Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I’m a sassy southern girl who loves 80s music, anything random and the smell of a Sharpie. I know, the Sharpie thing is a bit odd. lol I get very cranky when I’m sleepy (just ask my hubby) and the Banshee (that’s what I call my hunger) comes out when I’m starving (ask anyone who has been around me when I’ve missed a meal). You’ve been warned. Bwahaha.
I absolutely adore the young adult genre because of the teen angst and the urgency. The paranormal side mixes the unknown with desire…a desire to be different or to be normal. It’s always exciting to see which side the heroine/hero fall on.
What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
The brooding conflicted persona vampires give off. They are struggling with this inner lust that could easily overtake them if not carefully guarded. And for some, it does rule their lives. The paranormal world is filled with creatures that could just as easily be living in our world…hidden away…watching us. Their mysterious ways fascinate me :)
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
My special formula is to Google baby names. (Side note: if I find a name that’s popular now, I almost always won’t use it.) I normally know the first letter I want the name to start with and then I go from there. Sometimes I go by the meaning of a name, but most of the time I’ll come across a name and I just know… That’s the one! For me, my characters’ first names never change once I find that particular one. But a lot of times their last names change. A lot.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I really enjoyed writing Dandelion Peace Camp’s character (her nickname is Dandi). The name alone sold me. It came to me as I was driving on the interstate to go visit a friend in Virginia Beach, Virginia one Saturday afternoon. I was about halfway through writing the first draft when Dandi just appeared. I hadn’t planned on her being in the story at all. Didn’t know to expect her. But there she was. I don’t want to give too much away about her, but I will say that she is a sixteen-year-old vampire whose mom was Cherokee and dad was a hippie… Thus, the name. She’ll eventually become a really close friend of Breena’s.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
One of my fave scenes is when Breena discovers what she is. She totally freaks out. Doesn’t believe it. She tries not to think about it, but there comes a time when she must accept it.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
Well, that’s an excellent question. When I went to have my author photographs taken, I decided I wanted to get-into-character by taking a picture of me pretending to be my heroine from Witch Way to Turn. So I did! The photographer and I walked out into the woods and did lots of poses with me pretending to “shoot light” at an invisible attacker. It was awesome! Later she went in and added the rays of light coming out of my hands. I’ve yet to post that picture on any social media though. Wonder if people would like to see it? lolz
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
The world I’ve built is within our normal world. However, the mundanes don’t know the supernaturals exist. All supes feed off mundanes (whether it’s blood, soul, flesh or energy) in order to live. The Witches Council (WC) governs the supernatural world, and they are very strict about not overpopulating the world with supes because there has to be enough food (mundanes) to sustain them. It’s a vastly growing concern, and the political platform for the president of the WC.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Why yes, they do! :) Breena Cross (the heroine) has inner dialogue running through her head all the time. Oh, and she loves to eat breakfast food! Orin Heider (the preternatural assassin love interest) often speaks before he thinks. Myles Young (the vampire convict love interest) is extremely protective of the ones he loves.
What was the last amazing book you read?
I just finished reading an adult romance titled Only Scandal Will Do by Jenna Jaxon. It was fantastic! I don’t normally read historicals, but this book was so captivating. From the moment the heroine was kidnapped and sold for auction at a brothel, I was hooked. I had to know what would happen to her, and how she’d be able to find her happily ever after. Highly recommend it!
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
I love to read curled up in my favorite fuzzy green blanket. It’s also a fave of my spoiled rotten pup named Rusty, so I have to fight him for it sometimes. lol Normally I brew a cup of hot tea (even during the summer), curl up on the sofa with Rusty and read away!
What can readers expect next from you?
I’m hard at work on book #2 in the Witch Way series! Lots of things happening with my girl Breena!
I also have a demon-slaying unicorn story title Running From Shadows that I hope to have published in the near future. It’s about a unicorn shifter who must choose to kill the boy she loves to save her coven from the shadow demon who lusts after her soul.
Where can readers find you on the web?
The best places to find me are on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest. Please stop by! I love to chat :)
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
I’d love to! Here’s a mini-excerpt with Breena and Orin…
Orin caught her hand in his and twirled her around to face him as if they were going to tango. “Doesn’t matter to me.”
“What does matter to you?” She bit her lip. It was a bold question, but he made her want to leap outside her comfort zone.
“Until the other night, not much.”
Wrapping Breena’s arms around his neck, Orin drew her into him until their legs twined together. “I’ve found something worth dying for.”
“Don’t most people want to find something worth living for?”
“How hard is it to live for something? To die for something is beyond most people.”
“You know, that was kinda poetic.” She tilted her head up toward him.
He tightened his arms around her. “Not meant to be poetic.”
“How’d ya mean it?”
“Death is risking it all.” He leaned down, his breath warm on her lips. “And I would, Breena. I would risk everything for you.”
He pressed against her, close enough that she could feel his heart beating fast against her skin. A soft heat warmed the gold in his mesmerizing eyes, and his mouth was right there, full and oh so inviting…
Witch Way to Turn
By Karen Y. Bynum
Witch Way Series Book #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Date of ePublication: August 6, 2012
Print: October 1st
Number of pages: (epub) 237
Word Count: 78,000
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.
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.