Interview with Kerry Anne King & July Releases

Interview with Kerry Anne King

Kerry Anne King is the international bestselling author of CLOSER HOME and I WISH YOU HAPPY. Licensed both as an RN and a mental health counselor, she draws on her experience working in the medical and mental health fields to explore themes of loss, grief, and transformation. She also writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry Schafer.

TKA: I WISH YOU HAPPY is your second novel writing as Kerry Anne King. What have you enjoyed most about writing women's fiction, and is there anything you've struggled with?

Kerry: My favorite stories have always featured characters on a journey of self-discovery—who they are, what their purpose is on the planet, learning to accept their own gifts (and, in the case of fantasy, their powers). I especially love these types of stories when they contain a strong thread of romance running in the background. Since this is what I love to read, it’s also what I tend to write, even in the fantasy and mystery stories I write as Kerry Schafer. Women’s Fiction lets me bump these elements up onto a whole new level.  

I’ve experienced grief and tragedy in my own life, and I’ve also worked as a counselor and a nurse, so I understand deeply that a personal crisis is also an opportunity for growth and change. In women’s fiction, I can explore these elements to my heart’s content. I also possess a slightly dark and twisted sense of humor, so I’m a happy writer when I hear I’ve made a reader both laugh and cry. My women’s fiction novels take characters through dark places, but there is laughter along the way and they always find their way to a hopeful ending. 

TKA: Since I WISH YOU HAPPY explores the complexity of relationships and the power of friendship, were there any specific things you've witnessed in real life that influenced you when writing about this topic?

Kerry: Oh, absolutely! Even before I studied psychology and earned my mental health counselor license, I was intrigued by human behavior. Relationships are so vital to our happiness, and yet often so difficult. There is nothing more wonderful than a good friendship or romantic partnership. But sometimes a relationship gone wrong can totally destroy us. How do we find that balance where we stay true to who we are while still engaging in the give and take required by a relationship? I’ve struggled with this personally, and nearly every counseling client I’ve worked with has had difficulty with this in some area of their life. I wanted to explore a female friendship that was a little on the dark side. My main character, Rae, decided to bump it up a notch and announced she was an empath, which added an extra layer of complexity to the challenge of defining boundaries. 

TKA: What do you wish you’d known starting out as a writer that you know now?

Kerry: I’m inclined to turn this question inside out, and say that there are things I wish I still knew now that I used to know then. Writing professionally, there is this tendency to forget the sheer love and escapism that can happen with writing, which is why I started writing in the first place. I’m finding my way back toward that. It’s easy to get a little lost in the publication process. There’s this ever-present danger of comparing my writing and success and path to that of other writers, to being focused on how well a book sells more than on all of the reasons why I started writing books in the first place. If I had advice for my former writer self, it would be this: “Stay focused on the process. Hold fast to your love of writing and story."

TKA: What was your favorite book at the time you began writing?

Kerry: Oh, wow. Little Women? Anne of Green Gables? I was in 6th grade when I started thinking maybe I could be a writer, so that was a very long time ago!

TKA: What's next on your writing horizon?

Kerry: What’s very next is the release of a Kerry Schafer thriller title—WORLD TREE GIRL, the 2nd book in the Shadow Valley Manor series, which comes out August 8th. I’m currently working on edits on my next Kerry Anne King women’s fiction novel through Lake Union. I’m having a ridiculously difficult time settling on a title for this book, so it’s currently called THE BOOK WITH NO NAME, (but I think, maybe, that might be shifting to WHISPER ME THIS) and you can look for it in June of 2018. 

KERRY'S AUTHOR TIP OF THE MONTH:

Our most important job as writers is to write the book. If the book doesn’t get written, then nothing else can happen: finding an agent, a publisher, doing marketing, anything. I think it’s also vital to remember to write YOUR book. Nobody else can write this particular book in this particular way, because nobody else has the same worldview, the same set of experiences, or the same voice.  It’s easy to get distracted by worries about the market, or finding an agent, or whether the book will sell well. And most of us get sucked into the trap of comparing ourselves with another writer who just signed with an awesome agent or got a brilliant contract or won an award or sold a million books. The best writer advice I know is to just keep bringing yourself back to your own process, your own book, your own path, and stay focused on that. 

Shark

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