Interview with Young / New Adult Author Karen Y. Bynum, Author of Witch Way To Turn

Title: Witch Way To Turn
Author: Karen Y. Bynum 
Publisher: Lyrical Press 
Publication Date: August 6th 2012
Series: Witch Way, #1
Genre: YA / NA, Paranormal, Romance 
Length: 78k words 

Buy: Lyrical Press | Amazon | ARe | B&N

Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?

The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.

Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets–one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.

Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.

Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever.

WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content.

Welcome to the House Millar, Karen.

Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog, Mistress Anya!  *sips coffee*

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Hickory, North Carolina…about twenty minutes from Breena’s hometown of Rhodhiss. Also lived in Charlotte, NC during college and Raleigh, NC when my hubby and I got married. Then we relocated to Newport News, Virginia for his first job right out of college as an aerospace engineer. He’s such a brain! lol

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Wow. That takes me back. 🙂 I’ve always written…since I could hold a pencil. So I’d say I’ve really always thought of myself as a writer. Growing up I wrote a lot of poetry and short stories. Oh, and I kept a diary! Lord have mercy, I wrote in that thing every day for years. It was extremely therapeutic.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Ooo, I love this question. Here we go, Witch Way to Turn… Breena’s life gets uber-complicated when her desire to protect her sister unleashes her own dark nature, gets two hot supernaturals fighting over her and initiates a plot to assassinate her.

I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?

Hm. As a person, my warning label would read: Prepare yourself for random.

As an author, my warning label would read: Fate be damned.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?

Breena spoke the loudest to me at first. So when I wrote the first draft of WWTT it was all in her point-of-view. Then when I started the revisions, Myles and Orin both started clamoring. They wouldn’t stop until I add their POVs into the story. And I’m so glad I did… I love those hotties! I’m as torn between them as Breena. LOL

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?

I’d say a little of both. There are times when I absolutely know what I want my characters to do or say, and then out of nowhere they will do or say something completely different…taking the plot in a direction I never saw coming. (I’m a pantser by the way.) I’ll try to persuade them, but even if I do go against their wishes, inevitably I’ll be going back to change that scene. Then there are times when I have to make the decisions for my characters. Normally right after that happens they will react and hijack the story again!

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

Not exactly. However, the pharmacy where Breena works (Granite Drug) is where I worked during high school. Pretty much all of Rhodhiss—a real town in North Carolina—is based on my memory of it. Everything except for Mama Rosas. As far as I know, there’s no Italian restaurant in downtown.

How did you come up with the title?

I knew Breena was a witch from the moment she started talking to me. I also knew there were these two hot supernatural boys vying for her affection. Each of them meeting a specific need in her life. She was torn. So was I. Neither of us knew which way to turn. I’d typed that line at some point in my note making process and it dawned on me… Witch Way to Turn. I absolutely love wordplay and puns.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?

I’m actually already 52,000 words into book #2. I see it going to about 65,000 – 70,000 words. I’m a bare-bones writer on all my first drafts. Just like to get the story down on paper (uh, Word document) and then flesh it out during revisions.

Who designed the cover of your book?

My publisher, Lyrical Press, designed the cover. I absolutely adore it! Thanks, Renee! 🙂

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?

You know, this question used to terrify me. When I would go on job interviews and this question was asked I would blank, because honestly, I used to not know. Now, I do. I see myself—hopefully—saying adios to the day-job and writing full-time. It’s the dream!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Nature is a huge inspiration for me, so I would love to live on a lake in the mountains. Of course, I would want internet, cellphone reception, cable TV and a helicopter to take me into town for dining and shopping. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

What authors have most influenced your writing most and why?

Charlaine Harris for her Southern charm and character development. Nicole Peeler for her inner monologue and pacing. And Lauren Kate for her true-love romance and teen angst.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

Oh, ebooks for sure! When my husband first bought my Kindle, I wasn’t a 100% sold on the idea…but now, there’s no turning back. Recently someone gave me a paperback book, and I ended up buying it for my Kindle. There’s just something about it. It’s lightweight, and I always have my library with me. Love it! Dear Amazon, are you hiring? teehee

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

I love young adult paranormal romance. It’s my passion. My books all have strong heroines with lots of action, which tends to make them border on urban fantasy. No matter what genre I write, there will always be a romance at the heart of the plot.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Relax? Hm. There hasn’t been too much of that lately. 🙂 When there is a moment to unwind, I love to curl up on the couch with my hubby and our pup, Rusty, to watch a movie. Okay, sleep through the movie… I almost always fall asleep watching movies at home. That’s why normally Michael gets to pick the movie, because he’ll be the one actually watching it. lol

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Not normally. I do almost always re-read the last page of a book several times after I’ve reached the end…it’s like I just don’t want to leave that world. Ya know?

