GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview with author Karina Cooper + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview with author Karina Cooper + giveaway

Today it brings the Sheep great pleasure to bring you our interview with debut author Karina Cooper. If you have yet to hear/read anything from Karina we HIGHLY recommend you run out and grab her book today. You can read my full review of her novel Blood of the Wicked here. And at the end of this interview you might just walk away with some fun swag and signed books! We hope you enjoy....

Washington Forrest. Under the cover of night. 2 Sheep and 1 Witch meet.

Katie: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today Karina, for those that may not know about your debut novel Blood Of The Wicked can you tell us a bit about it?

Karina: Thanks for having me! I love I Smell Sheep… You all seem like you’re having a great time. How could I refuse? So here I am, cracking open my skull and displaying my wrinkly gray brain bits. Just for you.

Oh, the point! Right. Blood of the Wicked is the first book in my Dark Mission series. Set in a post-apocalyptic Seattle—where someone got the bright idea to rebuild on the ruins of the old city—and offering a gritty, unforgiving existence, it’s a place where the wealthy are pitted against the poor (and winning!) and witches are hunted to the grave.

Katie: I think I want to add "brutally" hunted to the grave. It's pretty intense….

Karina: That’s so true. This is not a nice world; I always feel that survival just isn’t. Real survival is grisly and grim and bleak, sometimes, so it makes finding something worthwhile all the more intense. I used to watch that Discovery show about the survivors of the fake bio-chemical apocalypse and watching them turn on each other made my heart hurt so much, I couldn’t watch it. But that’s life, you know? People do what they have to in order to survive, for better or worse.

Katie: How did you come up with the idea for this story?

Karina: Oh, Discovery. I just can’t quit you.

There I was, sick and curled up on my couch with all my cats draped around me like lumps of fuzzy meatloaf, and watching a special on supervolcanoes. Did you know there’s six (yes, six!) of these things in the world? Any one could cause the kind of catastrophe that brings about mass extinction, so to learn there’s six is a shocker.

Anyway, next thing I knew, I started thinking about what would happen if humanity really got shaken up by Mother Nature, and here we are.

Sharon: (psst…Katie, do you think this is how a “Cat Lady” starts?)

Karina: “Starts?” I do already have four cats, you know… I think I’m way past starts. But, um… if I ever put all my cardigans on at the same time, I’ll take a picture.

Sharon: Could you tell us about your Friday night alter-ego?

Karina: What, Stella? Really? Ha! Okay, a small explanation: I used to play a Steampunk-inspired character named Liza Loveless, who was a Jack the Ripper-style prostitute back in her day. Unfortunately, her life in the fictional city of King George Cove was cut short, and so I play a new character now.

On Fridays, the mancandy and I dress up and attend a weekly LARP run by a local guy ( It’s like improve acting, but with settings and such provided by someone else.

Stella Blue is a woman with a wildly epic history of betrayal and rebirth, but who ended up being taken to Arcadia when she made a disastrous choice that cost the freedom of a handful of kids. Never quite over that, she made it back to realize and decided, “Eh, screw it,” and has become a professional drunk. She’s got it in her to be something awesome, but as long as she lets guilt overwhelm her, she’s little more than a functional alcoholic running from her past. I love her. She’s sassy and fun and lazy and everything you’d ever expect from a girl who thinks Ke$ha got it right, after all.

Sharon: Ke$ha rocks!

Karina: Right?! Boots and boys, all the way.

Katie: As a native California gal myself I know you lived for a time in San Francisco tell me a bit about your life here and the cities you have lived in since.

Karina: Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve been in California, I’m due for a visit. I miss what I remember of it, especially the streets. I love the hilly streets! And the weather, but shhh, we don’t talk about the F-O-G in the city. It’s a closely guarded secret, isn’t it?

Since San Francisco, I’ve lived on Staten Island, several places in Maryland, Virginia and that area, in a tiny little town called Kinston in North Carolina (oh, I loved that weather), Sacramento, and, of course, in Bellingham, here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve visited so many more places, and lived in Florida and Maine during summers and the occasional winter. I’ve definitely got gypsy feet, and even now, the mancandy and I are preparing to move in a couple years. Not far—we’re thinking Seattle—but I fully intend to travel when I have the time. (Time. Hahaha! No, I shouldn’t laugh, it’s self-defeating…)

Sharon: OMG! I lived in Jacksonville, NC when I was younger (my parents still live there) Small world.

Karina: It really is!

Sharon: If you could pick a theme song to play every time you walked into a room, what would it be?

Karina: Whoa, Black Betty! Ram a lam, whoa, Black Betty! Ram a lam!

