Kara Jorgensen is an author and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs. She is a proud indie author, who has one novel published, The Earl of Brass, and one forthcoming entitled The Winter Garden.
What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?
The earliest story I can remember writing was a sort of Sherlock Holmes fanfiction when I was ten or eleven. My grandma had given me a YA Sherlock Holmes story by a modern author, and I fell in love. I dove into Conan Doyle’s short stories and began to write my own, but with the addition of a love interest, much more adventure and drama, and probably a bit less crime. I think this sparked my love of historical fiction and is why I write historical fantasies set in the Victorian era. As I grew up, I moved stayed in fantasy, traversing time and countries, before finally settling on the 1890s when I began writing The Earl of Brass.
What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?
My favorite aspect of being a writer is being able to create worlds and characters my readers look forward to and love. I love to write, but it is much more rewarding when readers ask when the next book is coming out or what happened to so-and-so. My least favorite aspect is marketing. It’s hard work and not always the most rewarding part of writing. I have a hard time figuring out how to creatively market my books and not become one of those people who spams their “buy my book” ads on social media.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?
I’m unsure where I stand with writer’s block. There are some days when I am severely stressed and know there is no way I am in the right frame of mind to work, but the block is usually within our control. If you have things that are stressing you out, try to take care of them. Walk the dog, clean the dishes, do your homework, do whatever you need to in order to settle down and get back to writing. If there doesn’t seem to be anything externally bothering you, then, it may help to do some pre-writing. Try outlining the scene or jotting down the points that you need to cover. If there is a scene that will come later and is knocking at your brain, write that and then go back to the one you are stuck on.
At the moment, I am finishing up the writing and editing of my second book, The Winter Garden. I’m stuck on the final battle. Choreographing the really important scenes sometimes gives me performance anxiety, especially if the scene is not clear in my mind. At this point, I think I need to write out an outline and work on that before I can actually write the scene. What I’m struggling with specifically is keeping track of everyone in the room and the cause and effect of each decision. Note to self, have a “final battle” with less participants next time.
What supports you in your writing?
Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Actually, my boyfriend and best friend are very supportive of my work. When I have a scene I am stuck on, I can always come to them and pick their brains. Neither of them has ever told me to give it up or pick a more lucrative career. It also helps that I am working toward an MFA in creative writing. Many of friends are writers or poets, and my professors want nothing more than for us to succeed. Surrounding yourself with a network of authors and poets definitely makes me feel more secure.
What are you currently reading?
Currently, I am reading two books, which is very odd for me as I am typically a monogamous reader. I am nearing the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I honestly am not enjoying it, but because I bought the His Dark Materials trilogy as a box set, I’m finishing it anyway. I’m also reading Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk. In the past, I have really enjoyed her Whybourne and Griffin series, and from what I have read of Restless Spirits, I think I have a new series to enjoy.
Where can our readers find you and your books online?