I would like to welcome Karen Clarke, author of The Cafe At Seashell Cove,My Fiction Obsession! I have a few questions for you Karen:
1. What is the first book that made you cry?
I loved horsey books when I was younger, and Black Beauty by Anna Sewell made me cry.
Anything with animals has that effect!
2. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I only discovered recently that publishers pay a lot of money for certain books to get onto
bestseller lists. That seems unethical to me – unless it was my book, of course ☺
3. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! When I’m in the zone, I can keep going for ages, but when I stop I’ll crash.
4. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Probably thinking it’s easy as writing the story and submitting it to agents and publishers.
Someone wise once said, all writing is rewriting. It took me a while to get that! Also,
believing it’s a route to fame and fortune.
5. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I suppose a big ego could help with self-promotion, but it could easily back-fire and you’d
end up annoying people.
6. What is your writing Kryptonite?
I’d have to say the Internet. I can waste hours on social media, when I should be writing.
7. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
I’m passionate about reading and don’t ever remember a time when I had reader’s block. I go
through phases now and then when a book doesn’t hold my attention for some reason, but I’ll
quickly move on to another.
8. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, I like having my own name on a book cover! I would if I wrote in a different genre,
9. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to write the sort of books I like to read, and hope other people like them too. I’m not sure
trying to be original would work, though obviously I don’t want to copy what other writers
10. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Probably not. I think you need empathy, and an understanding of human emotions to write
11. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start writing sooner, because it’s going to take a long time, and it won’t be easy to get
12. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It made me very good at meeting deadlines, as I had to write and deliver 3 books in a year.
13. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Probably on an online writing course, called The Writer’s Bureau. It focused on non-fiction
to start with, and I was lucky enough to have my first couple of submissions accepted, which
gave me the confidence to carry on writing.
14. What did you do with your first advance?
Advances come in three stages, so it’s not a huge chunk of money in one go (unless you’re
JK Rowling!) so my first was eaten up by bills and so on. Now, I get a percentage of royalties
rather than an advance.
15. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
From the first time I wasn’t well as a child. Reading took my mind off feeling ill, and
transported me to another world.
Thank you so much Karen!