Wednesday, January 5, 2011

True Confessions - how laxatives nearly ruined my career

The launch of this SuperRomance Authors blog site marks another milestone for Super witers and also coincides with two important anniversaries coming up for me.
February 25, 2001 was the exact date I thought, ‘Yep, I can do this.’ Aspire to a career as a romance author. I’d gathered my courage and attended an aspiring romance writers’ course in Northland, New Zealand with mega Harlequin stars Daphne Clair and Robyn Donald (who have over 160 books between them).
I’d spent the entire weekend learning about Conflict, Point of View, Character, Setting, Plot and a thousand and one other craft imperatives and come to the unhappy realization that I’d considered none of them when I’d sat down to write the partial manuscript required to attend the course.
So you can imagine how I felt when I was called in for a private critique of my quivering offering…the first three chapters of my category opus, Venus Rising.
In which there was a great scene (not) where the heroine was about to imbibe laxatives to get out of having sex with the hero. Brazenly I confess this…as brazenly as I told the local chemist in my quest for factual information – How many would she need to take? How long before they worked? The chemist suspected nefarious purpose and lectured me on the danger of laxatives in fiction or otherwise.
So here I was in Daphne's study, after a workshop that had thrown alarming light on my ignorance, and with - I swear - a spotlight shining in my eyes and German shepherds prowling the perimeter and they said…I had talent.
And, Karina, the laxatives have to go.
I took out the offending scene, finished the book and it won a Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America. Then it went to Modern Extra for two lots of revisions and was… rejected. It fell between genres, it was quirky, the writing was uneven, but it had a spark. And over the next five years I fanned that spark and my third full manuscript sold on Friday 13 January, 2006, the luckiest day ever after. At which point, my editor Victoria Curran took another look at Venus Rising, and gave a polite Canadian ‘No’ that still felt like ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’”
But the book rose…a phoenix from the ashes. I ditched my heroine…I mean, what kind of sick mind would consider using laxatives like that, honestly! I gave my hero another woman - smarter and more sensible - and Superromance published the book as Mr Unforgettable. The title was the only one I’ve ever picked and the irony is that readers can never recall it. I mean never. Even my family doesn’t remember the title.
. I guess in a meandering way, (one Victoria would certainly have me revise), I’ve got to the point of this blog. Dream big, never give up, take risks and eventually things work out - just not the way you think.
While at the time I was devastated not to sell Venus Rising, now I’m grateful it was never inflicted on the world. And Mr What’s-his-name was a much better book.
And what's even better is that I've ended up in this great community that is SuperRomance.
Karina Bliss

If you’d like to see how much I’ve improved since my laxative-scene-writing days make a comment and do into the draw for one of three copies of my January release and eighth published book, Here Comes The Groom.
Readers’ website, Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books has chosen Here Comes the Groom for its January Sizzling Book Pick.
Here's the link for more details:
Note: There's a 50 percent discounted e-book deal on HERE COMES THE GROOM between January 6 and 19th associated with the book club. Here's the link:
Also another reader site, Dear Author, has given the book an A review. Here's the link:


Rogenna Brewer said...

Good morning, Karina! I have to confess that after hearing the title I could hardly wait to read this blog. Too funny . I hope you saved a copy of that scene somewhere on your hard drive.

Loves 2 Read Romance - Laura said...

I love the title of the blog! It made me laugh. I am glad you got published and don't believe that Friday the 13th is bad luck. Good luck with your next book!

Kirsten said...

Hi Karina,

I enjoyed hearing about your adventure towards being a super romance writer. And how funny that chemist!!! I can imagine you standing there asking questions & him thinking that sounds a bit like telling that story of: I have this friend ... when you actually mean yourself. :) Here Comes The Groom sounds great!!

Theresa N. said...

It does sound like a scene (laxatives) you'd find in a chick lit book.
Theresa N

Kaelee said...

