Sue Barnard - novelist, editor, poet, RNA member, lady of letters. Believes that an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life.
With the exception of guest posts, all work on this blog remains the copyright of the author. And, quite frankly, it's very noble of her to take the blame for it.
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Thursday, 24 October 2019
TORN - an interview with Karen Moore
Today I have a very special guest on my blog: the fabulous Karen Moore, whose debut novel Torn will be released next week through Darkstroke Books. I've know Karen (and her novel) for some years through our writing group, so this is a very exciting time for both of us.
prompted you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, from the days of penning long epistles to
my childhood penfriends to creating colourful English essays at school.Writing then became a fundamental part of my career
in PR and marketing.Here I discovered
that the more creative aspects of the job, such as writing articles and press
releases, were the most enjoyable.I
started writing creatively as a hobby and quickly became smitten.
summarise your latest work in just a few words?
young mum and her daughter escape from a troubled past in Sicily and settle
down to a new life in North Wales.When
the daughter suddenly disappears, the mother is forced to return to her former
home and face the dark world of organised crime in a bid to rescue her.
What was the
inspiration for this book?
The main driving force was the devastating migrant situation in the
Mediterranean that continued for so long, with so many people not even surviving
the journey.My own travels and love of
Italy and my experience of living there were also a major contributory factor.
Did you do
any research for the book?
followed news reports on the continuing migrant situation and the action and
inaction of various agencies in response. I visited Sicily and North Wales
several times to gather background information, as well as doing the usual desk
What does a
typical writing day involve for you?
I find mornings are the most creative time for me when I’m fresh and
full of ideas!I like to settle in front
of my computer with a strong cup of coffee (or two!) and blast away for a
couple of hours.It’s important, almost
cathartic, to capture these thoughts.Refining
that output comes later on.
How do you
decide on the names for your characters?
Some are easy and just come to you naturally such as Hanna, the protagonist
of Torn.Others take a bit more
research depending on their role.For
example, Hanna’s daughter needed a name that would suit both an Italian and UK
setting.Eva seemed a perfect fit.
Do you plot
your novels in advance, or allow them to develop as you write?
My debut novel Torn developed quite organically which made the
writing journey fun but also a bit of a roller-coaster!I’m trying to be more structured with my
second novel, while still allowing myself flexibility.
writers have influenced your own writing?
I read quite widely depending on how the mood takes me and whatever I
find appealing in a given moment.I’ve
particularly enjoyed the Nordic Noir genre with its moody landscapes, gritty
characters, pacy action, and underpinning social issues.I would like to think that some of this has
rubbed off on my own writing.
been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
The best part has to be coming up with ideas and shaping them into some
sort of structure, with a credible plot, characters and timeline.I have a tendency to race ahead with ideas,
so my constant challenge is to pay attention to the detail needed to get from A
Now the book is on the point of being published and
‘out there’, how do you feel?
but nervous!It’s been part of my life
for so long, it feels as if you’re releasing a part of yourself to the
public.I just hope people enjoy reading
it as much as I enjoyed the writing.
Do you have
any advice for new writers?
Just do it!Persevere but only
if you’re enjoying the journey – you spend too much time on it not to.If something’s not working, spend time on
reviewing why not.Get feedback from
other writers and polish the finished article as much as you can before
submitting.Trust in your own judgement
– each writer has a unique perspective and a unique way of expressing
What can we expect from you
in the future?
I’ve just started work on a sequel
to Torn, so watch this space!