Saturday, 18 March 2017

Diana talks to Karen Vaughan

Hi Karen, I wouldn't have discovered your wonderful, quirky-humoured mystery books if you had not entered (and won) a recent Review Blog prize draw, starting us both talking. Now I am hooked and I am reading them as fast as I can buy them and I thought it was a good idea to talk to you here and introduce you to a much wider audience.

First things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!

MY QUESTION FOR ME? What would I do for a Klondike bar?? Do an open mike comedy night.
(She is serious, folks! Has anyone heard her sing? Maybe we should just club together and buy her one!)
What would I do with it once I got it???-eat it of course!

If your latest book HOLMES IN AMERICA- was adapted into a TV show or a film, who would you like to play the lead role?
I would put Ricky Gervais in the lead role because Nigel Holmes is as politically incorrect as he is!

What made you choose this genre?  I have always loved mysteries and I love comedy so I thought I would combine them.

How do you get ideas for plots and characters? In my head, really, and people have given me some really neat ideas that I might use. 
If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!) you could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind?
I have got a few romance/romantic suspense stories in progress.

Was becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How old were you when you first started to write seriously.

It was a huge drift. I was home sick and very bored. I started writing what is now 'Dead on Arrival' in 2005 and just kept going - it's like potato chips; you can't just eat one!
Marmite? Love it or hate it? MAKES NASTY HACKING SOUNDS—UM HATE IT. (No need to be polite, Karen, say what you really think!!!)
Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...??
My 'Please don't annoy the author' mug, full of coffee or tea. 70s Classic rock or oldies.

I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters?
Characters rule!

Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job?
Stand up comedian. I am also an author/book promoter.

Coffee or tea? Red or white?
Both coffee and tea-sorry can't choose. Red as it is bold and vibrant like my characters

How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way? I write by the seat of my pants  -my characters write it I am just the typist

If you had free choice over the font your book is printed in, what font/fonts would you choose? COMIC SANS MS

Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be? Romeo and Juliette.

Have any of your characters ever shocked you and gone off on their own adventure leaving you scratching your head??? If so how did you cope with that!? I had it planned in my nano last year - Playing Dead - that the thugs would abduct my protagonists, but one of them took off and made a deal with the badasses.

How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips?

Not much, I am lazy -LOL- mostly online, but I did go down to Toronto to research one area that would play a prominent part of the story!
Fiction authors have to contend with real characters invading our stories. Are there any ‘real’ characters you have been tempted to prematurely kill off or ignore because you just don’t like them or they spoil the plot?

My editor has a nemesis named Stella so after hearing stories about her I gave her a part but she is so annoying I had her kill her ex husband and sent her off to jail. I have killed off a few people on paper that just needed it.

Are you prepared to go away from the known facts for the sake of the story and if so how do you get around this?
It’s called creative license I believe. I get close to the truth but the facts get warped sometimes
Do you find that the lines between fact and fiction sometimes become blurred? Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes.

Have you ever totally hated or fallen in love with one of your characters?
I love Jeff Gibbons, my cop in my series; he is married but a girl can dream.
What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? It's easier to say what I don't like -- HORROR!

What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book?
I don’t recommend drinking anything as you might spit it out while laughing, but wine is good.
Last but not least... favourite author? James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman and many more

Your answers have been as fun and funny as your books, Karen, so now I will tell people a bit about you:
Karen Vaughan lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a cat named JJ. She is the mom of a 26-year-old daughter and four grown stepchildren, a newborn granddaughter and a 6-year-old grandson named Izak who could very well be smarter than a fifth grader. DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family, and online gamers. She also enjoys doing crafts and other hobbies. Her third book and sequel to DEAD ON ARRIVAL is called OVER HER DEAD BODY. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series and was released in May 2013. Other than writing Karen loves to read, do crafts and play online games. Currently, she hosts an internet radio show called WRITERS ROUND TABLE since January the 14th, 2014. She has a quirky sense of humor and shows this in her mysteries and her side hobby of stand-up comedy. DEAD MEN DON’T SWING AND JAMAICA DEAD WERE PUBLISHED in January 2015. LEFT FOR DEAD AND HOLMES IN AMERICA WERE PUBLISHED IN 2016. Karen is currently working on her 7th book in the Laura and Gerry series DEAD TO WRITES.                

© Diana Milne January 2017 © Karen Vaughan February 2017


  1. Great interview, a very enjoyable read :D

  2. I really enjoyed this interview! I have known Karen as a writer and a friend since we met a few years ago at NaNo. I love all of her books that I have read so far and hope to read all she has written so far. Great interview and it shows the quirky comedic side of Karen!! Glad to see there is another Laura and Gerry book coming out too!!!