What a great story about your writing trials and tribulations. I'd love to read the laxative scene as a snippet.
I must confess I have read some of your books but I've also got some in my TBR pile. Mr Unforgettable is unread as yet. I see it has a different title in Mills and Boon Super Romance, The Millionaire's Private Affairs. I think this would be a harder title to remember.
Both Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair write for the Presents line. What made you pick Super romance or did someone guide you to this line?

liztalley said...

Yay! I loved this post, Karina. I really don't think I've seen a title for a post that has that much "grab." I mean, who's not going to read it after seeing "laxatives" in the title? LOL!

You are a phenomenal writer - quirky, fun and delightful. I'm in the middle of What the Librarian Did right now and your characterization is superb! I'm a lucky duck to be able to share shelf space with you :)

Was thrilled to see Dear Author gave you an "A" review. They love you over there, darling! Good for you and good for Superromance. Thanks for representin'!

Sarah Tanner said...

Hi Karina,

Your post made me laugh out loud! It also inspired me to keep writing.

I have 'Here Comes the Groom' on my ereader. I'm looking forward to reading it, even if it doesn't contain laxatives. :D

Chelle Sandell said...

:D Yep. The post title is definitely eye-catching! But your post made me laugh out loud and the dogs are giving me dirty looks for disturbing their nap. I'll have to go find Mr. Unforgettable! I don't have an e-reader yet but downloaded the app on my laptop so I can still enjoy the convenience.

Laney4 said...

Thanks, Karina. Fun blog!
I am lucky that many of my dreams have come true. I wanted to have a great marriage (and we look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary this summer - I will admit it wasn't "great" for the first decade or so, but it has been fantastic for at least the last decade!). I wanted to have kids - mind you, I wanted 4 and my DH wanted 0 - and I have 2 great young-adult "kids". As for work, I wanted to work from home so I chose typing as a vehicle to do that way back in elementary school (and I've been self-employed for 25 years now, although I have had to work outside the home as well several times during those years).

Virginia C said...

Hi, Karina! Great blog post! I love your books, and I have "Here Comes the Groom" on my wish list. Thanks so much for sharing, but I'll have to say "NO" to the brownies ; )

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Deb Salonen said...

Karina, what fun! It's easy to see that sparkle those other authors saw in your writing. Love your humor!

My first attempt to sell to Harlequin opened with the line: "Mother's in labor." (Mother was a pig.) Can't imagine why it didn't sell. Sigh. (And, like you, the book was resurrected much later with a great many changes.) :-)

Looking forward to reading your latest!


desere_steenberg said...

This post is too funny thank you for sharing it with us and cheering up my day !!And once again thank you to all the authors for this stunning site !
All the best

EllenToo said...

I have a copy of Here Comes the Groom (so don't put my name in the draw). I have to say I'm glad that Victoria nixed the laxative idea. The only book of yours that I have read is Like Father, Like Son and I loved it.

jcp said...

You made me laugh this morning. Thank you

Ellen Hartman said...

Karina--that is too funny. :-) Hee. I'm sure we all have our unmentionable scenes lurking in the depths of our deleted pages files.

When I finished my first book and was all set to send it to the Golden Heart, I realized I needed a title. What gem did I settle on? Painted Love.

Yes, the hero was a house painter and yes, it actually was a deliberate play on the name of the 80's classic, Tainted Love, by Soft Cell. I thought it might resonate with women my age. ;-)

Luckily, Superromance gave it a new title before they published it.

Can't wait for the Smart Bitches book club chat! Have fun!

P.S. Deb--I like the mother's in labor line. It would have made me read on, just to find out what happened. ;-)

Kimberly Van Meter said...

OMG! That's hilarious, Karina! I love it. Laxatives to avoid sex. Yes, that would certainly put someone out of the mood. I loved MR IMPERFECT and I loved the cover of MR IRRESISTIBLE. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

LOL, loved the laxative story. I look forward to reading your books!

Karina Bliss said...

