Interview written and conducted by Jewell Nicole
Welcome back and happy September. I’m back again with another interview and this time I’m proud to present Karla Nikole. She is the author of the Lore and Lust series, and Love, Magic and Misfortune.
Both are in the romance genre. Lore and Lust is a queer vampire romance and Love, Magic and Misfortune is a little more women’s contemporary lit. So if you’re all for slow burn romances with friends to lovers’ tropes then read on, because Karla is definitely an author you should get to know.
J: Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why? If not, have you considered doing so?
K: I think pseudonyms are great when it comes to protecting a person’s privacy, and it’s a very personal choice. Some authors even have multiple pseudonyms, which allows them to explore different genres without disrupting reader’s expectations. I think that’s great!
J: How many drafts do your books generally go through before publication?
K: It depends on the book. My first book went through about six different drafts. My second book about four drafts, my third, three. For me personally, my hope is that I need less and less drafts as I grow as a writer. I don’t ever think it’ll be a “one and done” situation, but not six drafts like with book one!
J: What is the best money you ever spent as a writer?
K: Cover art. Book covers are extremely important and give strong first impressions. They also help to set reader’s expectations.
There’s always this saying, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ and ‘first impressions are lasting impressions.’ I definitely agree with having strong cover illustrations that are genre specific because as much as we don’t like it, readers do judge our books based on our covers.
J: What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?
K: I love to be swept away with a good romance, but I couldn’t find the kind of romance I was looking for. I have also always loved vampires and whimsical/magical things.
I also believe this is something most authors tell me. I believe the famous Toni Morrison said, “If you can’t find the book you want to read, then write it.” And a lot authors, including myself have started writing the books we want to read.
J: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
K: I usually research as I write a book, and not necessarily before starting. I research during and after as I dig deeper into the story and flesh things out. The kind of research I do depends on the book and the need. For example, in Love, Magic and Misfortune, I researched a lot of painting techniques by looking at blogs for painters, You Tube videos and also articles explaining art styles. Violet, my main character, paints. So I wanted to make her as authentic as possible instead of simply saying “Violet paints.”
J: What are some elements that are becoming cliché in your genre?
K: I’m honestly not sure how to answer this question? Every writer has their own intention and preference with regard to tropes and themes, which is totally fine.
J: How do you select the names of your characters?
K: Sometimes I just search baby name sites, like most writers. And sometimes the names pop in my head, or they are names I have always liked. For instance, I have always liked the name Violet. So I named my main character that in Love, Magic and Misfortune. Also, there’s an older anime called xxxHolic, and the grandfather of one of the characters was called “Haruka.” He was a pretty awesome guy, and I always loved that as a man’s name, so I chose it for my main character in Lore and Lust.
Karla also shared her favorite childhood book with us. She said she loves The Secret Garden and I think I speak for everyone when I say we couldn’t agree more.
J: How many unpublished or unfinished books do you have?
K: Just one. Lore and Lust was the first book I’ve written and finished, and I published it, along with book two and Love, Magic and Misfortune. But I had created a fourth book in the Lore and Lust series that I decided to drop.
Her favorite word might just surprise you, I know it surely did surprise me. And here’s why she loves these words so much.
K: My favorite word in Japanese is “aozora,” which means blue sky. And also “teruterubozu,” which is just fun to say. It’s a little ghost like figure that people hang from their windows or railing in spring to help chase the rain away. It’s all very cute.
J: I went on to ask her what’s her second favorite color, because why not? And well she says, ‘purple.’ My question to you readers is, can you guess what’s her favorite color?
Karla chose the ability to fly over the ability to breathe under water and I’m going to agree on this one. Flying seems like more fun. But when I asked her what are the three things she can live without, the first response surprised me.
J: Name three things you can live without.
K: Three things I can live without? Cruise ships, mosquitos and taxes.
I think we can all live without mosquitoes, just saying. It seems like their only purpose in life is to make humans miserable. And let’s not start on the taxes situation because you guys will be reading forever. LOL.
J: So Karla when you envision yourself, what does being a successful author look like to you?
K: For me personally, it means being able to live (pay rent, eat food) from my books. Simply. But I also think that just having written a few books and pushed them out into the world with high quality and love also gives me a sense of success.
J: What’s your favorite cover from the Lore and Lust series? What is it your favorite?
K: I love the first cover, because it was truly my vision to have Haruka, this beautiful vampire, on the cover and half concealed by roses. My cover artist did an amazing job bringing it to life, and I still look at it in awe. I just adore it so much. It’s like a dream come true.
I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Karla and really look forward to seeing what else she has to offer.
If you’re looking for a whimsical, queer, diverse romance writer, then Karla definitely should be on your bookshelves and in your inbox.
Don’t forget to grab all three novels in the Lore and Lust series and add a little whimsical to your day.