Author on the Couch:

An Intimate Look into the Minds of Our Favorite Authors.

Today I’m conducting a session with

Karin Shah.



At the end of our session, I’ll provide instructions

on how to win two copies of Karin’s newest novel



Me: So Karen, tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Karin: At age 42, I had a stroke. I was lucky enough to have it in the visual cortex, so all I have have is a burnt out spot in my vision which my brain has learned to look past, but the shock of a healthy person (I had zero risk factors) having something that could have killed me happen out of the blue, made me realize how short life really is. I stopped pursuing New York publishing houses and agents, I didn’t feel I had the years to wait for them to get back to me. It’s been a few years now and I’m looking for an agent again for my middle grade/ younger young adult as NY is still where it’s at for that age group, but I’ve retained that feeing of the fragility and fleeting nature of life.

Me: Whoa… A stroke at 42. That’s scary and so danged random. My husband is 42. Yikes. Hearing your story is a reality check. We just never know when stuff like that could happen.

When it comes to writing, what personality trait of yours helps you the most as an author?

Karin: I was picked on a lot as a child and I think that really steeled me against rejection. The ability to bounce back from the negative is vital for an author.

Me: Kudos to you that you can take something so painful–being picked on as a child–and see it as a positive because it’s given you a thick skin. Reframing painful things like that is a valuable skill to have. And when it comes to this industry you are so true–rejections and bad reviews alone can be devastating if we don’t know how to handle them.

Talking about positive personality traits, leads me to my next question. What personality trait of yours hinders you most an author?

Karin: One the flip side, I still suffer from self-doubt, which usually manifests itself in chronic procrastination.

Me: I think most writers struggle with self doubt. I know I sure do. When it comes to procrastination, most of the time it’s rooted in some sort of fear–which of course makes it a cousin to self-doubt.

Tell me about your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?

Karin: My first signing at RWA was awesome. I felt really good about my career at that time.

Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?

2015-04-25 19.25.54-3Karin: After my first book STARJACKED, a Science Fiction Romance, was published, I had a big slump. The sophomore slump is pretty common. I realized the distance between the first contract and the second could be far further than I thought it would be. I questioned whether I should write at all, but the ideas and characters didn’t stop coming, so I figured I might as well write them down. And if I was going to write them down, it just made sense to submit them. 🙂 Since then, I’ve had four more books published.

Me: I had to show off my copy of Starjacked. I’ve had it forever. I think I got it at the 2010 RT Convention in Columbus! To anyone who likes Sci-Fi Romance–this is your book!

Which of your characters are you most like?

Karin: They all have pieces if me, but I’m probably most like Thalia, the heroine of my second book, Blood and Kisses. Ok, she’s a witch, but I gave her a disfiguring (more in her own eyes) birthmark that identifies her as the Witches’ Champion. She was heavily teased about it as a child and though I don’t have a birthmark, I share a similar history. I had severe cystic acne and was socially awkward to boot, so I was a constant target in elementary and Jr High. The overt mocking had died down by high school, but the damage was done. It took years for my self-confidence to re-bound. Now, I realize, though I wouldn’t have anyone suffer as I did, that surviving that emotional abuse allowed me to be the adult I am, to accept and move on from rejection and not worry too much about what people I don’t care about think.

Me: “…surviving that emotional abuse allowed me to be the adult I am, to accept and move on from rejection and not worry too much about what people I don’t care about think.” AMEN. RIGHT ON. It’s amazing how many people I see every day who still struggle to deal with being verbally/emotionally abused by their peers in school. And I’m seeing them five, ten, twenty, thirty, years after it’s over. That kind of abuse can do serious damage.

Karin: Many of my other characters, especially Deyna from Halfling, are ostracized, so I guess you could say that’s a recurring theme with me; the need for people to shed the conception of themselves imposed by others and love their true self, no matter what society may say.

Me: Wow. Wow. Wow. So powerful! I had to create a Quotable from it!KarinShahQuote

Me: We’re nearing the end of our session, so let’s switch gears a bit. What book do you wish you’d written? Why?

Karin: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I love that series. The world is so deep. I’m always lost after I finish re-reading it, longing to go back inside and live with the characters. It would be fabulous to write something that sparks so much excitement in so many people.

Me: If you could have dinner with any famous author who would it be?

Karin: JK Rowling. Talking writing with her would be so interesting.

Me: The cover of your newest book is GORGEOUS. Tell me a bit about HALFLING.

HalflingKarin: The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen-year-old Valayan wanderer Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at rock bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low.

Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she’s half darkling saves her life.

As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, the handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies. But all is not well in the darkling lands.

The mysterious Jackal-Wolf is stealing grain shipments and raiding armories. A civil war is brewing, the gods have plans for her, and Ahran may not be exactly what he seems. Will the girl who’s spent her whole life running take a stand—even at the cost of her own life?

Me: Share with me one of your favorite paragraphs.

Karin: I like this paragraph because I think it showcases how resilient Deyna really is. She’s in prison, slated for a death sentence, but she never gives up.

“She supposed a being as pitiful as she—the deformed reject of a scorned people—should welcome death, but by Celu, she wanted to live. To feel the ground beneath her feet, taste sweet water, fill her nose with the tangy scent of the Immortal Forest. Her eyes burned. Her body couldn’t conjure another tear, but a dry sob wracked her as she thought of the other things she’d miss, caressing the velvet ears of her cur, Lithu, listening to the whicker of the horses from her pallet beneath the dard on a heady summer night.”

Me: Wow! That’s a powerful passage. I can’t wait to read it!

You can purchase HALFLING at:


You can connect with Karin at:



Have you read any of Karin’s other books?

Have you had any experiences similar to Karin’s?

What personality traits of yours help you/hinder you as a writer?

What have been your highs/lows as a writer?

What book do you wish you’d written?

What author would like to have dinner with?

For a chance to win a copy of


all you have to do is leave a comment!

Karin will draw two random names on Saturday May 2nd.

 **Would you like to be an Author on the Couch?**

 Just email me at and I can set you up with your very own session!

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*Thank you. You rock!*

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