Hi guys, six am in NZ and I'm up! I'll grab a coffee and come back read your comments.
Terrific to see so many dropping by.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Karina--Great post! When I saw the title, I was like, laxatives? Okay...I must see where this is going. Too funny.

I have to confess that in my first book, my heroine drugged the hero with sleeping pills. The editor reading my work told me that such actions made my heroine seem a tad unsympathetic. Really? I was amazed. There is such a learning curve to this writing business. I never sold that book. Never even tried, it's that bad. But the hero's sister's story went on to be my first sale, which was also in 2006. What a great year!

Carrie Weaver said...

Karina, thanks for the laugh! Your post absolutely made my morning. Yes, my sense of humor is a kilter. Who could pass by a blog with that title???

Karina Bliss said...

Rogenna, I thought I had saved the scene but I can't find it. Shame. It's like keeping old photos when you were wearing hot pants - embarrassing in retrospect, but fun.

Loves2Read Romance, Who would have thought Friday the 13th would be a watershed day for me. I step on all the cracks in the pavement now too.

Kirsten - That chemist was so disapproving that I try and have a personal introduction (however loose) to specialists in subjects I'm researching.

Theresa N - it does sound chick lit perfect - except the rest of the book wasn't. Part of the problem I think, it was a mish-mash of genres.

Kaylee, beleive me, you wouldn't want to read that scene. I described to the chemist how funny it was and he didn't crack a smile once. I targetted Presents because for a long time in NZ, it was the only line we got. I grew up on it and automatically aspired to it (as did a lot of other Kiwi writers). Plus we had some great ones out of NZ - Essie Summers, Robyn Donald, Daphne Clair, Susan Napier jump to mind. It took a long time to realize I wasn't a Presents writer - my alpha heroes kept going beta on me, I snuck in subplots and my voice simply wasn't seems obvious now but it takes a few manuscripts to work out what your voice is and where it might suit. Super's a perfect fit.


Ellen Hartman said...

Karina--if you can't post the laxative scene, the least you can do is give us a photo of you in hot pants.

Pretty please?


P.S. I'm glad you found Supers. Mr. Unforgettable was a great book and started me as a Karina Bliss fan. Lucky me!!

Karina Bliss said...

Liz, thanks for the lovely words. I'm a terrible writer but a good reviser. Thats my strength I think. I'm taking your book on holiday with me next week! Looking forward to it.

Sarah, yes, keep writing. Through my own trials and that of many of my writing friends I know perseverence, the willingness to keep learning (oh, and writing regularly :) is the key to success. Hope you enjoy HCTG.

Chelle, yes do read Mr Unforgettable. It's one of my personal favorites.

Laney4, great marriage, great job, great kids. Sounds like your dreams are all well in hand.

Virginia C, sadly my brownies are inedible, spiced with laxatives or otherwise. Baking is not a forte.

Deb, Mother's in Labor - a sequel to Babe, maybe? I'm a great beleiver in recycling. It would be interesting to know of the books that authors 'eventually get published' are really the same book. In terms of Mr Unforgettable I kept the setting, the hero's name and backstory but not much else.

Desere, isn't this a great site. Thank Rogenna Brewer, Sarah Mayberry and Tracey Wolff for that.

Ellen Too, My editor, Victoria, is very good at nixing the crazy stuff. In fact, I think I'd still be embarrassed every book without her input. I don't know which editor made this's quite famous in the writing community - write with fire and I'll edit with water. I love that quote, it gives a writer permission to make mistakes and I've got a brilliant editor who can turn the hose of them :)

Jcp, glad you enjoyed the blog!

Karina Bliss said...

Ellen, Tainted Love...I know that song, I'm singing the chorus now. But um, Painted Love? And you 'thought it would resonate with people your age...21 you mean?

Kimberley, laxatives to avoid sex. Put baldly like that, 'What was I thinking?' Very romantic. Mr Irresistible did have a great cover...which is your favorite of your books?

Tina, I'm glad you enjoyed the laxative story. You have to laugh at your mistakes.

Thanks for commenting everyone.


