I'm happy celebrate Valentine's Day with Daniel Gardner, Karen Stivali's main character in her contemporary romance Holding On, the sequel to Meant To Be. Karen was here in December, and you can read that interview here to find out more about her and her work. Today we have Daniel all to ourselves.
If you're not yet familiar with Daniel, here are some things you need to know about him: Daniel is a transplanted Brit, living in the United States with his lovely wife Marienne and stepdaughter Ella. He's an English professor, a brownie addict, and he's hopelessly in love. Sigh. I wonder what he's giving Marienne for Valentine's Day...
Interview with Daniel
Daniel, first tell me how you met Karen. Want to dish about her?
I met Karen one day while she was writing at a café. She was staring at me so intently it made me curious, so I went over to talk to her. She said I reminded of her of the character she’d had in mind for a story. No one had ever said that to me before, so I was quite intrigued.
Dish about her? *chuckles* I can imagine the scowl on her face as she waits to see what I answer for this question. She’s a very petite woman, but she can give the death stare when she wants to. Let’s see...what can I tell you that won’t get me in too much trouble? She does most of her writing in the middle of the night, which is fine with me as we’re both total insomniacs. She’s rather addicted to chocolate, which is also fine with me because I am too, and she’s always willing to share. And she likes to...never mind. She’d kill me off if I told you that. *winks*
You're a cruel man, Daniel! Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
Never in a million years. I wouldn’t even write a book about myself. Karen insists there’s something special about me, but I think she’s a bit biased. I’m just an ordinary bloke.
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Convincing her to write scenes? No. I try to convince her NOT to write some scenes and she does anyway. She likes to know everything and write it all down. I’m more one to sweep certain memories away or lock them up in the nearest cupboard. She never lets me do that. Stubborn woman.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
I actually rather like reading myself. Give me a good book and a comfortable chair, and I’m quite content.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
I don’t think I do. Karen pushes me to do things I didn’t even know I could do, and she puts me through all sorts of things in Holding On. I can’t think of anything else I’d possibly be doing. She’s given me a very full life.
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I’d spend it in bed with my wife, Marienne. With a picnic basket of food next to the bed. But you probably already guessed that if you’ve read Meant To Be.
Yes, I saw that one coming. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I think when people first meet me they probably think I’m fairly quiet. Then they get to know me and realize I rarely shut up.
What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? What did you learn from it?
My mother dying when I was in my teens. It taught me that you need to appreciate the people in your life while they’re there with you and that you should let them know how much they mean to you as often as possible. I hope I do that.
Tell us about your best friend.
My best friend is Marienne, who, thank God, also agreed to be my wife. There’s a line in a movie “You’re everything I never knew I always wanted.” That’s how I feel about her. I didn’t know it was possible to have another human being know you so well and yet totally love and accept you. She’s my soul mate. No question. I’m an exceptionally lucky man.
I'd say you're both exceptionally lucky. What are you most afraid of?
Losing the people I love.
What’s the best trait your author has given you?
Best trait? I like to think that I’m kind-hearted and a bit of a romantic. I also like to think I’m funny, but I’m not so sure about that one.
What’s the worst?
I’m a compulsive worrier. I even get on my own nerves with that at times.
Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?
Well, she already has written one sequel. Holding On is the sequel to Meant To Be. And she wrote a short story about my wedding to Justine ("All I Need," in the Foreign Affairs Anthology) and another short story ("White Wedding," in the upcoming Wedding Anthology---both anthologies from Turquoise Morning Press) about my wedding to Marienne. I’ve also heard that I’m going to be in the upcoming novel Just In Time, which is Justine’s story. Karen’s being very secretive about that one though, so I don’t know what happens. I hope she keeps writing about me. I love it when she brings me to life.
We do too, Daniel, we do too!
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker, and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.
Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long-Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012).
Karen’s women's fiction stories, published with Turquoise Morning Press, include Meant To Be (August 2012) and its sequel Holding On (November 2012). Both full length novels are currently available in e-book and paperback. A prequel to these novels, the short story "All I Need," appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (August 2012). Another short story, "White Wedding," which takes place between Meant To Be and Holding On, will be in an anthology due out in June 2013.
Also coming in 2013, Karen will have two contemporary romances releasing from Samhain Publishing. The first of these, Then, Again is due out on May 23, 2013. Leave The Lights On will be out in November/December 2013. A new erotic romance novella will release from Ellora's Cave in Spring 2013, and Just In Time, a follow-up to Meant To Be and Holding On that will focus on Justine, will release from Turquoise Morning in January 2014.
Connect with Karen:
website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon
Buy the Book!
Amazon / AllRomance Ebooks / Barnes & Noble / Turquoise Morning Press