Interview with Karen D McIntyre

Hi Karen D McIntyre, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Oltobooks : Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Karen D McIntyre : A few years ago, I retired after teaching Language Arts in middle school for twenty-eight years. Finally, I have time to write. I grew up in Southern California, attended college there and in Colorado, married a Navy man, and traveled a lot. I now live in Southern Maryland, about 30 miles from DC.
Oltobooks : What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Karen D McIntyre : I have three books published now, and I have plans for two more for sure. Maybe more after that too.
Oltobooks : When did you decide to become a writer?
Karen D McIntyre : I have written off and on since high school, but it wasn't until I retired from teaching that I had the time to devote to writing. I wrote my first book, Parham's Mill, to prove to myself that I could do it.
Oltobooks : Why do you write?
Karen D McIntyre : I write to share the stories of my characters. My work is very much character-driven. I start with a loose idea of where the story is going, and then I let my characters speak to me. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I pick-up in my research too.
Oltobooks : What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Karen D McIntyre : I wanted to prove to myself that I could write a book. I am very pleased with the resulting book, and decided to keep on writing. It's not easy, but it is rewarding.
Oltobooks : Where do your ideas come from?
Karen D McIntyre : My ideas come from many places. Something I read may get my creative juices flowing. Or it may be something I see on YouTube, or a conversation with my husband. While researching my WW2 novel (Jake), I came across ideas for the next two books. When I set out to write a sequel to my first book Parham's Mill, I wrote a character sketch for the planned protagonist. That turned into a short story, which inn turn became my second novel, Ruby.
Oltobooks : What is the hardest thing about writing?
Karen D McIntyre : Not getting distracted by the necessary little things of daily life - like laundry, vacuuming, making dinner, etc.
Oltobooks : What is the easiest thing about writing?
Karen D McIntyre : Getting lost in the writing and the research. I can sit down to look up one detail and when I finally look up it is three hours later.
Oltobooks : If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
Karen D McIntyre : Ruby is the first book of my planned four book series. It is the story of a young woman who loses her job during the Great Depression, gets on a bus to go home, and doesn't make it. It is the story of her survival, how she rebuilds her life, and helps others do the same. The next book, Jake, is the story of one of Ruby's friends, an American doctor who joins the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1940, before the US is in the war. It traces the war through the stories of the people involved. The next two books in the series will be called Norma and Martha. They are the stories of two more of Ruby's friends who play active roles in both Ruby and Jake.
Oltobooks : What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Karen D McIntyre : I enjoy it. I can introduce a character in an early book, and then really get to know them in a later one. I have found it invaluable to have a huge timeline taped up on my wall so I can try to keep events and people in order.
Oltobooks : What is your favourite positive saying?
Karen D McIntyre : "Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass." by Anton Chekhov
Oltobooks : Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Karen D McIntyre : Still writing!
Oltobooks : What advice would you give to your younger self?
Karen D McIntyre : Don't change a thing!
Conversation By : Oltobooks Team
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