Karina Bliss said...

Jeannie, we first got published the same year. How encouraging to find someone else with a silly scenario.
And oh I love that phrase (unsympathetic heroine). Not! I still struggle with them - the hero jumps off the page fully and perfectly formed - my heroines always needs work.
Glad your hero's sister stole his thunder and went on to sell.

Carrie, I was a little worried about bringing down the tone with that title...always hard to judge when you're typing alone in a little dark room. Glad you're humor is off-kilter too.

Ellen, I think the 80s shoulder pads is a worse photo. Needless to say you'll have to pry them loose from my cold, dead hands...


Anonymous said...

Laxatives--too funny! What a wicked imagination!

I like reading Supers that aren't set in North America. There are always some little differences, like people's attitudes and ways of expressing themselves, that make me see my world in a new light. I'm glad you persevered, Katrina!


Anonymous said...

Uh-oh--my comment needs a little editing of its own! Sorry 'bout the "t"!

Anonymous said...

karina, What a great title to this blog! I think I would have liked to see what happened after the laxative to avoid sex scene! :)

I loved your "Mr." trilogy! I started looking for your back books after the ehar online read. That is such a great format to find authors you like to read!

Got a nook for Christmas, so going to see if I can get your January book, Here Comes the Groom as an ebook!

Hmmmm, can't get this to post so going to try as anonymous now. :) Snookie

Jeannie Watt said...

Karina--We sold within a week of each other. January used to seem like a long, cold, bland month after the excitment of the holidays--not my favorite month. Now I love January, thanks to Victoria.

Summer said...

Such a funny post, and inspiring, too. It's always great to read that someone's persistence paid off. I'm more than ever looking forward to finally reading my copy of What The Librarian Did, I get the feeling that I'll really love your voice.

Linda Warren said...

Great post. LOL. Laxatives? I can see why they nip it, and why the chemist was concerned. Love your books! Glad you're a Super Author.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Good to see so many people here! Don't forget Karina is giving away three (30) autographed copies of her book and we also have a santa surprise pack -- you're going to wish you had this in your stocking It includes chocolate.

Too bad, Karina, that you couldn't find that scene. Any others that you've thought better of over the years? Or any that didn't make it into a book that you wish had?

Prisakiss said...

Karina, great blog post title. :-) It's always encouraging to hear early career stories from published authors...they help me not feel like perhaps I'm missing the boat completely.

I wanted to say a word of thanks for starting up the blog, and for kicking it off with two days of editor q&a. I appreciate the insight and guidance!

Debbie Pfeiffer said...

Karina, that initial scenario certainly was a new twist on keeping the hero and heroine at a distance! LOL. Thanks for sharing the winding road of that book, it helps inspire me to keep moving ahead and have hope for those books already written but not sold. Mr. Unforgettable doesn't sound so forgettable to me!

C said...

I've been smiling all day thinking of how I would have texted a friend if I'd read about using laxitives to avoid sex - and it would have been much more "Can you believe this?!" than "You've got to read this!"

I've read your more recent books (What the Librarian Did; Like Father, Like Son; and Here Comes the Groom) You and Sarah Mayberry are what got me started on Supers. I'm enjoying this blog an a bit of an inside look at the books and their authors. Thank you all so much!

Nas said...

Hi Karina, glad the laxatives went out as why should sex be avoided? It's to be enjoyed!

Looking forward to reading Here Comes The Groom!

Karina Bliss said...

Sally, I just noticed a lot of typos in my posts...don't worry about the t. I set one book in the States (Like Father, Like Son) as part of a mini series with Tara Taylor Quinn, Kathleen O'Brien and Janice Kay Johnson (The Diamond Legacy). Generally I find setting a book in NZ means less research, it's easier writing a setting I already know well. But I also love reading foreign settings...cowboys, Texas, the South - a lot of my understanding of the US comes from books US writers.

Snookie, glad you enjoyed the Mr series. I loved those heros and their friendship. Trying to do that again with my SAS heros. First of which, is Here Comes The Groom.

