Skip to main content

Posts

Summer Loving...

It's shaping up to be the hottest summer in a long time... the washing's drying fast, the grass has gone yellow, and there's a threatened water shortage, but I'm not complaining (much) because it's rare to see blue skies and sunshine for days on end, and it'll be Christmas before we know it, and then I'll be moaning about the cold again.

Talking of which, I'm currently editing my Christmas book, the third and final novel in my Seashell Cove series. It's not easy to picture tinsel, Santa, fairy lights and carol-singers when the mercury's hit 31 degrees, I'm mainlining Magnum ice-creams and fake-tanning my shins after every shower. I was in a similar situation last year, and once again have resorted to listening to Christmas songs, which messes with your head a bit when the sun is beating down.

Once this book is done, I'll be out of contract, so am looking forward to a chat with my editor to see what's next - if anything. So far, my b…
Recent posts

Q&A with Amanda Brittany

I'm thrilled to welcome Amanda Brittany to my blog today, to talk about her debut thriller Her Last Lie. 

It's been described as 'gripping with a shocking twist' and I can confirm that it is!

(It also has an amazing cover)



Which character in Her Last Lie would you like to meet?
Hi Karen, thank you for inviting me to your blog.
I suppose feisty Roxanne is the character I’d most like to meet. She’s so determined to get to the bottom of things, and appears to be a good friend to Isla.
There are definitely a couple of characters in the book I would hope never to meet.

I know the book has several settings, which did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the second part of the book set in Abisko in Sweden. I visited Abisko a couple of years back, and it was great fun bringing the cold, bleak landscape to life, and describing the way The Northern Lights swoop across the night skies.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
No, not at all, they all sprang from my imagi…

Distracted

With the New Year comes the start of a new book.

I'd love to have a better writing routine, and a shedload more discipline, but seem to write the bulk of my books in the three weeks before deadline. It's good to have that motivation, but not the healthiest way to write, so I'm going to try really hard to develop a better system.

It's not as if I NEED to be on Facebook and Twitter, or to look for cake recipes (except in the name of writing research) or hoover the curtains, or chop down the overgrown hedge in the back garden, or start a new exercise routine - well, maybe the latter (trying out all those cake recipes) - but they're irresistible activities when faced with having to write 90,000 words that will make sense and entertain.

It's a funny old job. When I worked at the library, I didn't say, 'Ooh, I'll just check social media for puppies in baskets', or 'Hang on, I need to research paint colours, the walls are looking a bit jaded'…

Glad Tidings

So, now the season to be jolly is almost upon us, which means another year is almost over and, as usual, I'm left wondering how on earth it's happened. (Has anyone else noticed the tendency for people to start their sentences with 'So' these days? It drives me mad, which probably means I'm incredibly old and grumpy, and it won't be long before I'm moaning about music being too loud and tuneless, and young women wearing too much make-up).

I'm about to start writing my 5th book for Bookouture, which sounds impossible, but is true. Maybe that's why the year's sped by - it's been so full of words, and thoughts about words, and writing words, that there hasn't been much time for anything else, but I don't mind because I'm doing something I love, and that's a reward in itself.

Apart from writing, I've had some nice trips away this year, and spent time with friends and loved ones. We haven't travelled the globe or won the l…

It's (not-even-nearly) the Season to be Jolly...

I know it's only September, but my new book THE BEACHSIDE CHRISTMAS is out today. It's the final in the Beachside series and writing three books in a year means I've been pretty immersed in this world.
10 things that stand out about writing this series are...
1. The Beachside Sweet Shop gave me the perfect opportunity to make some coconut ice. I used to help make it with my grandmother growing up, and it tasted exactly as I remembered
2. Also, in the course of research, I tried eating pear-drops to see whether I’d grown to enjoy them – I haven’t. I always preferred chocolate and still do.
3. Shipley, the setting for the series, is based on Swanage in Dorset, one of my favourite places to visit, but I changed the name so I could use some fictional license when it came to naming and placing pubs and shops. 
4. I don’t have green fingers so there was plenty of research involved in writing The Beachside Flower Stall. I loved learning the meanings and symbolism of various flowers …

Like buses ...

You know that saying about not seeing a bus for ages, then two arrive at once? Or is it three? Or maybe it's not buses at all.

Anyway, it doesn't seem five minutes since The Beachside Sweet Shop was released, and now my second book is out, and available to download. Or order from a bookshop if you prefer a paperback version.

This doesn't mean I wrote a book in six weeks, just that it in the time it took to get book one ready for publication I wrote another, and my publisher thought it was a good idea to ride the wave of success of book one (20,000 sales and counting, I still can't believe it) by getting the next one out.

Obviously, to keep this up, I'd have to write a book a month (or something) which would probably mean my head would explode, so it's a bit of a relief that the third in the series won't be out until October. Though I have to write it first. It's a Christmas one, so the sunny weather we've had recently isn't conducive to mood, b…

Publication Day

It doesn't seem five minutes since I started writing THE BEACHSIDE SWEET SHOP but publication day has finally arrived. WHOOP!
The biggest thrill of all, was holding a printed copy in my grubby hands - a 'proper' book, as my mother (or anyone who doesn't like digital reading) might say. I'm so happy to have got to this stage, and if nothing else happens at least I've something with my name on to shove under people's noses display on my bookshelf. Okay, I'll be even happier if people read it and enjoy it. Early reviews have been good, so fingers crossed.
I'll be popping up with annoying regularity on some blogs over the coming weeks, writing about writing, and answering questions about writing, if you fancy joining the tour. None of it involves me actually talking, and I didn't even have to get dressed and leave the house, and I don't mind at all if you read from the comfort of your bed or sofa.


Now I'm off to celebrate with tea and cake,…