Author Profile – Karen Mahoney

Hi Everyone,

Here is the next in my Author Profiling posts!

Please welcome Karen Mahoney! I hope you all enjoy this wonderful author!

She is also offering a GIVEAWAY! See the bottom of this post for details!

Karen Mahoney

Karen Mahoney

Author Bio:

“THE IRON WITCH, THE WOOD QUEEN & THE STONE DEMON make up my YA contemporary fantasy trilogy for Flux in the US and Random House in the UK. It’s about alchemy, dark elves, and a girl with magical iron tattoos. FALLING TO ASH (September 2012), began a new series for Random House UK about an ass-kicking teen vampire called Moth. You can read more of Moth’s adventures in her very own 8-part webcomic, Moth Tales (

In my varied ‘career’ I’ve been a professional Tarot reader, a college counsellor, a dating agency consultant and a bookseller. Ever since I was six years old what I really wanted to be was Wonder Woman, but have instead settled for being a writer which is the best job of all! Currently, I live in London with way too many books, am a total geek, and really don’t mind if you call me Kaz.”

The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney

The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney

Title: The Stone Demon

Author: Karen Mahoney

Genre: YA Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fiction

They say the truth sets you free,

but they have no idea how far off base that is.

Free? I don’t think so.

After being tricked into opening the doorway to the Demon Realm by Aliette, the Wood Queen, Donna Underwood is faced with a terrible ultimatum from the newly released demon hordes: the alchemists must deliver the Philosopher’s Stone, or the world will be plunged into a devastating modern-day Dark Age. 

Donna is sent to London, where she can learn how to recreate the Stone and complete her alchemist’s training. But time is running out. As she faces Demian, the vengeful demon king, Donna realizes the awful truth about collecting the Stone’s elements. And this time, even braving death may not be enough to save the world.

Release Date: April 2013 – OUT NOW!
Where to buy: Amazon and all good bookstores!

Other Work:

  • The Iron Witch Series
    • The Iron Witch
    • The Wood Queen
    • The Stone Demon
    • The Lost Boy – Side story
  • Moth Series
    • Falling to Ash
  • Moth – Short Story
  • The Eternal Kiss – Short Story
  • Kiss Me Deadly – Short Story
  • Anthologies
    • Two and Twenty Dark Tales
    • A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls
    • Nyx In the House of Night

Mini Interview:

Questions from others:

1        Question from Jodie Claydon – What inspires you to come up with the romantic relationships between the characters and how they develop?

I’ve always believed that love is central to living, so it makes sense to always have romance be a part of my books. However, I don’t just stick to romantic love – love between family members, and especially love between friends. The friendship between Donna and Navin is just as central to The Iron Witch trilogy (in my mind, anyway) as the budding romance between Donna and Xan.

When it comes to the Moth books, I think that is potentially the more romantic of my two series, and I’ve developed the relationship between Moth and Jace significantly in the sequel to Falling to Ash. That book, Hunting the Dark, is only just in early edits so won’t be due out until Feb 2014 in the UK.

Message from Penelope Hannan – Firstly it’s really nice to read a book from a popular and well known author that is based in the UK!

2        Question from Penelope Hannan – How do you come up with the names for the characters in your books? I’ve never heard such unique names, are they based on names you know or are they completely made up?

I love coming up with character names! I take ages over it, though, which isn’t always so good. For me, it’s important that the names reflect the character in some way – especially for my main characters – but hopefully for all of them. I enjoy reading about the history and meaning of names. Often the names have personal significance, and could even just be a nod to something I like in popular culture or a book I read as a child. e.g. Donna is named after one of my favourite super heroines, Donna Troy (who used to be Wonder Girl), who has super strength as one of her main powers. That one was pretty easy! Similarly with Navin: I love the actor Naveen Andrews, and Navin is simply a variant of that Indian (Hindi) name. I wanted Simon Gaunt to sound creepy, and I think his name helps with that. Xan is short for Alexander, and that’s obviously a very heroic name that goes back through many centuries of history. I could go on! But I’d better not as I have lots more questions to answer… 🙂

3        Question from Penelope Hannan – Also how do you pronouce Xan? I say it as – Zan is that right or should it be more Zane?

Yes, I say it as ‘Zan’ too. Just think of it as a shortened version of Alexander, and that helps to say it right.