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

There’s not a specific movie, but I do like to see the movie before I read the book. (I know, I’m a bit odd.) I’ve found that if I read the book first and then go see the movie, I am almost always disappointed. On a semi-related note, that’s why I haven’t read The Vampire Diaries series yet (even though I’m dying to)…because I absolutely love the show!

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/ paperback/ hardcover)?

Currently, I’m reading an adult paranormal romance titled Creatures of the Moon by Kristine Overbrook on my Kindle. It’s fantastic!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If writing is what ignites that fire deep in your soul, then… Don’t. Give. Up. This industry is so subjective, which means not everyone is going to like your work—no matter how polished it is. And that also means there will be rejections. I’ve had my share of rejection, and I wish I could say it didn’t bother me in the least…but that would be a lie. It has taken me many years to grow a thick skin. And still there are times when I want to throw my hands up, run around the writing cave and smash something. But then I hear my characters talking to me…they need their stories told. So I sit at the computer with the blank page before me, and the world is mine. I’m the creator and their lives are in my hands. I can’t let them down. Neither can you. Who else will tell your characters’ stories? They want to be heard. Keeping writing!

What are your pet peeves?

Knuckle popping. It just sounds painful!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs…even though kittens are adorable.

White wine or red?


Coffee or tea

Always, always coffee if I must choose, but a cup of hot tea before bed is wonderful.

Favourite food?


Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?


What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Wedding/engagement ring, cellphone, chapstick and sunglasses.

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Laptop, but I treat it more like a desktop since I sit at my desk or dining table while writing.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Definitely in the morning or early afternoon. If I try to write after nine o’clock at night I end up typing the same sentence about fifteen times because my brain has turned to mush. Literally. I hear it sloshing around in my head right now. (It’s 10:25PM.)

List 3 of your all time favourite movies?

The Princess Bride, Star Wars (the original) and Pans Labyrinth.

An actor you have a crush on –

Definitely Ryan Gosling. Um, wow. Enough said.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

The hubby and I just saw the new Batman movie (The Dark Knight Rises)… Holy wow! It was amazing! My favorite villain from that series was in it… Catwoman! I always thought her and Batman should hook up. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. As an added treat, click below to see the wonderful Book Trailer (by editor Danielle Fine)

Karen Y. Bynum is an author of young adult paranormal fantasy. Her novel Witch Way to Turn is published through Lyrical Press. She grew up in Hickory, North Carolina where mountains and magic surrounded her. Even as a child, she wrote her own faery tales and prattled incessantly to her imaginary friends.

After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications, she went on to become certified in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte. But it wasn’t until her aerospace engineer husband accepted a job in Virginia and they relocated that she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

With the support of family and friends, Karen embarked on a journey with the voices in her head. They wouldn’t stop talking (yes, she does answer back) and their stories took shape. Karen currently lives in coastal Virginia and enjoys reading, tweeting, writing and spending time with her husband and their spoiled rotten Vizsla named Rusty.

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    • Maria D. on August 17th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Good interview – I too love chocolate, sushi and The Princess Bride. Congratulations on the release of Witch Way to Turn – it sounds good and I’ll be putting it on my list

    • casea major on August 17th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Great interview, Karen! Congratulations on the release!

    1. Thank you Casea! Really appreciate you stopping by and commenting 🙂

  1. Great interview and someday I’ll get time to read. It’s on my list.

    1. Hi Karen, thank you! Totally understand…my TBR list is quite large too 😉 lol Really appreciate you stopping by!

  2. Ha, fun interview, ladies. 🙂 Nice to learn more about you, Karen. Good luck with your release!

    1. Thanks Melissa! It really was a fun interview 🙂 Mistress Anya asked some great questions! So glad you stopped by to comment!

  3. Hi Maria! Thank you! There’s just something so absolutely wonderful about The Princess Bride… Maybe it’s the “As you wish” line 😉 Thank you for stopping by!

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