Karen Marie Moning's Blog

April 12, 2016

As I was looking through the ASK KMM’s this month, I started noticing patterns and themes. Rather than answering individual questions this time, I answered many. There is not one ‘Q.’ There is only my ‘A’.
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 photo small_zpsynajcikt.jpgWhat you have become is the price you paid for the things you thought you wanted.

That’s the quote that I wrote on my wall in 2004 without being able to divine its application to the Fever Series.

Beneath it, in black sharpie, I scribbled a second one.

What happens to the soldiers when the war is over and they go home?

Carrying physical and psychological wounds, full of PTSD triggers—do they get a happily ever after? Or do they grow increasingly removed from any semblance of normal life? Do they want a normal life? Are they even capable of it?

The day I finished Shadowfever, I’d been writing the Fever series for seven years and as I typed the words THE END, I stopped, with only this complete

THE E

I sat there, staring at the page, asking myself what I wanted. Besides a divorce since my marriage had fallen apart during the course of the series and—being a workaholic and driven artist—I’d shoved my pain aside and poured myself into the writing. I might have failed at my marriage but I would not fail my fans and my vision for my work.

I wanted to force the series to end. I wanted to walk away. Start over in life and in writing. But just like the first damned series had stalked me, the second one did as well. The Muse insisted I wasn’t done. I had too many questions. I’d left everyone in the wrong place. I’d written a happy grill scene after Barrons rescued Mac, which I knew would placate most people and conceal the many flaws inherent in the stopping point.

I, however, wasn’t placated.

I love the Harry Potter series. I kept that series firmly in my mind while choosing to move forward with the second story arc. I asked myself, as a reader, what would I have wanted, if Rowling had decided to pick up right where she’d left off?

Those answers were very clear: I wanted to know what happened after their war was over and they all went home. There’s always another war. I wanted to see deeper emotion than I’d seen in the earlier books. I wanted to come to know them more intimately and see them evolve into the next thing. I wanted them to become family, not fragmented soldiers going their separate ways.

But at the end of Shadowfever, this was where I left my characters:

1. Mac came to Dublin hunting the ultimate evil. By the end of the series, she’d defeated one version of it and discovered she, herself, harbored the greatest evil within her own psyche, a pure psychopath with immense power. At the end of Shadowfever, Barrons saved her. Shoved into her head and helped her close the Book. But Barrons wasn’t always going to be there—nor would she want him to—and Mac was left feeling vulnerable, knowing she hadn’t saved herself, deeply suspicious about whether she even could. Bad place to leave a woman, unsure of her ability to save herself. Never going to leave her there.

2. Dani, my darling Dani was finally out of her cage, in the world, getting some of what she’s always dreamed of: friends, a safe place to hang, adventures, the possibility of love. But her dark secret (one of them) was always going to come out in the first story arc. She’d killed Alina and now Mac knows it. (When will she face that other secret?) My commitment to verisimilitude demanded that Mac’s reaction be true to life; that she be torn between forgiveness and suffering an acute sense of betrayal every time she tried to love her sister’s killer—despite the enormously extenuating circumstances. You can forgive a lover for cheating, but the fallout tends to pop up in moments of intimacy and times of stress. Dani’s story was just beginning and was inextricably entangled with Mac’s.

3. Cruce. Wow. I had a single villain in the beginning and I ended the series with two. That’s fucked up.

4. The Nine. Until now, there’d never been a single threat to their existence. Now there was K’Vruck. They could die. (And after Iced, there were two threats, and the second one was far more enormous.) How would this change them? Would it make them need other people? Would it make them compromise how they’d been living for eons? Ryodan is always saying adaptability is survivability. The Nine survived by evolving. I wanted to see the nuts and bolts of it. Evolution, transformation is what fascinates me.

5. Speaking of the Nine—what is it like to live for millennia and never be able to mate? They were human once. Barrons had a woman that was his sun, moon and stars. They aren’t like the Fae. They feel. Yet at best they can have 70 years of caring for a human woman…sure seems to me it would feel like choosing to live with a case of terminal disease again and again, watching them suffer and fail and die bit by bit. These are strong, Alpha, passionate males but unlike my good friend J.R. Ward’s BDB, they never get to have a forever mate. Would they keep trying? Or would they stop loving entirely? And if they stopped loving, what would separate them in time from the icy, destructive Fae who prey on humans for a taste of passion?

