Please take time to read Ms. Kaufman's interview below!
Thanks so much for joining us, Karin. Where do you currently reside?
I live in beautiful, but at the moment way too hot and dry, Colorado.
Tell us about your current book.
The Witch Tree, released in 2011, is the first novel in my mystery series. It’s about Anna Denning, a genealogist and recent widow, who discovers a client’s body and who, very much against her will, gets drawn into a world of neopaganism and wicca.
As my family’s unofficial genealogist, I’ve often been struck by how similar genealogical research is to detective work, or at least what I imagine detective work to be. You gather puzzle pieces, trying all the while to fit them together, and one clue leads to another until you get a breakthrough that lets you fill in spot on the family tree. (The “tree” in the book’s the title, by the way, is a family tree, in this case one full of witches!) So it was a no-brainer for me that I’d make Anna a genealogist. They can get into all sorts of trouble!
What is your favorite part of the book?
I like the ongoing interaction between Anna and her dog Jackson, partly because Jackson is based on my dog, Sophie, who is quite a character.
What genre do you enjoy reading?
I’ve loved mysteries since I was a child. I can still remember picking up my first Ngaio Marsh mystery in a gas station, of all places, somewhere in the middle of the country. I was with my family on one of our annual treks west from Ohio. I must have been about ten years old. I read that book and I was hooked. I also like thrillers and suspense novels.
What book are you reading now?
I’m not reading now since I’m still working on the second book in my mystery series, but I have many books on my to-be-read list, including Amanda Cabot’s Christmas Roses, Margaret Coel’s Buffalo Bill’s Dead Now, the second volume of Krisi Keley’s Pro Luce Habere, and Gail M. Baugniet’s Deadly as Nature.
What fact about your life would you like to share with your readers?
I hate summer. I especially want to share that information this year, as with the terrible drought and heat in many parts of the country, I believe I’m in good company!
If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be, and why?
I have so many places I’d love to visit. If only I could magically transport myself. Scotland, Maine, Alaska, and almost anywhere in the Four Corners states: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona would be at the top of my list.
Do you have any hobbies (other than writing)?
I recently started making altered tags (I’m going to use them as Christmas ornaments), and before that I made a couple altered books. I wish I had more time for hobbies.
What is the most exciting thing you have done?
I don’t know about exciting, but I remember it vividly. I took a trip to Cape Wrath, at the farthest northwestern point of mainland Scotland (to get there I had to take a rowboat across the Kyle of Durness), and stayed at the lighthouse there. Just me and three male lightkeepers, who were the sweetest men in the world. My first morning there, I took a four-hour walk on the cape. The only creatures, human or animal, in sight were seagulls. It was barren and beautiful. That night we all watched Remembrance Day ceremonies on television.
Sweet or salty?
Here’s my view on sweet and salty: It must be both, but one must alternate. First one, then the other.
When do you write, morning, evening, or when the urge strikes?
Because I work full time, and sometimes more, I write whenever I can. Lately my weekends have been fully devoted to writing. My house is a mess.
Are you working on any other books? Tell us about them.
I’m working on my second Anna Denning mystery, Sparrow House, which will be released in December. And last month, along with two other writers, Amy K. Maddox and Cynthia Bruner, I release Fount: Stories of Storms and Grace, a book of short stories.
What do you enjoy most about writing? What do you dislike?
I love writing most when the writing overtakes me, when somehow the characters take on lives of their own and somehow, in the midst of writing, an idea occurs to me that didn’t occur to me when I was plotting the book. It’s fun and exciting. What do I most dislike? That I have to stop writing to work, clean house, or run errands.
If you could meet any person living or dead, real or literary, who would it be, and why?
C.S. Lewis comes to mind first. I have so many questions I’d love to ask him, I’d probably bore the poor man senseless. I’d love to meet Rich Mullins, too, as well as Beth Moore. I’d pepper them all with questions, and no doubt they’d run screaming from me after a few minutes! As far as literary characters go, I’d love to meet Joe Leaphorn, Tony Hillerman’s Navajo detective. We wouldn’t talk at all. We’d sit silently, sipping black coffee at some out-of-the-way diner in New Mexico, then he’d go off to work and I’d drive back to Colorado.
Where can we find you online?
My website is http://www.karinkaufman.com
My blog is http://www.karin-kaufman.blogspot.com.
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/authorkarinkaufman
as well as, Goodreads, and Twitter.
Thanks so much, Karin! When I read your book, I had a couple of questions specific to The Witch Tree. Would you mind answering them?
The main character in your book finds herself at odds with a group of self-proclaimed witches and wiccans. How did you research to become so informed about their beliefs and practices?
What drove me to write this book was that in my twenties, even though I considered myself a Christian, I dabbled in wicca. I feel tremendous empathy for young people caught up in wicca, witchcraft, and paganism. I completely understand what draws them to those dangerous and ultimately unfulfilling “paths.”
Many times authors draw from personal experiences in telling stories. Is there a part in this book that reflects a personal experience?
Yes, the whole book does, really. Not the specifics of the plot, but the book in general. I wanted to tell a story about Christians who aren’t perfect. Christians who struggle, have doubts, get angry, do foolish things, and are generally human. I don’t find this enough in Christian fiction. I wanted to put those human failings in my book because my journey with Christ has been one full of doubts and falling down, as well as being lifted back up. But we can’t leave out the falling down parts. One of my favorite Rich Mullins quotes is “Let people see your struggles and don't ever fake it.” I won’t let my Christian characters fake it.
Your subtitle hints at more Anna Denning books. Is this going to be a series? When can we expect the next one?
Book number 2, Sparrow House, will be out in December!
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