This month, I have romantic suspense author, Karen Ankers in my Author Spotlight feature. Karen’s début novel, The Crossing Place, described as a love story with dark edges, was published last week and she’s here to tell us more about it and her other writing today.
Karen Ankers – The Crossing Place
A desperate decision made by a young homeless couple has far-reaching consequences and years later, Laura finds her mundane life disrupted by a series of unsettling dreams. When she meets Paul, a handsome and charismatic past-life counsellor, she refuses to accept his suggestion that these dreams might be memories from a previous life. One particularly difficult dream has her turning to him for help and advice, but revelations about his past make her question whether she is able to trust him. When danger comes from an unexpected source, both Laura and Paul have to deal not only with very real threats in the present, but also doubts and fears from the past.
And now for my interview with Karen:
1. Can you tell us more about what inspired you to choose the setting for your current book?
I set it in Chester, which is where I grew up, so it was easy for me to envisage where the various scenes were taking place. It’s also a city that offers some really interesting places to set scenes.
2. I know you write poetry and plays as well as romantic suspense. How do you go about coming up with ideas for them all?
Ideas come from all sorts of places. People I meet, snippets of conversation, memories, family dynamics. One of my plays, Frogs, was sparked off when my partner peered into a glass and said “There are frogs in my beer…”! I use writing poetry simply as a writing exercise. It’s a way of stretching my writing muscles and I very rarely know what a poem is going to be about. I just accept and work with what appears on the paper. My novel, The Crossing Place, was inspired by Brian Weiss’ book about reincarnation, Only Love Is Real.
3. How long did it take you to write your first draft of your novel? How many more drafts were there after that?
The first draft actually took several years, because I wrote it and then put it away, meaning to get back to it and revise it. But then life got in the way and it ran the risk of being abandoned. When I eventually got back to it, I wrote two more drafts in the space of six months.
4. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing is trusting my characters enough to let them do what they want. So many times I have tried to make them fit into a story, rather than allow the story to work around them.
5. What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
I love playing with words. I started my writing career as a poet, so I have an inbuilt sense of rhythm and music.
6. Is there going to be a recurring theme in your novels or will each one be completely different?
I think they will be different. It will depend on what the characters want to do! I don’t have a set genre. But I imagine that themes will sometimes recur.
7. Have you started work on your next novel yet? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
My next novel is called The Stone Dancers and is set in Moelfre, North Wales. It’s about a woman whose attempt to reinvent herself is challenged when events from her past catch up with her. So far, it’s a bit of a mystery, with lots of Celtic myth and legend thrown in.
Thanks for being my guest on the blog this month, Karen. Good luck with your new novel.
About Karen Ankers
Karen Ankers lives in Anglesey, North Wales, where she draws inspiration for her writing from Wales’ mythic landscape and from the Celtic storytelling tradition. She started her writing career as a poet and has had poems published in various magazines and anthologies. Her first poetry collection, One Word At A Time, was published last year and she regularly reads at local spoken word events. She also writes one-act plays, in which she tries to give a voice to those usually ignored and unheard. These plays are published by Lazy Bee Scripts and have been performed in the UK, America, Australia and Malaysia. The Crossing Place is her first novel.