6. Ryodan: I was left knowing I’d seen only the tip of his iceberg. I wanted to see the submerged part. This was the man who’d devoted his entire existence to keeping his family together. The man who’d followed his brother to Dublin—as he’d followed him to thousands of other places while Barrons hunted the way to free his son—dragging their cantankerous, difficult band around after him, wherever Barrons went because Barrons was the one that just kept fucking leaving. Ryodan loves. Barrons does, too. All of the Nine do. I always knew this about them but because the first five books were so focused on Mac’s story, and I never dipped into the Nine’s point of view, there was no opportunity to explore it.

7. Speaking of Barrons, for his entire existence from a year after he and the others were cursed—and it was meant as punishment—he devoted his life to freeing his son. His own life was put on hold. He had no life. Just millennia of an obsessive quest to stop his son’s pain. But just as Mac felt lost when the Lord Master was dead, deflated from the sheer lack of tension from hunger for vengeance and grief for Barrons that glued her together, Barrons, for the first time in his life, has to ask himself what he wants on a day to day basis. Define himself in ways he’d never considered before. Plus, he has a woman is now long-lived for whom he feels enormous passion, and kindred. Each character in this series is complex, fully fleshed in my head. I lay awake at night pondering their issues, are they happy? Do they deserve to be? What is happiness to each of them?

8. Christian MacKeltar becoming that very thing he was trained to protect the human race from. I left him turning full, insane Unseelie prince.

9. The abbey was a mess, with no suitable headmistress. The sidhe-seers were undeveloped, unled with no good leader anywhere in sight.

What a frigging mess. Of course it couldn’t end there. There was no way I could walk away.

After a very long time, I sighed and typed

ND….FOR NOW.

My divorce was final four months after Shadowfever was released. The months leading up to the release had been awful, fraught with acrimony. I moved, leased a place for a few months and gave myself the summer to decide where I was going to live and what to do next.

Despite how strongly my Muse was insisting I continue writing Mac and Barrons immediately, the first story arc was irretrievably associated with my ex and I needed a break from it.

While trying to refocus my life, I decided to simplify my writing focus and craft a Dani story, one that didn’t delve too deeply into anything; more of a mystery than anything else, with no love, romance or difficult emotion that I was in no mood to write about. I absolutely loved writing Iced. It was a free, fun place to be and I got to crack myself up with the Mega.

But while writing Iced, the second story arc continued stalking me, urging me to get back to it. Too much unsaid, undone. And while writing Iced, I realized the advent of “Jada” was going to make Mac’s return mandatory. My muse had been right all along but I’d insisted on muscling it in a different direction.

That doesn’t mean I’m sorry I wrote Iced. I’m not. It’s in the top three of my own favorite books. I’ve been proud of each book I’ve written, aware that it’s been the best I could do at the given hour. I’ve tried my damndest to live up to what the Muse asks of me, even when I don’t understand it. That’s our sacred Compact.

I sat down to gently merge the two series back together but then something happened to me in my personal life that completely fucked me up.

There’s a reason I hired a sniper, learned to shoot guns in 2012 and got licensed to carry concealed.

There’s a reason I hired a Russian to train me in Systema.

There’s a reason I took a year off from writing between Iced and Burned.

That’s a story I’ll probably never tell. If I do, it will be as fiction.

Needless to say, it shattered me. Beyond shattered. It silenced me. I crawled until I could stand. I stood until I could walk. And when I could move in a forwardly direction again, I went home to Cincinnati, set up my desk in my new house and wrote the quote on the wall that I now understood, marveling at how the Muse and my life were in such flawless collusion that I got to precisely the place I needed to be.

I know intimately Mac’s vulnerability, her immobilization and passivity, I know intimately her sense of powerlessness, of raw terror, her loss of confidence facing a psychopath. I would no more leave her there than I would myself.

Life has beautiful symmetry, pattern and purpose.

What you have become is the price you paid for the things you thought you wanted.

Choose carefully those things you want. Understand the cost.

What happens to the soldiers when the war is over and they go home?

If they’re very lucky, they go home to family and friends, people who understand they are no longer the same and never will be again. They go home to a place of healing and love.

I’ve been very lucky.

My characters will be, too.
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Published on April 12, 2016 11:03 • 1,349 views

March 24, 2016

Is posted over at EW Online: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/03/24/...
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Published on March 24, 2016 09:43 • 1,136 views

March 17, 2016

St. Patrick’s Day is the anniversary of a very important day in my life.

18 years ago, this morning, I was getting ready to hit rush hour traffic to go into work at an insurance company where I directed litigation and prepared arbitrations for commercial lines recovery.

I’d written five complete novels by then and accumulated over a hundred rejection letters from agents and publishers that ran the gamut from the coldly impersonal, to the wonderfully inspiring: “We love your writing BUT the book is just too sexy for us.” (This from Kensington Press back in the 90’s when there still was such a thing as too sexy.)

