On Writing and Inspiration by Karen Moore
I am delighted to have author Karen Moore return to the blog to tell me about her writing and the inspiration for it as her new book Release is due for publication shortly. Thank you for your time, Karen.
I developed a fertile imagination at a young age, thanks partly to my father’s tales of his travels in the Merchant Navy and partly due to all the adventure stories I read. I soon began to start creating my own fantasies on paper. Writing was to become a fundamental part of my PR and marketing work and although it was mostly factual in nature, I could never resist embellishing the truth. I started writing short stories and soon found I was hooked, I loved it so much. My debut novel, Torn, started life as a short story and just grew and grew.
My favourite genre for both reading and writing is anything dark – thrillers, crime, suspense. I particularly like Nordic Noir, with its iconic characters and often bleak settings, and underlying social issues. I’m fascinated by the way people react when faced with dilemmas and situations outside their comfort zone and I try to explore this in my writing.
In Torn, a young Englishwoman, Hanna, discovers that her handsome and charismatic Sicilian husband, Luciano, is not all that he seems. She is horrified to find out the true nature of the family business, a discovery that leads her to fear for her own life and that of her small daughter, Eva. What should Hanna do to keep them both safe and how can she ensure her husband is brought to justice? The action plays out in a dual timeline in the contrasting locations of Sicily and North Wales.
The inspiration for Torn came from news reports of the distressing migrant situation in the Mediterranean, with large numbers of people trying to flee from Africa into Europe via Sicily in appalling conditions. Many didn’t survive the journey. Little seemed to be done at the time to bring this under control. The situation has improved, but nevertheless continues, albeit on a smaller scale and with a different focus.
I didn’t originally set out to write a sequel but this change of events, together with the nagging thought in the back of my head that my characters hadn’t finished with me yet, nor I with them, convinced me otherwise. Although a sequel to Torn, Release can also be read as a stand-alone novel.
In Release, the threat returns, and Hanna’s life is once again shaped by fear. Soon the boundaries between her current and previous life start to blur and a decision to return to Sicily for her best friend’s wedding turns out to have fatal life-changing consequences.
As part of my research during the writing of both books, I constantly monitored media reports and based some of the scenes on real-life events. I was able to draw on my own experience of the country for the characters and the settings.
And no, the series isn’t destined to end with Release. I’ve just started writing book three where we meet some of the characters several years later, although the action has now moved away from Sicily and Luciano’s family business. That’s all I’m saying at this stage - no spoiler alerts as to the plot!
Release is available to pre-order in e-book and paperback format on Amazon, ahead of publication day on 31st August, at http://mybook.to/releasenovel
The Blurb for Release
When Hanna’s estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian prison, she fears he will come after her and her young daughter, Eva.
The revelation leaves her with a dilemma. Invited to Sicily to attend her best friend’s wedding, can she really take the risk?
But even staying at home in North Wales may not be safe. Something strange is going on at her old cottage in the hills. As the lines between Sicily and North Wales blur, Hanna uncovers a criminal operation that leads her to fear for Eva’s life all over again.
Will Hanna ever be able to release herself from Luciano’s grip? Or will her discovery lead her into even deeper danger?
I live in leafy Cheshire in North-West England, not too far from the city of Manchester and the beautiful Peak District. Boss of the house is Lexi, a very vocal and affectionate part-tabby, part-tortoiseshell cat. I am a keen walker and am very lucky to have two country parks within walking distance of my house, one with fabulous views over towards North Wales in one direction, and the hills of Derbyshire in the other. I worked as a tour guide in Europe, North America, and Canada for several years, followed by a career in PR and marketing. When I’m not writing, reading, or walking, I like to travel, cook, and play tennis, although obviously not all at the same time.