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Archive for March 5th, 2018

When a Stranger Comes…is Ms. Bell’s third novel. Her debut, Walking with Elephants, was initially published by a small publisher who went out of business. Subsequently, she took over as an indie publisher. It went on to win the Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence and was a top-five finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2012 contest for the best indie books. Sunspots, her second novel, was awarded the IndiePENdents.org Seal of Approval for good writing. She holds a Master of Science in Mass Communication and for 15 years, she was an editor/copyeditor for a “Big Four” public accounting firm. Ms. Bell was also technical editor for an accounting industry magazine.

Here are some reviews of her previous work published in the Florida Times Union:

http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/2013-07-13/story/book-review-sunspots-karen-s-bell#

http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/literature/2011-03-13/story/book-review-karen-s-bell-fills-walking-elephants-charm

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

Achieving what you crave can also bring the terrifying fear of losing it. For Alexa Wainwright, this truth has become her nightmare. Born Gladys Lipschitz, the daughter of an unwed Soviet-era Jewish immigrant, her debut novel, A Foregone Conclusion, soared to number one on the bestseller’s list and became an international sensation. The accompanying fame and riches were beyond her expectations. Unfortunately, her subsequent work has yet to achieve the same reception by critics and readers. Yes, they have sold well based on her name recognition, but she dreads the possibility of becoming a mid-list author forgotten and ignored. She vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut. But is she really?

Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize just how this vow will be tested as she’s magically transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong. But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. For starters, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence. She’s also aided by the forces for good who attempt to help her. However, King Blakemore is cleverer and more powerful than she can begin to understand. Playfully, he decides to give Alexa a second chance to save herself from eternity with him and to be free. He offers her the prospect of a rewrite, as most authors do as part of the writing process. Given this chance, will Alexa make the same choices and the same mistakes again?

Alexa, as the MC, is relatable, likable, and vulnerable with a keen sense of humor. Her world is very small because writing is her life and so she is an easy target for entrapment. Her pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature.

When A Stranger Comes is available at Amazon.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

No. First I was an avid reader but the urge to write began forming in my twenties.

What was your inspiration for WHEN A STRANGER COMES…?

I thought it would be fun to picture myself as a very successful author. Would it be all laughs or would there be a downside? Quickly, natural insecurities took hold like when you read about famous actors being afraid they will never work again. So making a pact with the devil seemed plausible…ha ha.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I like to have an underlying social message. In this work it’s about our culture of greed and how it’s causing society’s moral decay. In my debut, WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS, written way before others on this topic, it was about the work/life pressures on working mothers. In SUNSPOTS, I explored a young woman losing her husband after just two years of marriage and how some women can lose their identity in marriage, so a loss like this is on many levels.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

About two years.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Before the plot takes hold, I find myself marketing my other books—avoidance technique. But I’m at the computer, so eventually a sentence or two is composed. When I’m in the throes of the narrative thoughts come to me all the time, insert themselves into my conscious space and then I add it to the narrative at some point. So short answer, I’m very undisciplined.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Choosing the right word, always a challenge. Grammar, grammar, grammar always a conundrum.

What do you love most about being an author?

The honest answer is I love the process. I love composing sentences. Seeing the scene in my mind and getting it right using words. I love being enthralled in the narrative. Compelled.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I really wanted to get an agent and then a New York publishing house. Big dreams. I thought this book had it. But, alas, after a year of “no thanks” I published it myself. My first book was published by an indie publisher who went out of business, so I took over. SUNSPOTS could not find a home so I self-published that as well. I’m not happy with the limited distribution of POD. I cannot afford a vanity press with a print run so my books are not stocked at Barnes and Nobles or other book stores. Very disappointing. But what can you do? My mantra: maybe my next one.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.karensbell.com

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