Name Karli Rush
Age (Old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway) and if you really want a hint I’m the exact same age as Jenny McCarthy.
Where are you from: A small town in Oklahoma
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I will give you 10 things about me you don’t know till now
1. I’m an autism advocate
2. I have worked in Hospice for many years
3. I met Jay Leno once
4. My favorite color is black but I tell everyone purple.
5. Some of my much loved places that I have lived are Las Vegas and Denver.
6. I’ve drag raced
7. I rode horses bareback as a kid.
8. I have more books in my head than I have published.
9. I studied psychology in college but took a major turn toward the medical field. Experienced, EMT basics, Dental Hygiene assistant, to working in the psychiatric ward in Virginia.
10. I am very diverse with music, books, and people.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Karli: I have several things on my plate for 2014! My last installment of the Bound series which will be titled Ice Bound and it is a stand alone novel all about Marc, it will be entirely his POV. I am several chapters into writing my first ever contemporary romance, keep an eye out for “Let Your Heart Drive” as well.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Karli: In 2011 after a good friend of mine suggested I take up a creative hobby.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Karli: February 23, 2012. That is when I hit the publish button on my first novel, Crescent Bound, and I realized there was no turning back for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Karli: I didn’t really recognize that I had all of this coming to me until I put my fingers on the keyboard. The story or rather the dream just poured out. I don’t remember anything specific as an inspiration point.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Karli: Yes, I write generally first person, present tense just like Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I can’t seem to write any other way.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Karli: Not sure on that either, they seem to show up when I need them to at the right time, and right moment. It’s kind of like a word or an expression highlights itself for me and I jot it down. If you have ever watched the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ then you have the idea of what I’m trying to explain.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Karli: Absolutely, in the Crescent Bound Series I wanted to show, although it is paranormal, a true representation of Witches or Wicca. I also try to put in a theme of tolerance and acceptance. If I could sum it in just two words it would be, Know thyself.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Karli: All the magic spells and rituals are based in facts. The drag racing is pretty close. I also wanted characters that are flawed, critical, mistake driven and fun.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Karli: I have drag raced before, so, yes. There is no way that my experiences can’t be in there, even if the influence is subtle, it’s still there. In several books I have worked some people into one of my characters that I personally know. The funny part is that they are exclusively the antagonist.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?
Karli: The books that influenced me were usually non-fiction and on specific topics like Autism and Reiki. It is usually something that interests me at the time.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Karli: I have several on that list, but if I had to pick one that I would hope to really learn from it would be…CD Reiss.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Karli: Strings (Hard Rock Harlots) by Kendall Grey – This one is as sexually gritty as it gets.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Karli: CD. Reiss, Ava Lore, Kendall Grey, Colleen Hoover, Andrea Randall, Penelope Douglas, Lauren Hammond, Andrea Brynn, Tarryn Fisher, Brooklyn Hudson, Emma Chase, K.A. Tucker, Brooklyn James, Jennifer Armentrout, Aleatha Romig, and J.A. Redmerski. Whew! I’ll stop there, lol.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Karli: “The House” is a paranormal haunting story that I am publishing one part at a time on my blog for free http://rushboundblog.wordpress.com/ I am up to part 6 as of this interview. “Let Your Heart Drive” is my firs contemporary romance that is about 20% done. Here’s the blurb – It is a tale of a young girl, Sinead Noelle, she’s struggling with life and all that it has to throw at her. She hungers to stand on her own two feet and face her own secret demons. What she finds during this life’s journey is, Shawn. A young man who works in road-side for a car rental company. He doesn’t know it yet but all this time he’s been living a life filled with ease as he helps support his sister and niece. He thinks life is good, but then his own life spins out of control with a single phone call. When destiny brings these two together will barriers be broken, walls be destroyed, and secrets revealed? Coming 2014!
“Ice Bound” is book five in the Bound series it’s about 40% done and here’s the blurb –
Marcus Colten is living the perfect life, high school football star and dating the head cheerleader. He is popular, skilled in athletics and from a wealthy family. The football team he quarterbacks for just won their first district championship. Marc doesn’t show it, but he is being haunted. Orphaned at the early age of two, he has ghostly memories of a past that makes his flawless model life feel out of place and then there are the illusive dreams. Visions of someone that relentlessly possess his nights. What does it all mean? Where will it all lead? This time, he’s not the one that is at the top of the game.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Karli: That’s a hard one. Let me see. I would say that Lisa Allen Monaghan has truly coached me through this. Regardless of my fears, she believed in me from the very beginning.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Karli: I sure do. I am lucky and very happy being an author.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Karli: Well, for my latest book, Pine Needles. No, not in the least.
