As a member of the Book Connectors group on Facebook, I have had the honour to host, meet, and befriend many wonderful book bloggers and authors. Today’s guest is a much-loved figure in the writing community, and frequents the same online haunts I do, making it far too easy for me to stalk invite her for a chat. I’m delighted that she has taken the time to pop in for virtual cake and talk about her latest novel, I do? …or do I? from Accent Press. Welcome to the blog, Karen King.
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
The West Midlands. I was born in Birmingham, lived in Cornwall for a while and now live in Worcester.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballet dancer! I took ballet lessons for a while but have no co-ordination.
List three words to describe yourself.
Dippy, chatty, upbeat.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Julie Walters – I think she could capture my dippy character very well. 🙂
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to teleport. It’d be great to just imagine yourself somewhere and you’re there, no more time spent waiting for buses/trains.
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I’ve written stories and poems for as far back as I can remember. I had my first poem published in the children’s corner of a local paper when I was eleven, which inspired me to carry on writing. When I’m not writing you’ll probably find me reading or watching the soaps whilst nibbling on a bar of chocolate.
You started your writing career at Jackie magazine *taking a moment to fan-girl!* before concentrating solely on writing books. Can you tell us a little about your progression from children’s magazines to novels?
I wrote photo stories and articles for Jackie, also romance stories for Loving and Patches, then moved onto young children’s magazines such as Thomas the Tank Engine, My Little Pony and Winnie the Pooh. I earned a living for years, writing comic strips, short stories, puzzles and activities for a variety of magazines. Writing activities for the magazines, and making things with my own children, gave me ideas for activity books and I wrote several for Scholastic. This led to me getting picture books and story books published too. I write for a living so will tackle anything – I’ve written joke books, plays, activity books and novels.
You’ve written over one hundred and twenty children’s books, but more recently you’ve published ‘grown up’ stories. What made you switch genres?
I love writing for children but have always dreamed of writing a long book, one I could lose myself in, like the chick-lits or romances I read. However, in the early days of my writing career it wasn’t financially viable for me to take a chance on writing such a long book which I might not even find a publisher for. When my children were grown up and I had less financial commitments I decided to give it a go.
Do you have a dedicated writing space?
I’m lucky enough to have my own room to write in now, but I can write anywhere. I often scribble down ideas while in bed, on the back of a receipt in the queue at the supermarket, on the train.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel, I Do?…Or Do I?
Here’s an extract from the beginning:
‘June! That’s only two months away!’ Sam squealed down the phone. ‘You can’t plan a wedding in two months.’
Which is exactly what Cassie had told Timothy when his mother, Sylvia, had suggested it. She could hardly believe she’d let them both talk her in to it.
‘The thing is, Sylvia heard there was a cancellation at Hollington Castle and she booked it for us. It’s a really sought after venue and we’d be mad to turn it down,’ she told Sam.
‘Are those Sylvia’s words or yours?’
‘Sylvia’s,’ Cassie admitted. ‘She’s right, though. We got a good price, too, because of the cancellation. Timothy and I went to look around yesterday and it’s an amazing place. It dates back from the eighteenth century, you know.’
‘You only got engaged on Valentine’s Day,’ Sam pointed out. ‘I thought you weren’t planning on getting married until next year?’
‘We weren’t, but it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. It’s normally booked up at least eighteen months ahead. Especially in the summer.’ She was repeating Timothy’s words to her yesterday when she’d expressed some doubt about arranging the wedding so quickly. ‘You do want to marry me, don’t you, darling?’ he’d said, and when she’d assured him she did he’d pooh-poohed her protest that two months wasn’t long enough to plan a wedding, saying his mother would help, and she’d found herself agreeing. Now it was all arranged, the venue was booked, they were getting married on 26th June – and she was starting to panic. How the hell was she supposed to organise everything in that time? There was her dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses, invitations, flowers, food, reception, favours, wedding cake … she was hyperventilating just thinking about it.
‘Look I know it’s short notice but you will be my maid of honour, won’t you?’
‘Yes, yes, yes!’ She could just see Sam, jumping up and down with excitement. ‘Oh, I was hoping you’d ask me.’
‘Of course I’d ask you, you’re my best friend. Who else would I want?’ Cassie told her. ‘Can you meet me for lunch and I’ll fill you in on all the details? Twelve thirty at Benjo’s? We’ve got an appointment with the photographer this morning so I can tell you all about that, too.’
‘What, already? I’m guessing that’s Sylvia’s doing, too?’
‘Yes, the people who cancelled the wedding had booked I.D. Images so of course they have a cancellation too, and Sylvia knows Daniel, the “D” in I.D., so he’s agreed to hold the slot for us. If we want it.’
Sam whistled. ‘As if you’d turn that down!’ She paused. ‘I thought you were going to the Discover France show today.’
‘I was, but Sylvia booked the appointment and Timothy can’t make it. He’s got to work.’
‘Whereas you just mess around… ’
Cassie sighed. Sylvia never took Cassie’s job as a features writer for the local newspaper seriously. Timothy was a partner in a law firm, whereas Cassie filled in time until she became Timothy’s wife as far as Sylvia was concerned. Sylvia had given up her secretarial job when she married Timothy’s father and devoted her whole life to looking after him, then Amanda and Timothy when they came along. She made it obvious that she expected Cassie to do the same when she married Timothy, even though Cassie had clearly stated that she had no intention of giving up work. ‘Luckily, Owen’s cool about it. He said I can swap my day off.’
What can we expect from you in the future?
Accent Press contracted me to write two more books, my second will be out in May and I’m working on my third at the moment. Accent are also republishing my YA, Perfect Summer, in the Spring.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can contact me here:
And you can buy ‘I do?…or do I?’ here:
Amazon – http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01CGKLOKQ
Accent Press http://www.accentpress.co.uk/i-do-or-do-i
Book Depository – http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781910939352
Thanks for hosting me, Shelley! You’re welcome, Karen 🙂
You can connect with me on Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram @authorslwilson or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/resolutionchallenge. You can also find me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/singlemum101