Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Karen Hugg (“Hewg”) and I write literary mysteries and thrillers inspired by plants. I worked as a gardener in the Seattle area for years so my passion and knowledge are rooted (excuse the pun!) in all things green. Plants are these silent, fascinating beings and I want to bring that fascination to the page in exciting ways.
How do you find time to write?
Well, if you’re a mom and/or you have a full-time job, it’s really hard! Luckily, I always worked for myself in my gardening business and was able to carve out hours during the day when my kids were at school. Also, when they were little, my husband would take them away every Saturday morning and I’d focus on writing for a couple hours then. Now, they’re a bit older so I can actually work when they’re home.
What’s your publishing tips?
Try to craft as good of a story as you can. Take writing classes. Find writer friends and get feedback. Then, when you’ve gone over the story so many times you can’t see straight, submit it for publication. And brace yourself for rejections. It may take time. For some authors, it’s a hit after a few tries, but for most, it’s a hit after about 100 tries.
One thing I recommend is trying to publish shorter pieces in newspapers or on websites while you’re querying. Because rejection hurts, you need some sort of counter to that. So if you can publish a small thing, that one little “yes” will give you the confidence to keep going with your larger project.
Any promotional or marketing tips?
I would say zero in on why you’re writing, what your passion is, and then share that with the world. If you don’t know, search on mission statements and the OGSM business model for help. There’s a great book called Brand Yourself Royally by Nancy Blanton that I got a lot out of. She helps not only creatives but authors specifically figure out who they are as a public face (or brand) and how to communicate that to the world. It’s an excellent resource.
Tell us about your recent book
My latest novel is called The Forgetting Flower. It’s about a young woman who hides a dangerous plant in Paris. Here’s the description:
Secrets and half-truths. These litter Renia Baranczka’s past, but the city of Paris has offered an escape and the refuge of a dream job. The specialty plant shop buzzes with activity and has brought her to a new friend, Alain. His presence buffers the guilt that keeps her up at night, dwelling on the endless replays of what happened to her sister.
All too suddenly, the City of Light seems more sinister when Alain turns up dead. His demise threatens every secret Renia holds dear, including the rare plant hidden in the shop’s tiny nook. It emits a special fragrance that can erase a person’s memory—and perhaps much more than that.
As Renia races to figure out the extent of the plant’s powers, she’s confronted by figures from her past who offer a proposal she can’t outright refuse. Bit by bit, she descends into a menacing underworld of blackmarket mobsters, navigating threats and fending off abuse to protect the safe peaceful life she’s worked so hard for. Desperate to outwit her enemies, Renia maneuvers carefully, knowing one wrong move will destroy not only the plant, but the lives of her sister and herself.
You can order it from Amazon or through physical bookstores. Also, until I run out, I’m offering free The Forgetting Flower T-shirts to all new newsletter subscribers. There’s more info on my website. www.karenhugg.com. Thank you!