Novelist Karen Avizur joins me today to chat about her new urban fantasy, A Tracker’s Tale.
Karen Avizur grew up on Long Island, New York and ended up in Orlando, Florida, with stops in Connecticut, West Virginia, and Los Angeles along the way. She’s been writing stories since she was twelve years old. In those early days, she discovered it was impossible to keep up with her thoughts by writing longhand, and ended up borrowing a 7-pound laptop from her dad, quickly honing her typing skills.
After graduating film school, Karen moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as a film editor for several years while also pursuing her writing. “I was taught that a film editor is really the final-draft screenwriter. It’s true,” she notes. “I’d written much of Trackers as separate short stories over the years, but being an editor helped me see how to weave those stories together into novel form.”
Karen now lives in Florida with lazy dog Ginger (her Australian cattledog mix), and works as a video editor.
Welcome, Karen. Please tell us about your current release.
A Tracker’s Tale is a story about a woman, Katherine Colebrook, and he job as an FBI Special Agent working in the Trackers Division with cases involving ‘parasapiens’ like vampires and werewolves. She just moved to Los Angeles from San Diego, a sort-of promotion, and is getting a new partner, Reese Johansson. Katherine is psychic, which helps her in her work. She has a teenage daughter, Alexandra, who is also psychic and tends to find trouble.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was fascinated by the idea of what our world would really look like if these supernatural creatures actually existed. Would there be prejudices against them, would they be fighting for their civil rights? Would there be reality shows about them, would their kids be ostracized at school, would there be places to buy items that were guaranteed free of things like iron and silver? How would law enforcement handle cases involving them, as the perpetrator and as the victim? And my main character actually started as an OC for a fanfiction in the Supernatural universe. So I plucked her out of that universe and put her in one of my own making to explore this world.
Excerpt from A Tracker’s Tale:
“Are werewolves allowed in the courthouse?”
It took Katherine Colebrook a moment to realize the young woman in the elevator had spoken to her, pulling her from her thoughts. It then took her another moment to find her voice. “Why wouldn’t they be?”
“I’ve just heard indoors they can get…you know…”
Katherine’s light green eyes stared at the woman until it was clear she wasn’t going to continue. “…Bored?”
The woman let out a small laugh. “Right. Bored.” Her tone signified the end of the conversation, or so Katherine thought, as the elevator stopped at the third floor.
Two middle-aged men entered, wearing tailored suits and full-grain leather shoes that gave them the instant classification of lawyer. One pressed the button for the fourth floor, continuing some small talk about a case they were working on. Katherine pursed her lips. The elevator. For one flight of stairs. No wonder America had health problems.
“Are you going to the sixth floor for that werewolf case?” The young woman spoke up again, her voice a bit hushed, sidling a few inches closer. “I saw your FBI badge. Are you here for that werewolf in the news?”
Katherine glanced briefly to the woman before fixing her gaze on the elevator doors again. “Yeah, actually.”
“Wow, seriously?” she whispered. “I don’t even know any werewolves.”
Really? Katherine wished she could say the word out loud, drenching it in sarcasm. The doors opened, letting the lawyers out, and mercifully skipped the fifth floor, going straight on to their destination.
“So are you here to make sure the werewolf doesn’t attack anyone or something?” the young woman asked.
“Off the record,” Katherine spoke as the elevator doors opened, “I’m here to help him put the psychopath that attacked him and his friends in prison.” She looked to the reporter, whose face went slack and then smug. “I don’t talk to reporters like you.”
Katherine turned and left the elevator without another word.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m just about to release the third book in the Trackers series, and after that is the last book, which I’m really excited about, because the Big Bad comes front and center, and Katherine and her colleagues get in some real trouble.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when I was a teenager. I wrote a book series about five girls with special powers, Flame Sisters, over about five years and it was excellent practice for me as a writer. Even before that, I wrote other stories, probably novella length, and it was pretty early that I called myself a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I work as a video editor, and writing is a hobby. I live with my dog and that’s it, so I have family nearby but I have few family obligations day to day, which leaves me with time to get writing done. Also it helps to have no social life, ha ha. I suppose the Trackers universe was particularly important to me to create, so I made the time to create it!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure if this is a quirk or something I need to work on, or both, but I’m better with short stories than novel-length writing, so it gives my stories a day-in-the-life feel. I enjoy writing this way, but I’m working on my skills and trying to improve in that regard as well.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Anything that I didn’t have to wake up early for! So I work from home as a video editor and write as a hobby. Career coals accomplished!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I plan on also releasing a prequel of Katherine’s life before the first book, as a child and a teenager and a young adult, and also an anthology of short stories that take place in her universe. I hope everyone enjoys them when they’re released!