Sunday, January 1, 2012

Meet and Greet: Author Karen Baney

Today I introduce to my readers, author Karen Baney.

 Karen's newest release, "Nickels" is a contemporary novel set right here in sunny Phoenix, Arizona!

I just finished the book tonight and found it to be a pleasant contemporary love story.


So tell my readers a little about yourself…
I live in Gilbert, AZ, with my hubby of eleven years and two dogs, Max and Ginger.  When I’m not working the day job or writing or marketing, I love photographing the amazing landscape of the state of Arizona.  I’m not a native, but have lived here for almost fifteen years and have fallen in love with the state.

Tell me about how the story of "Nickels" came to be.
This was more personal than the other novels I’ve written.  Like Niki Turner, I’m a woman software engineer.  I like my day job and the original idea behind the novel was to show what the camaraderie is like between computer programmers.  Then, Niki’s personality and character began to take on a life of her own.  The story evolved into one about moving beyond tremendous grief and loneliness and learning to let others in.

You have worked on your historical fiction series and now you have a contemporary book. How did you approach the writing process for “Nickels”? Was it a different experience for you? Why or why not?
My overall writing process is pretty similar whether I’m writing historical novels or contemporary.  I draft a rough outline, develop some basic info about the characters, and then I start writing. 
As I write, I get to know the characters better.  While I may have fleshed out some of their back story, as the book progresses, it solidifies.  The outline always changes as the characters become more real for me.
For the historical novels, I do a ton of upfront research so I understand what life was like during the time frame and setting—everything from prevailing attitudes to women’s occupations to types of household items available.  With Nickels, it was easier since so much of the setting came from places I’ve lived or visited multiple times.

One of your characters in “Nickels” is an Iraq war veteran. Tell me about the research you did for the book.
Unlike the historical novels, I did very little research for Nickels.  I am a software engineer, so I know the industry very well.  I spent several years overseas on a military base as a dependent of a military member.  I’ve lived and worked in the Chandler and Scottsdale, so I’m very familiar with the layout of those cities and the businesses there.

Where did I spent most of my research time?  Kyle’s job and training as a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) pilot was new to me, so I did some background research about that, like: where he would have gone for technical training, basics about helicopter piloting, etc.

How important is it for you to include the Christian worldview into your stories?
Very important.  I love what an author friend said recently.  Jesus told stories using parables—stories that people can relate to.  In someway, novels can have the same effect. 
I have personally been challenged and grown in my faith as a result of fiction novels that I’ve read.  I like to write novels that demonstrate some aspect of God and his love packaged in a great story.  I hope that the words I write have a positive impact on those who read them.

How vital is it for new writers, such as myself, to learn about social networking? What tips or advice can you give?
If you want to sell books, I believe it’s critical to get plugged in to social networking.  Most authors, whether traditionally published or self published carry the burden of promoting their own work.  In order to do this effectively for as little cost as possible, social networking is a must.

One of the things I advise new authors, is not to do it all.  Don’t sign up for a new account with every social networking site out there.  Pick one or two.  Learn about them.  Read about them.  Study how other authors are using them and then come up with a strategy for using that social networking site to help promote your book.

The one I use the most is Twitter.  Because it uses short snippets of information, you can repeat yourself throughout the day and hit an entirely different audience. 

The key with most social networks is to vary the type of information you push.  If all you ever do is beg people to “buy my book”, they’ll ignore you.  It’s important to balance good content (i.e. relevant blog articles, blog about book reviews, etc) with info about your books and with engaging readers one-on-one.  I tend to plug each book once a day on Twitter.  So out of 20 – 30 tweets a day, only 4 have to do with my books, unless I’m running a special promotion.

For more tips on marketing, please visit my website and check out the Writing and Articles pages.

So, what are you working on now?
I’m diligently writing the first draft of A Hope Revealed, the conclusion to the Prescott Pioneers Series.  The stakes are pretty high in this story and I’m hoping fans will see it as worth the wait.

In 2012, I also have plans to release either one or two more contemporary novels and start a new historical series set in WWII.  I’ve been doing tons of research on the era and am getting excited to start writing.  Just don’t hold me to that order.  A Hope Revealed is my top priority right now.


Here is the book trailer for "Nickels": 

Wow, you are one busy lady!  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Karen Baney!  I look forward to reading more of your work.  Best wishes for 2012! May it bring you blessings!

Karen Baney's bio:

In addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, Karen Baney works as a Software Engineer.  Spending over twenty years as an avid fan of both genres, Karen loves writing stories set in Arizona.

Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing.  She is active in various Bible studies throughout the year.  Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs.  She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.

You can find her books at



  1. Great interview! Loved your thoughts on social networking, Karen. :) Sounds like you've got solid plans for your writing career. Can't wait to track along with you and witness your success.

  2. Ruth - Thanks so much for hosting me today.
    Lindsay - Thanks! I hope your book is coming along well.