FALLING HOME | NAL/Accent | Mainstream Fiction | November 2, 2010
Please tell us your latest news!
My novel, FALLING HOME, originally published in 2002, has been reworked and will be published in trade paperback format (with a new and gorgeous cover!) on November 2nd! Readers have been begging for this book since it has been out of print pretty much from the time it came out. I love this story and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with all of my new readers.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
That's the joy of reworking a novel--I got to 'fix' all the things that I've been wanting to 'fix' since FALLING HOME came out eight years ago! I loved the characters and the story, so those parts didn't change. But I added two more points of view, to give the story more depth, and got rid of all that "messy writing"--probably not all that visible to my readers but enough to make me cringe. And I'm glad since that means I've improved as a writer over the last eight years.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many favorite writers but I'll use Diana Gabaldon in this example because her books represent what I love in all of my favorite books--characters who are flawed yet ultimately likeable, who make mistakes but learn from them; a story and setting that sweep me away to another time and place; writing that is lyrical and beautiful but doesn't make me stop to notice it. Gabaldon does all of these things, which makes her a favorite of mine.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don't know if I have a "style" but I think I've developed a writer's "voice." I think that's why readers can pick up one of my "grit lit" books (like FALLING HOME) and one of my "grit lit/paranormal/mystery" books (like THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET)---which are completely different--and still recognize them as "Karen White" books.
Do you see writing as a career?
Never. I was always told by teachers, friends and family members that I should write, but I never thought I'd have the patience. That's why I was a business major in college.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading. I don't think I could have ever written the first word if I hadn't been a voracious reader first. I sat down to write my first book not because I thought I could, but because I'd just read a fabulous book and it spoiled me from picking up a new book to read. I figured I'd try writing one instead.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just do it! Talking about writing a book will never get it published. And read, read, read!
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
I think immediate family members are vaguely aware that I'm a writer. As long as their laundry is done and their social calendar updated, they're good to go. My husband and daughter have read some of my books, my father all of them. And I have a bunch of cousins in Mississippi (and several aunts) who've read all of my books. But none of my three brothers--although I think my youngest brother read my first one in 2000. I apparently come from a family of non-readers!
What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
I was an operations manager for a software development company. Luckily, right before my first child was born, my husband was transferred to another state so I had to leave my job. So I was a stay-at-home mom for four years before I started writing my first book.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
Definitely seat of the pants. I'll slap down some kind of synopsis for my editor, and then don't look at it until I finish the book. I've tried to be more organized about it but I can't. Which is funny because in the rest of my life I'm _extremely_ organized!
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)
My dog, Quincy. We got him four years ago as a puppy and he's been glued to my side ever since. I even had to get a wider writing chair so we could both fit when he got bigger. :-) I can't imagine writing without his furry little body next to mine--although occasionally his head or paw will end up on my keyboard which makes writing a little more difficult.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
First thing in the morning, every morning, very early, I grab my coffee cup and my dog, sit down in my chair, and write two pages before I allow myself to get up and eat breakfast. Throughout the day, i give myself little goals like that so that by the end of the day I have a decent page count. Or should, anyway. Depends on how much laundry or chauffeuring or blogging or Facebook time etc... I also have to do!
What main genre do you write in?