France 2012 6 014

I’d like to introduce you to the ninth interviewee in my ‘Meet the Author’ series. She is Karen Bates.

Question: Hi, Karen! Welcome to Susan Finlay Writes blog site. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?

Answer: I don’t have any! Seriously, apart from a few poems this is the first thing I have ever written apart from embelishing my husbands quotes/Devis to his dismay.

Question: Your novel, Faking It In France, is semi-autobiographical. What inspired you to write it?

Answer: I was bored, with time on my hands and a friend who liked my Poems suggested I wrote a book.

Question: How does your family feel about the book? Are they in it—either as themselves or as fictitious characters? Do you use any real experiences that they remember?

Answer: They are all in it as themselves and have all been a valuable asset. The publishing company we set up is called rebatessenior, which basically is the four of us. They have all had imput and without their support I wouldn’t have got this far.

Question: Where did you get your book cover?

Interview: I spent three days painting my friend Adeles lounge in exchange for her reproducing my ideas for the cover. I am very pleased with the finished picture and it looks just like I imagined.

Question: Do you still live in France, or have you moved back to England?

Answer: We moved back to England in August last year put all our furniture into storage and bough a Camper van. After everything we had been through we intended to take six months out and return to France to visit all the places we hadn’t had the time or money to see. Sadly our journey was cut short as my father had a stroke in the September and we drove back from the Dordoigne, putting our travels on hold.

We are still in the UK and my dad has made a good recovery, so at somepoint we will resume our adventure.

Question: You have a sequel, “Making Out in France”, in the works. Is it still semi-authobiographical, or is it more fiction than real life? Do you have an idea when that book will be published?

Answer: It will be more fiction than real life, my family will remain in it, but this time I’m intending to make it all about living in France with snippets of my family in England only. It is taking longer than I had hoped due to my renewed social life and I now work part time. Hopefully it will be finished by the summer.

Question: At some point or another, all writers come across the “rules” of contemporary writing: no adverbs, no dialogue tags, show don’t tell, etc. In your opinion, how important are they to writing? Are there any that you particularly adhere to?

Answer: As a complete novice these rules have mostly been learnt by mistakes I have made, I have no formal training and am as raw as an onion, but hopefully I have found my voice and have my own unique style. I write because I love to tell stories, these may not be polished gramatically but I’m not into rules, if I was I would never have even started to write.

Question: What is your favorite or least favorite part of writing?

Answer: I actually love the whole process, writing to me is like having a nice cup of tea with an old friend and simply having a good old chat. It comes suprisingly easy and if I have an off day I simply don’t force it, I go and do something else invevitbley this will then bring forth a cascade of ideas.

Question: Do you have a writing routine, a special place where you go to do your writing, or a certain time of day? Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind of music?

Answer: Faking it was written at the kitchen table in France and Making out, is being written in our dining room. My husband now only works part time too, so he’s arround a lot more from when I wrote the first book. I don’t have the house to myself anymore and despite him creating a wonderful office in our spare bedroom I prefer to be at the dining room table, which drives him crazy, as I like a quiet atmosphere and frequently read passages back out loud, hushing him if he even whispers. He is planning to take the room back for his home cinema if I refuse to work in there!

Question: Please list any websites or social media links for yourself or your book. Thanks!

Website: http://http–
Twitter karenbates64

Faking it in France is available from amazon: