I was lucky to get to interview Karen about her writing and her novel. Below is that interview, hope you all enjoy.
B: What started you on this journey to being a writer?
K: I was always a writer professionally. I was in public relations and communications, so wrote lots of articles and essays, but never with my name on it. Always the client’s name.
In 1999, I quit to write full-time and worked for years on a memoir, Following the Whispers, which was published in 2009.
B: Is there a certain genre of book you like to read more than others?
K: I mostly read novels, historical fiction, mysteries, women’s fiction. But I also read a lot of nonfiction: self-help, spirituality, metaphysical, memoir, biography
B: Do you tend to be a big outliner with your stories or more of a free writer (or like me somewhere in the middle)?
K: Oh God, I never outline. I’ve hated outlines since school days. My stories flow from my heart. Then, once the first draft is done, I go back and work out plot, characterization and other issues out.
B: Do you have a 'writing spot' or a certain routine you like to follow before you start writing?
K: I just write on my laptop in my living room, but I do get myself into a meditative space before I begin writing.
B: What was the inspiration for The Wishing Steps?
K: That’s a bit of a story. I was on vacation in Scotland, standing in the midst of a 2000-year-old burial site when an unfamiliar inner voice said, “Tell my story.” I’d never heard voices before, other than my own inner voices, and wasn’t even sure what I heard, so I said, “I’m on vacation. Sorry.” Then, in Ireland a few days later, I was standing on what they called the wishing steps in the forest surrounding Blarney Castle, when the voice once more said, “Tell my story.” Once again, I ignored it. But I couldn’t ignore it once I got home. The Wishing Steps is the result.
B: Robert Jordan said, when asked if he had a favorite character, that his favorite was the one he was currently writing. Do you have a favorite character that was easier or more enjoyable to write?
K: This is my first work of fiction. I’d written nonfiction for three decades. I guess my favorite character from this book is Brighid from Part I because she lived in primitive times and had to figure things
out for herself when that was so much harder to do without the resources we have today.
B: What are future plans past The Wishing Steps?
K: Sigh! Brandon, I’m sixty-six. I’d like to be retired in the full sense of that word, but I have other books in me wanting to come out. There’s another novel, a companion piece to The Wishing Steps, and more essays and articles.
Thanks again Karen for an awesome interview. And good luck on your release and future endeavors.
Here is some information on The Wishing Steps out now.
Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women not only see their lives alter beyond recognition but must navigate the violence and scorn of a world that cannot accept their unorthodox ways.
Can Brighid find a way to sustain her fragile, new beliefs in the face of rape and abandonment? Can Ashleen survive the brutality of an Inquisition that has burnt her mother as a witch? Can Megan defy her family and rise above the derision of an intolerant community?
The women can and do, but not before facing soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.
The Wishing Steps is more than the journey of three women across the ages. It is the journey of all women through all ages…a journey of courage and defiance, trust and acceptance, revolution and transformation. The Wishing Steps is more than a story about three women’s discovery of Goddess. It is a story that all women have lived as they have sought, and fought, to claim their wisdom and express their power.
There are other novels about women’s empowerment but only The Wishing Steps blends fact and fantasy to wrap it around the story of Goddess, a matriarchal way of life that predates all major religions.
There are other novels about the Goddess. Only The Wishing Steps spans the millennia from prehistory to contemporary times to explore themes of enduring import to women of all ages and backgrounds.
And while The Wishing Steps will attract readers of women’s and feminist fiction, the story of Brighid, Ashleen and Megan will appeal as well to lovers of myth and fantasy and followers of visionary and metaphysical fiction.
Here is a bit about the author.
Karen Walker is a writer who has published essays in newspapers and magazines, as well as in an anthology series. Her memoir, Following the Whispers, was published in 2009. The Wishing Steps is her debut novel. She completed a Bachelor’s degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 from the University of New Mexico’s University Studies program with a major emphasis in Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing, you may find Karen singing and dancing with Sugartime or The Sophisticated Ladies at nursing homes and retirement communities, singing and playing guitar with friends, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Here is where you can find the book.
Hope everyone is having and amazing day. As always have fun and keep writing.
Hi Brandon, Thanks so much for being part of my journey of releasing this book and helping in such a big way.ReplyDelete
Great interview, Brandon!! I've started reading The Wishing Steps and KAREN, you cannot retire :) Many congratulations on your début novel. I am looking forward to the next one already - no pressure :) Wishing you both a lovely week.ReplyDelete
Oh, Nic, you make me giggle - thanks for the good wishes and I'm so happy you're enjoying the story.ReplyDelete
This is a great interview to read, Brandon. Can't wait to read your book, Karen. I wish you much success.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, T.ReplyDelete
Oh no, Karen. You're stuck writing more, just like me. Welcome to the world of fiction!ReplyDelete
Yes, Alex, we are both the reluctant novelists, aren't we?ReplyDelete
Great interview Karen and Brandon. Good to know there are other books to come.ReplyDelete
It's good to hear there are more books inside you. Keep listening to those voices Karen.ReplyDelete
It was so nice to find out more about you, Karen and your writing. Wishing you lots of success.ReplyDelete
Oh dear, Mason, I guess I committed myself, didn't I?ReplyDelete
Suzanne, yikes - don't hold me to it!, Thanks, Suzanne
Murees, thank you.
Brandon, I wanted to thank you once again for hosting me today. It was fun. Signing off for the night now.ReplyDelete
It was my pleasure Karen. I also want to thank everyone for stopping by.ReplyDelete
This was an excellent interview - thank you Karen and Brandon! I think I heard the same voice that Karen heard in Scotland, only I was in Ireland this summer! There's something about those beautiful countries that is so inspiring and full of stories to be told.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed it. I want to go to both of those places and Japan one day.Delete
*waves to Karen* *high five* Who needs outlines, eh? *demurely tucks outline behind back*ReplyDelete
lol Well hey, we all need what we need.Delete
Outlines . . . pffft! I'm with you on that, Karen! Great interview! Loved how it was sort of outside forces telling you to write this particular story. :) Congratulations and best of luck!!ReplyDelete
Glad you liked it.Delete