’d been lost to him, the shock of spotting her again in LoDo, a lower downtown section of Denver, nearly brought him to his knees. His brain tried to tell him he was mistaken. She had more curves than he remembered. Her hairstyle and clothes were different.
The others were different, too.
He shook his head against the monster’s treacherous whisper. He refused to listen. Couldn’t listen. His angel smiled at him. His soul recognized her. Somehow, some way, his fractious God had been appeased and given him yet another chance.
The past seven days were hell. Watching her. Wanting to take her. He couldn’t screw up and lose her again. Tonight, his preparations in place, she’d return to his side where she belonged.
Breathing slow and measured through the full-face ski mask he’d bought at a thrift store, he sucked in a lungful of musty stench. In this uncommon late-May heat wave, he was sweating bullets, but the wool soaked it up before it could sting his eyes. The itching would drive him insane, though, if she didn’t come home from work soon.
The LoDo sports bar where she waited tables closed almost an hour ago. She couldn’t have gone on a date at two o’clock on a Thursday morning, could she?
Three times he’d entered her ground floor apartment after she’d left for work, and he’d seen no sign she was involved with anyone. No jockey shorts mixed with her panties in the hamper. No extra razor. The food in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to feed a cat, let alone her and a boyfriend, and the only scent on her pillows was floral. The sole message from a male on her answering machine had identified himself as a special research librarian from the Denver Public Library reminding her to pick up the copy of “The Warwick Genealogy” she’d requested.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t still involved with him, the almighty scion of Thorne Enterprises. She’s probably crawling into his bed like a whore right this minute, letting him do things to her, making her scream….
“No!  Stop!” he whispered. “That was a mistake!”
Was it?  The insidious question lashed him from the dark place in his pounding skull.
He rejected the smirking voice, the vivid images. Think of something else. Anything else. Forgetforgetfor—
A car alarm screamed at an outlying parking lot and dragged him out of his fugue. His eyes cleared. The pain behind them eased to a level he’d learned to carry over the years.
Soon, he would kill the nightmares forever. Patrick Thorne would die and the secrets with him. But the contractor hadn’t been punished enough yet. Before he finished, he’d ruin Thorne’s reputation, his livelihood, destroy everything he loved most in the world.
Just as Thorne destroyed our lives. The man must die! Now!
Restless to escape its bonds the monster thrust knife-hot pain in his brain, but he wrestled it back into the shadows and locked it down. Retribution was almost at hand, but not tonight. This night was about her.
Where was she?
K.L. Docter Bio:
K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels….
Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter: Women hunted by killers…men who’d die to protect them.
Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter: Romance…With a Kick of Humor!
Karen’s contemporaries are cute & spicy romances. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile.
Her romantic suspense novels (as K.L. Docter) are also filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love.
Karen’s an award winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.
When she’s not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! FMI:
Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter Available Now!

Karen Docter/K.L. Docter

Facebook/K.L. Docter Author Page:

Book Bench for Romance Lovers FB Group:

Also writing Contemporary Romance as Karen Docter


  1. Hi Karen,

    Welcome to BBB! I have to admit that I'm a people watcher, too! I'm sure more than one person has wondered who the creepy, staring lady is in grocery stores, at sporting events, or just walking down the street. But tis' so true, you never know where or when the idea for a story will hit you. :)

  2. Hi, Debra. I'm glad to meet another people watcher. I think there are a lot of us out least, if we're writers. You never do know where the next story will come from. My contemporary romance, Satin Pleasures, was born on the San Mateo Bridge in the middle of the San Francisco Bay when I was caught for 2 hours in a traffic jam. I started thinking, "What if?", and I had the entire book planned out before I drove off the bridge. In fact, much of that first scene where hero and heroine meet comes from my observations that day. :)

  3. Welcome to Book Beat Babes, Karen. About ideas for novels - they always seem to strike most when I'm in the midst of trying to finish one. I tell them to wait their turn.

    1. Same with me, Morgan. I have a file collecting all of my ideas. Every time something pops into my head, I dash it down and tuck it into the file or it won't let me concentrate on what I'm working on. I currently have 35 suspense novels ready to pick up...once I learn how to clone myself. :)

      In the Thorne's Thorns series, it's harder. I have all 6 brothers vying for attention. Driving my crazy I can't write faster.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Margot. I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend!

  5. Welcome to BBB, Karen! Sounds as if most writers are people watchers! It's a great way to fine tune details and find exciting quirks for our characters. Your story sounds intriguing. Best of success to you!