Q&A with Donna Augustine & Karma Excerpt

Karma (Karma #1)

  • By Donna Augustine
  • Editions: ebook, paperback
  • Published: July 8th 2014 by Strong Hold Publishing
  • Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
  • People say karma’s a…well, you know. Personally, I don’t think I’m that bad. It’s not like I wanted this job. I wasn’t even in my right mind when I accepted it. 

Now, I’m surrounded by crazy coworkers like Lady Luck, who’s a bit of a tramp, and Murphy’s Law, who’s a bumbling oaf.
    But the worst is Fate. He’s got a problem with transfers like myself and I have to see him constantly. It’s unavoidable, since we’re hunting the same man, my murderer.
    ~ Bewitching BT


    Karma Banner 851 x 315


    “No. Just you. Everyone has their own department. You are Karma.” He pointed toward me dramatically, the way someone would try and accent a meaning to a person who didn’t know the language.

    “I’m not sure I’m adequately suited for this position. Even for a month. I’m more of a “bygones be bygones” kind of person. Don’t you need someone a bit more vengeful?”

    He looked down at the file spread on his desk. “I would disagree. Your file said you would be an excellent candidate.”

    “May I see that?” I asked, eying up said file on his desk. How much did Harold know about me? Everything? That was an uneasy feeling. Even the best of us had our secrets and even though I considered myself a decent human being, I didn’t think I fell into the saintly category.

    The file didn’t look big enough for my entire life to be in it. It didn’t even look thick enough for a short story. Maybe just a highly edited Wiki version?

    “No, absolutely not.” He shut the Manila folder quickly, as if I were going to jump up and try to peek. The guy took neurotic to a whole other level.

    Okay, the file wasn’t that important. I needed to keep the peace and simply explain in better detail how I’d made an error in judgment. Be nice. My southern mother had always said you caught more bees with honey than vinegar. She had tried to drill it into my head since I was a small child. It wasn’t something I’d come naturally to, that was for sure, but it was a valid tactic, even if that wasn’t the lesson my mother had meant to instill.

    “Harold, when I agreed to work for you, I was under the duress of seeing my dead body. You can understand how jarring that can be, right? I wasn’t thinking clearly at all.” It sounded logical enough to me, but I wasn’t sure if he’d ever had the pleasure of dying and his manner didn’t scream naturally empathetic.

    He cleared his throat and I could tell by the set of his mouth that I wouldn’t like the next words. “I’m sorry, but that’s not how things work here. Like I told you, there’s a mandatory one-month trial period. An active one-month.”

    He leaned back in his chair and pushed his glasses up closer to his face. His almost black eyes, artificially enlarged from the lens, stared at me in a bit of an awkward way. I wasn’t sure if there was a bite to follow up his bark but his magnified beady gaze sure made the situation less than desirable.

    Still, beady gaze and all, I had to try one last time. Perhaps a different angle. Regardless of my record, he clearly thought I was an idiot; maybe that was the way to go. I had no problem playing a stooge if it got me out of here quickly.

    “As you stated, I’m a transfer. You really don’t want me. I’m a horribly slow learner. The mistakes I’ve made in my life, geesh, you’d squirm if you knew.” I twirled a finger in my hair for effect and wished I had some chewing gum to smack.

    “Yes, I’m well aware.”

    He was? Hey, wait a minute; I didn’t think I’d done too badly for myself. What were these jerks writing about me in that file?

    “Fate will help you with that.”

    And just like that, I had bigger problems. I wasn’t just stuck here; I was stuck with him. “The guy who helped me so far?”



    “It has to be him.” Harold threw his hands in the air, as if why am I bothering him? Not his orders.

    “Then I’ll work alone.”

    I’d be clueless but peaceful. There was something wrong about that guy. There was something too bossy or too intense. I couldn’t even describe exactly what it was about him that was too much, but it was.

    Even the brief moment I’d actually been in my right mind around him, it was as if his presence exerted some sort of gravitational pull, stronger than a normal person’s. As if his intensity could throw me out of orbit. And I didn’t want to go out of orbit. I had enough things to handle besides ping ponging around.

    “Non-negotiable. I’ve got orders.” Harold folded his hands and rested them atop his desk, littered with paper.

    “From who exactly?”

    “The universe.” His chin notched up a hair.

    “Would it be possible to speak to this universe person? I’m sure they’ll understand that there is a personality conflict.” It was time to bump my complaint to upper management.

    “No one speaks to the universe.”

    “Then how do you know what to do?” I leaned in a little.

    “Simple. Through my orders.” His eyes started to twitch.

    “Which you get how?”

    “My memos.”

    “Then you can send a memo to the universe. I won’t work with him.”

    “I’ll file your complaint but it won’t matter. And don’t forget, as I’ve already explained, it has to be an active month.”