I’d already landed an agent who’d been submitting my first (fifth) novel to various publishers and we’d gotten loads of rejections. I was hanging onto a dream, living on a prayer, driving a car that was about to fall apart.

A few days earlier, the eight-thousand-pound gorilla, Random House had called my agent to say they were…intrigued. Yet, no offer had come.

I grabbed a late lunch and was eating at my desk so I could keep working, tuna fish sandwich, pickle and chips. When the phone rang and it was my agent, I braced myself for an update on all the rejections I was acquiring. I was certain this was going to be the phone call where she let me down gently about Random House, and possibly a few other publishers on our list.

It wasn’t. It was ‘the call.’ The one that changed my life. Random House made an offer for not only my first book, but a second one I hadn’t written yet. They wanted to know if I was open to editorial critique (hell yes) if I was willing to learn and evolve (hell yes).

I wrote the details of the offer on the only thing my numb brain could find: the tuna-and-mayo-stained napkin on my desk. It’s framed in a shadow box on the wall above my desk. After seven years of struggling, five books, endless rejections, friends and family urging me to give up and ‘get real,’ I’d finally made progress.

The next few months flew by, I walked around in a dreamy, productive daze, writing my second novel, learning about the fascinating business of publishing: edits and galleys, arcs and cover art.

And reviews.

I was still working at the same company a few months before my first novel went on sale, when it occurred to me that someday soon, I’d be able to do a yahoo search (google hadn’t been invented yet) and find out what reviewers thought of my book. I idly typed in the title, not expecting anything and was stunned to discover a review of my first novel had already been posted.

The reviewer hated it. Despised it. Tore it into tiny little bloody book pieces.

I concluded I was going to have to run around to every bookstore and buy all my books back the second they hit the shelf so the world wouldn’t discover what an imposter I was, and what a terrible mistake my publisher had made, investing in me. I sank into a depression and stayed there until I finally reasoned at least it was over: I’d gotten that terrible review everyone dreads. Surely the next one wouldn’t be so bad. Right?

Wrong. Days later, that same review site posted a second review of my first book that had not yet been published. This reviewer hated it even more, and was equally adamant about the flaws with it, with me, and the entire world that had published me.

A few months later, that book went on sale and performed brilliantly, earning out the advance plus much more, taking the Waldenbooks best debut romance novel of the year and getting nominated for two RITA awards.

But that’s not what I remember. I remember those two first, terrible reviews. And I’m grateful for them. They taught me so many things, fresh out the gate.

1. Don’t listen to your own press, good or bad. Be the best you can be.

2. Keep striving to perfect whatever inspires your passion.

3. Be demanding yet gentle with yourself. Nurture the joy and unique perspective you bring to whatever you do.

4. NEVER give up. Nothing is impossible—until you decide to believe it is.

18 years ago, as I was getting dressed for work in an apartment a few miles from here, I had a quote taped to the front of my computer: “When you chase a dream, the universe conspires to help you get it.”

It’s still taped to my computer today.

Whatever your dream is, chase it. Don’t listen to anyone else. They don’t know you. Run like hell after it and give it your best effort to grab it with both hands. Your future self will thank you for all your hard work today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Make it the anniversary of one of your dreams coming true.
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Published on March 17, 2016 09:40 • 1,259 views

October 8, 2015

In 2004, I moved down south where I lived for the next ten years.  I married, divorced, travelled, made and lost friends.  As I approached 50, I developed an increasingly strong desire to move back home, be with my family and friends, aware my parents and grandmother were getting older, as was I.

I write stories for a living. I know a truth—we all do. Our life is our book: we are each author, hero and critic. We script the plot, gather the secondary characters, develop theme and motif.

When you approach 50, you realize that book is nearing page 300 or so, and there aren’t as many pages left to write as you’ve already written. Priorities shift, desires get analyzed and refined.  I suspect the mid-life crisis comes from being able to look back and see your more-than-half-completed story, recognize your themes and motifs, chosen and accidental. You spot your heroes, anti-heroes and villains and, if you’ve gained wisdom along the way, understand how they came to be what they were. You identify the chapters you wish fiercely you could cut, but can’t because that part of the book is published. You make peace with those chapters. Or don’t. You see the paths you didn’t take, as well as the ones you did.

50 either turns you into a butterfly or cripples the caterpillar within. That, too, is up to the author.

My Dad’s birthday is coming up October 15th. He would have been 80. Last year I wanted to throw an enormous party for his 79th birthday and he cocked his chemo-bald head, flashed me a smile and told me to do it on his 80th. I guess my face said,but you won’t be here and he said, “I’ll be here,” in that tone of voice that brooked no argument and nearly convinced me. He was superb at that tone of voice. He died on Father’s Day, June 21, 2015. He was never one to miss a great stage entrance or exit.

