Welcome to Under the Cores, Karen!  We are so excited to have you here!  Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab are a few of our favorite series!  And we loved the latest addition MASKS that recently released.

Masks delves into the past of Mircea Basarab, a popular character in both your Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series, was his past something you had clear in your mind from the start of these series or something more hazy? 

I’ve always had the main outline, but I don’t mentally fill in details until I need to. It keeps the storyline fresh for me, as much as for the reader. So I knew for a long time (and said in the series some time ago) that Mircea was in Venice after his initial change. For a Romanian of his era, it was a logical choice, both for being one of the largest European cities of its day as well as a major trading partner with Wallachia. So, if you’re on the run and desperate to get a ship out of the country fast, there was a good chance said ship would be going to Venice. But I didn’t fill in all the details you read in Masks until I wrote it. 

Whenever I speak to someone about your books, it is almost inevitable that some will ask….Pritkin or Mircea? Which one would you chose for yourself?

Lol! You’re not getting me that way! I’d have to say, I love them both for different reasons. 😀

We love your Dorina Basarab series, is there any news on another one being out soon? 

Yes, I have a new Dory started. But I probably won’t have it finished until summer sometime, so the likelihood is that it won’t be out until 2015. But it will be a lot of fun when it gets here!

Will Cassie and Dory ever cross paths? If so how do you envisage that meet going?

Oh, I think you’ll have a chance to see that for yourself before long!

Your books all have such unlikely heroes/heroines, they are like the Spidermen of the UF genre, the underdog winning by the skin of their teeth, is this something you deliberately set out to do? 

Yes. I love UF (obviously), but one thing I don’t love is the overpowered heroes/heroines you often find in the genre. It destroys tension and therefore any drama in the storyline if everything comes suspiciously easily for the hero. And anyway, since when has life ever been like that? Maybe for some people, but I think far more of us have had to struggle to get anywhere, and can identify with that better. And a struggle helps a lot with character growth, too, because who grows when they don’t have to?

It’s also a factor with me that I try to stick fairly closely to the old fantasy tropes, a major one of which is the underdog learning and growing and becoming something more. Frodo Baggins type characters populate high fantasy, and frankly, watching them reach their full potential despite the odds has always been more inspirational to me than watching Perfect Girl ™ triumph over all victors by the power of her . . . leather cat suit?

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing women as the protagonists in stories, since there’s been (and still is) a major dearth female leads in anything but romance novels. And even there, they are often overshadowed by whoever is the “Alpha male” of the hour. But that isn’t how the world works, where women make up a large portion of the work force and deal with the same struggles, problems and, sometimes, successes, as do men. Fiction, even fantasy fiction, should reflect the reality we live in. And that reality is usually people working together to solve problems. I therefore like to write about both strong men and strong women characters. And I like to see them WORK, not survive/conquer because of some deus ex machina. I even like to see them fail once in a while and have to bounce back from that, because sometimes, that shows more strength than winning ever could.

I love that your books are jam packed full of action, but what do you find harder to write, action scenes or the sex scenes, and which do you enjoy more?

Plotting is hard; action, of whatever kind, is easy! As to which I enjoy more, it would depend on the scene. It’s a difficult question for me to answer, because I honestly don’t differentiate between the two. That may sound strange, but in my books, all scenes are there to further the plotline, and that’s true of both of the kinds you mention, so I don’t really see a difference. Basically, the plot gets what the plot needs, whatever that may be.

There are so many different elements and characters in your books, especially as your series are all linked, how do you keep track of who is who, who has said what, been there and done that? 

It’s hard sometimes! But then I just think of poor GRR Martin, with his cast of thousands, and I’m okay again. J

I loved seeing the world from Mircea’s POV, it made me like him all the more, can we expect to see further books showing us his past, or even his present? 

I would love to do more Mircea books, as well as Marlowe books, Lia books, even a few from Claire to show more of the interworkings of Faerie. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that I don’t really choose what I write. Neither does my publishing company. They publish (and therefore pay) me to write what sells. So, when people buy a book or leave a review, they’re basically saying “yes, I want to see more of this.” Or, if they don’t, they are essentially saying “no, this isn’t something that interests me.” So, as far as Mircea goes, we’ll have to wait and see what people decide.

What does a day in the life of Karen Chance look like? Are you glued to your screen from 9-5 with a strict schedule of breaks or is it a little more relaxed? 

I write best at night, so it would be more like 5-9, lol! But honestly, it’s usually more like 2-3 hours one day, and 14 the next. A lot of writing is thinking and plotting, and those don’t always keep to a perfect schedule. Although sometimes I wish they did!