I actually am quite convinced that I need a soundtrack. Black Betty is just one of several songs I’d use to indicate my mood. Among others are Beautiful Life by Ace of Base, One Day like This by Elbow, 99 Problems (the Hugo cover), and Walk the Walk by Poe.

Sharon: I love Beautiful Life too.

Karina: You have excellent taste.

Katie: What was the first series of books you read as a child?

Karina: The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring. I think these were the first actual series I read, and I was… oh, let’s see. I have to do the math here. One of my uncles had given me the set of books he’d had for years, and one page was missing. I devoured them all, one after the other, hanging upside down from the edge of my bed.

I had to be eight or ten. After that, I read Anne McCaffrey’s initial Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, and I loved that so much that I re-read them start to finish four times in a row. I was an odd child.

Sharon: Tell us about your “writer’s space” (ideal atmosphere and place you need to write)

Karina: I intend to have a Writing Gazebo™. Those of you who are fans of Neil Gaiman might recognize this little bit of fantastical awesomeness, but I’m quite serious. One day, I will have a separate writing gazebo where I go out to admire the view, have my dogs nearby, and write. That’s my dream. That’s why I do what I do.

Until then, I have to content myself with the atmosphere I find. My surroundings aren’t so much of an issue – I can write anywhere – but I do find that I have to meet certain qualifications in order to find my zone. The first? I need a hot drink at hand. It’s ridiculous, I know! But there you have it. I must have a cup of hot tea or chocolate or some such.

Some of my writings allow me to tap into music. Others need silence. I figure it out as I go. My office is a total mess, so it’s not that big of a deal in regards to clutter, but I do find that I really should be alone. Even having the mancandy in the same apartment breaks my concentration (what with his movie trailers and music and walking and breathing).

Katie: Where would you hope to see yourself in 15 years?

Karina: Rich, but probably not famous. A very wise woman once told me that I should pick one, because it’s unlikely I’d have both. Given my shoe addictions, I’d like rich please!

But seriously? Here’s my dream: I want a house, at least four rooms (one for us, one guest, two offices/workrooms), a nice kitchen, open layout (because I hate cramped houses), and a large, fenced yard where I can play with the dogs I intend to have. I want to be bleeding from the fingers because I have so many deadlines, and I want to have a solid writing career under my belt. I want to be writing. That means going crazy from the demands of publicity and deadlines and releases and everything.

In fifteen years, I want the mancandy to be a Steampunk superstar and I’ll just be “the Captain’s wife” when we go to cons, because gods know he probably rolls his eyes every time one of my fans calls him “the mancandy”. I want to be growing up, but not yet grown up—I don’t ever expect to be completely grown up. I want to be stable and writing like a fiend and sharing stories about all the hilarious things that will happen between now and then.

In short, I want the world on a silver plate. That’s not much, right? Right?!

Sharon: Seems reasonable to me!

Katie: Mmhmm. *high fives all around*

Katie: If YOU could be any superhero who would you be and why?

Karina: I’m a sucker for the telepathic superheroes, because there’s something so terribly tragic and strong about a super heroine who can, and in fact has to, read minds. I think I’d like to be like Jean Grey (even the Black Phoenix, although I could do without the weird ‘being from another world’ bit, thank you). I’m always drawn to telepaths.

That said, I’m also sort of addicted to kick-ass super heroines, like Psylocke – who’s definitely a bad girl – and the Witchblade (maybe because she gets to kiss Ian Nottingham) and Lara Croft.

Oooh, Lara. Wealthy, witty, gorgeous, adventurous? Yeah, I’d like to be her, please.

Katie: A Marvel girl after my own heart, let's team up cause I always wanted to be Storm! And hello! We would have the most kick ass costumes!

Sharon: Finish this sentence “People think I am weird because I….”

Karina: …eat my Dove ice cream bars inside out. I do it with Dairy Queen double-dipped ice cream cones and ice cream sandwiches, too. I suck out all the ice cream first, making a huge mess as I try to keep the chocolate all in one piece, and then devour the chocolate. I eat it like a five year old.

I mean, there’s a lot of things that make me weird, but I get a lot of comments on that one. From strangers, even.

Katie: Question. Do you make a little whole and suck it out? Or do you try and remove it from the cone?

Karina: I nibble off the top and then suck on it like a straw. Go ahead, think about that for a second. Picture it. Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous and unwittingly filled with innuendo. And it’s super messy. If the shell breaks on the side, I’ll suck out the ice cream that way, but I prefer the straw method.

Katie: From someone who lives in a heavily populated Vampire area, I am always intrigued to know… how many have you noticed? Are they hott? Could you hook a gal up with one?

