Hi everyone! This weeks author interview is with Karen King whose deliciously titled novel Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel was published today by Bookouture! Happy publication day, Karen!
Tell me a bit about you and your latest work.
Hi Katie, thanks for inviting me over to your blog. I write mainly YA and romance novels, five of my romance novels are published by Accent Press and I was delighted to sign a two-book contract with Bookouture earlier this year. The first book, Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel, is published on 9 November and the second book will be published in February. Snowy Nights is set in Cornwall, one of my favourite places, and has been well-received by reviewers so I hope that readers will enjoy it too.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Dippy, chocoholic, feisty
How would you Twitter pitch your novel?
A heart-warming, romantic, festive read that will leave you feeling all loved up and cosy inside.
What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
- Stop faffing about and get the first draft down.
- Revise, rewrite, revise, rewrite.
- Never give up.
Are you a panster or plotter?
A bit of both. Once I get my story idea, I write down the basic plot and profiles for the main characters in the story than I start writing. I write as it comes, not stopping to edit but highlighting anything I need to check and making a note in the margin of anything I want to change. The outline is only a basic guide so if the story goes off at a tangent or a character does something unexpected and it works I leave it in.
What does success look like to you?
Readers telling me that they have enjoyed reading my book.
How do you choose your character names?
Often the names just come to me but if I get stuck I Google a list of character names and choose the ones that best suit my characters.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Yes. It’s a good way of finding out if any pirate sites are offering free downloads of my books -I’ve found several this way.
What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
It depends if I’m on tight deadline or not. I carry on writing until I’ve worked through it if I am. I put it away for a couple of days and do something else if I’m not.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends how long I’m given, and how long the book is! I usually have a contract, thus a deadline, when I write. If I don’t I can procrastinate forever. I had nine months to write both books for Bookouture and managed to meet the deadline.😊
What’s your main weakness as a writer eg.SPaG, continuity etc?
Description and setting. My first draft is full of action and dialogue, I have to go back over it and describe the characters and setting more.
What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
Hardest – getting the idea out of my head down onto paper/the screen. Easiest – thinking of story ideas, they constantly tumble into my mind. I have a notebook with story ideas I intend to write one day.
Describe your writing process in 3 words.
Outline, write, edit.
If your book/one of your books got made into a film, who would play the main roles?
I don’t think I’d care, I’d just be over the moon that the book was going to be made into a film.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
Writing paragraphs of setting and description. I started writing for children’s magazine where every word counted and the pictures told the story so there was little description, if any. So it was a daunting task for me to learn to describe things in detail and paint a picture of the setting. I still struggle with it. In my first draft the beach is a beach, in my second draft it becomes a vast expanse of soft, golden sand, with the azure sea trickling onto the shore…
Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
I use pen and paper to plot the story then write straight onto the computer. I always print out a copy to edit though as it’s easier to spot mistakes in print than on the screen.
Who’s your favourite author and why?
There’s too many to mention but Sophie Kinsella is a big favourite, as is Sharon Shinn. I also like Mandy Baggot and Sue Moorcroft.
(Keep an eye out for my interview with Mandy on Friday 16th november!)
What’s your favourite book?
Gone with the Wind.
How do you relax?
Reading, watching the soaps – I’m a big Corrie fan – going in the pool in the summer, socialising.
And now for some silly questions just for fun:
Tea or coffee?
Tea when I wake up, coffee the rest of the day.
Beer or wine?
Wine – preferably rosé
Chips or curly fries?
Puppies or kittens?
Summer or winter?
Snowy rooftops, mulled wine, and a hot single dad. Not the Christmas Saffy wished for… but maybe the one she needs?
Twenty-nine year old Saffron Baxter knew her holiday plans didn’t stand a chance the moment her sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of being home before Christmas. Saffy would just have to abandon thoughts of wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall.
Because every year her sister hosts a huge Christmas meal for all the single parents in her village. And Saffy knows it’d break her heart to let them down.
Arriving as snow starts to fall over the thatched cottages of the little harbour town of Port Breok, she meets Logan – the tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed, devoted single dad who lives next door, with his adorable daughter Chloe. At first she thinks he might help her make Christmas Day extra-memorable, but he just seems convinced she’ll never manage – that she’s just a party girl who doesn’t care about Christmas, or anyone’s feelings.
Maybe he’s right. After all – she doesn’t want to settle down, she’s only there for a few days… But she’s still determined to do her sister proud with gorgeous decorations, the most beautiful real tree – complete with extra twinkly lights, and delicious mince pies. To make it a Christmas everyone will remember, especially little Chloe. Even if, when the mistletoe comes down, she knows she’ll probably never see Logan again…
The perfect festive romance novel, ideal for fans of Nora Roberts, Jenny Hale and Debbie Macomber.
Karen King started her writing career writing for Jackie magazine and children’s comics such as Postman Pat and Winnie the Pooh. She is a multi-published author of children’s books and romantic fiction. She has had 120 children’s books published, two young adult novels, five romantic novels and several short stories for women’s magazines. She was delighted to sign with Bookouture earlier this year for two romantic novels, the first one Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel will be available on 9 November.
When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.
Grab your copy of Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel here: https://amzn.to/2OYIsqA