Q&A with Karma Brown
The Life Lucy Knew
Check out Karma’s other books. They are all great. Full review is on the blog. I chose Karma to lead off my Canada Day giveaway for many reasons. First of all, I love her writing. I also wanted to feature an established author from both countries. Since Karma is a proud Canadian I felt she was the perfect person to showcase on this first post. Karma has also overcome some major medical issues over the years with her perseverance and optimism which I hugely admire.
I loved the new book. I’ve loved all of them. Funny story! I was reading Come Away With Me while I was on vacation with my family. I was really enjoying this book and thinking I was going to have to check out what else this author has written. Then I get to the part when Kai asks Tegan a crucial question and I close the book. Someone in my family asks what’s wrong and I tell them I can’t read this here and that the book has taken a turn and it has to be read alone. Preferably with lots of Kleenex nearby! There had been clues along the way but them wham. So that was my first Karma Brown book and I’m a diehard fan. So let’s chat with a few questions here.
1. Were you a reader as a child?
I was a voracious reader as a child. I was the kid hiding under her covers late into the night, with a flashlight and my book, who disappeared into the stacks at our local small-town library while my mom grocery shopped nearby. Reading has always been for me one of life’s greatest pleasures.
2. What books do you like to read now?
I’m still a voracious book lover, and I read a lot of different genres. I do have a soft spot for literary fiction and apocalyptic novels (think Station Eleven), and am enjoying mostly women-authored books these days.
3. I know you are a journalist. Did you always want to write a book?
Despite reading so much through my life and my journalism training, it never occurred to me to write a book until I started writing my first one when I was about 35. But once I started—and despite how much of a roller coaster publishing is—I was hooked. As it turns out, I love writing fiction.
4. One of the reasons I like your books is that your female characters are strong but also very relatable. They want to do the right thing in the situation they are in. You have faced adversity in your personal life. You have had to be strong to overcome things. Does this affect the personality of your characters?
Yes, I believe it does. I like to say I write strong, capable women whose flaws exist in plain sight. Not every reader agrees with the decisions my characters make (I have letters and emails to prove it), but I don’t enjoy reading about—or writing—“perfect” women. Because they simply do not exist.
5. You live a very structured and disciplined life with your writing. For example the 5 AM writers club. How do you keep yourself motivated?
For those who know me well, none of this is a surprise. I am one of those Type A people who is highly motivated and disciplined—I’ve always been like that, you can ask my parents! However, it really comes down to habits. When I’m writing my day starts at 5 a.m. (without an alarm now, which is great during deadline time but less so on vacation) and I write for as long as I can before the busyness of the day begins (around 7:30am) or until I get as close to my 2,000-words-a-day goal. This is what works for me, while I know other authors who do their best writing after 11 p.m. The key is to sort out when you’re most creative and to develop a habit to protect that time.
6. Following through with the above question you have had to overcome setbacks in life. I really admire your perseverance and outlook on life. There is so much for the rest of us to aspire to when we see what you have overcome. Do you ever want to pull the covers over your head and say not today?
Ha! Yes, and sometimes I do. But I try not to let those days pile up. I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I do believe in giving your creative brain a rest when it needs it.
7. The Life Lucy Knew is set in Toronto. Do you think upcoming books will be set in Canada?
I was so excited to make Lucy’s hometown Toronto! There are so many fantastic stories set in Canada, but we can always use more.
8. Authors seem to offer a great support network to each other. There seems to be a great group of authors in and around Toronto. How important is this when you are alone so much while writing?
My author networks have been my lifeline, and having writer friends—who understand exactly what it’s like to be in this business—nearby to celebrate successes and commiserate as needed has been one of the most rewarding parts of this career.
9. What is your next book? When is it coming out?
My next book is RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE, and it’s a dual narrative (the chapters alternate between the 1950s and present day) about two women, one old house, and a retro cookbook that holds a dark secret. It’s a story I’ve been writing for a couple of years, and a bit different from my other books. I can’t wait for people to read it—but not until spring of 2020!
10. As a proud Canadian what are your plans for Canada Day?
Canada Day often means making the annual pilgrimage up to cottage country, but this year we’re staying put. So rather than mosquitoes and dipping our toes into a still chilly lake, I envision some fireworks, time outside, and because it’s supposed to be very hot, daily ice cream cones.