Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Interview with Kim Karr, NYT Bestselling Author of Toxic + Giveaway! (US/Can)

I'd like to welcome the lovely Kim Karr, to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Toxic from Penguin Random House!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, Kim! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions: writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are on their way, so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle—I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my six-year-old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore—it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hope to always stay young at heart.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hits shelves today:

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.

Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she’d never find again—the right man to share her future.

Phoebe St. Claire has devoted herself to saving her family’s hotel empire—but her best efforts have not been good enough. With her whole world in turmoil, the tenacious go-getter turns to the once love of her life. Far from innocent, Jeremy McQueen was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks and her parents would never have approved. Their years apart have only made the sexy bad boy more irresistible than ever—and their reunion is explosive.

When she asks Jeremy to help her salvage her family business, he agrees immediately, with only one condition—he wants her in his bed.

But soon surprising circumstances leave Phoebe reeling. Was this fairy tale romance just too good to be true? Will Jeremy’s secrets pull them apart all over again?

What was the inspiration for the book?

I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

As a huge fan of first lines, I’d love to hear the first line of Toxic. Could you give us a brief commentary on it?
I had a ring on my finger and no date.
Phoebe has been struggling through the last 5 years after losing Jeremy and thinks she’s happy but knows everything isn’t perfect.

Tell us about your road to publication, such as how you first queried, unexpected challenges, and things you picked up along the way.

I wrote Connected and three days before I self-published it, I woke up in the middle of the night (my little one was ill) and once he was settled I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I checked my phone. I had an email from my now agent, Amy Tannenbaum and I thought it was a hoax. She asked if I could send her my MS and I did. I signed with her the morning of my release and a month later she brought me a publishing deal from Penguin, who I have been with ever since. Surreal really.

Hard work pays off in miraculous ways! Are the characters from your book based off anyone you know in real life?

Not to date. There’s not enough drama that surrounds them. LOL.

Which character from Toxic was most difficult to write?

Dawson Vanderbilt. He is Phoebe’s ex-fiancé and he couldn’t be perfect for her so that was difficult.

Name the top five novels that have made the biggest impact on your life or on your writing.

Wife 22
Fifty Shades of Grey
In Death
Mr. Impossible
The Cinderella Deal

What’s the greatest thing you ever learned?

All people are different and that’s okay.

How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?

Everyone has their own opinions on books. I know in my heart that I have done the best I could do. I give my books 100%. Sometimes I learn things from those reviews but the harsh, negative ones that attack me personally, I choose to read and move on from.

That's a great way to not get dragged down. Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Kim's random favorites, what kind of kid she was in high school, as well as the message she wants readers to take home from the book. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Toxic, so you don't want to miss that either!

- - - - - - - - - - -

Some randomness...

Favorite kind of chocolate? Dark, milk, white, coffee-flavored, the kind with nuts or berries inside?? Milk chocolate and I love the salted caramels from Nordstrom.

What kind of kid were you in high school?  I was a good student but allowed myself to be influenced easily by others, which in turn means I didn’t always make the best decisions.

All-time favorite quote? From Kate Spade: She who leaves a trail of glitter is not forgotten.

Most romantic thing a guy has ever done for you?  Surprised me with a visit when I was at college and brought me to Niagara Falls for the weekend, just because. I kind of loved it then and still do.

Most disastrous date you’ve ever been on? A setup from a friend and the guy took me shopping and tried to pick out clothes for me. It was the strangest, oddest thing ever.

How do you get over heartbreak?  Eat and shop. The best ways.

Agreed ;) Currently reading? Grey!!!!!! What else??

Currently wearing? Black and white. I always do!

Most visited websites? Zappos. I love shoes.

Favorite vegetable? Edamame. I kind of love it.

Biggest celebrity crush? Right now it’s Chris Pine. I just love him.

Guiltiest pleasure? Online shopping. Shhh...

What did you want to grow up to be when you were little? A lawyer. I always thought I would be but then the reality of going to school for that long changed my mind.

I feel you! Go-to comfort food? Chocolate with potato chips!!!

Charity or cause of choice? Breast cancer awareness.

- - - - - - - - - - -

What are you involved in when you aren’t writing?

My latest venture has been trying to get fit. I started watching American Ninja Warrior with my six-year-old and want to be the fittest I have ever been before I turn 50. I have one year. ;) But I also enjoy reading, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends.

Is there a message in Toxic that you want readers to grasp?

That although love isn’t easy, true love will always prevail.

What’s next for you?

I have already written my next two books, for which I haven’t announced titles yet. Both center on a secondary character from Toxic but the story is in no way like Toxic. It takes place in Boston and is different from anything I have ever written.

Can't wait to see what you have coming! Where can you be found on the web?

Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you'd like to ask our readers?

Do you believe true love will always prevail?

It was a pleasure to be able to get to know you better today, Kim! Thank you again for dropping by, and best of luck with future endeavors!


Books à la Mode is giving away
 one print copy of Toxic
—woohoo! To enter, all you have to do is answer Kim's question:
Do you believe true love will always find a way?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Kim and I really want to hear your thoughts! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Sullivan & Partners!
Giveaway ends July 21st at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar on the right for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!