Interview with Karen Moore
Updated: Jan 13
Guess who I had a chance to interview...if it wasn't Karen Moore, the author of the bestseller, Torn, you ignored this article's title.
Torn was the first Darkstroke book that I ever read. I remember thinking, "I was chosen to be listed with a writer like Karen?" Talk about awestruck (and a bit intimidated). Also, hers was the first I ever reviewed on Amazon.
My review went like this...⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐"I normally read fantasy but felt compelled to read Torn. I'm so glad I did - the captivating story introduced me to settings that I wish to visit someday. The characters were vivid and drew me in emotionally. I highly recommend this interesting read."
Yeah, okay, so it was a short and sweet review. And honest. See what I did there? Reviews can be short and sweet and honest and not intimidating AT ALL!
Without further ado, I introduce to you...*drumroll*...the talented Karen Moore!
So, Karen, what is the first story you remember telling (not necessarily writing)?
My father was in the Merchant Navy and would bring back all sorts of tales from his travels. This inspired me to conjure up my own, either with invented characters or else imagining myself embarking on a series of exciting adventures in far-flung places.
How exciting! Isn't it amazing how one person can tell a story, and we can change it in our heads to fit our imagination? I used to read stories to my miniature Schnauzer, Rosie, and imagine that she and I were characters in the tales. Fun times.
What was your favorite game to play as a child?
I loved the challenge of board games such as Cluedo and Monopoly. I would also spend hours playing with a model farm, imagining the escapades of the animals and their owners.
Ooh, those model farms! The tiny animals and fences are great fun for parents to step on...not quite as fun as stepping on Legos, though.
Do you have any writing quirks?
I have a habit of coming up with better ideas as I’m writing. Some of these I can weave into my developing storyline or else I have to go back and see where they will work best, if at all!
Who inspired you to write your debut novel?
Not who, but what. I was inspired by news reports about the plight of large numbers of immigrants fleeing to Europe from North Africa in atrocious conditions and the fact that traffickers were being allowed to operate with apparent impunity for so long. I thought this would make the perfect backdrop for a thriller.
What is your favorite color? Least favorite?
So many favourite colours: dusky pinks and purples, bright orange and yellow, turquoise and green. My least favourite is navy blue – to me, it’s such a boring colour and it reminds me of uniforms and authority figures!
Dusky pink! My fav.
How do you name your characters?
I might choose names that appeal to me, or else go for names that fit a certain era or geographical area. Other names might be acquaintances from the past, but all my characters remain fictitious.
That is a very sensible method with your genre. To head in a different direction, what about fantasy...If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
I think I’d most like to be able to fly – that way I could see all the places in the world I’ll probably never get to, and what an incredible sense of freedom!
Definitely need a good pair of goggles, I'm thinking! Would you wear a cape, I wonder?
What are your hobbies (besides reading and writing)?
I love to cook, play tennis, go walking in the hills, and I adore animals.
So we all know about "writer's block." Has it ever affected you?
Not really. I don’t usually lack ideas but sometimes it can be challenging to decide how best to express them and what will work where in any particular storyline.
Getting those nasty words to arrange perfectly can be quite challenging, I agree.
What is your favorite author/book? Can you pick just one?
So many, it’s difficult to choose! I like classical authors such as Charlotte and Emily Bronte, DH Lawrence, and Ernest Hemingway, and William Shakespeare’s great tragedies such as King Lear and Macbeth.
As for contemporary writing, I enjoy a wide range of thriller and crime writers including authors such as Ruth Ware, Will Dean, Michel Bussi, Pierre Lemaitre, and Nordic Noir writers Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Arnaldur Indridason, Johan Theorin, and Anne Holt.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I hate writing love/sex scenes – they always seem so tacky and unauthentic.
I was embarrassed about writing a kissing scene for Inside Voices. As my second novel is urban fantasy, I find the more intimate scenes are definitely harder to write. My goal is not to screw it up too badly.
If you could have authored a book, which one and why?
This is a difficult one. I admire the Bronte sisters for being so ahead of their time and for their superb gothic storytelling ability, particularly in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
I tip my head for that comment. I agree those books are extraordinary. And I've read multiple retellings and have seen the movies. Speaking of movies again, what movie sequel would you erase from history and why?
I never think movie sequels work as well as book sequels. I wouldn’t erase any from history as other people may enjoy them, but I would probably just avoid them.
That's a solid answer.
While we are on movies, Star Trek or Star Wars?
Neither for me, I’m afraid. I’m not a fan of that genre. Give me a good thriller anytime!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Probably a cat as they live life on their own terms.
I just saw something like this the other day and thought it purr-fect for kitties.
*BoredPanda (click on the image for the website)
Cats also conserve energy by sleeping 13-14 hours a day. I could come back as a cat and be happy with that.
What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat and why?
Offal – just the sight and smell of it turns my stomach!
Totally agree with you on that! I like to say, "offal is awful."
Back to writing. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
My debut novel, Torn, took several years as I was still working fulltime. The second has taken me about a year to write. I’m now on the final chapters and then on to the editing.
Torn is your debut? Great job. I loved it! Tell us more about it, please.
As I said, my debut novel, Torn, took several years as I was still working fulltime. It was difficult to find the time and head space to write at that time, but I loved every minute of the journey. So much so, that I decided to continue the storyline in my second book and make it into a sequel.
I couldn’t claim that reading my novel will change anyone’s life, but hopefully it will keep you entertained for several hours and provide an opportunity to visit Sicily from the comfort of your sofa in these restrictive times. Happy reading!
Like any mother, Hanna would do anything to protect her small daughter, Eva.
When she discovers that her husband, Luciano, is not all he seems and their blissful life on the island of Sicily is threatened, she wastes no time in seeking refuge abroad. But just as they are settling into their new life in North Wales, Eva disappears.
In a race against time, Hanna is forced to return to Sicily and face the dark world of organised crime in a bid to secure her daughter’s safe return. She must also confront the truth about Luciano’s business dealings and their horrific consequences.
But will Hanna succeed in getting Eva back and bring Luciano to justice?
Or are the stakes just too high?
Thank you, Karen, for the opportunity to chat. Best of luck with your writing... I can't wait for the next one!
And you, reader, check out Torn on Amazon at mybook.to/darkstroketorn
Available for #KindleUnlimited
About the author
Karen Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre.
She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.
Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. She is currently working on the sequel.
Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America, and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in Italy and France and is now based in Cheshire, England.
Facebook: Karen Moore - Author | Facebook