With more than 120 books under her belt, professional author Karen King has tried her hand at everything from children’s books to YA, joke books and even to romance novels. She’s always experimenting, and so when Accent Press asked me to be part of a blog tour for her upcoming book The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma I jumped at the chance to ask her some questions!
Find out more below…
1.What made you want to be an author?
I always loved writing and reading but I never actually planned on being an author or would have dreamt I could be one. Although I’ve always penned short stories, poems and articles I didn’t do much with them until a couple of years before my fourth child was born, when I decided to send some work to magazines and comics.
Finally, I sold an article to Jackie magazine, who asked for more. I ended up writing photo stories too, for Jackie and other teen magazines, then comic strips, stories and activities for children’s comics such as Postman Pat and Winnie the Pooh. Gradually I got some children’s books published too and for the first twenty years of my writing career wrote mainly for children, before moving onto romance and getting my first romance novel, Never Say Forever, published in 2007 as a People’s Friend Pocket novel, it was then republished by a US company, and then by Accent Press.
2. What do you like about writing romantic novels?
I like writing stories that readers can identify with, and most of us have had experience of falling in love and all the complications that brings. I keep my novels light-hearted and usually set my novels in holiday locations as I like to take my readers away from the stresses of everyday life for a while and provide a, hopefully, relaxing read.
3. Where did you get the inspiration for The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma?
I’ve often admired the travel reps at the resorts I’ve holidayed in, they work hard and play hard. I thought a story involving a character working as a travel rep would be really interesting. They have to cope with so many different customers, including stag and hen parties, and there might be times when they have a summer romance with holiday-makers. When my husband booked us an anniversary trip to Majorca a couple of years ago I thought that would make a great setting, popped in a few complications to the story, and off I went.
4. Who is your favourite author/ what’s your favourite book?
I have far too many favourite authors, and books to name but Mandy Baggot is one of my favourites as is Sophie Kinsella and Sharon Shinn.
5. What’s your writing routine?
I have no writing routine now I’ve moved to Spain, I write wherever and whenever I get the chance, that could be at 6.30 am sitting up in bed with my laptop, out in the garden in the afternoon with a cardboard box shielding my computer screen from the sun, in my upstairs office on the terrace. I try to write every day but if we have guests I will often go a couple of days without writing, although I am always writing in my head and jotting notes down on paper.
6. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Stop faffing about and get that first draft written! The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, its function is to get the idea out of your head onto paper, or your computer. Then the work of making it as good as you can begins but it all starts with that messy first draft.
A summery, lighthearted beach read, this is the perfect book for anybody who wants something to read over a poolside holiday, as Karen King brings her skill as an author to the sand and sea of Majorca.
The story follows two people: holiday rep Jess, whose cousin is getting married in a few weeks’ time, and Eddie, the good-looking best man of Ross, who’s also getting married in a few weeks- and who’s decided that his stag do is going to be in Majorca. When they meet, they instantly hit it off, but when the time comes for the stag party to leave, will that attraction be enough to keep them together?
What I liked most about The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma was the character of Jess. In a genre where many woman are often painted as helpless, or waiting to fall into the arms of her man, Jess is a breath of fresh air: she’s funny, she’s strong-willed, she’s independent and she doesn’t let her life be dictated by whom she may or may not fancy. That, alongside her unconventional dress sense and unapologetically bright hair and attitude, made for a really great heroine that I cared about and wanted to know more about- especially after she paints the soles of her heels with red polish to create a pair of fake Louboutins. That’s dedication.
Though I don’t feel that the character of Eddie really did Jess justice- though maybe it’s because he’s just not as bright and sparky as her- I also enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them, as well as the humour that Karen King imbues the novel with, from misunderstandings between the two, to the twist in the middle of the book that leaves the entire cast of characters gobsmacked; in fact, there were several moments in the book where I chuckled aloud. Though the plot does also rely heavily on coincidence, I could happily overlook that in favour of the dilemmas it got our characters into.
But she doesn’t rest on her laurels: each of the main characters gets a character arc of their own, which rounds them out and ensures that you end the book with a real sense of having watched them grow, from Jess’s uptight cousin Charlotte, to Eddie’s prejudices about women (for which Jess roundly puts him in his place).
Overall? This book was a bright, breezy breath of fresh air, bringing romance, charm and laughs in spades. The perfect book for the warm summer months!