Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taking Note: Karen Quinn

I have been taking notes on Karen Quinn since the first day I met her. Until then most of the authors I knew personally where the ones I had paid to take a class with.

I was in awe. At the time Karen had just published her second book, Wife in the Fast Lane. She had come to writing later in life, having started out in a profession (she holds a degree in law) and then spending fifteen years in the Corporate world working for American Express. She had reinvented herself more than once, this time as a successful published author. Her background bore similarities to my own. I wanted to know her.

Lucky for me I got to.

Since that time Karen has published two more novels, Holly Would Dream and her most recent The Sister Diaries. The film rights to her first book, The Ivy Chronicles have been optioned, with a script currently in the works and Sarah Jessica Parker signing to star in it.

I chose to write about Karen today for two reasons. The first being that she inspires me. Karen is living my dream. She reminds me publication after rejection is indeed possible. And because Karen is not just another author, but a friend she gives me an inside eye into the ups and the downs that happen when you choose writing as a career.

For instance, you can have success and still have challenges. You can find publication in the UK and not in the US. In fact, her latest book, The Sister Diaries has hit the best seller list there.

I just finished The Sister Diaries and found it to be a fun, entertaining, often hilarious read and my favorite of all her books to date. Karen has a gift for this genre of women's fiction.

I also found this another reminder of the puzzling world of the US publishing industry at the current moment, where $2 million advances are often awarded to books that will never see that return and good story is challenged to find a home. Fortunately for us all, Amazon has a UK branch and makes it easy, seamless and relatively inexpensive to ship this particular good story right to your door.

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