Message from Penelope Hannan – I’m only on the first book at the moment but already I’m hooked and hopefully will have finished it soon so I can start the second one 

4        Question from Penelope Hannan – Where does your inspiration come from for your covers? 

I don’t make my own covers, that’s all down to my brilliant publishers so I’m afraid I can’t really answer this one. It’s unusual for authors to get any real input when it comes to their cover art, but I will say that Flux in the US always ask me for a few thoughts before they get started. It was my idea to have Donna in her masquerade ball mask on the front of The Stone Demon! That was pretty cool.

Questions from me:

1        When did you first start writing? 

I’m one of those writers who always seems to have been doing some kind of writing. I wrote stories as a very young child. 

2        Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? 

Yes, always! I even told my teachers at school, and there was honestly never a time when I really wanted to be anything else. 

3        What drew you to writing Young adult paranormal stories?  

Probably just my love of folklore and mythology and all of that fabulous stuff. I grew up reading about vampires and faeries, so it makes sense to me that those things come through in my writing now. I do like writing about characters around the ages of 16 – 18. Those young people are on the cusp of adulthood, ready to cross the threshold and become who they were meant to be. There’s something intriguing about writing those sorts of ages: so much drama and high emotion, too. 

4        Where does your inspiration for these stories come from? 

I would probably answer this with something to similar to the one above! 🙂 

5        What was your favourite chapter to write and why? 

In the new book, The Stone Demon? Or in the whole trilogy? I’ll go with the latest book because there is a chapter I LOVED writing. Definitely the masquerade ball. No question about that. It is my unashamed homage to the film Labyrinth, when Sarah (played by Jennifer Connelly) dances with the Goblin King (played, of course, by David Bowie). 

6        Xan and Navin are 2 of my favourite characters, are they based on anyone you know? 

Navin is totally based on my boyfriend, right down to the biker jacket and humour. 🙂 Xan, on the other hand, is more a character who came out of my imagination. I had a dream about him once, actually. He even had scars on his back.

7        Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? I.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

I can’t listen to music when I write, but I am experimenting a little more with using it to get me in the mood to write certain scenes BEFORE I actually write them. Honestly, I am still working on my writing routine. I’m pretty chaotic… I usually can’t write too early, but again this is something I’m trying to work on. I like to have tea or coffee beside me when I write, and sometimes I write at my desk while others I’ll be in a cafe. 

8        Do you use a computer/laptop for your first draft or are you a pen and paper writer?  

I write notes and do brainstorming longhand in a one of my many, many notebooks. The actual writing, though, either happens on my laptop or the Alphasmart (and then downloaded to my computer later). 

9        Did you learn anything from writing your books?  What was it? 

That’s a good question! I think we always learn something from writing our books, but in my experience I’ve learned something new with each and every one. Even the ‘failures’ – which means they aren’t really failures at all, because I still learned from them. (For example, I have four unfinished manuscripts on my computer, all at different stages: one is just a few thousand words; one is 10,000 words; and two of them I stalled at around 40K. The unfinished books taught me that no writing is ever wasted.) With The Stone Demon, I suppose I learned to really listen to feedback from my editor. Without him I would NOT have written the book that I did. I’m so proud of the end result, but if you’d read the first draft you wouldn’t have recognised it. My editor saved me from myself!

10   How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? 

That’s so hard to answer because if I’m including the original idea in the time frame, it could be that I have the idea but just file it away and let my unconscious work on it in the background. I may not actually get around to writing it for months – or even years! If we’re talking about how long it takes me to do the actual writing, I probably take 3 or 4 months for a rough (very rough!) first draft, but then another 3 or 4 months to revise. At the moment I’m on a two-books-per-year schedule, and that’s enough for me. I don’t think I could be one of those amazing authors who writes three or more books per year! 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Shock. Awe. Gratitude. 

12   Who are some of your favourite authors?  

Here are just a few: Charlotte Bronte, Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Marjorie M. Liu, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Holly Black, Vicki Pettersson, Francesca Lia Block, Richelle Mead, Kathleen Duey, Courtney Summers, Sarah Rees Brennan… (I could go on. And on.) 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? 

I am pretty superstitious when it comes to talking about “writer’s block” to be honest, so if you don’t mind I won’t answer this one. My thoughts are long and complicated… One day I’ll write a blog post about it, but not today. 🙂 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Here are Kaz’s 7 Rules for Writers:

1. Read a lot.

2. Read widely, not just in the genre you want to write. Not just fiction. Read non-fiction, too. Read comics and poetry, not just novels.

