Meet author Karin Beery

Karin Beery grew up in rural Michigan, where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies with her husband and fur babies.

Tell us about your newest book.

Two years ago, Jessica Miller made a mess of her already confusing life. Now, she’s back in Boyne Heights, and she’s determined to fix her reputation. She can’t seem to avoid the past that haunts her, but that’s the joy of small-town life—word spreads and people remember. Intent on her mission, however, she faces her past head-on, taking a job with her ex-boyfriend while avoiding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a new one.

What inspired you to write Avoiding Marriage?

I didn’t want to go too long between publishing books and I didn’t have a contract yet, so I decided to self-publish a novella. I wanted to follow-up Practically Married with a redemption story for Jess—she’s Russ’s ex-girlfriend, and I wanted to show why she and Russ would break up if they were so perfect for each other on paper.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Jess made a mess of her life, but she’s back and she’s determined to fix her reputation, even if that means working for her ex-boyfriend and avoiding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a new one.

What genre do you focus on?

My stories are romantic women’s fiction. The stories focus on the women and their lives, but I always include a sweet romantic line.

Why do you write?

I started writing as a way to deal with the pressures of life (my husband was dealing with cancer at the time; he’s fine now). Once I started writing, I wanted to figure out what it would take to get published. Now I’m sort of hooked—I always have a story idea that I want to flesh out (I just wish I wrote faster!).

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

In Avoiding Marriage, Jess is named after my good friend Jessica. She was one of my bride’s maids and continues to be a friend. Whenever I need a name, I scroll through Facebook to see if I can find one that sticks with me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I’m terrible about finding time to write, which is why it takes me so long to finish a book. The best way for me to write is something like NaNoWriMo, where you force yourself to write 50,000 words in a month. I have to skip everything and force myself not to socialize for the sake of finishing that first draft.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

For me, it’s making time to write. I work as a book editor, so at the end of the day I don’t always want to stay at my computer. It’s currently taking me eighteen months to finish a manuscript, and that’s too long. I need to figure out a way to motivate myself to write faster.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Research! You can’t write well if you don’t know the market and the industry, so reading is a must.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I don’t really like chocolate. I like it with things, but I rarely eat it alone. I’m more about textures—I’ll take a chewy treat over a chocolate treat almost every time.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

In too many ways to list here, so I’ll focus on one—I’m figuring out my method, which is making me a better writer. I wrote my first novel without any plans or notes. I tried to outline my second novel and went completely off track within the first third of the story. I’m still figuring it out, but I now use a combo of character development and a basic outline to put everything together.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love hanging out with people. We can be watching movies, kayaking, sitting at a coffee shop—I don’t really care. I just like being with people.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I do! My debut novel Summer Plans and Other Disasters is available in print, ebook, and now on audio. I also have Practically Married, the award-nominated prequel to Avoiding Marriage. That’s not on audio yet, but maybe someday.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing book three in a series about three sisters in Northern Michigan. It’s romantic women’s fiction about the middle daughter, a professional musician who’s ready to try something new with her life. My agent is pitching book one of the series to publishers now.


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