Thanks so much, Sarah, for inviting me onto your blog to talk about my new book, Release, which is out today, August 31, 2021.
It seems incredible that I now have two books published from what started out as no more than a hobby. Well, that’s not strictly true.
I started writing when I was young, thanks to a vivid imagination fuelled by my father’s tales of his travels in the Merchant Navy and by all the adventure stories I read. Make-believe always seemed so much more magical than reality. You could escape into a world of your own making. And I just loved playing with words!
Later in life, my writing became more factual, although I was always tempted to put my own spin on things. Fortunately working in PR and marketing allowed a certain amount of creativity. When I started to write short stories, I quickly became hooked.
My debut novel, a thriller called Torn, started as a germ of an idea for a short story and simply grew. I had such fun writing it, I didn’t want it to end. I’m sure many writers have a sense of elation when they finish the book they’re working on, but there’s also a sense of loss. Readers often experience a similar feeling when they come to the end of a book that’s been particularly gripping. But it was as if I hadn’t finished with the characters in Torn, nor they with me. And then came the brainwave for a sequel, and I was away! Although Release is a sequel, it is written as a stand-alone novel for anyone who may not have read Torn.
Both books are set in the dramatic, contrasting landscapes of Sicily and North Wales. For me, settings play a vital role in any novel and help to create the mood and tone of the book, almost becoming characters in their own right. The main protagonist is a young Englishwoman called Hanna who discovers that her charming Sicilian husband, Luciano, is anything but. I’m fascinated by the way people react when faced with dilemmas and situations outside their comfort zone and I try to explore this in my writing.
Inspiration to write Torn originally came from news reports on the distressing migrant situation in the Mediterranean, with large numbers of people trying to flee from Africa into Europe via Sicily in appalling conditions. Many didn’t survive the journey. Little seemed to be done at the time to bring this under control. The fact that the situation continues today, although on a smaller scale and with a different focus, inspired me to write Release.
News reports and documentaries were an ongoing source of information throughout the writing of both books. I was also able to draw on my own experience of Sicily and North Wales, supplemented by a couple of research visits, to create the settings.
And the series doesn’t end there. I’ve started work on a third novel where we meet some of the characters several years later, although the action has now moved away from Sicily and the characters are facing new challenges.
A threat returns. An attack with fatal consequences. A life lived in fear.
When Hanna’s estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian prison, she fears he will come after her and her young daughter, Eva.
The revelation leaves her with a dilemma. Invited to Sicily to attend her best friend’s wedding, can she really take the risk?
But even staying at home in North Wales may not be safe. Something strange is going on at her old cottage in the hills. As the lines between Sicily and North Wales blur, Hanna uncovers a criminal operation that leads her to fear for Eva’s life all over again.
Will Hanna ever be able to release herself from Luciano’s grip? Or will her discovery lead her into even deeper danger?
Author contact and buy links
Both books are available in e-book and paperback format on Amazon:
Release - http://mybook.to/releasenovel
More about Karen…
Karen 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. The action continues in her new thriller, Release.
Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America, and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy and is now based in Cheshire, England.
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