Let’s get to know Karen…
Karen King has had over one hundred children’s books published. She’s written for many children’s magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Perfect Summer is her first YA. It was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition.
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always written. I had my first poem published when I was 11. I started my writing career with Jackie magazine, writing articles and photo stories.
Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
It depends whether I’m writing to a commission or not. If I’m commissioned I have to plot as I have to send a synopsis and the first couple of chapters to my editor. If I’m not writing to a commission I plot at first so that I know the basic outline of my story but once I get going I write ‘by the seat of my pants.’
Are you most productive in the morning or evening?
Morning. Often I get out of bed and start writing right away. I’m full of ideas in the morning.
What’s the most frequent question people ask you?
When I visit schools kids always ask me either if I’m rich. I usually say “No, I’m really poor so please go and buy some of my books!”
Why did you choose to write a dystopian novel?
I didn’t actually set out to write a dystopian, the story that came to me was a dystopian one
Do you foresee any part of your book becoming reality? If so explain.
I think that if we don’t curb Society’s obsession with physical perfection then there is a real risk that in the not-too-distant future people with disabilities suffer prejudice and are kept out of the public eye.
Was there a particular event or idea in the real world that inspired your writing?
Yes, I read a magazine article about girls as young as six worrying that they were too fat or too ugly. I thought that was really sad. I started wondering what would happen if people got so obsessed with physical perfection that it became a ‘crime’ to be different in any way.
When writing your book, did you seek to only tell a good story or to get across a specific message?
I wanted to get the message across that we’re all beautiful in our own way and people shouldn’t be so obsessed with trying to have perfect looks. I hope it’s a good story too.
Have you or would you like to write in another genre? Which one?
I write in many genres, for children from preschool to teens, fiction and non-fiction. Also romance stories and novels for women.
Are you particularly fond of any one of you characters?
Morgan from Perfect Summer. She’s feisty, kind and loves her little brother Josh so much she’d do anything for him.
Is there one book, in any genre, that has had a lasting impact on your life? Title. How did it affect you?
The ‘Just William’ books by Richmal Crompton. They used to make me laugh out loud when I was a young girl. They, and Enid Blyton’s books, inspired my love of reading and writing. I always wanted to write a funny book but I’m no good at humour. I do write joke books though.
Visit Karen here…
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn&__adt=7&__att=iframe#!/KarenKingAuthor
Now let’s check out her YA novel, Perfect Summer…
Growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government gives people grants for plastic surgery, 15-year-old Morgan can’t help being a bit envious of her best friend Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity client list. Her life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn’t so rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down’s syndrome – which, according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime. Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren’t interested so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late?
Sounds like a fascinating read! You can find it at any one of these sites…
Thanks Karen for sharing with us.