Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Perfect Summer - A Perfect Read on a Chilly Day

Today, I'm pleased to interview, Karen King, author of Perfect Storm, on my blog

Hi, Karen, welcome! Can you tell my readers a little about your background? 
Well, I write children books for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. I've had over one hundred children’s books published.

I've also written for many children's magazines, including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh, and Thomas the Tank Engine

Perfect Summer is my first YA, and it was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition. 

That's a wonderful accomplishment, Karen! Congratulations. With all those books and articles out there, I'm sure people ask you all the time about your writing schedule. Do you write in the morning, evening, all day?
I'm most productive in the morning. Often, I get out of bed and start writing right away. I'm full of ideas in the morning. 

How did you get started writing?
I've always written. I had my first poem published when I was 11, but I started my writing career with Jackie magazine, writing articles and photo stories. 

When it comes to fiction, are you a Plotter or are you what's known as a "Pantser"?
That depends on whether I'm writing to a commission or not.

If I'm commissioned, I have to plot as I have to send a synopsis and the first couple of chapters to my editor. If I'm not writing to a commission, I plot some at first-- so I know the basic outline of my story -- but once I get going, I write "by the seat of my pants".

What's one of the funniest things people have asked you?
When I visit schools, the kids always ask me whether I'm rich. 

How do you reply to something like that?
I usually say "No, I'm really poor, so please go and buy some of my books!"

Good move! Would you tell my readers a little about your book Perfect Summer?
Imagine growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government gives people grants for plastic surgery.

Fifteen-year old Morgan can't help being a bit envious of her best friend Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity client list. Summer's life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn't so rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down's syndrome - which, according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime. 

When Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren't interested in finding him, Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger, too. 

Can they find Josh and Holly before it's too late?

Do you have a sample you can share with us?
Yes, here's one from the book's Prologue.

They were on their fourth game of poker. The air was tense; they played in silence, speaking only when they had to.

The burly man glanced at the five cards in his hand, his expression unreadable. “I’ll see you.” He took a drag of his cigarette and waited.

The woman sitting next to him studied her hand of cards and sighed. “I’m folding.” She placed the cards face down on the table, crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.

They both watched the bald man on the other side of the table. He looked at his cards and frowned. The burly man took another drag of his cigarette and sent a spiral of thick smoke into the air. Then a shrill ring broke through the silence, making them all jump. The burly man grabbed his nanophone, and the others waited as he flicked it open. The air was electric with suspense.

“Yes,” he said brusquely. He was silent as he listened, then replied, “We will leave immediately.” He switched the phone off, threw his cards down and stood up. “It’s on,” he said, scooping up the handful of coins in the middle of the table and putting them, and the phone, in his pocket.“Let’s get going.”

The woman left her cards and followed him. They both hurried outside to a dark blue van. The man climbed into the driving seat, the woman sat beside him. She took a slip of paper out of her pocket and keyed an address into the E--Nav. “We’ll be there in a couple of hours,” she said.

“How old’s this one?” the man asked.

 “Three,” the woman replied.

“Shouldn’t be too difficult then.” The man started up the van and they set off.

That sounds quite intriguing, Karen. Where can readers get a copy of the book?
They can buy it for their Kindle at Amazon or they can get it in Nook format at Barnes & Noble or they can buy it in paperback at either place.

If you're interested in finding out more about Karen and her writing, you can visit her at:
Karen's website, Her Author Page on Facebook,  at Goodreads, or  catch up with her on Twitter @karen_king