This week I’m hosting the wonderful Karen Fowler who has a knack for the written word and an eye for beautiful images. Take a moment and enjoy all things Karen by clicking the links at the end of this interesting interview!
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Aside from being the creative force between Quirky Gurl Media, I design custom guitar picks for a living. I’m a dreamer, a mother, a procrastinator and a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. I stay up all night reading or writing, which is the sole reason people know not to try to talk to me until I’ve been awake for at least two hours. Unless caffeine is involved, then they only have to wait for one hour.
On your website quirkygurl.com, I see that you have a photography business. That seems like a terrific creative outlet. Tell me about what photographs you like to take.
Well, I earn money doing portrait and model portfolio work and that’s always fun. Sometimes though, it’s nice to just shoot whatever moves me: the sunset dipping below the blue-gray horizon of the Chesapeake Bay, dew bejeweled flowers, old buildings or gnarly trees.
What are you looking for in an image?
It depends on what I’m going for, but like painting a picture or even writing, building a good images is more about how the pieces add up than any one part. Background, tone, texture and a focal point are the main points I consider first, then I move around a bit until the images is framed in an interesting and unique way. If I take my time and try to get everything just right in the moment, it will mean less editing later. The same can be said for writing as well.
What inspired you to pick up a camera?
I’m not sure. I’ve always been a creative soul and photography is just one of many outlets that I’ve tried my hand at. I paint and craft as well, but the photographs actually earn me some money so I’d be foolish not to run with it!
There are many cross-overs between photography and writing, from the way I compose to the details that make both better creations. For example, including smells, sounds, and textures make for a more interesting story and similar details enhance a photograph. The details matter and by using photography to train my brain, my writing has become more carefully constructed and well-rounded. Now, when writing I can “see” a scene before I even start typing.
Now tell me about the books you’ve written and what inspires you to write?
Of course, under the Quirky Gurl Media canopy there are other story collections available at the normal online venues as well, divided up by a loose genre association (horror and paranormal vs. romance and erotica). Inspiration comes at me from all directions, usually in a “what if?’ sort of way. I only wish I had enough time to nurture all of my ideas!
What are you working on now?
The next story collection to be released is Home is Where The Haunt Is, a tale of a house that appears normal but gradually changes all who live there, so that no one is aware of the changes until it is too late. Also being released in the next few months is a full -length paranormal novel Blood Chord. In between those I’m sure several more shorts and perhaps even some essay collections will make it to the e-bookshelves.
What do you prefer to read? Is it the same as what you write?
I’m an eclectic mess sometimes. I write in all genres (except alien-type Sci Fi) and I read the same way. I do try to read in a different genre than what I’m writing at the time so I don’t accidentally get influenced. I’m the same way with music – my iPod is loaded with 80’s hair bands, metal, country, jazz, rap, pop and classical.
What would you want readers to take from your writing? from your photography?
More than details and technical proficiency, I hope readers of my works and viewers of my photographs are at least touched on an emotional level… the experience of something and how it impacts you is most important. It’s all about the connections made between people in the end.
What do you do when you’re not writing or taking pictures?
Sleep. Seriously, I’m so tired from trying to cram it all in that I usually sleep for at least 12 hours straight at least once each weekend. Other than that I spend time with my family just being together, whether it’s snuggling on the couch or (trying to) play tennis.
Where can folks find you?
My website, QuirkyGurl.com is a repository for all of my books plus a ton of book reviews, author spotlights, guest posts and the like. I’m on Goodreads, LibraryThing and Twitter (@imaquirkygurl) and I’m figuring out Google+ as we speak too.