Dad was vibrant, strong, smart and perfectionistic. He had a fully developed system of internal ethics and taught me, at a young age, the importance of forming a self-sustaining philosophical structure by which to live. Like me, he was strong-willed and solidly centered in his opinions, and we butted heads often but even when we were on opposite sides of whatever fence we were discussing, I respected the man enormously.

One of ten children in a low-income family, he got his first job when he was five years old, and quit school in tenth grade to help support his siblings. He finished his schooling in the military. Family and work were everything to him.

I’m afraid I gave him more than a few of his white hairs. I was the wild one, too much energy, and not enough to keep my brain busy. I was expelled from high school at 16 and, although I had enough credits to graduate and go to college, my parents wouldn’t let me because they thought I was too young to be on my own so I had to kill time for a year before I could go to college.

During that year, I read nearly every book in the local library. I lived thousands of lives through those books and refined the way I lived from the lessons I learned in them. At seventeen, I caught my first glimpse of the awareness that we are each our own book, telling our story with every choice we make.

When I went to Purdue, my guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated and I told him I wanted to be a writer. It appealed to me in a sort of infinite-regression way: telling stories inside my story. He suggested I choose a major I could actually make money at so I settled on Society & Law, thinking I’d become an attorney and, when I’d acquired enough life experience to have something interesting to say, I’d write. But after an internship with criminal attorneys, I changed my mind and ended up working in insurance litigation for the next eight years.

At 30, I realized my life was flashing by and I wasn’t chasing any of my dreams. It was either run headlong after them or convince myself to forget them. Even then, I knew one day my story would be more than half written, I’d be looking back, and I could do it with pride or regret.

I called my dad and told him I wanted to write. I talked to him about the vision I’d always had and, while he voiced every concern a parent might have about their child chasing a highly improbable dream, at the end of the conversation he said simply what do want from me?

I asked him if he could pay my rent for one year, and when I was successful I’d pay him back, so I could work part time and put 100% of myself into chasing my dream. I told him (in that wonderfully authoritative brook-no-resistance-voice I’d learned from him) during that year I would write the book that would get me published. He said fine, and took over my rent for the next twelve months. I also told him he was never allowed to tell anyone that I’d asked for help. He said fine. And never did.

While he paid my rent, I wrote Beyond the Highland Mist, which sold to Random House. When I signed with my publisher, I’d never seen him prouder. He flew out to Anaheim with me for my first RWA conference in 1999, and seeing my dad at a romance novel convention was priceless. He wandered around in the middle of a thousand excited, happy, pretty women with an utterly bemused and content look on his face for five days.

He was there with me when Beyond the Highland Mist was nominated for two RITAs in Washington DC. He was the first person I called when Kiss of the Highlander hit the New York Times bestseller list. When Faefever hit #3 on the NYT, he demanded: who’s above you? When Shadowfever hit #1, his question was when are you going to write a real book? I said, what’s a real book? He said: like a Clive Cussler. I said, uh, Dad, I’m above him this week, and we both laughed (me mostly with astonishment).

Before he died, he was still pressuring me to write a ‘real book’ and when we argued about how my books are real books, he tried to explain by saying he knew I had other stories to write inside me, that he could feel them, and I needed to listen to that other muse, too and not be afraid to follow it. (I’m listening, Dad.)

A voracious reader, my father devoured everything he could get his hands on. In his final months, we shared our mutual love of books, reading them together, stepping away from the vicious ugliness of the disease that was eating him alive. Our favorite authors swept us off into adventure, danger and espionage—and a world with no cancer. My sister, brother and I took turns caring for him in our homes and when he’d move from house to house, his suitcase of books was the largest part of the luggage he carried with him.

Moving back home was both wonderful and terrible. I returned on my dad’s birthday—October 15, 2013—he said it was the only present he wanted from me. Three weeks after I moved back, my grandmother died at 97, in her sleep after holding court with her vast family and eating everything she could get her hands on. Before she died, I brought her double chocolate fudge cupcakes from her favorite bakery, which the tiny dynamo devoured, and took her for a walk. She told me she didn’t know why, but her many aches and pains had vanished and she felt young again. I think I knew right then she wasn’t long for this world. When it’s time, I’d like to go the way she did.