Jeannie, so there were happy shouts from both ends of the globe January 2006.

Summer, so many books, so little time. Know what you mean about the TBR pile. I have lists of my lists now.


Sarah Mayberry said...

Yo, Karina! You are too funny. I love your laxative story. The closest I can come is having a scene in my first book where the heroine was laughing so much she cried a little and got a booger on her cheek afterward. She and the hero were about to go into a big important meeting, and he had to tell her that she had know... some stuff on her face. This was a Blaze, and I was told kindly but firmly by my ed that booger and Blaze do not mix. As you say, we live and learn. I love your writing so much, you are my go to when I want to remember why I love romance so much. Thanks for being such a thoughtful, funny, real writer. Looking forward to the next book - what are you doing blogging when you should be typing out my next fix?

Karina Bliss said...

Thanks, Linda. I love your books too.

Rogenna, I've thought better of a lot of scenes but often they simply need a rework to find the conflict. Sometimes my sub plot characters get too busy which makes my hero/heroine too passive in driving their destiny. That's something I have to watch. Occasionally I'll post a favorite deleted scene on my website...How about you? Got any scenes you think of fondly...ones you regret losing?

Prisakiss and Debbie, I like reading author journeys too. It reminds me that no one can escape the learning curve...and reassures me that it's possible to improve.

Atomicmom, actually I'd probably want to read that book too...only not mine. It was all over the place. Anyone wants that's yours.

Nas, very funny. Another reason why my poor heroine had to go. She had no appreciation of that great hero.


Karina Bliss said...

Hi Sarah!
A booger on her cheek. Okay, that's topped mine. I'm going to start collecting silly scene ideas I think, that's too funny. You know I'm a big fan of your books so I always get a glow on when you say you like mine. In fact, a lot of my favorite authors are Super writers which is why it's such a buzz to be writing for that line.
And um...yes, I'm supposed to be revising my August book and hanging out here instead. Don't tell Victoria. Doh...she's here tomorrow.
Working hard, Victoria!!!


Beth Andrews said...

Karina, what a great post and congrats on all the fabulous reviews! I can't wait to read Here Comes The Groom *g* I love the hero's smile on the cover :-)

Sounds as if it was a bit of a winding road to get to Supers but I'm sure glad you did *g* Your stories are wonderful!

Rula Sinara said...

Fabulous post, Karina! Between laxatives, Blaze boogers, and sleeping pills, I can't stop laughing. I love it when published authors share their stories. It's a great way to give back because there's nothing like proof that perseverance pays off. Thanks! BTW, I loved What The Librarian Did.

chey said...

You made me laugh! Great post!

Karina Bliss said...

Thanks, Beth. Everyone, Beth won a 2010 Rita, the Oscars of romance awards for Her Not So Perfect Past, an awesome read.

Rula, I'm so glad you enjoyed What The Librarian Did. It was fun to write.

Chey, thanks for dropping by.


Julie Hilton Steele said...

Karina, thanks so much for the laugh. I am so glad you survived so I could have the pleasure of Here Comes the Groom.

No need to enter me since I already purchased this wonderful book.

Peace and thanks, Julie

Estella said...

Great post. I enjoy hearing about an author's road to being published.

Lenora said...

Karina, that made me laugh. What an interesting post. Amazing what we can learn in trying to get a book published. I'm so glad you found a home at Superromance.

Lenora :)

Tara Taylor Quinn said...


I can just imagine that phone call - and Victoria's tone of voice as she delivered her message!

I would love to read the scene, though!


Jacquie said...

love all your books Karina!! Here comes the Groom was so good because it touched on something alot of us have had to deal with, namely dementia. The name kind of says it all hey, my Grandma passed away recently and she had this awful desease also. I'm not sure if it's harder for them or their family, anyway thank-you for the touching way you portrayed this horrible thing.

C said...

Hooray! So there will be more SAS books! I was really hoping so when I was reading Here Comes the Groom. Makes my day to know more good reading is on the way.

