Today, I’m delighted to welcome Karen Louise Hollis to my blog to chat about her books and writing life.
It’s time to put your feet up for five minutes, grab a cuppa, and find out what Karen’s been up to.
Before we get started with the questions – here’s the blurb to Karen’s latest novel, Starting Again in Silver Sands Bay.
Becki is fifty and a single mum to eleven-year-old Jemima, after being widowed five years ago.
Dan is forty-eight and a single dad to eleven-year-old Freddie, after his wife left him five years ago.
They have both given up on love.
But when they all go to Silver Sands Bay on the Lincolnshire coast for the summer, will they be able to put the past behind them and find love again?
What inspired you to write your book?
My most recent novel Starting Again in Silver Sands Bay was inspired by an RNA online course by Jessica Redland. It was concentrating on writing a series set in a village or coastal setting. I had joined it to inspire me for the second book in my Whitlock Close series, which is set in a village. Instead an idea for a completely different novel appeared, set in a coastal setting! This became Starting Again in Silver Sands Bay and a large chunk of the book was written while I was doing the course.
Do you model any of your characters after people you know? If so, do these people see themselves in your characters?
Ha ha! I certainly did in my first novel Welcome to Whitlock Close. The main characters are based on me and my parents in 1981, when we moved from Lincoln to a village. My mum read it and kept telling me things weren’t right. No, it’s not a memoir, Mum, it’s a novel, a lot is made up! 😊
What type of research did you have to do for your book?
For my current novel I’m writing, it has included meals available in posh restaurants and lots of things about guinea pigs!!
Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?
I’ve tried plotting and it didn’t work, I got bored and lost interest in writing it. I am definitely a pantser, I like starting off with an idea and seeing where my characters take me.
What is your writing regime?
I’m a full-time carer to my mum and a single mum to my son, so everything has to fit around them. I usually have my laptop open on my bed and every so often, I’ll get some writing done. My son’s up late, so it’s not feasible to write when he’s asleep, so just as and when throughout the day. I also write non-fiction books, particularly about gymnastics. The gymnasts I interview live all round the world, so I’m often answering questions from them at midnight.
What excites you the most about your book?
Starting Again in Silver Sands Bay is a book I am really happy with. Usually when I write something, I’m incredibly critical of it, but this one, I’m proud of it. I think it’s a good story and I love the characters. As well as the main couple and their kids, I love Becki’s sister Lizzie and a couple of the more minor characters.
If you were stranded on a desert island with three other people, fictional or real, who would they be and why?
Let’s assume I can’t choose family, because I’ve got five children and I could hardly just choose three of them! So, I’ll have Jamie from Outlander (Sam Heughan as Jamie works too!) because he’s just gorgeous and strong and competent and would make me feel safe. David Tennant because he’s interesting, funny, intelligent and I think we’d have a really good conversation. (And yes, he’s gorgeous too!) And Helena Bonham Carter because I think she’s amazing as an actress, but also a fascinating person. I love her fashion and how she does what she wants, wears what she wants and doesn’t care what people think. We all need to be a bit more like Helena!
I totally agree – we all need to be a bit ‘Helena’! Fabulous woman.
I was born in Lincoln, England in 1969. I loved writing from an early age, being the daughter of two journalists. I am a mum to five children and have three grandchildren. I have had over twenty books published and have written about a variety of topics including motherhood, poetry, Doctor Who and gymnastics. My first novel Welcome to Whitlock Close came out in 2022 and my second one Starting Again in Silver Sands Bay in 2023.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/KarenLNHollis
Blog – iheartbooks.blog/blog
Many thanks for popping by today Karen.