Shortly after that, my dad got sick with what he told us was a really bad sinus infection. It worsened through the winter and one day in February he called me to ask if he could come lay down at my house. He sounded so frail and weak, I told him to tell me where he was so I could come get him. In typical Dad-fashion, he hung up on me and drove to my house. I have this frozen memory of watching him walk up to my door, bend down to pick something up, swaying as if he was about to collapse. He was bringing me baseboard samples for the renovation we were doing, he’d dropped them and was determined not to come inside without them. He was never a man to fall down on the job.

When he came in the door, I heard the death rattle. I had to carry him up the stairs because he insisted on lying down in his favorite bedroom but was too weak to get there. My mom, who has a wicked bit of ESP, called me and told me my father was dying and to give him an aspirin because we always thought it would be his heart. I never question those moments she has. She’s always right. He’d had two open-heart surgeries in the past few years. I took him an aspirin and told him we were going to the ER and he gave me a smirk and told me it wasn’t his heart and he really needed new glasses so he wanted to go the eye doctor because he had an appointment. At that point, I called my sister and told her I needed help getting him to the ER because he was never going to cooperate.

Flashback to me: I’m fifteen on Saturday night at 5 PM. My siblings and I grew up on a farm, with a large tobacco base, 60 head of cattle, hay, corn, pigs, you name it. My dad commuted three hours a day for his job, then came home to four kids, a wife and a working farm. We’d cut and staked tobacco that day and had to hang it on a structure of tiers in a huge barn, so it could cure and we could strip it.

My sister, brother and I were all up at the top, on various tiers, passing the heavy stakes up. My brother was on the highest rung (I learned to avoid having him on the rung above me because he chewed and spit. Thanks to him, I have no fear of heights nor any desire to use tobacco.) My brother kept telling Dad to stop sending it up because the roof wouldn’t carry the load. Brian was 17. Dad didn’t listen. He passed up stake after stake while my brother continued repeating his assessment of the integrity of the structure we were all standing on—right up until that moment a few thousand pounds of tobacco collapsed on us, along with all the tiers.

At fifteen, I was irritated that dad didn’t listen. At fifty, I understood. I’m a lot like him. It was his fundamental nature to constantly test his limits, to test the limits around him, to refine and re-define what he could and couldn’t do. When death came, he tested his limits again. And for a time—he won.

We took him to the ER for what we thought was pneumonia. It was. It was also Stage 4 small cell lung cancer that had spread to his liver and lymph, which none of us knew he had. The pneumonia had formed mucus plugs and the doctor said if we hadn’t brought him in, he would have died in his sleep that night. The death rattle I was hearing was real.

They checked him in, hooked him up to 5 different IVs and, for the next 27 days, we sat in his hospital room being told day after day that he was dying and had days, at best, 2 weeks. They said there was no point in chemo because he was too sick, the cancer had spread too far, too aggressively.

I sat on the cold gray vinyl couch and watched his blue feet, writing on my laptop, keeping vigil with my siblings, which includes the amazing Leiha, my Dad’s unofficially adopted daughter and late night TV companion. The days passed until someone finally decided, considering he hadn’t died yet and should have, with his fighting spirit, chemo was worth a try.

Thanks to Dr. Leming, my dad battled his way out of the cancer ward, much to everyone's astonishment. Dr. Leming told us on many occasions he had no explanation for how our dad was still alive. But we knew: That roof could surely take a few hundred pounds more weight. Never give up. Never quit. Do not go gentle into that good night...

Over the next few months, dad rallied so wonderfully that when he told us the doctors were all nuts, he’d “just had a bad case of the flu” we nearly believed him. That authoritative tone again.

His cancer spread from liver and lymph to skin, bone and finally brain over the next sixteen months. Those months were filled with horror and beauty, heartbreak and wonder, love and joy. I’d spent ten years down south away from him, but I lived a lifetime with him in the sixteen months we had at the end.

Some people get more beautiful as they’re dying. I don’t know how they do it. Maybe it's the thorn bird singing its finest song, impaled on the thorn. But his eyes got bluer, more alive not less, more intense and aware instead of fading. He began to radiate some kind of inner peace and understanding that humbled me. All my life, he’d been the strongest man I’d ever known and at the end—he got even stronger.

I would have given anything to ease his pain and we both knew there was nothing I could do but be there at 3 AM to help him off the kitchen floor because the man was so stubborn and worried about interrupting my writing schedule that he wouldn’t wake me to tell me he wanted pie and ice-cream in the middle of the night (despite the walkie talkies I’d bought for us so he could wake me anytime.) Instead, that night he woke me by kicking his walker over and triggering the house alarm (smart man!) so I could come running to find him bleeding from the head in four places as he proudly showed me his completely blood-soaked handkerchief and told me he’d stopped the bleeding and he was fine, just fine, so get him up and go back to bed because I had a book to finish.

