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Karen Millie-James

Interview with Karen Millie-James

King of the Road caught up with Karen Millie-James to find out some of the answers to those questions you’ve always wanted to ask…

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WRITING

I think I actually enjoy it because I get lost in the story line and the characterisation, its like moving from one world of reality to another world where you can create a story in the way that you want, transforming your ideas, making it real or made up. I also like the research part, making sure that I get the historical and technical aspects correct and then putting it all together.

 

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH WRITERS BLOCK?

Fortunately I have not come up against this yet.  I do spend quite a bit of time thinking about where I want the characters to go or how they interact with other characters, and sometimes move about the chapters before writing. I hope it never happens

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO ASPIRING WRITERS

Quite simple really, go with your heart and write what you feel.

 

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING YOUR LAST BOOK?

I think the editing is the hardest part once you’ve actually written the book.  By the time you’ve finished editing you’ve probably read through the book about two-dozen times and your head begins to spin. However, editing is the most important part and you need a really good editor to make sure that the sequence of events is correct, the timeline and the continuity.  The best part is when it all comes together in the end and you can shut your manuscript and know you’ve done the best you possibly can.

 

IF YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF ANY BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I can almost say this without hesitation, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is one of my all-time favourite books, I studied it for A-level in minute detail, tearing apart the characters and I totally applaud what Jane Austen wanted to achieve by writing it.

 

WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN WRITING YOUR FIRST BOOK THAT HAS HELPED YOU WITH YOUR SECOND?

I’m half way through the sequel to The Shadows Behind Her Smile, called Where In The Dark.  I believe my writing has improved and you learn the best way to get over what you’re trying to achieve in your story line.  People write in many ways. I’ve never been one to set out my chapters and put cards everywhere to put the story line together. I tend to write and then sometimes move things around and I think that way of working has helped me write the second book.

 

YOU’VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF BOOK SIGNINGS, HOW DO YOU FIND THESE?

I really enjoy book signings and I’ve done a few now in Waterstones and in WH Smiths. I like interacting with potential readers of my book, chatting to everybody and answering the many questions that they pose to me.  It gives me absolute pleasure when somebody comes up to me having bought my book and asks me to sign it.  I feel a tremendous sense of achievement.  It’s even better when someone comes up after having read the book and tells you how much they enjoyed it.

 

CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR RECENT RADIO INTERVIEWS?

Since the book was launched in March this year, 2016, I have been on a BBC radio tour around the country almost from London to Manchester to Jersey and places in between. I’ve really enjoyed meeting the various radio presenters and in the main I would say that most of them had done their homework and either read the book or at least read the synopsis of the book and the background to my writing and my upbringing.  I had a couple of really bad interviewers who weren’t particularly interested in what I was saying and had been given the wrong information. It’s all about research obviously.  However, in the main, I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s all about getting my book out there and increasing my readership which is of course important to me.

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO A BOOK TOUR?

I will conducting a book tour around the local community in the upcoming months.  As a writer who works in Hertfordshire and works in Buckinghamshire, I think it’s really good to meet local people and get that local support.  The tour starts in October and I’m really looking forward to it.

 

CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK

I started writing Where In The Dark a year ago and I’m now fifty percent of the way through.  I’ve spent a lot of time doing research and now that’s completed, I’m well on my way to writing.  I’m hoping that the first manuscript will be available for editing at the end of 2016, with a view to the book being out and launched in March or April 2017. It’s important to have a goal in mind and I do hope I meet these dates but who knows at the moment.  I would say that I’m really enjoying this experience and absolutely love where the characters are going in this sequel.