3. Write a lot.

4. Read some more.

5. Keep writing.

6. Only ask for feedback when you feel ready.

7. Never give up.

15   Do you scrunch or fold?

Haha! What’s folding??

16   Would you share a deep dark secret about you with us?

I guess if you know me in real life this isn’t exactly a secret, but I swear a lot. I mean… a LOT. 😉


Any chance of a little sneak peak at more from Moth?

From Hunting the Dark? Okay, well… This is very rough. As I said before, we haven’t done any work on fixing it up yet so this might change, but here’s a tiny snippet just for you:

Theo brushed his lips across my cheek. “Would you like to dance?”

I shivered with pleasure, but still eyed him suspiciously. As usual, I hadn’t even seen him move. He was sneaky. “Did you invite me here just to dance? What’s going on?”

He flashed me his best pirate smile. “First, dancing. Then business.”

I gazed at him, taking in his beauty. His apparent age was mid-twenties, but he had the weight of centuries hidden in his eyes. If you looked carefully, you could see it like a shadow. He wasn’t especially tall—about five nine to my five-two—but what he lacked in height he made up for with sheer presence. If you didn’t know he was an almost-two-hundred-year-old vampire (and most people didn’t), you’d know that something was up with him. Either he was a soldier or a martial arts expert. Or maybe a serial killer. A hot serial killer. He was handsome as hell, with piercing silver-grey eyes that looked right into your soul.

Something about being this close to my Maker, with the smell of moonlight in his hair and fresh blood on his breath, made me sigh with a mixture of desire and distaste. I didn’t want to have feelings for him anymore, but they didn’t simply disappear overnight. Still, I figured that I had a long time to get over him.

Eternity is a good place to start, right?




Twitter: @kazmahoney

Facebook Page:

Moth Tales Webcomic:

Thank you so much for letting us get to know you and your books, Karen. I absolutely love all your books and I hope my blog readers do as well!

Everyone, please remember any questions or suggestions for Karen please write them in the comments section below.


Karen is offering ONE person the chance to win 1 of her 4 books (you choose which 1 you’d like to win) & she will sign it!.

Closes – Midnight GMT (UK time) Monday 15th April 2013. Winner will be announced on my blog Wednesday 17th April.

In order to be entered, please leave a comment below and state which book you’d like.



19 thoughts on “Author Profile – Karen Mahoney

  1. i would like the Iron Witch the first of your trilogy, i have followed you on my face book as my daughter georgina has been a great follow er of yours since the beginning, since i have been ill i have been down loading your books to my kindle, so please keep up the good work .

  2. Wow what a great interview and i love the answers to my questions thanks Kaz.

    I would really like to be entered in to the giveaway. i would like the first of the Moth series – Falling to Ash.

    Karen you are an inspiration.


  3. I would like Falling to Ash as it’s the only one I haven’t read so far. I’m anxious to because I really like the Moth Tales web comics though, and love the first two Iron Witch books(haven’t read the third just yet).

  4. excellent interview. I have not read your books before but I am off to check out the moth online comic and your facebook as well I would like the first book in the moth series should I be lucky enough to win

  5. Love the interview, and the Moth sneak peek – yay! If I won the giveaway I’d like The Stone Demon, I own all the other books 🙂

  6. I would love to win the first Moth book Falling to Ash, because I am in love with Moth but have been unable to find Fallling to Ash at the library or the bookstore!
    Congrats on the book release, I’m really excitied to see how you end this triology, it got so huge it the last book, I don’t know how you’re going to tie it all up. 😀

  7. I would love to get the first of the Moth series – all of these books are on my to-be-read list and I can’t wait to start! 😀

  8. COngratulations Kaz,
    If I win I would like the Iron WItch. My Son’s GF let me read a few chapters of her copy…now I’m curious

  9. Great interview & loved the snippet from Hunting The Dark!

    If I’d win I’d pick The Stone Demon – I tried to order it the other day at a Dutch website but it obviously doesn’t like me and I haven’t found it anywhere else yet. *grumbles*

    Kaz, congrats on publishing the entire trilogy once again! 🙂

  10. Pingback: And the WINNER is … | AuthorWorld

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