Thursday, September 20, 2012

Author Interview: Karen Aminadra

Welcome, welcome.  Today we have a wonderful interview with author Karen Aminadra.  She'll be telling us a bit about herself and her book, Charlotte.  I'm anxious to read this one myself!

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I’m English, I was born in London and grew up in Hertfordshire. I now live in Northamptonshire with my husband. I am a teacher and with my work I have traveled and lived in some fabulous countries – Ecuador, Russia and Spain. I had some great adventures in those countries, so much so that I wish I’d done it for longer. I’d love to live abroad again.

Fill in the blank favorites - 

Type of hero. Dark, brooding, thinking not just all brawn – he needs to be able to have a good conversation. Alan Rickman’s Colonel Brandon-type, you know what I mean. Wait, am I describing my type of hero or my husband?!

Type of heroine. I don’t like stupid, naive heroines. I like them to have some brains too, an Anne Elliot or Eleanor Dashwood kind of woman rather than a Fanny Price – she drives me mad!

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? 

New Zealand, without any doubt or hesitation. In fact, one of the characters in something I’m
working on is from New Zealand.

What got you started on your writing journey? 

I’ve thought about that question a lot recently. I think it was my first English teacher when I was 11. His name was Mr Sperink. At the time, I was reading every Stephen King book in the library and he set us a project to write a short story. I, of course wrote a horror about some people in a house who thought a brutal murder had taken place in the kitchen. It turned out that the owner had killed and slaughtered a pig.  Mr Sperink had loved it; it had gripped him and then made him laugh at the end. I won a prize for that. That was the start for me.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2012? 

I often read 4 or 5 books at a time and I have started writing 5 books at once. Now that might sound insane, but when I get blocked on one then I can move to another. I have a sequel to Charlotte ~ Pride & Prejudice planned. I have a Historical Romance and 3 contemporary books begun too. I hope at least one of them will be finished by Christmas.

Where do your ideas come from? 

That’s a really good question and one I have debated with other authors. Most of us leave the answer as Divine Intervention. I don’t know – I think writers are wired differently, I don’t think we lose the imagination we had as children. We escape into them and from there we access something and out comes a story.  I once said something odd (Well I often do actually) to my husband, that it was as though the hero or heroine was standing over my shoulder telling me things about their lives. Showing me scenes and getting me to tell their story.  Haha now that sounds insane!

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published? 

I have written four and three have been published. The forth was actually the first, but it’s a children’s book and I need to find the right illustrator. So, I guess that it may be some time before that is published too.

What are the elements of a great romance for you? 

There has to be time to think and reflect. After all real romance is about falling in love not falling in lust. So, I like the story to develop and the love to build. I like the woman to feel she is the only woman in the world and that the hero would lay down his life for her. I am a real romantic and love the characters to feel the way I do about my husband, I do anything for him and sacrifice anything too. I would rather die now than life one single day without him. I like to see that in a book too.

Please share about your book, Charlotte

My first published book is a Pride and Prejudice continuation – it’s about Charlotte Lucas after she married Mr Collins.

Here is the blurb… “When Charlotte Lucas married Mr Collins, she did not love him but had at least secured her future.  However, what price must she pay for that future? She once said she was not romantic, but how true is that now after almost one year of marriage? Mr Collins is submissive in the extreme to his patroness, and his constant simpering, fawning and deference to the overbearing and manipulative Lady Catherine de Bourgh is sure to try the patience of a saint, or at least of Charlotte. As Charlotte becomes part of Hunsford society, she discovers she is not the only one who has been forced to submit to the controlling and often hurtful hand of Lady Catherine. She feels trapped and realizes her need for love and affection. She is not as content as she once thought she would be. The easiest thing to do would be to maintain the peace and do as she is told. But, as Charlotte witnesses the misery around her due to her inimitable neighbour, she must decide to remain as she is or to begin a chain of events that will change not only her life but also the lives of those around her in the village of Hunsford forever.”

So, you can imagine that life wasn’t easy for her. Not only was she marrying a man she didn’t love, but moving away from friends and family. Then she also had to deal with her inimitable neighbour. She tells Lizzy in Pride & Prejudice that she was content… I could never believe that, that has to be impossible.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Simpering, domineering, passionate, naïve and honourable. (Now, which one fits with which character?)

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Charlotte Lucas is plain but sensible, in fact she’s quite smart and that is why she married Mr Collins. It was either him or be a spinster forever.

Mr Collins is foolish, immature, and simpering. He cannot see people for who they really are.

Colonel Fitzwilliam is a passionate man, perhaps led by his emotions rather than by what’s right.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh is controlling and must be obeyed. She will not take any nonsense, nor brook opposition.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

If you love Jane Austen and want to know what happened after the end of Pride & Prejudice, then read my book.
If you’ve ever wondered how anyone could cope with Lady Catherine and be married to Mr Collins, then read my book.

1 comment:

  1. I always felt bad for poor Charlotte. Your book sounds very intriguing. I love to know more of what happens 'after' a book.



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