Today I am joined in the Indie Spotlight by Karen Telling.
Karen and her husband, Nick, left the U.K. for the Algarve in 2003. It hasn’t been an easy 18 years but they’re still living in their corner of paradise. Karen had major surgery in 2009 and is now disabled but they have continued to rescue dozens of animals including bottle feeding abandoned pups and kittens. Karen has also taken Portuguese citizenship and Nick will soon follow suit, such is their love for the country and its people.
Facebook: Karen Telling Writer
Hi Karen, welcome to my blog.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I think I’m too impatient to try traditional publishing plus I’m a bit of a control freak! I did employ an editor, and someone to do the cover/formatting etc, but it meant that the book was ready within weeks rather than months or years. I started writing it at least 5 years ago, then got caught up in other projects and picked it up again during lockdown last year.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
I have written some short stories, one even won a prize and was published in an anthology around 2012. However, my disability means that I am unable to sit so have found it difficult to type on a normal keyboard, or even write longhand. I finally tried writing on my phone, and that’s how I finished the book. I decided on a memoir as our first year in Portugal was fairly eventful, and the time leading up to, and during my stay in hospital in Lisbon really showed how kind and thoughtful the Portuguese people can be, and I wanted to pay tribute to that.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
I read memoirs and auto/biographies, but also across most genres. If a book has a good story and characters then that’s the most important thing to me.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I’m currently reading several books, depending on my mood. The Taxidermist’s daughter by Kate Mosse, Born Lippy by Jo Brand and Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney. I don’t really watch a lot of TV, although I’m glad Strictly is back on as I used to do Ballet, Ballroom and Latin dancing classes, also Bake Off as I enjoy baking and find it quite therapeutic – I would watch the tasks in real time, if it were possible. I also love Taskmaster as it’s just so bonkers, it always makes me laugh.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Having only just published my first book I hardly feel qualified to give advice, but the best advice I read when starting out is just to write. You don’t have to start at the beginning, just write about the scene you feel comes easiest and go from there. You need to have something to work with, you can’t edit a blank page.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I’m currently working on a novel. As I’m 80% housebound now I don’t have a lot to write about in our day to day lives, so I will have to delve into my imagination. I may also write some more short stories, perhaps about some of the dogs and cats we have rescued.
Thank you for joining me today, Karen. Good luck with your book and your future projects!
Another Day in Paradise
If you’ve ever pondered exchanging your hectic existence in the UK for a simpler lifestyle by the sea. If you’ve ever entered that demi-world of life viewed from a hospital bed. And if you’ve ever let your heart rule your head when adopting animals in need, then you will have much in common with the author of this witty, insightful, emotional yet unsentimental tale.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
In 2007 Lisa Rose Wright left a promising career as an ecologist catching protected reptiles and amphibians, and kissing frogs, to move to beautiful green Galicia in the remote northwest of Spain with her blue-eyed prince.
She divides her time equally between growing her own food, helping to renovate a semi-derelict house and getting out and about to discover more of the stunningly beautiful area she calls home.