by Karen Robards

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101210963
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2007
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 175,260
File size: 623 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Karen Robards is the author of over thirty novels, most recently the New York Times bestseller Pursuit. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


Heart to Heart Interview with Karen Robards

Heart to Heart: We love Vanished. It has such an adrenaline, ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it. How do you sustain this tension as you work on a book like this? Do you have the plot figured out from the beginning, or do things evolve as you go along?

Karen Robards: Thanks so much for the kind words about Vanished. I really enjoyed writing it, and it's always great to know that other people like what you do. As for sustaining the tension, I think it's all character-driven. As a writer, I create a character, in this case Sarah, and then try to get inside her skin. I feel her emotions -- loss, terror, love, resolve -- and do my best to convey them to the reader. When I start, I have a basic idea of where the plot is headed, but twists and turns crop up along the way that surprise even me. The book is a work in progress -- a journey -- until the very last page.

HtoH: There are some wonderful stories about your early writing days. Can you tell us how you came to write your first romance, "Sex and the Pirate Ship"?

KR: As a law student who discovered that law school was not what I'd thought it was going to be, I took a graduate-level creative writing course to keep my sanity. The assignment for that course was to write 50 pages of something publishable. What was "publishable" at that time were historical romances -- it was the era of Sweet Savage Love. I had never read one -- I thought I was way too intellectual to read books with titles like that -- but I bought several and read them. And you know what? They were great. I loved them. And I thought, I can do that. So I did, or at least I tried. I wrote 50 pages of a historical romance that I called "The Pirate's Woman." ("Sex and the Pirate Ship" was my joking title for it.) I really wanted to do a good job and get a good grade in the class, so I put everything into those 50 pages: action, adventure, snappy dialogue -- and sex. Lots and lots of sex. Then, along about Thanksgiving, the professor, in an "oh, by the way" moment, mentioned that we were going to have to read our creations out loud. In front of the whole class. I almost died. There was no help for it, however. It was too late to write anything else. Anyway, I was sure my stuff was good. Just -- ahem! -- maybe a little sexy. What I didn't know was that everyone else had written the Great American Novel, full of meaning and symbolism and all that good stuff. By the time it was my turn to read, though, I had figured it out, to my great dismay. There was no turning back at that point. It was, as I said, too late. When the time came, I stood up in front of the class and read "The Pirate's Woman" with my best dramatic inflection. I gave it my all. When I finished and looked up at last, it was to find the entire class staring at me. Wide-eyed. Open-mouthed. (Did I mention that it was a small class, maybe 12 or so students, approximately 11 of whom were male?) And you know what I (poor naive kid) thought when I found them staring google-eyed at me? I thought, they loved it. I've really wowed them. Then they started to laugh. They laughed until they were practically falling off their chairs. The professor, too. Finally he stopped laughing long enough to say, "Karen, you're a really good writer, but we've got to do something about your choice of reading material." Just for the record, I sold that book two years later. It was published in 1981 as Island Flame, and it is still in print today. Check out those first 50 pages. They're still the same.

HtoH: Tell us about the books that have meant something to you in your early stages as a writer -- and which authors you enjoy reading now.

KR: I've always been a reader. I love books, and reading is as much a part of me as breathing. I read anything and everything. As a girl, I loved Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind. I loved A Wrinkle in Time. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond. When I discovered historical romances, I loved those. And Regencies! I've always been a huge fan of Regencies. Mysteries. Horror. Science fiction. Now that I have children of my own, I read aloud to them. (My youngest is ten.) We're big fans of Harry Potter and Cornelia Funke's books (Inkheart plays a pivotal role in Vanished). Right now we're reading Kenneth Oppel's series, Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing. They are as enjoyable as any books I've read in a long time. I like nonfiction too, and biographies. As I said, anything and everything.

HtoH: What are you working on now? And what's the next book we'll see in the stores?

KR: I'll have another thriller, as yet untitled, out next spring. Readers can find out the title, etc., by checking out my web site, I'll post details as soon as they're available.

Customer Reviews

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Vanished 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow this was a great book i love her work i am 11 and this is my first of her books great way to get started though. 5year old lexie was kidnapped when she went down the street to get some b-day cake and so 7 years later sara turns to her best friend jake hogan a FBI agent so then when sara went into the pik-quik to get some dog food she got involved in a violant shooting and 2 weeks after that she starts getting phone calls from lexie but is it really lexie????????????????? YOU WILL HAVE TO READ AND FIND OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! But do u have the guts to read this well ploted horrer/mistery story???????? (Sorry for the bad spelling i am only 11)
pandawnmonium on LibraryThing 28 days ago
I read this in just two sittings. I was completely consumed by every page. Robards has a way of grabbing you and holding you there with her writing.
DunnFunKat on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Good story about a prosecutor, her FBI friend, missing children and murder. Didn't have a clue who was behind all the trouble until the very end.
AnneCurrin on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Was good, not as good as Beachcomber, but still a good read.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I've read other books by Karen robards that I really enjoyed.however, while this book had the potential to be great, I found it to be just okay. The story dragged too long and for it to end the way it did was anti- climatic. The ending wasn't realistic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Karen Robards books. I have every book she has written. But this book wasn't one I'll keep or read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not worth the money.
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Karen Robards writes a good story that keeps a reader turning the page and takes them through the character's reasoning of why they do what they do! Good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again, Karen Robards hits it on the head! A book full of emotions ... definitely reccomend
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angela256z More than 1 year ago
The plot was ok. I understand what was being said and how it is suppose to be read, but I think the lives of the characters were kind of out there. The ending is suppose to be a happy one, but just kind of falls short. It drops the love story and then when we continue the other it just ends.
Jenrae More than 1 year ago
This was my first Robards book. Though I did enjoy the story and as a mother I felt Sarah's pain this book was way too wordy...the story could've been told just as effectively in about 50 fewer pages. The story itself brings forth a lot of emotions and did make me cry. However, when Lexie's fate was revealed I thought I was going to vomit. I just couldn't believe that the writer went "there" even though she didn't give details about it, it doesn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago