Karen currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—southern women’s fiction—and has recently expanded her horizons into writing a bestselling mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. Her fourteenth novel, The Beach Trees, was released in trade paperback by New American Library, a division of Penguin Publishing Group, in May, 2011 and debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number fifteen. Her fifteenth novel, The Strangers on Montagu Street (the third book in her mystery series) was released in November of 2011 and at number fourteen on the New York Times bestseller list..Contact her at http://www.karen-white.com/ on facebook.com/karenwhiteauthor and email her ,AuthorKarenWhite@aol.com .
It's our pleasure to welcome Karen White to our blog. Karen has graciously offered one of her books as a giveaway to one lucky commenter.
Karen White on Sea Change
Your latest book, Sea Change just released., can you tell us about it?
It’s set in beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia, and is a book about mothers and daughters as well as family secrets, past loves, and second chances. My publisher sent me to St. Simons to make this video where I talk about the books:
What scene in the book is your favorite?
The scene where Pamela and Geoffrey have a picnic on the beach with Robbie. It’s the calm before the storm, and it’s like a piece of time I’d like to freeze for them.
Sea Change is your fifteenth novel. How do keep your characters so vibrant?
Like children, each book is separate and distinct for me---each character is new and exciting so that I’m never stuck while trying to bring them to life.
Who was your most challenging character to write?
Georginia. She’s not a nice person, but I know that not every person is _all_ bad, and I tried to make her more sympathetic by giving a background into why she is the way she is.
How do you create a balance between a serious story line ( tragedy, grief, etc.) and the sometimes humorous dialogue between your characters?
I write about true life---and I don’t know anybody’s life who isn’t a mixture of both tragedy and laughter.
And her life as an authorSeveral of your books have a setting in Charleston, S.C., and other southern coastal areas. What draws you to these areas for your books?
It’s simply just a “gut feeling.” I have a passion for that geographical area so it makes sense to write what I’m passionate about.
You sometimes refer to your writing as “grit lit”, could you explain this?
“Southern Women’s Fiction”---about a Southern protagonist (either born and bred or a reluctant Southerner who is transplanted below the Mason-Dixon Line) who has to reach deep inside to find her hidden strength to get herself out of the hole she’s in at the beginning of the book.
What is your writing process?
I don’t have one. I just write!
Do you keep real life separate from your story world or do you feel yourself basing characters on real people and writing scenes based on real events?
They are definitely separate and distinct. However, I’m sure many of my characters are composites of people I know.
What can readers expect when they read one of your novels or what do you want them to grasp?
I want them to be emotionally involved—either laughing or crying or a mixture of both---and I want them to take away a ‘truth’ they can apply to their own lives.
And, what’s next for you?
Still untitled---my first hardcover from Penguin that will be out in June 2013. It will be set in Charleston, but will not be part of the Tradd Street series. The heroine is definitely “grittier” than my other heroines!
Where can we find you on the web? Social media site?
Website: http://www.karen-white.com/ and Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenwhiteauthor
Thank you so much for visiting with us here in Texas. Do you have a question for readers?
Yes—how do you find new authors to read?