Thursday, June 30, 2011

Virtual Book Tour: Lure of the Wicked by Karina Cooper


We have a special surprise today -- a visit from Karina Cooper, a paranormal romance author who's latest release is "Lure of the Wicked" -- released by Avon/HarperCollins this week! She'll be giving one lucky commenter a $25 Amazon.com GC -- so make sure you enjoy her post and then leave a comment for her. She's at the RWA conference this week, but is stopping in when she can and I know she'd love to hear from you!

1. If someone were writing a story about Karina Cooper what would your blurb say?

In a world where one woman hears the voices of the unwritten…

Wait, is that too epic? I keep hearing the Movie Guy. What a unique question! Okay, let’s see… Probably something like this: Every girl has a story. For some, it’s tea parties and dolls, trips to the mall and school dances. For Karina Cooper, it’s more. More stories, to be precise.

Raised all over the country and independent at an early age, Karina is a woman whose struggles, failures and tears are as character-shaping as her accomplishments. Seeking a place, she tries—and often fails—to fit into pre-determined boxes too structured, too small, too narrow to contain a personality as bright and sometimes abrasive as hers. This is her journey into greatness—into the world of fiction.

Hey, nobody said we couldn’t tart it up a bit, eh?

2. Can you tell us a little about your newest release, Lure of the Wicked that isn't in the blurb?

Oh, there’s so much that isn’t in the blurb! We can talk about the fact that the rogue agent Naomi’s trying to catch has some secrets of his own that should shake up a few long-held beliefs. We could talk about the fact that poor Naomi, on the verge of a psychological break, might not be in the mood—or have the right presence of mind—to hear it. We can talk about plot-threads left dangling mysteriously, or about the fact that Phin has been raised by two mothers.

Each of the characters in Lure of the Wicked have so much going on. The rogue agent, Joe Carson, is a little insane, Naomi West is trying so hard to find her mental footing, and Phin just wants to do what’s right by everyone he’s responsible for. It’s a muck-up of the highest order, with secrets and lies and politics gumming up the engine.

It’s also my favorite of the two so far, though not everyone agrees.

3. What was your inspiration behind the creation of Lure of the Wicked?

A Korean spa.

Seriously! I’d gone to this lovely spa inspired by Korean bath houses and I was hanging out with a couple friends who very graciously didn’t call me insane for wanting to go. We were soaking in one of the amazing heated pools when it hit me: a spa would be the perfect place to lock down a bird desperate to fly.

Phin came to me in the same flash of inspiration, and then I realized there was only one character so over the top that she’d chafe under such constraints, and that’s how I paired the two together.

4. What was your favorite scene to write in Lure of the Wicked?

I call Phin my “alpha-beta”: a man raised by women, so he doesn’t resort to brute strength or aggressive demand when he wants something. He actually is quite sensitive, which I love, but his disciplined determination is what allows him to force things into his own way. He’s not rude, and he really doesn’t swear beyond “hell” and “damn” (his mothers would never allow it!).

So, the scene that really drove this home for me is also my favorite scene. Without giving too much away, Naomi has just come face to face with someone that gets under her skin and makes an already brittle psyche crumble. Before she can make a scene, Phin intercepts her and gets her into a quiet room to break down in peace. Only she’s not the type to kick her and feet and cry, so what he does next was so perfect—so Phin—that I cackled the whole time I was writing it.

He’s sensitive, I said. That doesn’t mean he isn’t manipulative.


5. Are there any other genres you want to tackle?

There are! Gosh, so many. I really love Paranormal romance, and I’ll write in it for as long as the market allows me to. But I’ve also just completed a Steampunk urban fantasy that is decidedly not a romance.

I also have some other “flavors” of paranormal romance that I’m saving for something along the way, and then I really want to tackle a serial killer series. How fun would that be? Well, on paper, I mean. Ahem!

6. If you could trade places with one of your characters, would you want to and who?

Oh, grim! Let’s see… If I had to choose, I’d trade places with Jonas Stone. He’s the best tech analyst in the Mission, and because of that, he has a certain amount of freedom, but he’s also one of my favorite, most surprising characters. Complex, really. I hope you’ll like what you see as he shows up in future books.