Jane said...

I read so many great reviews about "Here Comes The Groom." Really looking forward to reading it.

Serenity said...

Late to post as usual but had to say I've just read Sarah's book with the 'booger' on the cheek and it did make me laugh at the time! I actually wrote to her to say how much I'm enjoying her books and she recommended I read yours, Karina, so I've just started that one, er um, what's it called... Mr Unforgettable! No seriously, have just started it and I'm really enjoying it. Nice to read about something set in NZ (I'm in the Northland).

Jackie S. said...

Very interesting post, Karina. Gotta read this book!!

Karina Bliss said...

Hi Julie, great to see you here. Thanks for buying my book.
Estella, Lenora, Tara welcome.
As an aside, Tara, Kathleen O'Brien and Janice Kay Johnson were writers I learned a lot from when writing Like Father, Like Son for the Diamond continuity. This was a series to celebrate Harlequin's 60 anniversary and revolved around three generations of the same family. And Kathleen O'Brien and Janice Kay Johnson It was wonderful to brainstorm plot arcs with these superb writers.

Jacquie, I'm glad the dementia subplot worked for you. I was lucky enough to get a lot of good advice on that.

Caron, Ross's story is in my August 11 release, Stand-In Wife.

Jane, hope Here Comes The Groom lives up to expectations.

Serenity...oh, oh, which is the booger book of Sarah's. Is it her Feb release for Super. Or an older Blaze? I'm still working my way through her backlist. Enquiring minds want to know.

Karina Bliss said...

Jackie S...glad you enjoyed the post.
I'm catching so many typos...sorry, all!


Joan Kilby said...

Great post, Karina! Love your books. And congrats on the excellent reviews! Coincidentally, my very first ms, a Golden Heart finalist, was titled, Venus Rising. And here I thought I was so clever and unique. :) The most memorable scene of mine that got nixed was one where the heroine was going to get the hero to artificially inseminate her using a turkey baster. My then editor said flat out, 'No turkey baster, Joan." "No? But why not?" She didn't explain, just repeated, "No turkey baster." I'm still pouting.

Karina Bliss said...

Joan...Did you get the title from Botticelli's Birth of Venus...Venus Rising from the Sea? My hero catches the heroine swimming nude...actually that was a good scene though it sounds awfully cliched when I write it now.
You know Coronation St (British TV soap) had a turkey baster pregnancy with Sean the gay bartender helping his best friend have a baby? So you were ahead of your time.

Anonymous said...

What a way to grab someone's attention!
I loved What the Librarian Did and am so looking forward to Here Comes the Groom. I can proudly say I have the entire Karina Bliss library.


Joan Kilby said...

Karina... yes, I did. It was set in Tahiti with a sailor hero and a French heroine. There's a beach there called Venus Point where they went swimming. I loved that heroine though so she 'rose' again in another book that sold so all was not lost.

Karina Bliss said...

Joan, what's the title of your resurrected heroine book? I must get it.

Marcie, I'm thrilled you've got my entire output. Thank you!

Toni Kenyon said...

Hi Karina

I brought 'Second-Chance Family' on holiday with me. Wow! I loved it - and not a laxative in sight ;-)

I'm so glad that the writing is going well for you and I'm looking forward to reading your latest work.


Joan Kilby said...

Karina, it was my second book, Temporary Wife. I transplanted my French Tahitian heroine to Vancouver and made her a chef. It's probably not available any more but I'll send you a copy.

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Ooo I read the review at SBRTB and I would LOVE to win this. I'm a huge fan of friends realizing they're in love after years together. *sigh*

BTW how bad was the HERO if the heroine wanted to load up on laxatives?? Hahaha kidding!!! :-P

XOXO~ Renee

Rogenna Brewer said...

Checking in one last time tonight. Did I mention books :) The four (4) winners drawn from today's comments will be posted in our weekend edition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,

Good idea to abandon the Laxitive story. Too funny. Congrats on getting 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times this month. I am going to buy this book if I don't win it

Karina Bliss said...

