I am delighted to have bestselling English author, Karen Moore, visit the blog today. Thank you for making the time to stop by, Karen.
Please tell my readers a little about yourself
I’ve always had a vivid imagination and when I was little, I’d often go off on imaginary adventures with my imaginary friends. Boundaries didn’t exist so the possibilities were endless, much more exciting than real life somehow!
Later, I toyed with the idea of becoming an actress but ended up studying languages and becoming a tour guide. Several years travelling around Europe, North America and Canada were followed by a stint in PR and marketing. I particularly enjoyed the copywriting involved and it wasn’t long before I discovered my creative writing side and became hooked.
What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, playing with words, and dreaming up stories. Working in PR and marketing was a perfect opportunity to start being creative with the truth, but it was never enough of an outlet for my imagination. Although spare time was in short supply, I started writing short stories. My first novel, Torn, was a short story that just grew and grew.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I love the freedom and being able to escape to locations, and with characters, of your own choosing. And there is always something new to learn. I also love the way new ideas surface at the most inopportune moments, and how characters assume lives of their own and develop in ways that you hadn’t always anticipated. And it’s always wonderful to get feedback from readers, especially when they’ve enjoyed your novels.
What is your writing routine like?
It can be a little haphazard. I’ve always been used to working to strict deadlines in the past so now I like to be more flexible. I find I work better and more creatively if I don’t restrict myself to a rigid schedule. Mornings are best for me when my mind is refreshed and raring to go, spurred on by copious amounts of caffeine.
How much time do you spend on research?
Quite a bit, both in the planning stages and throughout the actual writing, as well as doing final checks during the editing process. Both my books are based on actual events and actual places, although the stories and the characters are entirely fictitious.
How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?
From the initial idea, I develop an outline for the story with a beginning, middle and end. This acts as a framework to work from. I find that as I’m writing new ideas pop up all the time. For me, this is the exciting part of the writing process and I want to keep an open mind and be flexible enough to include these if I choose to.
What do you think is most important when writing a book?
For me, these are all important. My debut novel, Torn, started out as a gem of an idea with a real social issue in a specific location – Sicily. The characters were created as a consequence, but I grew to love them so much I couldn’t abandon them and continued to follow them up in my latest book, Release.
I’ve always been fascinated by how ordinary people react to crises and how some can grow stronger as a result. My main character, Hanna, is tested to the limit over the course of both books and has to adapt and change if she and her daughter are to survive.
What is your latest book about?
Release is the sequel to Torn, although it is written as a stand-alone novel. Without giving too much away, Hanna, the main protagonist, has settled down to life in North Wales with her new partner, Rhys, and young daughter, Eva, having left behind her Sicilian past. But everything changes when her estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian jail just as she is due to return to Sicily for her best friend’s wedding. Does Luciano still pose a threat, and should she go ahead? Or would it be too risky to return?
What inspired it?
The initial inspiration for both books was the influx of media reports about the plight of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe in the hands of unscrupulous traffickers and the scale of the problem. Release was inspired by the stories of how some migrants were forced to live once they’d arrived in Europe.
Any new books or plans for the future?
Yes, I’m currently writing my third book which features the main characters from the first two, but now they’re facing new challenges away from Sicily. My books are stand-alone novels that don’t have to be read in sequence.
What genres do you read most often?
Thrillers are my favourite genre. Anything on the dark side, really. I particularly love Nordic noir with its iconic, often bleak, settings and its social issues, and psychological suspense. But I also like to read the classics. It’s good to read more widely and find writers outside your usual comfort zone.
Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?
For me, the writing journey is just as important as the finished product. Writers spend so much time and effort on their books, it’s vital that it’s a labour of love. If writers love their books, there’s a good chance that their readers will too.
Karen Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre. She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.
Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in Italy and France and is now based in Cheshire, England.
Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. Her second novel, Release, has recently been published. Release is the sequel to Torn but is a stand-alone novel in its own right. Karen is now working on a third novel in the series.