I always want the best quality I can for my readers, in all aspects of my novels. I do review and revise as I strive to become the best I can be.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Karli: I kept having these dreams about Alyssa and Marc (Crescent Bound) and they wouldn’t go away, so I started writing their story down and I never stopped. Factoid: In my dreams Alyssa’s car she drove was really a canary yellow 1986 Mustang. But I had to change it to the times, so, we have the 2011 Shelby Mustang, black.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Karli: My latest story is free on my blog http://rushboundblog.wordpress.com/
The only thing stronger than love is insanity.
One more step and the skin-crawling, creaking sound echoes throughout the hall. “Richard! Don’t, I—I really don’t feel good about this anymore,” I practically bark at him as we edge closer to the last door. We’ve investigated the lower floor, all the old, decrepit rooms, and the chancy stairs were my worst fear but we managed to sneak past the precarious areas. Now, we are standing at the last room down the unlit hall. The door is wide open like it’s welcoming us inside. The hot humid air has dropped significantly in temperature. It’s been well over a hundred degrees all summer long and now, I can see my breath. I can see his.
“Rich, please. Let’s just head back, it’s getting late. We can start fresh tomorrow,” I plead but he shakes his head in refusal.
“Naw, we got this, Keria.” He tugs on his lucky baseball cap, easing it over his eyes a bit and quirks a smirky grin at me. My eyebrows bolt up and I wave the flashlight purposely in-between us.
“Do you not see this?” My breath expels out a cold mist and the hair on the back on my neck rises.
He taps on the device in his hand and explains, “Yeah, it means we’re not alone.” The meter looking ghost detector is completely lit up green. It doesn’t flash nor flicker, just a steady, solid color. Which makes me grimace even more, I’m not a paranormal investigator like Rich is. This is my very first time exploring a haunted house. I suck in a nervous breath as he motions for us to move forward. The house goes perfectly still as if it’s waiting for something, hanging onto an eerie anticipation. Five more steps and we’re at the threshold of the pitch-black room.
“Rich, you’re sure about this? I mean we don’t know how long this place has been abandoned or how secure this structure is,” I probe as I flash the light around us and then shine it inside the room. My hand goes sweaty and I grip the flashlight tighter, there’s nothing in the room. It’s not like the others, it’s entirely bare, empty, as if someone sterilized it from the ceiling to the floor. You know how they always say rooms like this smell moldy or musty? Well, this one smells like it’s tainted with blossoms, it’s so over-powering even Rich glances back at me. We both distinctly smell it and he reaches out, giving my hand a gentle squeeze.
“You know, for being a Rookie, I’m impressed. Come on, it’s the last room.” I attempt to send him a quick confident smile but something breathes down the right side of my neck. I grasp at my throat and stare at Rich. How do I tell him I can’t do this? How can I step one foot in front of the other when all I want to do is run the other way? My answer comes when he steps through the time-worn doorway.
“Come on Keria, give me some light. It’s dark as shit in here!” I raise my shaking hand holding the flashlight and watch him walk to the middle of the room. An icy cold touch lands on my shoulder and I drop the light to the floor.
“Keria! Get it together girl!” he shouts but I’ve already snagged the flashlight from the ground and twirl around to see if I’m still the only one standing in the darkened cold hall. Whirling back to Rich I shake off the feeling of being observed.
“Got it, sorry.” I start to take a step into the room when I hear the house breathe, literally every board and nail within the room screeches together. And in the center, where Richard stands, the floor bows and bends upward and then breaks away. He plummets with the pollution of rotten wood and rusted, eroded fumes. My light illuminates a nothingness as he disappears from my sight.
“Richard!” The cracking and splintering shards of wood resound with a deafening residual. My ears ring and my heart pounds as I scream out again, “Richard!”
Breath…it’s the only sound within the room.
I readjust my hand on the Maglite and run toward the stairs. I’m shaking, everything in me wants to lock up but I’m so terrified I bolt without another reasonable thought. The worn wooden steps hold my weight as I race downstairs. It’s hauntingly dark and vacant. Nothing appears in my sight as I shine my light through the bleak hallway. Pace after wary pace I enter the room where Richard fell through. I clamp my hand fiercely over the only thing which guides me. Not a breath escapes from my lips when I approach the doorway, the lambent luster grazes slowly across the flooring. But I see only the hardwood surface. Untouched, no clouds of dust or debris, no broken shards of rustic wood. No Richard. As if nothing at all had happened. I take a step closer, suck in a hearty breath and whisper, “Richard!”