Karina: Sorry! I’m a vampire-killer. I could probably hook you up, but I’ll warn you now that I’ll only be using you as bait and unless you want to be dusted with the fine red mist of a dead vampire, you’re probably better off seeking a nice vampire down in True Blood’s neck of the woods.

And really, the vampires I’ve met? Eh. You’re much more likely to go looking for the shifters rumored to live around the area. I mean, all this green forest and wild mountain land has got to be good for sexy packs of werewolves and stuff. … Shame I hate camping.

Sharon: (checking map and flights to the Northwest, it’s a shifter thing ;)

Katie: I would be open to trying a shifter….*passes card with personal cell number*

Katie: Where can fans find you in the coming months? Any book tours or signings?

Karina: I’ve got a handful of blog events scheduled, so keep an eye out on my Twitter (@karinacooper) or my website to see where I go. As for signings, the one I’m really excited about is the RWA Literacy for Life signing in New York City. That’s going to happen June 28th at the RWA conference, and it just so happens to be the same day Lure of the Wicked comes out! Good timing.

Anything else will be announced, so stay close!

Katie: And now Karina we move into the RAPID FIRE ROUND! Sit back and clear your mind, answer with the first thing that pops in. Ready? Set…..GO!

Sharon: Monopoly or Clue

Karina: Clue! (It’s always Miss Scarlett, that hussy.)

Katie: Mittens or Gloves

Karina: Gloves! Fingerless.

Sharon: Geek or Nerd

Karina: Geek, but I have a startling tendency to bray, “Nnnnnnneeeeeeerrrrrrrds!” at the mancandy and his friends.

Sharon: LOL, I got to remember that one.

Katie: Coke or Pepsi

Karina: Ew! Really?

Sharon: (looks at Katie, Oh. No. She. Didn’t!)

Katie: We are having an ongoing war here, so IF you did drink a soda in some crazy alternate reality which one do you think it might be?

Karina: Uggggh… Um. Coke. IF I HAD TO.

Katie: I’ll take that as a win for team COKE!!!

Katie: Chunky or Smooth

Karina: Chunky!

Sharon: Basil or Garlic

Karina: Both! Together, even.

Katie: Sponge Bob or Hot Wheels (that came from my 5 year old son btw. lol)

Karina: Hot Wheels! Love them. (Dear Katie’s Son: Dinosaurs or Transformers?)

(Logan says: Transformers!)

Katie: Seductive or Sassy

Karina: Both. You can be sassy and seductive all in the same breath.

Sharon: Taming of the Shrew or Romeo and Juliet

Karina: Taming of the Shrew! Also, Kiss Me, Kate, which I have many a fond memory of.

Katie: Longbow or Throwing Spear

Karina: Longbow. Only sissy elves use throwing spears. Pfft.

Sharon: Kittens or Puppies

Karina: Kittens! Kittens, kittens, kittens, kittens… (Says the girl who wants a dog.)

Katie: Green or Yellow

Karina: Green

Sharon: City Mouse or Country Mouse

Karina: Ci—Er. Um. Country Mouse with lots of City Mouse friends!

Katie: Han Solo or Admiral Piett

Karina: Are you kidding? Han Solo, baby! I mean, look, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for guys who come from real humble backgrounds and who make it all the way to Admirals in a death fleet of bigoted suppressors, but the guy was slime. Seriously. He spent his whole career shifting blame onto everyone else, which I guess is a shrewd political move, but he totally got what he deserved in the end.

Han? Oh, Han. Anybody who can make awesome innuendo so subtle and so classy that it takes me years to recognize it is worth making it into my little black book. “Captain, being held by you isn’t quite enough to get me excited.” … “Sorry, Princess, we don’t have time for anything else…”

Um. I’m a bit of a Star Wars geek. Ahem. Sorry.

Katie: Oh we are all nerds here! I bet Ben is foaming at the mouth right now. lol

Katie: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, would you like to add anything before we wrap?

Karina: Thanks again for having me! This was a blast. I hope no one gets too tangled up in those brain wrinkles. Now, where was I before we met? Oh, right… By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…

Sharon: Did you see that movie? It has Allen Rickman in it! I fell in love with him then

Karina: I haven’t, but I will now!

Hey… Don’t sheep make excellent sacrifices?

Sharon: (looks at Katie, again. “Oh. No. She. Didn’t! Again…”)

Katie: *nervous laugh* Uh…what are you doing with that spell book Karina? *runs out the door*

Karina: Mwahaha…

A big thank you again to Karina for taking the time to chat with us, we had a blast and hope she will come back again. Now on to the prizes! Followers of our blog are going to get double entries.

