Karen Lingefelt probably dreamed of being a writer while still in the womb. As a preschooler, she scribbled with crayons in picture books to put her own spin on the text. In school she sat at her desk defiantly writing stories when she should have been working on her remedial math assignments. Later she joined the Air Force and when she wasn’t traveling overseas, she spent her off-duty hours banging out epic sagas on a portable typewriter. Even after leaving the service to become the stay-at-home mom of three special needs children, she eked out a few minutes to continue pursuing her lifelong dream.
Now the author of lighthearted, romantic romps set in Regency England, she lives in Florida with her family. Readers can visit her at http://www.karenlingefelt.com or at her blog, http://www.karenlingefelt.blogspot.com.
Q. Tell us one interesting detail about yourself?
A. I was born in Forks, Washington, which for many years wasn’t a very interesting detail at all, until it became famous as the setting for Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.
Q. Why are you a writer?
A. As a child I had a very vivid imagination, populated by equally imaginary friends. Writing stories was—and still is—my way of playing with those friends. I’m also a better writer than a talker. I’m a terrible introvert who can barely hold up my end of a conversation—I don’t even like talking on the phone. Writing allows me to put some thought into what I want to say before I say it, so my foot stays on the floor and not in my mouth.
Q. But why Regency?
A. I have hundreds of historical romances taking up space in my house, most of which are set in the Regency period. I think I just like the wit and humor, the comedy of manners, that are more likely to be found in that setting than elsewhere. And I believe it’s a natural fit for my writing voice.
Q. What other books do you like to read?
A. I love historical fiction, especially fictional biographies and memoirs by authors like Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, and Jean Plaidy. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series. As a teenager making the transition from children’s books to more mature fare, I fell in love with the works of R.F. Delderfield. But my favorite book of all time is probably The Winds of War by Herman Wouk.
Q. What kind of heroes and heroines figure in your stories?
A. My heroes are always the sort of man with whom I would want to live happily ever after—if I weren’t already doing so! They’re kind and compassionate, always defending the underdog—and they love the heroine in spite of her flaws—or maybe because of them! My heroines, on the other hand, are always misbehaving and courting scandal, shocking others who probably secretly envy their daring. They’re not afraid to stand up for themselves or others in the face of injustice—Susannah, for example, took a huge risk doing this for a younger woman in Bride in Hiding. But if my heroines were proper Regency misses who always adhered to the rules, then there’d be no story!
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A. Always back up your work, preferably in more than one place. Now if only I could learn to take my own advice!
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