God, I love the man.

From the moment Dad was diagnosed, he never said a depressed or angry word. On the contrary, he got sunnier, funnier, and more alive. His sense of humor about the darkest things was outrageous and by the end we were calling him the ‘black knight’ from Monty Python because he simply adapted to whatever indignity or offense cancer dealt, and kept going as if nothing was wrong. When one thing after another broke in his body, he simply kept pushing, smiling, living, trying to not be a burden to the people who wanted him to be a burden as long as we could keep him with us.

Near the end, he asked me to take him outside in his wheel chair. We sat on the front porch and watched a storm roll in over the lake. There was no sorrow in him, merely a quiet acceptance, and serene joy in the moment. As the rain mixed with soil he closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, said, “Oh, that smells delicious,” and told me I needed to remember to practice mindfulness, always breathe deep and savor what was in front of me at the moment. Then he told me every single thing I needed to fix on my house so he wouldn’t have to worry about it when he was gone.

He never said he was dying. That was an admission of defeat the black knight didn’t know how to make. But when the time came, and they tried to put him on a ventilator, he said quietly, “No.” And when they tried to give him IV food at the end, he smiled and shook his head. He lived on his terms and he died on them, carrying the burden of his death on his once-so-broad shoulders, ensuring none of his children would have to make that final terrible decision for him.

Dad lived enthusiastically, fearlessly. He worked hard, played hard, and traveled extensively, both in the world and in his mind. He lived his life—and a million others through the books he read. When he died, he was in the middle of three different novels. I have them, on my bookshelf, next to a picture of him, with the playing cards he used for bookmarks, exactly where he left them.

And I think damn it—he died in the middle of the story.

But I know a truth: we all do. The only thing that matters is that it’s the best story you could tell, and that you tell it with passion, commitment and abandon.

Our life is our book: we are each author, hero and critic.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Your story was a #1 bestseller.
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Published on October 08, 2015 09:09 • 2,093 views

June 18, 2015

I love the direction these covers are going.

FEVERBORN on sale January 19, 2016. 

Available for pre-order (click on store for link):
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iBooks
BURNED on sale in paperback Nov. 24, 2015.


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Published on June 18, 2015 00:09 • 20 views

May 4, 2015

The majority of my year is spent in my writing cave so when it's time for a book launch, it's a reason to celebrate and I want to party with nyou! For BURNED I stayed close to home but now I'm ready to return to one of my favorite cities in the world, New Orleans! There is something magical about NOLA and I have so many wonderful memories of time spent there with the Moning Maniacs.
I'm in the process of finalizing the details but I wanted to give you as much time as possible to plan and save.
WHEN? The FEVERBORN signing is on Monday, January 18th, but we'll be in town partying from the 15th - 19th. We've got a fabulous costume party with awesome prizes, a scavenger hunt and tons of other fun stuff planned for you.
WHERE? NEW ORLEANS! I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be.
HOST HOTEL WHERE WE'LL BE HANGING OUT? Again, where else? The spectacular Le Pavillon. They did such a wonderful job with the SHADOWFEVER and ICED launch that I’m in no mood to mess with success. We’ve negotiated special room rates for you again but the block is LIMITED.
Thursday $120Friday $250Saturday $250Sunday $120Monday $120Tuesday $120
There's a lot of excitement and energy when we are all together at Le Pavillon that is certainly a memorable part of the experience. We're often found in the lobby, the bar and having informal get togethers in the rooms. For me, the best part of doing a book event like this is getting to hang out with all of you in a central location!
PLEASE NOTE: The block is for the dates of Thur. Jan 14 - Tues. Jan 19 (checking out the 20th). The first room block is sold out and when the second block is booked there won't be anymore rooms available, so if you plan to stay in the hotel where the majority of the events will be, book it now.
Here is the number to reserve by phone. You must use the code FEVERBORN2 to get the discounted rates: 1(800) 535-9095. If you can't get thru initially, please be patient.
For the most up to date information, join our FEVERBORN BOOK LAUNCH PARTY event page on Facebook. This page will be updated when we have more details. To help us better prepare, please mark that you are going ONLY if you are definitely attending. If your plans aren't set, mark the event as maybe and you will still receive updates. If you don't have Facebook my website will also be updated as details become finalized. ‪#‎KMMFEVERBORN‬
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Published on May 04, 2015 10:55 • 16 views

April 17, 2015

You asked, we heard--just letting you know we ARE going to be doing a huge event for the FEVERBORN signing in Jaunary 2016 so if you're interested put these dates on your schedule: January 15th - 18th....more details to come soon! (It's not going to be in the Cincinnati area:))
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Published on April 17, 2015 10:13 • 1,321 views

February 13, 2015

First, I want to say thank you to all who’ve written to tell me how much you loved BURNED. I love hearing from you guys, getting to meet you at events and am eternally grateful for your support. It means the world to me that you love the characters and come along for the ride with me every time!