I cling to my shirt as I ease in, I can feel my heart pounding, trembling through the fabric. The fractional light threads outward offering me nothing but the barren baseboards and lifeless walls. A smell drifts by just as the cool air bristles the hair down my neck. The scent is intertwined with sunflowers and blood. And that same panicky feeling surges a rush in me, a dire urgency to get the hell out of here. But I grit my teeth together and raise my voice a bit louder than before and yell, “Richard, please! Where are you?!”
The house is abnormally quiet as I drag my light downward, searching the floor where I thought Rich would be. Chairs, aged books, and raged, dusty curtains are all over creation in here. It’s exactly how we first saw it before, not a thing out-of-place. And I raise my flashlight upward, to the ceiling, half expecting the hole that he fell through. But I know from seeing the room there will be no evidence to what I just witnessed on the floor above. The ceiling is still committedly intact. Am I losing my mind? I know I’m not, I know what I saw and he has to be in here. I take another step further inside the room, and just as my hand slips off the door frame, a cold unpleasant shiver weaves through my spine. A deep, detached voice growls right next to my ear, “Get out!”
I nearly drop my light as I spin around and run for the front door. Ambling faster down the broken cement steps I charge for my car. Never looking back, never losing my balance because I feel the vileness, the immorality breathing inside that house. I’ve, we’ve trespassed into something I can’t even begin to explain and Rich is somewhere still inside. I fumble with my keys to get them into the ignition. Once my headlights glare at the house not forty feet away, I lock the doors and debate. He’s in there and I can’t just drive the hell off. I rub my hands over my face and in-between my shaking fingertips I look up. In the window I see a shape, a silhouette of a tall man and it’s not Rich. My foot slams heavily on the gas pedal and I drive like a manic on the rough, isolated dirt road.
The entire time my eyes flicker nervously back and forth from the road to my rearview mirror. The sensation of being followed keeps prickling my frayed nerves. I even feel like the woods have eyes and are watching me speed past the trees. Something malicious lives inside that abandoned house, it’s real, just as real as the tears that swell inside my eyes. And I never want to go back there, but I have to find out what happened to Richard. Worry, fear, and guilt consume me, what happened to him? Is he still alive… alive inside that cursed house?
To be continued…
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Karli: Yes. One, balance – family time, writing time, promoting time, personal time, which are all important but making sure one of these doesn’t rob from the other is quite a challenge. Even so, I think I’m managing okay. Two, there are at times too many voices coming to me at once. Can’t write quick enough. Lol.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Karli: Ouch! I have to pick one? Andrea Randall who wrote “In the Stillness.” What strikes me is the level of intense emotion that blended beautifully through this novel. You feel everything, every bump, every crevice, every single word and I loved it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Karli: Several times I have ventured out to book related jaunts. From drag racing strips to book signing events to even haunted places. But I much rather retreat into my writer’s cave with a great cup of coffee.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Karli: I do.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Karli: The publicizing that comes with getting the word out, but I love this part of it, the interviews are one of my favorites.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Karli: The amount of knowledge I have taken in since beginning this career is breathtaking. I now approach life as an author does. I am evaluating everyone I meet to see if I will use them in a future book. Their traits, their demeanor, and habits anything that intrigues me may become part of my antagonists or protagonists. *wink*
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Karli: Write your first book. Tuck it away and write your second book. Six months later pull it out and re-write book one. It will help improve the quality of your book so much. If you haven’t read “On Writing” by Stephen King then you should, it is so worth it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Karli: Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU! I have had quite a few messages sent to me that will forever touch my heart. These messages mean more than anything to me and I promise to keep writing, keep giving you what you love. My goal is to become a better writer with each word I type. I can only hope that my readers enjoy the growth I am going through as they come along for the ride with me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Karli: The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I use to read it over and over to my great-grandmother as a young child. I struggled and botched some of the words but my great-grandmother never scolded or berated me. She knew I had an adoration for horses and for books, she always encouraged me and listened to me with such love and understanding which made it an experience I will never forget. So, yes, I definitely remember my first book.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Karli: Zumba, hiking, biking, camping, ghost hunting, oh, and shopping!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Karli: I don’t really watch TV, but if I do it’s American Horror Story, Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, and Dracula. My favorite films are Fast & Furious 6, A Haunted House, We’re the Millers and Unconditional.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Karli: Homemade chili in (gf/cf) bread bowls / Purple / My music changes just as randomly as the weather does here in Oklahoma. Lol. Right now it’s Ana Brun.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Karli: Joined the Peace Corps. It was at one point a discussion my oldest son and I had but he chose college and I became a writer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Karli: I sure do, and here they are:
Karli Rush links
Karli Rush – Genre: Paranormal Romance (soon to come contemporary romance)
Print copies of my books are available at Amazon and CreateSpace