Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Karma Brown is living in the moment...plus a book giveaway

We are always glad to feature Karma Brown's novels, as Come Away with Me made it to Melissa A's 2015 favorites list and she was impressed by the powerful follow-up, The Choices We Make. After reading her latest novel, In This Moment, Melissa A sees Karma on the path to becoming the next Jodi Picoult. See her review to find out why. Lucky for you, Karma has a signed copy to give away!

Karma has always loved the written word. As a kid she could usually be found with her face buried in a book, or writing stories about ice-skating elephants. Now that she’s (mostly) grown up, she’s a bestselling author.

A National Magazine Award winning journalist, Karma has been published in a variety of publications, including SELF, Redbook, Today’s Parent, Best Health, Canadian Living and Chatelaine.

Karma lives just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband, daughter, and a labradoodle named Fred. When not crafting copy or mulling plot lines, she is typically running or working on her downward dog, hanging out with her family, making a mess in the kitchen and checking items off her bucket list. Karma is currently wearing down her laptop’s keyboard writing her next novel.

Visit Karma online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she’s able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him.

Meg can’t help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy’s family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy’s father.

Soon Meg’s picture-perfect life is unravelling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she’s been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?
(Courtesy of Amazon.)


From Reader to Writer: Imagination, Perseverance, “Always be Learning”

I never planned to become a writer. There was the dream of being a singing duo sensation with my younger sister, despite neither of us being particularly great singers. Then, I imagined a career as a veterinarian, followed not long after by the curious idea of becoming an orthopedic surgeon (math and science are not my forte, I should add). As a teenager I watched Thalia Assuras – a Canadian journalist – deliver the news one evening and that was it; I was going to be a news anchor. That one stuck for a long time, eventually taking me to journalism school where I specialized in broadcasting. A j-school friend even used to refer to me as “Katie,” as in Katie Couric. But in the end I didn’t become a singer, or take care of pets or broken bones, nor did I ever anchor a newscast. Instead, I ended up doing the thing I never imagined: I became a writer.

I’m not sure why writing never occurred to me as a career. After all, I have been a library card-carrying citizen and voracious booklover from the moment I learned to read. I was that kid holed up under the covers with a flashlight and her latest tome, awake long past bedtime to finish just one more chapter. The stacks as my backrest, I would read for hours in the library while my mom grocery shopped. If you give me $100 I will spend it on books before buying anything else. It’s possible I have too many books on my shelf…but only because I’m running out of space to add new ones.

A young woman considering a writing career recently asked what I thought one needed to be successful in this industry. That’s a tricky question, and I’m not sure there’s a good, clean answer (outside of “hard work”), but I offered this: Imagination, perseverance, and an “always be learning” attitude. As well as being a reader first, because if you’ve never cried for a character, laughed at a particularly brilliant piece of dialogue, or had a book hangover, you won’t be able to affect readers in similar ways, no matter how great your prose.

A word on Imagination…
When I was nine I read Natalie Babbitt’s TUCK EVERLASTING, first published in 1975. For those who haven’t read this one, it features 11-year-old Winnie, who meets a curious family – The Tucks – while she’s out exploring the woods near her house, trying to escape her stifling home life. It’s a coming of age story, touching on themes of family, love, loss, death, and immortality (with a hint of fantasy), and it has stayed with me for 35 years and counting. Winnie, who must choose whether or not to drink spring water that will give her immortality, made me question what I would do (at age 9) if faced with a similar choice. I imagined drinking that water, or not … and long after I finished the book my mind continued to spin the “what if…?” questions. (It still does…and I’m still not sure which choice I would have made.)

A word on Perseverance …
Before reading THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot, a science writer, I had no idea who Henrietta Lacks was, or how important her story is to all of us. Henrietta Lacks was a poor, black tobacco farmer who died of cervical cancer in 1951. And the story could have ended there -- Henrietta Lack’s history only relevant to her future family tree -- except that unbeknownst to her (and without her consent) samples of her cells were taken and used in research. Those cells went on to become the first immortal cell line – known as HeLa cells – and have been used in the development of the polio vaccine, for gene mapping, in cancer research, etc. Speaking of perseverance, Skloot spent a decade researching the story of Henrietta Lacks, and tirelessly advocating for the Lacks family. It’s proof that sticking with a story can have an extraordinary impact, and it’s a book I tell everyone they HAVE TO READ.

A word on “Always be learning” …
When I wrote my first novel, which now lives in a folder in my basement, tucked away and gathering dust for eternity, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t understand how to craft dialogue, couldn’t explain tension or pacing or character arcs (even though I instinctually understood these things as a lifelong reader), or how to balance what a reader needs to know with what an author longs to share. Appreciating my baby bird author status, I picked up a copy of ON WRITING, by Stephen King. If there’s one book that helped me understand novel writing, it’s this one. Part memoir and part craft book, it’s still my go-to book when I need a refresher and the first book I recommend to anyone hoping to become an author.

Now it’s your turn. Which books have stayed with you, or influenced your life in some way? I’m always adding to my to-be-read list, and will build a new bookshelf if necessary…

Thanks to Karma for sharing her favorite influential books with us and for sharing her own influential book with our readers!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway ends June 4th at midnight EST.



19 comments:

Janine said...

The last book that I really enjoyed and got into was Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson. I would recommend that one to Karma. By the way, Come Away With Me is one of my all time favorite books.

Snazzy Stuff said...

I'd recommend The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon as that's the last book in this genre I read and enjoyed, or any of Liane Moriarty's books! There are so many really!

Margie Shaw said...

I have read so many good things about this book, I just have to read it. If I had to recommend another book to someone, it would probably be The Education of Dixie Dupree. I thought that was an amazing read!

traveler said...

I enjoyed Echo Of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn. memorable and unforgettable novel.

djnbjnon said...

To recommend just one book is very hard. But the book I would suggest would be "Saving CeeCee HoneyCutt. I really enjoyed that book as well as my sister in law who I passed it on to.

Milena Mutter said...

My last 5 star read was The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Jessica Meddick said...

Any book by Karen White. :)

Nancy said...

I think she might enjoy reading The Radium Girls.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Grandma Cootie said...

Right now The Orphan's Tale, but there are so many good books, hard to choose.

Laurice McClung said...

I recommend The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Dianne Casey said...

I would recommend The Tradd Street series by Karen White. It's set in Charleston SC and a really great read.

Elizabeth Glenn said...

I'd definitely recommend the Outlander series. I love those books. I have to say, Come Away With Me, is one of my all time favorites.

Leticia Blanchard said...

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor! Outstanding historical fiction!

Mary Preston said...

The Terry Pratchett books are fun.

Bonnie K. said...

I've recently finished Where the Lights Falls by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki. It's a historical read about the French Revolution. Well written.

HedgeHogi said...

I have always loved Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. It is a dark story but I an relate to a dark upbringing.

Thanks for the chance!

Jennifer said...

The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

Kimberly S said...

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

bn100 said...

Emma