Interview with Karen Probert – Adept Short Story Writer…


Karen WITP 2014

How did you come up with the titles of your books?

The working title while I was writing ‘Fragments of Lives’ was Chunks of Life. It sounded too harsh, too heavy. Pieces of Lives sounded too even and Slices of Lives sounded like serving pieces of pizza or cake. Because no one character is in each story and each story is just a piece, often rough around the edges, of a life Fragments seems descriptive of the contents.

With “Colouring Our Lives”, I wanted to use Colouring Outside The Lines but it has been used often by other authors. I polled friends and other writers and the consensus was to use “Colouring Our Lives” Each story in this book has a predominant colour associated with it.

Fragments

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

“Fragments of Lives” is my first book of fictional short stories.

“Colouring our Lives” is the second, both have been published by Dream Write Publishing. I’m working on a very long short story, which may turn into a novel if that is what the characters want – the working title is “Bloodlines”.

How much of the book is realistic?

Although all my stories are fiction, the characters and scenarios in them are realistic and believable. I don’t write fantasy or sci-fi but about innately human characters in realistic situations where there is tension or an attainable goal being pursued.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Although I have no favourite character I often portray characters who are flawed, as we all are in some ways, but have the strength to live their lives thoughtfully and with integrity.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes, there are always improvements that could be made.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? The thought process. Hmmm.  A story begins with just one sentence or piece of dialogue. I just start there and follow the character’s lead. Once that story is written I go back, fill in, add other characters, or adjust the setting. I add details to embellish the idea of the story.

Colouring Our Lives

What do you enjoy most about writing?

My favourite part is creating the characters – what are their beliefs, how were these beliefs formed, how are they living their lives and making those lives work? Yes, they always have flaws or something has happened to them to change their perspective but they carry on. Not all of that information may be available to the reader, but it is in the back-story.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write?

Realistic fiction.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Probably I would never write about war or destruction. I could not write about a dystopian world where there seems no hope but only despair.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I neither eat/nibble nor listen to music while I write – quiet and calm allow me to concentrate best.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most difficult challenge for me is to make the people in the stories interesting but to also keep them like ordinary, real people that the reader might meet in everyday life. Each one has to have a secret or a flaw or be in an extraordinary circumstance that makes them act the way they do. That’s what holds the reader’s interest.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Many times an idea has not come together. It isn’t that I hated what I’d written but that I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the idea work.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

“Bloodlines” is about anthropologist, Hannah, of middle-Eastern descent who marries an African American whose genealogy is suspect, but whose family believes it is pure back to African slaves. Hannah is trained to follow the evidence and do the research. Doing the background research for this has been fascinating – everything from the gene causing red hair to Chilean bats – and I hope that comes through when I get to the end of the story. This story is purely fiction, but it could be true.

Links :

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010543031395

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/karen-probert

 


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