It is time to grill another romance writer about why they write what they write and what inspires their love-filled stories. Today, I am delighted to be chatting to author… Karen King.
Tell me a bit about the type of books you write and where you are in your publishing journey.
I write heartwarming, feel-good romance novels set in gorgeous locations such as Cornwall and Spain. My heroines are usually feisty and independent and definitely not looking for a permanent relationship. I’ve had eight romance novels published, the first one Never Say Forever, was originally a pocket novel for People’s Friend but is now republished by Headline Accent. Since then I’ve had seven more romance novels published and have a contract with Headline Accent for three more. The first one, One Summer in Cornwall, will be published on 29th April, and is set in Port Medden, the little Cornish town where The Cornish Hotel by the Sea is set. I’ve really enjoyed writing about some of the favourite characters and bringing in new ones. I’ve also written two psychological thrillers for Bookouture, the first one, The Stranger in my Bed, was out in November and the second one will be out later this year.
I’ve been a published author for over thirty years and started out writing romance, photo stories for Jackie magazine, and short romance stories for magazines like Patches and Loving. Showing my age here! Then I moved onto writing for children’s magazines, and children’s books but I always wanted to write a romance novel so am delighted to have achieved that dream. I’m fascinated by how people get together, how they decide that someone is the right person for them. I enjoy writing about relationships, although we know that there is going to be a HEA with a romance I find it really interesting to write about the hero and heroine’s journey until they realise and finally admit that they love each other.
What inspires your stories?
It can be anything, an overheard conversation, someone I see in the street, a beautiful location.
Who are your favourite romance authors, past and/or present?
There are so many, too many to choose a favourite. Margaret Mitchell, Catherine Cookson, Danielle Steele and Penny Vincenzi are old favourites of mine, current ones are Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Sue Moorcroft, Mandy Baggot and Heidi Swain.
If you had to pick one romance novel for me to read, which one would you recommend?
I think Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me? it’s funny, romantic and the characters are so credible.
Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking she’s twenty-five with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it’s actually three years later – she’s a super-toned twenty-eight-year-old, her teeth are straight, she’s the boss of her department – and she’s married to a good-looking millionaire!
She can’t believe her luck – especially when she sees her stunning new loft apartment. And she’ll definitely have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He’s drawn up a ‘marriage manual’, which should help.
But soon she realises her perfect life isn’t all it seems. All her old friends hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up… and lands a new bombshell.
What the **** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?
Which romantic hero or heroine would you choose to spend your perfect romantic weekend with? Where would you go and what would you do?
Oh gosh, I can’t think of anyone. Sorry. Can I take my very own romantic hero, my hubby Dave, and send us both on a Caribbean cruise, stopping off for a few days in Barbados?
What is your favourite thing about being a member of the RNA? What do you think you have gained from membership?
I love the RNA. It’s such a warm, friendly organisation, the support from the other authors is fantastic. I’m the blog coordinator and enjoy reading all the different blogs, there’s such a lot of information there. It can be a bit frantic at times trying to organise everything -especially in February and March when we have Romance Reading Month and the RNA Awards. The RNA team is fantastic though, and everyone pulls together.
The best thing I’ve gained from the RNA is a three-book contract with Accent Press, which led to a contract for three romance novels for Bookouture, and now another three for Headline Accent. I love to tell the story of how I arrived at my first RNA conference with a synopsis for a romance novel, the second conference with that novel sold and a contract for two more, and for my third conference the book was on sale in the lobby!
What one piece of advice or tip would you give to new writers starting out in the romance genre?
Stop faffing about and get writing! Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, get it down and then you can edit it.
Tell us about your most recent novel.
One Summer in CornwalI will be published on 29th April. I’d wanted to go back to Port Medden for a long time, and give Marcus, the chef who only had a brief mention in The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, his own story so was delighted when Headline Accent said they would be interested in publishing it, and another two books. I often scroll Pinterest for inspiration for my characters and when I spotted a photo of a woman on a motorbike I had Hattie (my heroine) then I threw in a parrot that swears (inspired by a friend’s parrot) and an inheritance and there was my story.
When Hattie is made redundant and evicted from her flat in one horrible week, she needs time to rethink. Her Uncle Albert left her and her father each half of Fisherman’s Rest, his home in the Cornish town of Port Medden, so this seems the perfect place to escape to until she can figure things out.
As Hattie stays in the cottage, clearing it out, tidying it up and getting it ready to sell, she starts to find her feet in Port Medden and making a new home here begins to feel right. If only her dad didn’t need a quick sale and things weren’t complicated by her unwelcoming neighbour Marcus . . .
One Summer in Cornwall will be published in ebook and paperback formats on 29 April and you can pre-order it here.
About The Author
Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. She has had eight romantic novels published, one psychological thriller with another one out later this year, 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became an international bestseller, reaching the top one hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.
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Facebook: Karen King Author