Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Kara Isaac Interview - One Thing I Know

Photo Content from Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac is a RITA® Award winning author who lives in Wellington, New Zealand where she writes contemporary romance with heart and humor. Her supportive husband has not read any of her books because they contain "way too much talking and not enough gunfights". When she's not chasing three little people or working her "real" job, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand.


What inspired you to pen your first novel?
During Christmas 2005, I was staying with my parents for three weeks who at the time lived in the middle of nowhere. I was bored and a friend had challenged me to try to write a book so I figured I had nothing better to do so I had might as well try. The resulting manuscript will never be published but it created a dream that turned into a hobby that eventually turned into a side-career J

Tell us your latest news.
My next book is due in eight weeks so hopefully it’s that by the time you’ve read this I’ve made great progress on my current manuscript which is currently so behind schedule that I get a little twitch when I think about the magic that needs to happen between now and the end of March!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
My love of romcom movies. All the great romcom movies have that scene at the end where the watcher feels giddy. That’s how I want a reader to feel when they finish my book and it’s my yard stick for the final scenes.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Mostly I just hope that they’re engaged with the story and care about the characters. For me the worst reviews aren’t the one-stars where people are enraged by something because at least there’s feeling there. The worst reviews are the 2 or 3-star ones where someone was bored or found the whole story forgettable.

Did you learn anything from writing ONE THING I KNOW and what was it?
I’ve learnt to what extent I’m willing to step outside of the box for my characters, even knowing it will not sit well with some of my readers.

My first four books were in the inspirational/Christian contemporary romance genre and with that comes particular expectations from some readers. I’ve always known that Lucas and Rachel’s characters would not lend themselves to the kind of all-tied-up-in-a-bow-on-the-last-page spiritual journey that some readers would like. They are both complex characters with a lot of baggage and it was important to me for that part of the story to be organic to who they are. I know that the creative choices I’ve made in that aspect of the book are true to who they are but it would be fair to say that it hasn’t been a popular choice with some early reviewers.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rachel, how would you introduce her?
Rachel Somers has a very small world. In the beginning of the book it’s all of about five people. She is fierce and loyal and trapped in a life that she wants to escape but believes she deserves. She has a hard outer shell that hides someone who would do anything for the people that she loves.

What part of Rachel did you enjoy writing the most?
Her change from a cynical skeptic who is convinced that she doesn’t deserve happiness to someone who dares to hope that maybe she’s wrong.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Lucas?
All of my previous books have been set outside of the US so I learned a whole lot about Wisconsin sports teams creating Lucas. Most of it didn’t end up making it to final cut!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Probably Becky Wade. Not in a hands on sense but in the sense that it was her book, My Stubborn Heart, that helped me to believe that there was space in the market for my voice. And every book that she writes inspires me to push myself creatively with what I’m working on.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Never be ashamed to quit a book. Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy (assuming you’re reading for pleasure, not for a class you need to pass!)

  • 1. I finished the manuscript that would become One Thing I Know in September 2012 on the plane on my way to a writers’ conference. 
  • 2. I told myself that if it didn’t get any agent interest in it at the conference that it was a sign that I needed to give up chasing the publishing dream for awhile. I ended up with five agent requests for partials. 
  • 3. It was the second manuscript I ever completed but it will be my fifth novel published.
  • 4. Its original title was Chasing Rachel.
  • 5. It was the manuscript that got me signed by an agent.
  • 6. My to-be-agent’s first lot of feedback was that Lucas needed a rewrite because he came across as too “valley girl” – a term that we don’t use in New Zealand so I spent ages Googling it trying to figure out what he meant! 
  • 7. It made it to four publishing boards in 2013 before being rejected by all of them. 
  • 8. It got resurrected in 2017 when I pitched my editor a new “series” based around three estranged friends who find themselves reconnecting ten years after the event that tore them apart. 
  • 9. I always cry in chapters 28-29 even thought I have read them hundreds of times. 
  • 10. When I first started writing it there was supposed to be a completely different hero (an ex-boyfriend who called into Lucas’s show) but then Lucas showed up on the page and wouldn’t get off so the ex-boyfriend got ditched.
What is the last movie that you saw at the cinema?
Mary Poppins with my sister during our Christmas vacation :)

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

Adult tapeworms can grow up to 25 meters and live in their hosts for up to 30 years.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Probably back to the first year of marriage. Our first addition was a “surprise” that we found out about on our first wedding anniversary so I would have enjoyed all the free time that we had a whole lot more!!

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Usually the to-do list for the day. Unless I’ve been writing right before bed. Then I’m usually trying to unravel a plot problem.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Use their passport.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
Hiking up Machu Pichu. Or three months in Tuscany eating my body weight in Italian food!

Where can readers find you?

I’m on Instagram @karaisaac.author, on Facebook at Kara Isaac – Author, Twitter @karaisaac and at 
But I will never be on Pinterest so sorry to those of you who are Pinteresters 

A fresh, heartfelt romance involving a case of mistaken identity when a ghostwriter masquerades as a relationship expert and the man who is determined to expose her holds not only the key to her success, but also her heart…

Rachel Somers is America’s #1 relationship coach—America just doesn’t know it. Rachel writes the books, but her Aunt Donna plays the face of the operation. Afraid of their secret being exposed, Rachel has no choice but to keep up the charade or lose the big money required to care for her father.

Lucas Grant is a star of late night radio and set on achieving his dream of syndication. When a big-time producer calls, it looks like his hard work is about to pay off. But the offer comes with a catch—the producer is convinced Dr. Donna is not what she seems and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart?


"One Thing I Know has everything I want in a feel-good romance: chemistry, banter, humor, heart—and a charming hero from the mighty Midwest. Faith without a sugar coat, families that walk through broken spaces into firmer footing, a love that finds its way toward 'always'— Isaac’s novel is a total gem." Kimberly Stuart, author of Heart Land 

"Winsome and wholly satisfying, Isaac delivers a fresh take on love, regret, and the secrets that breathe between them." 
Carol Award-winning author Nicole Deese 

"Once again Kara Isaac reminds us why she is a RITA award-winning author in her fabulous new release. One Thing I Know is the perfect balance of hilarious dialogue, exquisitely appealing characters and a flawless sense of pacing. This lovely, unforgettable story will resonate with anyone who has struggled to stay true to the person God has called them to be." 
Tammy L. Gray, RITA Award-winning author of My Hope Next Door 

You can purchase One Thing I Know at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KARA ISSAC for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac. 


  1. I've been married 40 years...don't remember that far back.

  2. The first one I had with my husband, before he was my husband.

  3. Dinner at Seattle's Space Needle restaurant at sunset.

  4. Harley riding to wherever we felt like going. No plans.

  5. The best date that I ever had was when I made my guy drive while he couldn't see that well. But afterwards we got to spend more time together because we got lost. lol