But...I’ve also heard from readers that think BURNED isn’t the book I wanted to write. While I hate taking time away from wrapping up FEVERBORN, this mistruth needs to be tended to and disposed of.

BURNED IS the book I wanted to write. To those who felt so much disappointment with where the story went in this installment that they feel the only possible explanation is that I didn’t want to write BURNED the way I did, or I wasn’t in love with the story and following my muse—that’s not true. You didn’t like it. And that’s okay. But it’s not because I don’t love the book. I do.

I didn’t succumb to pressure from anyone, fans or publishing folks, to change my story after ICED. If I made any mistake at all it was in proposing the next three books while I was getting divorced and not taking the time to write a full outline. I pitched one book and stated “plus two more”. Because I’ve been with my publisher for as long and successfully as I have, they accepted it that way. Then, as I began writing ICED, I realized I had some problems to sort out, like: who the hell is going to narrate when Dani becomes Jada? There was also the larger problem that Mac and Barrons’s story had to unfold alongside Dani’s. I couldn’t keep them offstage that long. My mistake: I didn’t see it going in. A bigger mistake would have been to stick to a bad plan just because I made it.

A few say there’s talk that ICED wasn’t well received so I was pressured by my publisher to change the story to ‘appease’ fans. Neither of those assertions is true. ICED was well received by an enormous number of readers, in fact it’s the best reviewed book of my career, and over the past two years has sold very well. My publisher and I are extremely happy with it. If I’d wanted to appease fans with a book, I know how. I did things in BURNED that I knew would upset readers. The goal isn’t to make readers mad, there’s a purpose and that’s simply where the characters and story are right now.

If you think it was hard reading Mac feeling lost and uncertain of herself now that she’s no longer the MVP and has something brewing inside her that terrifies her—it was even harder writing it. It was similar to slogging through her eternal grief at the beginning of SHADOWFEVER. I began to wonder if it would ever end. Yet in the overall story arc, her grief, like her loss of direction right now, had and have purpose. You may not like or even see that purpose, you may feel strongly that I should have written it a different way. You may feel strongly that I should stop writing Mac. Or stop writing Dani. Neither is going to happen.

I follow my muse and my muse put Mac where she is at this time for reasons. I understand that those reasons are not apparent to others because only I know where the story is going. And I can see how that’s hard for the reader.

To those who were upset with what happened to Dani, it WAS foreshadowed in ICED. Dani was always going to go through those silvers and come back older. And as someone else. Jada was there in my head all through ICED, talking in the background, fighting to come out. I adore Dani. It kills me to see her contained in any way. But Jada is only a prelude to the real Mega. I always intended to give Dani to the reader (and hopefully make you adore her)—then take her away in this brutal fashion. The only concession I made in BURNED (and I said this last year) was making Jada 19 instead of 17. Was that because people complained? No. 17? 19? Not that much difference. In terms of freedom with her sexuality, a subtle nuance. It made writing her more interesting to explore and I need to be utterly riveted by what I’m writing.

Was there controversy over Dani’s age in ICED? Sure. There was controversy over Mac in DARKFEVER. There was controversy over the rape in FAEFEVER. There was controversy over the end of DREAMFEVER. There’s constant controversy because my books end in cliffhangers. If I were interested in stopping controversy, I’d stop writing cliffhangers. Hell, I’d go back to writing my stand-alone romance novels

My publisher has never tried to control my writing in any way. They make soft suggestions and if I tell them no because I have a plan, they trust me. I’ve been with Random House for fifteen years, and my current editor for the entire Fever Series, and have never had better champions.

If anyone thinks that writing the Fever books has been easy, I can tell you it’s been a battle every step of the way. First with the readers who wanted me to continue writing stand alone romance, then with my publisher when DARKFEVER sold badly for the first year or two. Then with my publisher when BLOODFEVER sold badly. They, too, suggested I go back to writing what we knew sold: stand alone romance novels with happy endings and no cliffhangers, new couple each time. I just kept saying: wait. I know what I’m doing. And they waited. And they—and you—trusted me. I finished the series and you guys took SHADOWFEVER straight to number 1 on most lists in the country. I’m incredibly proud of those five books.