    Twenty-five days. I’ve dealt with worse for longer. One case in particular came to mind. The guy actually tried to bite me when we lost. Harold didn’t seem inclined to bite and he didn’t get into my personal space. I could deal with him.

    On the other hand, Fate looked like he might be the biting sort.

    “Do the last five days count toward the thirty? Time served and all?”


    “These first days were highly unpleasant. Do you think I could get extra credit for those? Maybe, I don’t know, you could knock off a day or two? Like they do in jail for good behavior?”He squinted his eyes and tilted his head. I was going to take that for a no.


    1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?

    2. What would you say inspired you to write it?

    Watching some really lousy people continuously get away without any consequences.

    3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?

    In my last series, I started with a younger woman who really needed to grow up a bit. With this series, I thought it might be interesting to write about someone who was already strong and mature but was thrown for a loop. As far as an antagonist in this book, the fight is more against her new reality than a person. I do lay the groundwork for a specific antagonist in the latter part of the series.

    4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?

    Lots of times! There isn’t a perfect cure for me but I start with long showers, alternative music and writing badly for a while. I also will focus on conversations between characters. Dialogue is my crutch since it comes the easiest for me. I’ll have pages of nothing except conversations until I work my way out of the funk.

    5. Your all time favorite book?

    Currently, it’s Iced by Karen Moning but that might change if I read something really good tonight.

    6. What made you pick that one above all others?
    There’s an intensity in her writing and especially in that book.

    7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?

    I’ve got a horrible sense of time. If you ask me how many hours I wrote yesterday, I couldn’t tell you. Normally though, a project will start as a little seed while I’m working on a different idea. It’ll then percolate over time and I’ll take notes for a while before I start it. It’s just an extremely hard thing to calculate.

    8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?

    I don’t think it’s changed me but I might be more aware of who I am. When I’m writing a story, I’m forever thinking about motivations and natural reactions. It’s hard to not have some of that spill over into personal introspection.

    9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?

    Not so much now but I did constantly with the first couple of books I wrote. I’m extremely critical and I never felt like anything was good. For anyone who writes and is reading this, the second act can be pure torture. That’s when self-doubt hits the worst but you never know how bad or good something can be until it’s done. Just keep plowing ahead.

    10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?

    At this point, I’m able to write full time and I spend most of my day doing just that. I get up, drink coffee and after about half a cup in, I start to write. After that, it depends on how far along in the book I am. First drafts are shorter days and more sporadic with breaks. Rewrites I can write on almost nonstop.

    11. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?

    Karma is the first in the series. Jinxed is the second installment and the action definitely picks up in it. In Karma, there is a lot of series set up. In Jinxed, you really start to get to know the characters better and what they’re made of.

    12. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?

    13. What made you decide to go the self-pub way?

    This isn’t very romantic but it was a practical decision. I knew I wanted to write full time. After a lot of research and number crunching, I felt the odds were better stacked in the indie column.

    14. What would you say was the toughest part?

    The stigma attached to independently publishing although that is diminishing more and more.

    15. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?

    I have professional editors but I did the cover design myself. I love all things artistic. As to the formatting, I did pay someone in the beginning but had issues. Now I do it myself.

    16. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?

    That’s the hardest part. I had to really go through a lot of trial and error before I found people I was comfortable with. I’d recommend finding independent authors you like and see who they use.

    17. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?

    18. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?

    Most of my books are on the major platforms but Karma is enrolled in Amazon Select until early Nov. I just wanted to see how being in Select would affect sales.

    19. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?

    I probably would’ve started writing sooner.

    Fun facts:

    1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
    To never grow old.
    2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
    Islands for Dummies. If there were a mass exodus to all these islands and that book was sold out, maybe The Stand by Stephan King. It’s so long that I could get a lot of bang for my sand dollar.
    3. Name your favorite fruit.
    4. Coffee or tea? Coffee
    5. Favorite season?
    6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
    7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
    8. Favorite food for breakfast?
    Pancakes loaded with butter
    9. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
    Wheat Pennies
    10. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
    Tan. I swear, I’m not as boring as that implies.
    11. Drama or comedy?
    12. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
    Strive for perfection or don’t bother.
    13. Cats or dogs?
    I can’t choose because I love all things furry.
    14. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
    Neither. Corner bar with a pool table

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    About the Author & Links:

    Donna Augustine’s lifelong ambition was to become the crazy cat lady. Unfortunately, when family allergies cut short her dream of living in a house full of furries, she turned her ambitions toward writing. Combining her love of fantasy, scifi, horror and romance, she tries to string together interesting twists on urban fantasy.

    A native of New Jersey, when she isn’t writing, or overdosing on caffeine, she can occasionally be spotted in disguise at the local dog park.

    Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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