I am a fan of Karen White's writing and loved her novel On Folly Beach that I read and reviewed this summer (read my review here). I'm excited to tell you about Karen White's newest release, Falling Home.
FALLING HOME was originally published in 2002, and is being released again on November 2, 2010 in response to the many readers who reached out after unsuccessfully searching for the out-of-print novel. It has been extensively revised for this new publication. “Readers told me they loved the story and characters, so it was hard to see what I might change,” says Karen regarding the revisions. “Then it clicked. I didn’t want to change the story. I wanted to change some of the writing—to take the experience and education of having written nine other novels and to work at creating a better book.”
Karen brings her readers to small-town Georgia where "everybody is somebody" and attempts to answer the question, "Can you really ever go home again?"
Cassie Madison, estranged from her sister, returns home to be with her dying father, intending to leave the sleepy Georgia town immediately after his funeral. Unexpectedly, she inherits the family home. Now she has to stay in Walton until it sells...which happens to be just long enough for her to learn how the power of family, memories and a former love can lead to the most amazing discoveries
Karen White has graciously written a guest post to share with you her thoughts about the Life of a Writer. I think that you'll enjoy Karen's honesty and sense of humor as well.
The Glamorous < cough >
Life of a Writer
People are surprised when I tell them that my life isn’t glamorous. Sure, my thirteenth novel is about to hit bookstores, and I’m having a big launch party to celebrate before heading out on a three-week media/booksigning tour where I get to wear cool outfits and heels. But at the moment, I’m dressed like a homeless woman because I’m in the midst of deadline dementia (I have a book due in two weeks), I’ve had eyes rolled at me by 16-year-old son at least twice in the last hour, I’m sitting on a bed covered with three loads of unfolded laundry, and I’m thinking I need to take the dog to the vet tomorrow because he’s chewing on his leg which means his seasonal allergies are back.
See what I mean?
Sure, I get lots of fan mail—my favorite part of this job—but all I have to do is glance up at the sticky kitchen counters, the shoes, text books, and sports apparatus scattered liberally around the house like pepper on scrambled eggs, and I’m back to the reality of my non-glamorous life.
I don’t want to burst anybody’s fantasy bubble, but I feel a dire need to set the record straight. I’ve written the first two books in a mystery series set in Charleston, what readers fondly call “the Tradd Street series.” Unfortunately, books #3 and #4 in the series are coming out two years apart because I simply couldn’t fathom keeping up with writing two books a year and having a life, glamorous or otherwise. When I mentioned this at a book club, the readers—and I love them all!—were up in arms that they would have to wait so long between installments. I told them if I could get the two teenagers, husband, guinea pig, and dog to move in with them for a year, I might be able to write a bit faster. Oddly enough, I didn’t have any takers.
Yesterday, as I was cleaning dog vomit from the back seat of my car, I found myself wondering why I make my life so crazy. Why do I have to write? Couldn’t I just keep to a leisurely schedule of a book every five years or so? The answer is easy: no. Writing isn’t just something I do—it’s who I am. When I get a story snagged in my brain, I’m compelled to write it—even if it means carting my laptop to the carpool line, the horse barn, the football field or the laundry room to get it written.
In my November book, Falling Home, the protagonist, Cassie Madison, finds out almost too late the importance of family, home and belonging, and of being around people who have known you forever and love you anyway.
I don’t want to be like Cassie at the beginning of the book before her eyes are opened; I never want to take for granted my children or husband, or any of the people who are important to me. I want to spend time with them now instead of putting it off to some later time when I think I’ll have more time. Even if it means getting less sleep than I should, and sometimes greeting my son when he comes home from school at 3:30 in the afternoon while still wearing the pajamas I wore when he left at 7:00 that morning. I manage to prioritize and get the important things done—and if I don’t always look glamorous while doing it, so be it.
My life might not be glamorous, but it’s mine, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Besides, my children won’t be teenagers forever, and before long I’ll have a quiet, orderly life and house, and they’ll be calling me and telling me how wonderful I am and asking for my advice about life. And if that doesn’t happen, then I’ll just have to write them into my books so I can bend them to my will. Hey, I’m the writer and in my world, fantasies happen.
Thanks to Karen White for her honesty and humor and sharing what Life as a Writer is all about in her life. It's hard work and as readers we need to be patient and supportive of our favorite authors works. I loved the book club story and how an author deals with daily stresses just like anyone else! Check out more information at Karen White's website, here.
I am excited to tell you that you have the opportunity to win your own copy of FALLING HOME! I have one copy to give away to a lucky winner.
All you have to do is leave a comment, make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner. Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing. Open to US & Canada only. Books will ship directly to the winners. Enter by November 14, 2010.