Local author Karen Turner’s characters have taken on such a life of their own, even she is sometimes surprised by what they get up to.
The Mornington writer of the Torn series says she recalls getting a shock when she realised one of her characters was about to die.
“I thought ‘Hang on, I didn’t see this coming!’
“I had to go make myself a coffee and think about how the death would affect the storyline and the other characters, and also if I could do this to my readers.
“But, in the end, I had to go with it because it was the natural progression.”
For Karen, the narrative plays out in her mind before she writes it down, as if she is watching a film in her head.
She visualises her characters in motion, often feeling like she is not in control, and this is how she can be surprised by their actions.
With a career in finance spanning more than 20 years, Karen is an unlikely fiction writer.
She is responsible for writing technical documents and financial news articles, but was bored one day and decided to pen a short story.
That story, titled A Book By Any Other Cover, about a journey on the Frankston train line, won Karen the Society of Women Writers Biennial Literary Award.
In 2008, she published her first book, a compilation of short stories (“they just come out”) called All That and Everything.
But the passion for writing has been there since Karen was a child – she used to create her own version of ‘Little Golden Books’ - and now she wishes she’d had the courage to become an author sooner.
Karen’s first novel, Torn, is a historical romance set in 1808 England that explores dark side of human relationships set against the backdrop of war.
It was well received, as was its sequel, Inviolate, released last year.
Karen is now working on the third book, due out in 2016.
“I’m at that exciting stage, where every waking minute is about the book.
“I see it rolling out like a movie for me and I can’t wait to get writing.”
While the book is “coming together nicely”, the author admits feeling pressured to get it right after the success of the first two novels.
“I would hate to let people down.”
When asked what advice Karen would give to aspiring authors, she simply says “start writing”.
By Kristy Martin
Karen’s books are available at most bookstores or can be purchased online.
Visit www.karenturner.com.au or check out the Facebook page ‘Karen Turner- Author’.