Author Interview: Karleene Morrow

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hello everyone, I know how you all love author interviews. Luckily we have another one.

Tell me about yourself.
First, let me say thanks for having me on your blog. I appreciate the interview and the opportunity to talk with you.  As for me, I’m a retired tax accountant.  With my children grown and having decided to sell my building and tax practice, I finally have time in my life for writing.
What inspired you to begin writing?
I’ve wanted to write as far back as I can remember. I asked for a typewriter for Christmas when I was seven, too young to understand that there was no money for such an extravagant gift.  Later, in high school, my practical parents encouraged me to learn skills that would lead to a job; there was no money for college. Writing was viewed as frivolous. My father was an artist, but having had to face the depression and coming from an immigrant family, as a young man he had to learn a trade to make a living.  Art was frivolous.  Eventually I did go to university, finished a bachelor degree with honors and a masters degree.  If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t listen to anyone, I’d take a masters in creative writing. 
Tell me about your book.
Destinies is an historical novel set in the 18th century.  Catherine II has seized the crown of Russia and a thousand miles away a Rhineland boy’s life is forever changed.  Christian Kehler’s parents and their friends respond to Catherine’s invitation to come live in her empire. The new empress is anxious to drag her backward country out of the dark ages and the Europeans are the skilled artisans and agriculturists she needs.  The story is told in two voices: Catherine’s viewpoint as she struggles with the intrigues of court and her lover’s infidelities - but mainly from Christian’s perspective, the obstacles, crises and joys he encounters as he grows up in his new country.

Who is your favourite character in your book?
I couldn’t narrow it down to one character as I have deep feelings for several of them. I adore the Gypsy, Siri, but then who could help but be enchanted by her.  She wasn’t planned for; she just walked into this story and wouldn’t leave. I feel strongly about the Russian blacksmith, Doshinski, too. I think they, along with Christian himself, have been the characters that readers have most identified with. 

What is your favourite genre?
Hmm, difficult to choose between historical fiction and a good crime thriller.  I read one genre until I am about ‘burnt out’ and then go to the other. Back and forth. I like them both even though they are so completely different.  Often I read a totally different genre just for fun.
Who is your favourite author?
I admire many writers but James A Michener and James Lee Burke rise above the crowd. Both are superior wordsmiths. Michener’s imagination knew no bounds
and he had the word skills to take you along with him on his journey. Burke’s beautiful prose has to be read; none of us has the ability to describe it.

Who is your most inspirational person?
I’m a Libre and always seem to struggle with two choices although Confucius says that a man of wisdom is never of two minds.  Even so, I couldn’t choose between Dr. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi.  There are women I admire and hold up, too, however these men represent core strength that I consider difficult to grasp.  Brave, ethical, unbendingly committed to their beliefs, they are awesome to me.

What is your favourite quote?
“This, too, shall pass.”  If we believe this, it sees us through the most difficult of times and also puts excess pride in ourselves into perspective. 

Are you in the process/planning of writing another book?
I thought I was.  I had been working through the first chapter, pretty much knowing the overall story, when a whole new approach occurred to me.  Now I have a problem I wasn’t anticipating at all.  The Muse is like that. Just when you think you have things wired. . .
Do you have a job alongside/before writing?
Not a job such as my tax practice was, but I do have a small houseful of Pomeranian dogs.  I’m a sometime dog show enthusiast and always an owner whose dogs come first.  They are as much of a job as I care to have these days.  Truthfully, though, other than wanting to be fed on time they’re not too demanding and usually wait for attention while I write or do other projects. 
What tips would you give young aspiring writers?
I’ve been writing articles on my blog and also for Ezine magazine on this very subject, tips for new writers. The bottom line of each article, said or unsaid, is to never quit. Anyone who wants to write needs to write. And write. And write.  There are techniques to be learned, and they certainly should be learned, but while reading and studying one must also write. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Write.

Why did you want an interview on my blog in particular?
I was pleased to discover your blog and to read your interviews as well as to see that you are doing reviews. I consider that alone as commendable. I also like it that you show your favorite books to be mostly in the YA/Paranormal genre yet you are eclectic in your reading, from Vampire Academy to Diary of Anne Frank.  Impressive. I wish you great success with your blog.
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Are you an author and want to do an interview? Do you have a review you want me to publish? Or do you want to do a guest post? Well don't hesitate to contact me!
Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

1 People dared to comment.: said...

Hi Karleene, I was quite surprised to find out you were a tax accountant, you are a libra and you have been writing or thinking about writing for a long time. As one "writer" to another, a libra to another and a tax accountant to another, I enjoyed your interview, your book and love your pomeranians! Good Luck on your latest writing venture and do let me know when it is released.
Louise Guyton,

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