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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"When I'm not writing" with Karina Cooper + giveaway!

Karina Cooper

Karina Cooper is joining us this week for "When I'm not writing"! You may know her from her Dark Mission paranormal romance series, but she's here today to celebrate the imminent release of her new series, the St. Croix Chronicles, which are historical urban fantasy. The first book, TARNISHED, comes out next week and does it ever look good! (I have my copy pre-ordered and I bet you will too after you read the description!) Please join me in welcoming Karina to the blog. She's sharing a very cool hobby with us.




Every time someone asks what I do when I'm not writing, I have to admit I laugh a little. Sort of a snort merged with a chuckle. It's nothing personal; I just have a hard time imagining what I'd do if I weren't writing. But then, I have a wide, general definition of writing: to wit, "storytelling". And I am forever storytelling.

Take, for example, the thing I do on Friday afternoons and evenings—when I am most definitely not writing. I have a standing deal with myself: whatever else I do, get at least half my pages done on a Friday, because come 3pm, I'm getting ready to go to my weekly Live-Action Roleplay game. That's right. When I'm not writing, I'm LARPing. What do I look like when I'm LARPing?

Mac, "Just Mac", in Changeling: the Lost

Live Action Roleplaying is, in its simplest definition, improv acting with costumes and narrative. The game I play, a White Wolf game called Changeling: the Lost. Running every Friday for nearly five years, the Chronicles of the Freehold of Brasswork Sorrows bears witness to a collection of stories, characters, villains, and costumes. Mine, shown with the blue hair, is the story of Mac—a female Ogre who began her Changeling life as an Oathbreaker, and worked her way up to lead the extremely martial and very aggressive Summer Court.

Although she doesn't take to "feminine" very well, the beauty of a game like this is that your story is colored and sometimes guided by others. When the Spring Court threw its annual Homecoming affair, Mac's friend Molly Corsair took a direct line of attack and made sure Mac showed up in a dress for the event. Though I would never have considered that my stubborn Ogre with the Southern twang bedeck herself in anything fancy, Molly's player made sure that Mac was forced to grow a little, step outside her box. And like Mac, Molly took the chance to spruce her plumage up a bit.

Molly Corsair, feathered beast
Molly Corsair, feathered Beast

In the scheme of things, I'm used to writing in a vacuum. I decide what the characters do and don't do, and I have every card in my hand. In a game like a LARP, where you aren't in other people's heads, you are forced to think quickly, interact without knowing what's going on, and learn and grow in a garden where you aren't the only pretty flower around. And speaking of flowers...

Owin, caught for once without his fingers in his flower petal beard

Much like real life, there's trials and there are tribulations. There are people you like, people you don't. People who make you want to pound their faces in... and people whose faces you can, because the laws of Changeling society aren't the same as the laws we know. And, because what game wouldn't be complete without them, there are people who are so... kingly that they must be obeyed when they command a party to officially start.

King Pierre
King Pierre of Spring, "Let's get this party started!"

The best part? LARP is one of those situations where it's a universal truth that all who participate look stupid. It's a fact! What we do is goofy and crazy and geeky and stupid. And the sooner everyone comes to grips with this, the crazier and more enjoyable it gets. Fun is fun, and after 13 years of LARPing in various games, I am long past the point where I worry about what other people think of me!

That might explain why, at the height of the dance competition, a bunch of total dorks all dressed up in glitz and glitter, tails and horns and paint, and forgot everything but the fun it is to dance like nobody's watching. And why one man, despite his extremely advanced age (usually showcased with a beard, but lost in previous sessions), survived the dance intact.

Only to be forced to give it everything he had... one more time.

I may not write all the time, but even when I'm not, I'm telling stories. Because that's the life that makes me happiest. And how could you not be happy watching a young man play an old man dancing his life away?


Thank you for taking the time to visit us, Karina! Such a great post. You've made me want to give LARPing a try. =)

For more information about Karina and her books, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.


Here's the scoop on TARNISHED:

Karina Cooper TarnishedMy name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They've no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London's streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.

Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his—for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company . . . the other might just see me dead.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository



Karina is kindly offering one (1) copy of TARNISHED to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

Open internationally

Ends Monday, July 2, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

29 People left their mark' :

  1. I like to read, play games, and do crafts.

  2. i like reading and doing some bookmarks ( and a bit of gardening when the weather is good enough for that )

    hanks you a lot for the international giveaway

    all the best

  3. In my spare time I like to read, play volleyball, watch tv series and torture my sister xD

  4. This book sounds so good!(: And, in my spare time, I read (books and blogs) and I eat. ...yeah, that's about it. :)

  5. I like to read, do crafts, bake, shop, and watch a few movies or tv series now and then.

  6. I love to read, write, blog, play lacrosse, do art, and hang with my friends doing crazy stuff! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. In my spare I pretty much am obsessed with books, so I read books or read about books on the internet. :D Occasionally I'll leave the house for a walk and some fresh air on my days off, and if I have absolutely nothing else to do I might do some yard work or house work, but that doesn't happen very often.

  8. In my spare time I like to read, blog, work on my scrapbook and hang out with my friends to go to movies or .....talk about boys LOL Some of the best times in my life happened with my friends.

    Thanks for the giveaway!! :]

  9. I read in my spare time. Occasionally I might play a game too.

  10. I like to read and listen to music. Thanks for the chance to win!!

  11. I'm pretty much on the internet in my spare time. I read and play with my dogs in between, hah! Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. I like to go to the beach or go fishing. If it's nighttime I'd probably surf the net or play a game.

  13. In my spare time I like to read & knit.

  14. Thanks for the lovely guestpost. In my spare time I love to read and blog and Twitter. But I also go to fantasy fairs a few times a year, so I do know about LARP. I love wearing costumes, but acting is not my thing, I do like watching them though.

  15. Thanks for a great post and giveaway! This books sounds fabulous!

    I love to read!!! and walk my dogs :)

  16. I love reading and watching movies. Tore923@aol.com

  17. Well, a good chunk of my spare time is spent with my kids. I 9 year old and a 1 year old will keep you pretty busy. But once they're asleep or off to visit grandma, I love to read (don't all of us here?). I used to play WhiteWolf games, but most of the gaming group has moved away and I haven't found another I fit into yet.

  18. In my spare time I read or walk. I seldom do them at the same moment.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

  19. I love to read, run, ride horseback and try to catch up with stuff on my Tivo!

  20. In my spare time I like to read. I always have a book handy. Thanks for the interview.

  21. I like to read, play and watch sports.

  22. In my spare time I like to read and watch movies with friends.

  23. In my spare time (which seems to be nonexistent lately) I like to blog, read, and do absolutely NOTHING.

  24. Read and spend time with my kids

  25. Read books, of course :) I also go out with my friends, watch movies & tv shows, listen to music, etc. Although if I'm at home, I just read, read & read, every moment I can ;) or I'm on the internet, checking out what's new around the blogosphere ;) although I tend to do both at the same time:D Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. I saw the cover for this book in RT Book Reviews and fell in love--looking forward to it! In my spare time, it's all about the garden and books. Fortunately, living in Northern California, there's always something to do in the garden.