In the comment box below please make sure to enter BOTH things to be automatically entered to win the Cooper Prize Pack which includes:

Signed copy of Blood of the Wicked and Lure of the Wicked.

Awesome tote bag.

1. Your Email address

2. If you could have any psychic, super or magical ability in the world, what would you have and why?

Contest will run until June 30th at Midnight.

Good Luck!


  1. Awesome interview :)
    I would love to be able to cast the kitchen witch in a small community and tend to everyone's needs whether its a love potion, a poultice for a chest cold or even helping birth animals, being able to light candles with the flick of the wrist would be cool too!!!
    thanks for a chance to win an awesome prize (hoping its intl though)

  2. Great post, loved the interview. And you know, I am going to try that trick of eating an ice cream bar inside out. ;)
    For me, if I could have any power in the world, I would want the ability to heal people. Any sickness. I know so many who could benefit from a power like that. It would be a gift to myself to visit the children's ward in every hospital in the world and leave a room full of smiling, healthy children behind.

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  3. heehee, I haven't seen the interview since it was done a while back. That was sooooo much fun. Karina is such a witty chick! :)Thanks for taking the time to do with with us and don't forget to slip Katie's card to any shifters you might meet.

  4. Loved the interview! If I could have any super power it would be to speak, write, and read any and all languages, so I could help people all over the world. In order to do that, you have to be able to communicate. Then I could be an advocate and healer. or

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to have the ability to transport myself. I really hate driving!
    Follow blog Andreat78

  6. These abilities are so cool! After I answered this question, too, I was talking with the mancandy and said, "You know, since I don't drive, teleportation would be AWESOME." He just rolled his eyes at me.

    Thanks for having me over here -- I had so much fun with this. I can't wait to see what everyone says.

  7. Wow! That was a fantastic interview. And now I know all of Karina's secrets. (evil laugh.) BTW, Karina, I totally agree--I am Team Star Wars and Team Han Solo, all the way!! Great contest, Katie and Sharon!

  8. You already had me as son as I read post-apocalyptic, but you're a LARP-er as well?! I so need to read your books!

    As for magic power.....
    I think I'll go for teleporting as I don't think being a necromancer who can create his own army of zombies will make me many friends (who are alive anyway)


  9. Great interview and giveaway!

    1. chidoryx at hotmail dot com
    2. I would want to fly!

  10. what an awesomely wonderful interview. If I could have any power in the world I think I would want to be an empath because I have a hard time telling how people are feeling .

  11. oh and my email is vbarton24 at gmail dot com

  12. Talk to animals. I could be a spy :-P

    Mippi283 at hotmail dot com

  13. Awesome comments everyone. We had a lot of fun with Karina I hope everyone will check out her book, it's really a great read. :)

    Keep'em coming!

  14. hahahahahahaha! This was another fun interview! You guys ask the best questions! :D

  15. Great interview, I loved it.

    I'd love to be able to teleport because I hate sitting in traffic so it seems like it would come in really handy at rush hour, LOL.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  16. Delightful interview. I would love to go invisible. That way I could leave when someone I so don't want to see comes in...LOL..bad I know...

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  17. NOO! DON'T KILL THE SHEEP! D: It's dirty.
    Thanks for the funny interview! I needed to laugh a little XD

    i'ma GFC follower! :D


  18. What a wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing today and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity, these books sound great and I would love to read them. I would choose the supper power of speed that way the big-bad-wolf could not bite me on my baaaaaa :)

    GFC follower


  19. Great interview. thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. Would love to win this book.
    I would have to choose to be a telepath. I would love to be able to read other peoples thoughts.

  20. I would want to be able to teleport, because I cannot drive due to health reasons. So that would be amazing!!
    Great interview!


  21. Awesome interview!!

    I would have to choose the ability to move things with my mind, it would make my household chores so much easier and I wouldn't have to put my book down to just the fridge that one of my kids left open, or my kids are fighting on the floor, it would be easy to float them apart and put them in time out without getting up. I'm giddy just thinking of all the laziness I could do lol

    GFC follower


  22. GFC follower! :)


    I would love to be able to fly since I don't like airplanes.

  23. I am finally trying to catch up on reading blog posts from last week...better ate than never right???

    I would like to be able to turn invisible...the ability to just disappear would be great for so many reasons!!!

    I am a GFC follower
    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  24. Alright everyone a winner has been picked and it is.....

    Petit!!! Congrats! I have emailed you so please respond before 7 days or we will have to pick a new winner.

    Thank you again to Karina for sitting down with us and all of YOU for coming and leaving comments. We love ya right back! xoxoxo