Better Late than Never

Jun 17, 2019 by Karen Janowsky, in Superheroes , Writing

My first in-store book signing was last week. It was amazing. I met some interesting people, including other indie writers who told me about their own work and aspirations to publish. Several people I know showed up, some of whom happened to be out and about, and were surprised to find me there and that I’d written any books. A few of those people were actually yoga students of mine! I’m so thankful for the support I got from friends and community.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty introverted, and nonstop visiting with lots of people, as much as I love, it, is a little hard sometimes. I had a few conversations where I discouraged parents from purchasing the books for their teenagers, urging them, “They’re really not meant for kids” (knowing look as I make eye contact). Occasionally, I needed to follow up with, “The books have ‘mature’ content, especially in the second two books.” Sometimes, I’d have to add, “The books are…um…explicit in places.” As much as I wanted to make the sales, it’s good to know who the audience is! Getting people to NOT buy my books is easy. On the other hand, selling is hard work. I’d hoped that a local newspaper would do a lot of it for me by publishing an article the bookstore owner, Joe, had asked me to write. Unfortunately, there was no room in that week’s edition.

I love talking about all kinds of things…except for myself. Plus, I kind of liked the article. I learned through all the conversations I had that evening that readers really like to hear about where authors get their ideas, how they write, and, most importantly, what the books are about. Surely, this is true of online readers as well as in-person ones. To that end, here’s the article about me, my writing, and the stories, themselves.

And as always, thank you for reading and supporting my work. It means the world.


Ask Karen Janowsky, author of the new book series, The Persistence of Memory about superhero movies, and you’ll get an enthusiastic conversation started. “I’m a huge fan,” she’ll tell you. “A long time ago, I was very disappointed to find out that flying an invisible airplane while wearing a sparkly swimsuit to save the day wasn’t a viable career option.” The Persistence of Memory is an unusual series of novels. Most superhero books are geared toward young adults. This serialized trilogy, however, is most definitely adult in terms of its theme and writing style.

“Superheroes and mythology have fascinated me since childhood,” she says. “In fact, one is really a modern version of the other. Heroes in these stories are all-too-human, but the stakes in their decisions and actions are much higher than for everyday people.” This, she believes is why today’s popular characters are so relatable. In her trilogy, Karen focuses on the human foibles and realistic issues we often face in life, but with much more on the line than one or even a few lives. The books delve into topics such as sacrifice, post-traumatic stress, and sexuality.

It is these issues, and the way they are so deftly handled, that gear the books to an adult audience. The books focus very heavily on character development with a good deal of introspection, and on the hard choices we all must make sometimes between what is right and desirable for ourselves, versus what the right course of action is for the larger population.

The main characters, Daniel and Nina, are based on composites of several superhero tropes. Readers will see similarities to some well-known popular characters, but Ms. Janowsky quickly imbues Daniel, Nina, and the entertaining and interesting supporting characters with unique personalities. A reviewer for BookLife says, “The story is unquestioningly original, and wonderfully imaginative.”

The books combine several different genres, making them difficult to classify. It merges the superhero fantasy genre with an intense love story that eventually evolves into a steamy romance. Be warned: the first book is a very slow burn, and the relationship takes some time to set up. Without giving away spoilers, there are good reasons for this, and the payoff is worth the wait if you’re a fan of mythology and romance. By the time we get into the second book, the content is most definitely for adults-only. None of the love scenes are gratuitous, though. They “sizzle and are rendered with a careful attention to underlying emotions. There’s no gratuitous sex here—each instance deepens our understanding of the characters, of their relationship, and moves the plot forward,” says an Amazon reader.

The story itself focuses on Daniel, a time-traveled, Holocaust survivor who had undergone horrendous experimentation by the Nazis. Catapulted into the twenty-first century, he is out of place and out of touch. He now leads an underground group of superpowered misfits in an organization called W.I.S.E., which exists in a subbasement of a university in Georgetown. Nina, his new neighbor and a university archivist, has no memory of the past whatsoever, but encyclopedic knowledge of ancient history. Soon, dangerous creatures appear and target her. As Daniel and Nina work to solve an ancient, cryptic myth, they experience flashbacks to things that never could have happened…things from millennia ago. The key to saving the world depends upon their remembering that a lifetime ago, they met, and they fell in love. As their shared pasts come back to haunt them, their fight is to stay together as the world falls into chaos.

BookLife has lauded Book 1 for “incorporating diverse elements of history and mythology into a romance that transcends time.” Not everything is resolved in the first book. Janowsky takes her time to create a detailed world and highly nuanced characters. The Self-Publishing Review says, there are “flashes of brilliance in the writing…It is this beauty in the prose that carries the book, even with a riveting story and unique take on the superhero genre.”