Interview with Author Karen E Stokes – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Karen E Stokes

Author Karen E Stokes began her literary journey in 2010.  Her first novel, ‘An Ordinary Life’ was published in 2014, under a different name.  This was a biographical piece, written in the third person using a fictional character.  She found the experience of writing this both therapeutic and inspiring, fuelling her desire to continue.

Karen’s love of reading was present from an early age and began with a passion for poems and limericks. Some favourite authors are Fay Weldon and Martin Amis, and more recently, James Rice.

As a versatile creative, she is also a successful digital artist, working for art licensing agency based in Florida.  Her work as a musician spans more than twenty years in the entertainment business, performing solo and in various bands and collaborations.

Tell me more about your latest book

I always wanted to write a ghost story, but one that didn’t necessarily follow a typical format, with no horror, blood or gore.  The Healing is about a ghost boy who enters the lives of a single mother and her young son in order to communicate a sinister message, intertwined with the ordinary lives of people, each going through their own traumas, hence the title.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

For me, it was the flow of the story and continually editing to make sure every aspect was relevant and not just about beefing up the word count.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

The publishing of my very first book was partly financed by myself, but The Healing was the real deal.  The procedure was simple – keep plugging away.  I strongly believed that seeking out a publisher who shared an interest in the genre of my novel was time well spent rather than blanketing the market.

What motivated you to become an author?

To this day I really don’t have a definite answer.  At a guess it could have been triggered by my desire to start writing a detailed biography of my musical career which I began well before I started penning fiction and to this day, is an on-going project.

How many books have you written so far?

‘An Ordinary Life’ and ‘The Healing’.

As an author, do you prefer the traditional book or online version? Why?

I prefer the traditional book, mainly because I prefer to turn pages than to scroll on a Kindle or other device.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Having just secured a publishing deal, I am not sure I can answer this with any degree of accuracy, but as I see now, feel it lies with the process of building a following, especially as there are millions of books available out there to choose from. I think also that promoting the first book is the hardest and once an author is established, it is easier to keep followers interested with future titles.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

I believe writing is a passion and shouldn’t be fuelled by a desire to make money. If you enjoy it then the rest will follow, but only with grit and determination to continue on regardless of popularity.

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