I’m also incredibly proud of ICED and BURNED. I’m not saying that because I ‘have to put a good face on things.’ I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. That’s a rule I live by. I can’t wait to finish FEVERBORN and FEVERSONG, bringing the second story arc that was always coming, to the resting place I need it to achieve.

Voltaire says writing requires a certain complete self-renunciation and self immersion. It does. I do it for me. By myself. To satisfy my muse, my artistic drives and desires. I offer it to the reader and when I’m lucky and all the stars line up—they love it. And when I’m not, they don’t. But reader response will never change the story I’m writing for this reason: I’m not writing my stories to be rich and famous. That was never my goal. I’ve been blessed enough in a challenging field to be fairly successful. But that’s icing on the cake. The cake is the writing. I write because I have these damns stories in my head—and half the time I don’t even understand why I’m so obsessed by them. I write to get them out. And I love it when the readers get it, when they see the intricacies of the web I weave, when they fall in love with the characters I love so much myself.

But when readers don’t like one of my books—accusing me of not having written the book I wanted to write because they didn’t get the book they wanted to read is not only absurd—but not true.

At the end of every writing day, I answer to one person: the bitch muse that drives me bugfuck. She is the only one who must be obeyed.

But back to the happy stuff: thank YOU for reading my books, for feeling passionately about them, for loving to hate and hating to love the people I can’t stop thinking and writing about. At the end of the day, I feel I have the best job in the world and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s writing brings. That’s the feeling I live for, and you guys make it possible!

Xo
Karen
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Published on February 13, 2015 14:35 • 18,108 views

January 29, 2015

I remember how I felt at the beginning of the first story arc in the Fever Series...wondering if readers would trust me to watch the story unfold over multiple books, taking grief for writing in installments with years in between, and ending in cliffhangers. Promising myself I'd never do it again, that I'd go back to the simple, easy life of writing stand-alone novels once the first story arc of the Fever Series ended.

But in life little of worth is ever simple or easy, and there was that damn second story arc that I couldn't walk away from. It stalked me as relentlessly as the first story arc had. However, it didn't come quite so easily. Perhaps because my marriage ended while I was fishing my subconscious for it and my vision was temporarily clouded, perhaps it just wasn't ready to come yet.


When the first story arc came to me fully fleshed in a dream, and I wrote the titles on the wall of my study (then firmly refused to write the series for many months) I also wrote a quote next to the titles that puzzled me for the next 8 years. I trusted the dream implicitly, and over the subsequent years every detail I'd recorded ended up being worked in somewhere.

Except for that single quote that I not only never found the place for in the first five books--but was never even able to grasp the theme and motif of. I ran it across my tongue for years, evaluating, trying to define just what/who the hell it pertained to.\

I know now. I get it. While writing BURNED it became crystal clear. Although much has changed in how I originally thought I would write the second story arc of the Fever Series, it went exactly where it was supposed to, albeit by a more circuitous route than I'd have preferred. I finally understand that fucking quote that's tortured me.

So, here I am again....ICED was my DARKFEVER, setting the stage and engaging emotion where I wanted it, BURNED is my BLOODFEVER, building the scenery and developing the nuances necessary, FEVERBORN is FAEFEVER & DREAMFEVER where the stakes become increasingly clear and everything goes code red. FEVERSONG is my SHADOWFEVER, where the shit I've been stirring into a mystery and a puzzle and a pattern hits the fan and flies off the blades to take its true form.

I love this series and every character in it. And although I'm committed to innate emotional justice in my fiction, that doesn't mean good things will happen to everyone. Still, like life, there is structure and form and beauty and joy in it, and your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you (and I do love to carve:) and hopefully one helluva a good story and I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for coming along for the ride again.
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Published on January 29, 2015 08:12 • 2,354 views

January 20, 2015

"BURNED is Moning’s best writing to date, bar none." ~Popwrapped

"BURNED scorches with fierce intensity, suspense and sexiness..."
~USA Today
“Mac is back and badder than ever!”
~#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward

“Dark, delicious suspense! Karen Marie Moning is my author of choice and Fever is my series of choice for action-packed suspense with a spine-tingling paranormal twist.”
~#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner

“A masterwork by an incomparable writer. BURNED is brilliant, sexy, and dangerous. I adore Moning! No one does it better.”
~#1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day

“Prepare for a heart-stopping trip into the epic Fever world, filled with gasp-out-loud surprises and sweltering sensuality.”
~#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole

“BURNED gets the highest rating from me. I wanted to run through town shouting ‘Mac is back! Mac is back!’ Grab some snacks, something to drink, and settle down for a cover-to-cover read that will likely keep you up all night.”
~New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard
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Published on January 20, 2015 05:04 • 191 views