Thank you so much for stopping by today and sharing with us!


A Mircea Basarab Novel

Fifteenth century Venice is a safe haven for the masterless dregs of the vampire world, a city where they can live without the fear of retribution for violating another’s territory.

Still, there are plenty of ways for a young vampire to die in the glittering city, a lesson that prince turned pauper Mircea Basarab must learn quickly. But there are opportunities, too—in the service of a secretive courtesan, in the bed of a beautiful senator, and in the hunt for an ancient assassin.

As a vendetta older than Venice itself comes to a climax, Mircea struggles to evade the dangers of his current life, to come to terms with his past, and to uncover the truth hidden behind a city of masks…

Read Our Review of MASKS

Read our Cassie Palmer reviews

Read our Dorina Basarab reviews

Check out our fantasy cast for Cassie Palmer

Dorina Basarab makes our TOP TEN VAMPIRES countdown!

Dorina Basarab makes our TOP TEN KICK ASS HEROINES countdown!


[about-author author=”Karen Chance”]




Ms. Chance is giving away a $50 gift card to winners choice of Amazon or B&N!


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  1. Great interview. I’m a huge fan of the underdogs in UF! I love reading books where the characters are imperfect and not necessarily powerful, perfection is overrated…LOL I’m starting the Cassie Palmer series soon and am excited after reading this interview with Karen…sounds like my kind of writing!

  2. I am excited that Masks is out. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I will soon. I love Karen Chance’s books. I will try to be patient until next year for the new Dory book. I enjoyed the interview, ladies!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  3. Love the Cassandra Palmer series, and always had a soft spot for Mircea *happy sigh* Can´t wait for my chance to read this!
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Saturday!

  4. i’m still unsure about what i think of mircea so learning more about him would be great .
    i love cassandra palmer’s series and dorina’s^^
    thank you for the giveaway too

  5. I love Mircea and it would be great if there was more from his POV. I have to say, even if he might not be right for Cassie, I still would pick him over Pritkin just because I like him so much.

  6. I fell in love with Dorina’s series, and I do own the books in the Cassie Palmer series but haven’t had a chance to read them yet…would love to read about Mircea – I think he’s a fascinating character. Thanks for the info on Karen’s new books and what’s coming up next.

  7. Interview was fantastic, love Karen’s books and this one will be awesome. thanks for the giveaway

  8. I really can’t wait to read Masks. I’ve loved every single one of your books. Can’t wait to read more!!

  9. Love her books…it have to wait a bit before starting a new book after reading cassie to give myself time to process everything that happened. 🙂

  10. What an intriguing book! Karen is a new author to me and I will be checking out her series. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Karen is a new author for me but her book sounds great! Love the interview and the cover is beautiful! Thank you 🙂

  12. I always love hearing about what’s going on in an author’s head when they write a book.. this was great thanks for sharing! And also for introducing me to a new author 🙂

  13. Great interview! It’s interesting that leaving reviews can impact which books are published! I had never heard that before. Talk about a way to inspire fans to review- I will be, for sure! I need more Cassie/Pritkin! Cannot wait for the next book.

  14. I love this series. It’s one of my top favorites. It has everything I love: action, humor, romance, great characters and an intricate plot.

    I also love both Mircea and Pritkin for different reasons. But I’m looking forward to seeing Cassie with Pritkin.

  15. Just found this site, via The Karen Chance-page on Facebook. And I believe I will be returning! Great interview, and I love Chance’s books – every one of them 🙂

  16. I’ve never read anything by this author but after reading your interview I know I will be reading something of hers soon. Thank You 🙂

  17. Cassie’s been spending a lot of time with Pritkin, which I love, but it’s nice to see some Mircea again. I thought Masks was going to be shorter, so I was surprised he got his own novel.

  18. I adore this series and I’m dying for that moment where Dori and Cassie’s meet. There paths have already crossed though, right? Cassie sent Dori out of Mircea’s room, Dori just didn’t know it…. right? that’s how I understood it at least.

  19. I love your interviews. UTC asks such interesting and insightful questions. Thank you. Ms Chance, this sounds like a wonderful addition to your book list. I look forward to reading it. Thank you.

  20. Great interview! I looove books with vampires! <3
    Amazing giveaway, thank you for the chance to win!

  21. Great interview. I love this series and Mircea has always been my favorite. So awesome to get a little of his backstory.

  22. This looks similar to my enclosure we bought recently, very pleased about it for any person found on the fence when it comes to buying
    one, get it done, you will not regret it