Karen Aminadra is an English author who was born in London, and grew up in Hertfordshire, England. As a teacher, she worked in academies, schools, and universities in Ecuador, Russia, and Spain as well as the U.K. She returned to England in 2005 where she met the man who was to become her husband. They settled in Northamptonshire where Karen embarked on a writing career to fulfil a life-long ambition. She is now the author of five novels, Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues, Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2, Relative Deceit, The Uncanny Life of Polly, and It’s a Man’s World. In 2012 she received a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for her debut novel Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues and in 2013 she was once again honoured with a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2. More information can be found on her two blogs http://kaminadra.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://karenaminadrablog.wordpress.com/
Stephanie: Hello, Karen! It is always a pleasure to chat with you and congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. First off I would like to say that your stories are fantastic and I have enjoyed them very much. They are not only engaging but your character development is brilliant. Please tell your audience about your book, Rosings.
Karen: Hi Stephanie. Thank you so much for interviewing me and thank you for the compliment—for me the characters are the most important part of any story. If they cannot engage me and I cannot love them, how can I expect my reader to?
Rosings began when a few readers asked me to write a little something about Anne and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. I was happy to oblige and Rosings was born. The story is about poor Anne the downtrodden daughter of the inimitable Lady Catherine De Bourgh. We know from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that Anne, in her mother’s opinion, is sickly and of a delicate constitution, and that Lady Catherine had intended Mr. Darcy to marry her. Well, we all know how that turned out. I turned my imagination to wondering what Anne’s life would be like once the prospect of marrying Mr. Darcy was no longer an option. The De Bourgh family had to continue so Lady Catherine hatches a plan to marry off her daughter.
Stephanie: I absolutely love your portrayal of Catherine De Bourgh. How long did it take you to write your story?
Karen: Catherine De Bourgh is a favourite of mine too. She comes from a different time, her sensibilities are different to her daughter’s. I guess it is like trying to get your Nan to understand today’s society. It is almost alien to her generation and Lady Catherine doesn’t like change at all! The book took me about three to four months to write out the first draft, of course, after that there are weeks of editing etc. However, once I have a story planned out, I really like to crack on with it and get it written.
Stephanie: I don’t blame you. Getting your story down is the most important. Editing can come later. Is there a scene you wrote that had you bursting out laughing?
Karen: The scene with Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins in the drawing room was funny. He’s such a great, fun, and bumbling character to write. I may well have to slip him into one of my other books just for the fun of it.
Stephanie: Who is your favorite character and least favorite character? If you have any.
Karen: My least favourite would have to be Monty, without a doubt. He doesn’t address Anne correctly, he takes liberties, and you just want to slap him in the end. If there was ever a character that you want to fail in his endeavors, it’s him. My favourite is probably Mr. Watkins senior. He’s a really nice chap, the kind of friend you’d want to keep close.
Stephanie: He sounds like and interesting character. Who designed your book cover?
Karen: I had an idea of what I wanted for the cover but I passed the mechanics of it over to Moon Rose Covers.
Stephanie: Where there any scenes that you found a challenge to write?
Karen: There were a couple of scenes where Lady Catherine is angry, and in my mind, she became someone whom I know and has always behaved in such a way. As a writer, your life and experiences often come out in your work and I was surprised to see Lady Catherine take on this person’s personality, but it fit so well. Those scenes were difficult to write but I felt so good after they were down on paper.
Stephanie: I agree. Those scenes are difficult to write. What do you love most about writing?
Karen: Hmm… I love spending entire days, weeks, and months in my own imagination. It’s such an escape. I write first thing in the morning, while it’s dark outside and the rest of the world is sleeping. I find that I get the most done at that time of the day and I love that aspect of my work. I also love the freedom it brings. If I am unwell, then I don’t have to work. I have no nagging boss and I never have to deal with rush hour traffic.
Stephanie: Your love for writing sounds just like mine. J Where in your home is your favorite place to write? Do you have a favorite coffee or tea by your side when writing?
Karen: I actually don’t have a desk. I used to write in the living room but that gave everyone an excuse to interrupt me. Now I sit on my bed with the laptop on a tray over my legs – glamorous, eh? I like working in my bedroom actually. It’s a sanctuary. No one, apart from my husband, is allowed in. It’s private. As for what I drink, I sometimes have a juice of some sort, but I don’t drink coffee – it gives me palpitations. However, I am a huge tea fan. I’m English, of course I have tea by my side when I write. I drink a decaffeinated blend of tea, either PG Tips or Tetley, and I drink it with soya milk (most Brits have white tea.)
Stephanie: My bedroom is where I write often. Sometimes in the living room. But only when I’m the alone. Sometimes early in the morning, I will get up and write while in bed. Some of my best ideas are in the morning. I’m not a coffee drinker all that much. I do love tea however. So funny how similar we are, Karen. I use soy for my tea as well. What is up next for you?
Karen: That is strange how similar we are. I’m glad I’m not alone 😉 So, what’s next for me? Since receiving a B.R.A.G Medallion for Rosings, I wrote and published a spin off from my novel Relative Deceit called It’s a Man’s World. Right now I’m taking a few days off to collect my thoughts before I dive into another project. I know my readers are desperate for book three in my Pride and Prejudice Continues series, so doubtless that will be on my ‘to do’ list. I also have a few other ideas in mind. I have been planning a children’s series for a while now and I’d like to get working on that too.
Stephanie: Can’t wait to hear more about your children’s series! Is there a message you would like to tell your readers?
Karen: I would like to say thank you for coming on this fantastic journey with me. It’s been so much fun and it’s made even better by the support and loyalty of my readers. I love the emails I receive from you all and I especially love your thoughts on the characters’ lives in my books. From time to time, I’ve even been asked to write something particular and that’s how Rosings was born. So, I cannot do it without you – thank you all, again.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
Karen: Rosings is available in ebook version from Amazon, Kobo, and Xinxii. It’s also available to order in paperback from all major stockists.
Stephanie: Thank you, Karen! Please come back to Layered Pages and chat with me again soon!
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Karen Aminadra, who is the author of, Rosings, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Rosings, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.