Welcome to The Bandwagon, Karen!
Karen Clarke is the author of twelve romantic comedies, with a recent switch to the dark side, co-writing psychological thriller The Secret Sister with fellow author Amanda Brittany. Their second novel is due out in January 2021.
Karen has just completed her first psychological suspense novel YOUR LIFE FOR MINE to be published in October 2020 and is currently working on her second, out in March 2021.
Originally from Yorkshire, Karen has lived in Buckinghamshire for many years with her husband and three grown-up children. When she’s not writing, she reads a lot, loves photography, walking, baking and eating cake and watching box sets (not all at the same time).
How did you get into writing?After dabbling for years and getting distracted by ‘real life’ I joined an online critiquing group aimed at getting short stories into in women’s magazines. I had over 300 published in the UK and abroad, but had always dreamed of writing a novel and started one alongside the stories which turned out to be my first romcom. I began writing a psychological thriller too and knew I’d come back to it one day.
Why did you choose to write in this genre?I’ve long been fascinated by what makes people tick and my favourite books to read are thrillers and psychological suspense, so it didn’t surprise me that I was drawn back to the ‘dark side’. I wanted to explore more complex issues, and I love building tension and dreaming up twists to keep the reader gripped.
Who are some of your favourite authors?Almost impossible to pin down to a few, but I’ll read anything by Belinda Bauer, Lisa Jewell, Louise Candlish and Marian Keyes and have discovered lots of newer authors to get excited about recently, such as Heidi Perks, Shalini Boland, Emma Curtis. . . the list goes on. Basically, I love reading!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?Mostly a panster. I have a rough outline and always know how the story will end, but I like being surprised along the way.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?To read as widely as possible, it’s the best way to absorb how storytelling works; pace, flow and so on, and write something every day, even if it’s rubbish. You can polish it later but you have to have something to work with.
Finally, what are you currently working on?I’ve just finished the first draft of my second psychological suspense novel, out next March, and am working on an idea for a third, and waiting for edits on a co-written thriller with fellow writer and friend Amanda Brittany.
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