But really? I don’t want to trade places with anyone in the Dark Mission world. It’s too dark!

7. What accent is sure to make you swoon?

Australian, every time. There’s something about it that makes me snap to attention—right before I lose all cognitive reason. I love the inflections.

8. What was the most challenging thing you’ve done in the name of research that might have been out of your comfort zone?

So far, all of my research has been comfortable. Even my various piercings, although painful, were things I wanted and therefor didn’t really see as out of my comfort zone. But I can, however, speak for something that will happen in the future.

See, I’m terrified of zombie movies. I can’t make it through one. Even in Resident Evil—which, as we can all agree, is basically the most expensive music video ever made—I had to walk out. But eventually, I’ll be dealing with zombie-like creatures (new series? future Dark Mission? not telling!) and I figure, the best way to know the tropes is to watch them all.

So… I’m arranging to have a zombie movie night with as many people as possible so that I don’t have to do it alone. And this concept scares me so badly, I can’t even tell you.

9. Please share with us something that readers would be surprised to learn about you.

You mean aside that I’m terrified of zombies? Okay, let’s see… I have two microdermal piercings on the back of my neck. Not surprising? Hmm. I…

Oh, here we go! I am a complete and total Star Wars freak. I read the Wookiepedia and Databanks for fun. I will play Star Wars games (with plot) all day long, and if I could be a Jedi, I would. In a heartbeat. My rabbit is named after Juno Eclipse, the love interest and pilot from The Force Unleashed video game. Miralukans are my favorite species, with Twi’leks a close second,a nd I sob like a little baby every time the tragedy that is Episode III is playing and the Order 66 is given.

Damn it, Aayla Secura. You should have survived!

10. How can the readers stay in touch with you online?

I’m all over the place! You can visit my website at www.karinacooper.com, and for you Facebook lovers, I’m at http://www.facebook.com/romanceauthor. Most of my internet chatter is done over on Twitter, @karinacooper, but be warned: I’m not adverse to coating the walls of your eyelids with my glistening spammeats. Prolific Twitterer is prolific!

11. If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

If you could only pick one thing, one single thing, and you had to flee your home, what would you choose and why?

How about sharing the blurb for Lure of the Wicked?

Plucked from the no-frills interior of a stark jail cell, missionary Naomi West has been buffed, polished, and shined to topside perfection. Bitterly resentful, she is imprisoned within the city’s premier spa and resort and forced to pass as one of the topside elite to hunt down an agent gone rogue. The plan is simple: kill him, before the gilded cage she hates so much gets to her first.

Phinneas Clarke has put heart and soul into the spa, turning his family’s secrets and dreams into a successful business that hides the operation he runs behind the scenes. When the beautifully untouchable Naomi checks in, everything starts to unravel, and he must choose between protecting his investment, his family, or a woman too damaged to be any good for his heart.


Remember, folks -- you can visit with Karina at ALL her stops this week:

June 27: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
June 28: Book of Secrets
June 29: Black Velvet Seductions Reader's Blog
June 30: Marianne Arkins
July 1: My Bookish Ways

Every comment earns you an entry into the $25 Amazon.com drawing!

Thanks for visiting.

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4 comments:

Nikki said...

What a great interview. Congrats on the release of your new book! Very intriguing!

Na said...

Karina, I love where you got your inspiration for Lure of the Wicked...A Korean spa?! When I do read it, I'll be searching for parallels :) This whole series is new to me and it all sounds like wicked fun. I think I'll really enjoy immersing myself in the book's world.

If I had to flee home and pick only one thing...photo albums. Nowadays this may also include portable hard drives which has important files and pictures.

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sarita said...

What a fabulous interview!

I'm afraid of zombies, too. :)

Karina Cooper said...

You all are SO AWESOME, thanks for dropping by!

I was stuck at New York all week long with a ridiculously spotty internet connection, so I'm sorry I couldn't get here sooner, but I'm home now and eager to get back to it.

@Na: That is an EXCELLENT choice! I never even thought about it, but you would want that legacy to continue somehow, wouldn't you?