It’s a great pleasure today to welcome friend, fellow darkstroke author and Manchester Scribe, Karen Moore to my blog to share her writing journey.
Thanks so much, Jo, for inviting me along to your blog today to talk about my writing journey.
Why do I write? A lifelong fascination with words, an over-fertile imagination, and a creative streak, in short! As a child, I acquired a collection of unusual toys, gifts from my father who had picked them up on his travels around the world in the Merchant Navy. These became my characters and props, and I would weave stories around them for my own entertainment, being an only child with an often-absent father. When home, he would regale my mum and I with tales of his voyages, further fuelling my imagination and urge for adventures of my own.
I began to share my stories with family and friends, as well as the many penfriends I had in those days when you still wrote letters and sent them airmail to far-flung places. They’d take forever to arrive, or sometimes not arrive at all, which all added to the excitement.
I also became an avid reader, with a liking for adventures, mysteries, and spooky stories. And a later interest in drama, and a passing fancy of becoming an actress one day, further added to my love affair with words.
Instead, I went on to develop a career in PR and marketing, where writing was a fundamental requirement. This presented an opportunity for getting creative with the truth, marrying fact with fiction. I became more interested in the latter, signed up to a year-long creative writing course, and began to develop my own writing.
But what to write? My own reading tastes veered towards thrillers, novels that focussed on the darker side of life. I was particularly drawn to Nordic Noir, a genre that grabbed me right from the start. I loved the atmospheric settings, the compelling characters, the social issues. It’s always a good starting point to write something that you’d like to read yourself.
And so the idea for my debut novel, Torn, was born, inspired by the distressing news reports of the increasingly desperate migrant situation in the Mediterranean in recent years. I felt this would make a fascinating backdrop for a novel, although it didn’t start out as such. As I started writing, the ideas just kept coming and it grew and grew; it was almost developing a life of its own.
Torn is a contemporary thriller, a tale of intrigue and betrayal, set mainly in Sicily, a fascinating island with a unique history and culture. I used my own experience and knowledge of the country to paint a vivid, albeit fictional, picture. The Sicilian setting contrasts sharply with the other location, North Wales, although both landscapes are similar in their dramatic, wild beauty.
I have recently completed a second novel, the sequel to Torn, which I’m currently editing. Will there be any more books in the series? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is certain: I will continue to write. I love the process, the ability to escape into a fantasy world of your own making, where anything could happen. Knitting it all together in a way that readers find credible and entertaining continues to be the challenge.
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 France and Italy and is now based in Cheshire, England.
Follow her online:
Torn is available as an e-book or in paperback at mybook.to/darkstroketorn