Toni, glad you enjoyed Second Chance Family. Its claim to fame is a Top Pick from Romantic Times.

Joan, just checked to see if there's an ebook I can buy, but no luck. I'd love a copy. I'll send you my address. Thanks!

Renee, I started explaining the hero's thought processes and got so embarrassed by how silly the plot was, I deleted them. :)

Tammy, thanks the congrats. It was great getting such a positive review.


Leigh D'Ansey said...

I totally believe 13th January is a lucky day because it's my birthday! What a great story you tell, Karina.

Serenity said...

Hi Karina

Sarah's book with the famous 'booger' incident was 'Can't Get Enough'. I believe it may have been her first Blaze. It was very funny and I loved both the characters, but then I like all Sarah's books!

alinaduffer said...

Hi Karina! I know I'm late to the party, but I had to comment because that story was just to funny! I have come up with a few crazy ideas that I'm sure will get shot down if they ever make it to be published, lol! I must say I really do love your advice about not giving up and taking risks. Sometimes it's hard to push yourself and make your dreams happen, but it's always worth it in the end!

Karina Bliss said...

Leigh, happy birthday for next week.

Serenity, thanks for that. I'm definitely getting hold of a copy.

Alina, I think the crazy ideas can work and get you's all in the execution. I just wasn't skilled enough to make that one fly - I'm sure I will be in another 100 years or so...hmmm, wonder if Nora Roberts wants the idea? :) Good luck with your writing dream.


BethanyA said...

Hi Karina,

I am a huge fan and have been checking my library every day to see if Here Comes the Groom is in the system (it's not!) I wanted to take a moment and comment on setting. I was truly surprised at how easy it was to adjust to the Australian setting for What the Librarian Did. I am from the U.S. and am extremely loyal to Regency romance set in England, with maybe a touch Egypt and American Western. I am not usually happy reading books set in a more exotic locale.

I suppose to you, Australia is not exotic, but for me it was a big step! I do hope to make the cut for the book drawing.

Karina Bliss said...

Cheers, Bethany! I'm so glad you enjoy books in foreign locales...but I'm going to have to work harder to make the setting more memorable as it's New Zealand, not Australia!
But we're kissing cousins so that's okay.

All best,

Becca said...

Hi Karina,
What an inspirational story *toddles off to the chemist*, no not for laxatives but for persisting and being willing to grow and learn and improve... even if it means cutting what was probably a wonderful laxitive scene.

Anonymous said...

Hey, has anyone had any luck with that 50% off code? I couldn't get it to work on the site.

Great post, BTW, Karina, made me laugh out loud several times, just like reading your stories!

Karina Bliss said...

Bec, it wasn't a wonderful scene, trust me. It's hard to take criticism in the early days when you're full of self-doubt about whether you can ever be a 'real' writer. No one starts out great, no one. And you can't be impartial about your own work so you need feedback. At the same you have to be careful who to ask...some people are better at constructive criticism than others. But Daphne and Robyn were very gentle with me.

waitingforthecall, try going direct to and using the link on the ad for the book club on the right hand side (half way down page). Hopefully that will work!

Everyone I'm off to Canada for a family holiday this afternoon and will be largely offline, checking in hopefully every few days. Happy reading.


Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic said...

Karina, I realize you are on your way to Canada, but just found this blog and I wanted to thank you for your writing. You wrote one of my favorite books of 2010--What the Librarian Did--and now I'm searching for your backlist! I really enjoy your voice. Thank you!

Mary Preston said...

Laxatives & romance have no place in the same sentence, let along the same book. Good decision.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book and I what a fun post it was. I'm glad you ditched the laxatives.

teenagebliss said...

Jan, thanks for the compliment, I enjoyed writing it and it's great to hear it resonated with other people.
Marybelle, Maureen, you're obviously sensible women...laxatives do not have a place in a romance.


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