Did you ever read a book and have no idea it would change your life?
A year ago—January 2023, to be precise—I decided to read some new-to-me indie Christian romance authors I’d seen lurking about in familiar author places. I made a list and started reading. Then I got to one by an author named Kara Eriksson who I had talked with once upon a time on Instagram. I’m not a chatty person and struggle to make author connections, so nothing had come of our first conversation.
Once I started reading Kara’s debut novel, Who You Really Are, I couldn’t put it down. It was written in first person POV, which at the time was not a favorite (it has grown on me since!), but Kara’s unique writing style and edgy plot pulled me in, hook, line, and sinker. I lost a lot of sleep getting through that book. When it was done, I had an instant book hangover. And what did I do? Headed to Instagram like a total fangirl and sent her a direct message telling her how insanely much I loved her book.
And guess what. She wrote back! And I wrote back. And she wrote back. And… now she’s one of my closest author friends. If I hadn’t read her book, I would be missing out on the amazing blessing of her friendship. Now we write to each other all the time and beta read for each other. She has six books out at this time, and I have read every single one either pre or post publishing. I am proud to list her as one of my all-time favorite Christian romance authors.
Enough said from me. Let’s talk to Kara!
Emily’s Question: I know you were writing for a long time before you got brave and published a book. Can you tell us more about that? How many manuscripts do you have? What made you finally decide to put your words into the world for readers to enjoy?
Kara’s Answer: I read my first Christian romance novel when I was 17, in 19—wait. Do I have to say the year?? After that, I was hooked! However, back then, Christian romance was tough to come by, and I often became frustrated with the books I did find. Years later, when my daughter was a baby, I clearly recall tossing a book across the room in frustration. I thought it was corny, and I said, “I can do better than that!” Ha! Silly me. Writing is not as easy as it sometimes looks. For the next twenty years, I began book after book, only completing two or three of them. Finally, I got brave enough to let my sister read one—the manuscript that eventually became my first published novel, Who You Really Are. Honestly, of all the books I had started, I’m still surprised that’s the one to actually see the light of day. It then turned into a series, something I’d never intended, always claiming to enjoy standalones more. Anyway, none of the other stacks of half-done manuscripts have been published. I don’t know if they ever will be. Some stories I still enjoy, and think, maybe someday, but my attention these days is on new stories. Emily mentioned my books being in first person. The thirty-some-odd partially done books are all in third. In fact, so was WYRA originally, but then I wrote the sequel in first on a whim. I loved it, and went back and switched WYRA over to first, as well.
Emily’s Question: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Kara’s Answer: That’s a good question. I just get ideas. Randomly. Out of the blue. I really don’t have a good answer to that question.
Emily: Isn’t it crazy how the ideas just come? A lot of my best ideas come out of nowhere, too.
Next question: Out of all of your published books, which character(s) is/are your favorite? Why?
Kara’s Answer: I guess I like Marco and Annalise from Who I Really Am. They were secondary characters in WYRA, a book, as I said, I never intended to write a sequel to. I love the chemistry between the two of them, and the entire story just flowed. Also, I have to admit to having extra affection for grumpy John in Truly Forever.
Emily: Well you already know I am 100% loyal to Marco and Annalise. But John is my second favorite character you’ve created. See, our friendship is meant to be.
Okay, another question: Why did you choose contemporary Christian romance?
Kara’s Answer: Since CCR is the genre I read for years, it was the natural choice for my writing. I’ll be honest: I typically don’t write with a message in mind. I just like good stories, but I connect to the characters and stories best if they’re believers and set in a Christian worldview. Some of my books have much stronger faith elements than others.
Emily’s Question: What is one interesting fact about you personally?
Kara’s Answer: Hmm. Personally interesting? I’m not sure. Does it count as personal that I have a wonderful, beautiful daughter who is 6’4”?
Emily: Speaking as a five-foot-half-an-inch woman…totally counts as very interesting.
Next question: Who would you consider your biggest reader fan?
Kara’s Answer: Ha ha! Um, I have two or three tied for first place. You, Author Cali Black, and my sister and first reader, Erika! I call them my superfans. (And trust me, they are all such an encouragement!! I’d have probably stopped this writing/publishing journey somewhere along the way without them.)
Emily’s final question: What is one thing you want potential readers to know about your books before they start reading?
Kara’s answer: The amount of spiritual content varies widely. Some have suspense elements. Some don’t. Up until now, I’ve written whenever and whatever, as the mood struck. So, I can see how some readers might enjoy one book considerably more than the other. (But I like to think they’re all good in their own way, lol.)
Kara’s debut novel, Who You Really Are, is on sale for 99 cents right now. You can grab a copy on Amazon. If you’d like to find out more about her books, you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram @author_kara_eriksson. Her books are all available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on her author page.
There you have it! A new must-read author. What do YOU look for in a new author? Comment below and let me know. While you’re at it, give Kara a warm, Inspy Romance welcome!