Author Karen Rose Smith Guest Blogs

August 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm (Guest Blogger) (, , , , , , , , , )

I find interacting with authors on Twitter to be very exciting, and it’s always fun to share my twittering adventures with my fellow readers and blog subscribers.  Karen Rose Smith is a best-selling, award-winning author.  Her 80th novel will be published in 2013.  Below, she shares a little bit about her life as a writer.

What Inspires Me

Writing and living are interchangeable for me.  They are so glued together that I realized while writing this blog that whatever inspires me for one inspires me for the other.  Peaks and valleys in one affect the other.  So when I think about inspiration for either writing or living, I can lift my heart in these ways.

Ever since I was a young girl, music has made a difference in my life. (That is probably why one of the romances in my new series revolves around music.) Until I was five, my parents and I lived with my grandfather and my aunt.  After that they lived next door.  I come from an Italian heritage, and my grandfather was an immigrant.  He played the mandolin beautifully.  On weekends friends would stop by with guitars and an accordion, and he and his friends made music.  That music brought into the house fellowship, fun and a sense of well-being.  Also in my grandfather’s house was a player piano.  We inserted what was called a “roll” and a melody magically played while my mother and I would sing along.  She played the piano herself, and I would accompany her, too.  It was natural for me to learn to play the piano myself.  Through the years I learned to express emotion through the playing.  I found joy and inspiration in the music.  With this history, I never just listen to a song.  I feel it.  Today I listen for artists and music which can stir that deep creative part of me, whether it does that by bringing back memories, lifting me to a mountaintop, soothing pain and stress away, or urging me to write a particularly emotional scene.  Music lifts me over the writing bumps or life’s bumps.

Traveling to a place with power also renews me.  I believe everyone can find places that fill them with peace and an overwhelming sense of well-being.  When I was a child, I had access to a relative’s farm.  There was something about the fields of grass, the scent of orange blossoms and honeysuckle, the playfulness of kittens around the barn and the beauty of horses in the corral that always washed over me in a particularly healing way.  I loved just being there and soaking it in.  As an adult I feel drawn to places where I can feel a power greater than myself–the ocean, the cliff dwellings in the southwest, the Appalachian mountains, the big blue sky over Santa Fe, Sedona and the Grand Canyon, a memorial garden my husband and I created in memory of my parents in our own backyard.  All of these places, as well as the memories from being in them, fill me up when I am empty and help me to keep going.

Since emotion and my creative energy are also integrally linked, the people I love and who love me also inspire me.  My husband reminds me that I always say each book is different and eventually my characters show me the way.  Talking to my son long-distance reminds me the bonds between a mother and child are never-ending.  When my BFF’s daughter runs to me for a hug, I am inspired to look at the world through her eyes–in a more innocent, unspoiled way.  My writing friends listen and help me get unstuck when a scene or character is being stubborn.  Also my three cats, Ebbie, London and Zoie are constant companions who remind me to be playful.  Ebbie joins me when I work or listen to music.  London curls on my lap or beside me for an afternoon break.  Zoie exhibits pure kittenhood. Their presence fills me with a sense of  joy and contentment.

Inspiration surrounds me in many forms.  I just have to know how to listen, where to go and whom to turn to in order to find it.  Somehow I always do and life and writing flow on.
Buy Her Books Here!

Readers can visit her websites:

http://www.karenrosesmith.com/

http://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com/

http://twitter.com/karenrosesmith/

Facebook (Karen Rose Smith author)

Access her e-zine In Touch at karenrosesmith-ezine.blogspot.com for new releases and contests.

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Believing the Lie – A Review

December 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Title: Believing the Lie

Author: Elizabeth George

Publisher: Dutton, a member of Penguin group

Genre: mystery

Length: 610 pages

Buy Now!

 

Dutton Books, to my surprise and excitement, kindly provided me with a copy of Believing the Lie, Inspector Lynley’s 17th book appearance, just weeks before its official release date.  Despite this book being number seventeen in a series, and having never read any of George’s previous work, I often wondered which characters were reoccurring ones and which were unique to this title.  The work and the character development was so seamless, this was unclear until nearly toward the end.

“[…] Darling, secrets and silence caused all of this.  Lies caused this,” Inspector Lynley summarizes the novel of which he is supposedly the star.  It is refreshing to read a crime writer who gives you such a large cast of characters in such detail, its surprising to find that the lead inspector is more like the wood frame that holds a canvas together than the paint that creates the work of art itself.  He is ever in the middle of the action, but rarely the focus, he merely serves as the reason for the story’s existence in the first place.

George writes human tension beautifully.  More than a typical mystery, George has written a well crafted drama involving social issues surrounding homosexuals, transsexuals, and the families who love but fail to understand them.  During all this family drama, international culture issues, marital affairs, and even a child pornography ring, the biggest truth to be revealed of this murder mystery, is whether there has even been a murder at all.

Typically, when I read mysteries I take the cozy, less than 200 page ones for what I call “bubble bath books,” something I can read in one sitting in the tub.  As much as I love those (my cotton candy for the soul), I say with the highest compliment intended, George does not write bubble bath mysteries.  And quite different from those sorts of books, this one left me wondering: What Next?

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