06-04-2012 09:14 AM
Sea Change This novel comes out tomorrow and I was fortunate to get the amazing author to do a Q&A with me.
Q&A with Karen White
Karen is another author that I consider a favorite seeing as I’ve read everything she’s published some more than once.
Karen welcome to the B&N.com General Fiction forum
Debbie - Your new novel is called Sea Change can you tell us a little about it
Karen - It’s set on beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia and is about a young woman who, after a quick elopement and move to St. Simons, begins having memories of somebody else’s life. But the more she begins to dig up the past, the more her future is threatened. It’s a story of second chances, of family secrets, and how endings are sometimes beginnings.
In your bio you describe yourself as writing “grit lit southern women’s fiction”
Do you always write about the South and why.
I try to write what I know and I know the South. Both of my parents were born and raised in Mississippi. I used to spend my summers in a little town in the Mississippi Delta hanging out with my grandmother, mother, and four aunts and listening to their Southern sister girl talk. It is their stories and their connection to each other and their communities that I recall and what I strive to recreate in my own writing.
You write both a bestselling series and stand alone novels
Is there one or the other you prefer writing and do you have a favorite novel
I can’t imagine one without the other! My “grit lit” novels can be very emotional with dark themes in them, so it’s somewhat of a treat when I put one of them to bed and get to start with one of my Tradd Street books. There are a lot of emotional undertones in those books, too, but there’s also a lot of funny bits and dialogue that set them apart from my other novels. But by the time I’m done with one of them I’m ready to start the next “grit lit” book!
As for favorites, I’d have to say the Tradd Street series if only because I’m so familiar with the characters because we’ve been together for so long that they’re like old friends.
You spent much of your growing up years in London and graduated from the American School in London
What was that like living across the pond
It was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I get to immerse myself in a completely different culture, but I was also able to “study” Southern American life as an observer. Even though my cousins and aunts and uncles always welcomed me like family, I was still an outsider and charmed by their mannerisms, accents and customs. I think being raised here might have made me immune to the whole Southern experience!
Are you a reader and do you have a favorite genre or author
I couldn’t be a writer without being a reader, and I’ve been a voracious reader since third grade when a librarian placed my first Nancy Drew book in my hand. I don’t really have a favorite genre or author anymore because I love to read EVERYTHING. Some recent favorites are UNBROKEN, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND, and THE SOLDIER’S WIFE.
Do you belong to a writers group
I did in the beginning when it’s really necessary to bond with people of like mind. As supportive as my family is, there’s nothing like sharing the trenches with other writers. Right now, my writer’s group is more informal---just me and two other authors who critique each other’s work as well as commiserate on the ups and downs of the publishing world---as well as celebrate our successes.
What’s an average day in the life of Karen White
There isn’t one! I’m about to become an empty-nester in the fall when my youngest heads off to college so I suspect my life will become more scheduled. For a long time, though, I’ve lived with my laptop pretty much glued to my hip: when I wasn’t doing something else, I was writing. When my kids were younger, I wrote most of my books in my SUV while waiting at the football field or horse barn.
I’m sure your fans (especially me) would love to meet you in person, do you have any events or signings scheduled for Barnes & Noble.
Yes! On June 8th at 7:00 pm I’ll be signing at my neighborhood Barnes & Noble on North Point Parkway in Alpharetta, Georgia; on June 23rd at 2:00 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and on July 31st in Framingham, Massachusetts. Please stop by—I love meeting readers!
Karen Thank you for spending a little time answering questions and good luck with the new novel.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about my writing and my books!
My Review of Sea Change
Some believe that the soul doesn’t die with the body, that it’s often given second chances to right wrongs and fulfill destinies and for Ava Whalen that destiny was Matthew Frazier. From the moment she met him she felt a belonging that had eluded her, her entire life and their courtship as fast as it was felt like coming home, so much so that even to the dismay of her mother she travels from her home in Antioch to Matthew’s centuries old family home on St. Simons Island Georgia. Yet the fulfillment she seeks is still as elusive as ever when she finds out that Matthew is keeping secrets from her, secrets that could kill their burgeoning love, secrets like she’s not the first Mrs. Frazier and that Matthew’s first wife died under suspicious circumstances and Matthew isn’t talking about it. To complicate matters further Ava is having unsettling déjà vu in her new home and new town, disturbing flashes from a past that seems real to her, a past that she feels a certain intimacy with a past that’s full of Frazier family skeletons falling out of more closets than you can imagine. Through it all she’s not only determined to find the truth to some disturbing questions but she also knows one thing with conviction and that is the love she feels for Matthew. Will Ava get the answers that she seeks and will those answers be worth the price she has to pay.
Karen White has never disappointed me and this time she goes above and beyond with her beautiful and ethereal story of love, tragedy and reclamation with her customary Low Country feel. She does it with her unique prose like narrative that took me right into the pages where I could feel the Ocean spray on my face and see the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees and smell the fragrances of the area, where both temporal and otherworldly images filled my mind as I read. Her characters do a brilliant job of telling the tale and there are no minor actors in this play from Ava who’s fragile yet unimaginably strong, Matthew who’s a puzzle from the start all the way down the line. The love story is front and center and is both timeless and ageless and my heart was involved through the entire breathtaking novel.
Ms. White has taken me on some amazing journeys in my years of reading her but this one will stand out as one of the best.
This will appeal to a multitude of readers from the romance lover to the fans of paranormal but especially it will speak to the lover of literary fiction.
Thank you Ms. White for another trip into your fertile imagination and I can’t wait to see where you take me to next.