Monday, June 11, 2012


About Karen...

Karen White hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London and has a BS degree from Tulane University. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two teenage children, and a spoiled Havanese dog (who appears in several of her books), Quincy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. Her next book, Sea Change, will be published in June, 2012 and she is currently contracted with Penguin for five more novels.
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  on and email her , .

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 author

Several 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: and  Facebook:

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?


Caroline Clemmons said...

Karen, I loved the Tradd Street books! Our book club read them and we look forward to your other books. Your writing is all the things I enjoy in a book. Thanks for sharing with us today.

Anne said...

I'm often introduced to new authors by friends that like the same writing styles that I do. Sometimes I find new authors through a book club list as well. I love your books, Karen!!!

Jaine said...

I loved your video and what a great interview. I look forward to reading Sea Change. How do I discover new books? Book Review sites, and friends who read the same kinds of books as I do.

Ruby Johnson said...

I read The House on Tradd Street, because of the title. I'm from that area and I wanted to see what you did with the setting. Well, fourteen novels later, I waiting on delivery of Sea Change. Thanks for writing such heartfelt books.

George said...

The top two (of many) thoughts I'm taking with me: Story is like children, they all have different personalities, and don't worry about a system for writing, 'just write.'

Thank you for coming to the blog.

Heather said...

I'm looking forward to Sea Change! There is a real 'sense of place' in your writing that seems to be lacking in the novels of some other authors. Does this come natuarally for you or is it something that you have to really work towards?

Thorne Anderson said...

Loved this interview. This blog just gets better and better. How do I discover new authors to read? I go to different websites that regularly interview authors, look for new books from RWA loops I belong to and look for winners of book awards.

Joan said...

I love your books and look forward to reading this one. I first read one of your novels when my mom gave it to me and said, "Read it. You'll like every word." I did and have continued to read your books.

Mary Marvella said...

I love Karen's voice and her characters.

Brasil said...

Sea Change also has a parallel historical fiction story. Geoffrey and Pamela Frazier live in the Frazier ancestral home back when it was new in the very early 1800's. Pamela is a mid-wife and has a great and abiding love with Geoffrey. Together they have one beloved son, Robbie, but Pamela also has a jealous and spiteful sister, Georgina. When the British occupy the island during the war of 1812, fate will wreak havoc on the lives of them all and make them into legends. Ava becomes obsessed with their story in the future.

I loved Sea Change. The novel had so many elements that I love in a good book (and that remind me of the gothic tales of Daphne Du Maurier and Mary Stewart) including a husband with a mysterious first wife, an old ancestral home with secrets, and a historical secondary story. There isn't time travel in this book, but Ava harbors memories from the past that hint of reincarnation. I really enjoyed the characters, and the mysteries kept me riveted. I didn't know what exactly was going to happen until the very end.

Ruby Johnson said...

Thank you for visiting our blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I just finished Sea Change and you're right, it did contain the atmospheric mood of a Mary Stewart or Daphne Du Maurier book.

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