Interview with contemporary romance author, Karen King...

          Hi Karen! It's so lovely to welcome you to my blog - I'm looking forward to catching up with you and learning more about your latest release, THE YEAR OF STARTING OVER! Wishing you much success and sales - let's get started with my questions...

1.)         What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
I worked as a Saturday girl at Woolworths, and for a few weeks at Boots the Chemist but my first ‘proper’ job was at an insurance company in Birmingham city centre. Sometimes the work was a bit boring, it was pre-computer days, so we had to fill in all the information by hand and file it away in large binders, but I enjoyed working there, the people were very friendly, and I liked being in the city centre.

2.)         Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
Noise when I’m trying to sleep. I can stand all sorts of noise in the daytime, dogs barking, machinery, lawn mowers, noisy people, none of it bothers me, but noise during the night irritates me. I particularly hate a clock ticking in the bedroom. It drives me mad. If I stay anywhere overnight and there a ticking clock in the room I move it outside, or take the battery out!

3.)         Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ___­­­_?
I don’t think I have a style, it depends what I’m doing and where I’m going. At home I’m mostly in jeans and tee shirt or leggings with a loose top. I wear maxi dresses a lot in the summer or cropped trousers and a tee shirt. I guess I’m quite ‘hippy’, I’m definitely not ‘timeless elegance’!

4.)                Tell me about your book {insert title here} and where you got your inspiration for it?
My latest book is ‘The Year of Starting Over’ which was published by Bookouture on 7 February. It’s about Holly, who is really sweet-natured but gets treated like a bit of a doormat because she’s always trying to please her boyfriend. Then one day she’s had enough, leaves her commitment-phobic boyfriend, and her job, and sets off in her yellow mini to start a new life in Spain, helping her friend, Fiona, and her partner, Pablo, set up an artist’s retreat. I guess a lot of inspiration from the book came from the fact that my husband and I moved to Spain almost eighteen months ago, so I had my own ‘year of starting over’.

5.)                Who is your role model? Why?
I don’t have a role model. There are lots of people I admire but I don’t aspire to emulate anyone. Although I do aspire to grow old like my mum, who is almost 88 but still lives by herself, drives around everywhere and is often partying until the early hours of the morning.  

6.)                How much of your book is realistic?
The story and characters aren’t realistic, but some of the incidents are things I’ve personally experienced. We live in a finca in the Andalusian countryside and our water is pumped up from a well, just like Fiona and Pablo, so when the electricity goes off we have no water either. The episode where Holly colours her hair and the electricity goes off, so the water pump doesn’t work and she has to use a big urn of cold water to wash the colour off actually happened to me. I’m scared of heights, like Holly, too.

7.)                What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To keep on writing. 😊

8.)                Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.
Gosh that’s a tough one. I’m pretty much a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of person but it does surprise people when they find out that it took me seventeen attempts to pass my driving test. I’m not a confident driver, but I got there in the end!

The Year of Starting Over

What if – to find yourself – you had to run away?

Last year was meant to be when Holly got her happy-ever-after. But stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… this year Holly has decided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:

– End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend
– Go on a proper adventure
– Learn to be herself again
– Definitely, categorically not fall in love.

Cramming her belongings into her little yellow Mini, Holly drives on to a ferry bound to Spain, to stay at a remote farmhouse near a beautiful village in the Andalusian hills.

But the day she arrives she nearly crashes her car into a gorgeous guy on a motorbike. He’s called Matias and their paths keep crossing, much to Holly’s irritation. Because as she learns to speak Spanish from the locals, finally starts laying out plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.

So she won’t allow herself to be distracted by Matias. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?

A moving and uplifting romantic comedy about living each moment and learning to trust yourself again, for fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber, and Sophie Kinsella.

Buy Links

Author Bio
Karen now lives in Spain and intends to spend her time writing romances whilst her husband, Dave, grows vegetables and tends to the zillions of fruit trees on their land – when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is!

Contact links
Twitter: @karen_king

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