Hi Karen and welcome to my blog. Going by the number of great Amazon reviews I can see you’ve had for, Jimmy’s Game, you’ve had a lot of success with it. Could you tell us a little about the book, please?
Hi Lynette, firstly let me congratulate you on your success. It’s great to be in touch with a fellow author. Thank you for this opportunity.
Thank you, Karen. It’s lovely to meet you and hear about your writing career.
Jimmy’s Game was my first book placed on Amazon eBooks. Its origin is based around the London underworld. It charts the lives of 3 main characters, Jimmy, Mickey and Maria. It’s a hard hitting novel covering topics that most people like to think don’t happen, but the sad truth is they do. Jimmy is a seemingly, loveable rogue, who’s heavily involved in organised crime. Everyone knows he has a very short temper and violent streak. His partner in crime is Mickey, a solicitor who uses his profession to cover the dirty deals surrounding their criminal activities. Mickey is the calmer one, the thinker. Maria became caught up in their world when at just fifteen; she was sold to their sadistic, self-appointed boss, Nick Orphanides.
For almost three years she stayed under his control, suffering the most heinous cruelty. Her faith was the one thing that kept her going and she believed God had finally answered her prayers when Jimmy won her from Nick at a poker game. However, Nick wants her back and he’ll stop at nothing to achieve this. Fearing, not only for her life but everyone’s connected to Jimmy, she believes she’ll have to return to Nick. For a long time, Jimmy, along with other crew members have questioned some of Nick’s dodgy dealings. When Jimmy gives her his solemn oath he will protect her, Maria opens a big can of worms about Nick and a war begins, splitting the crew’s loyalty. Maria is terrified, all she’s ever known is rape and torture, but slowly she begins to trust Jimmy. He’s falling for her and wants to show her what passion desire and true love really mean.
There are other books in the series, do they involve the same characters?
Due to the success of Jimmy’s Game, (Ruthless series 1) I’ve actually gone on to write series 2. 10 books in total and I’m just about to start series 3! I’ve kept most of the characters as my fans love them. I do write new storylines for each book with different characters, but the crews are like family so the books evolve. Many of the top characters in series 3 will be the youngsters from the previous series.
Is there any sort of theme going on for that series of books?
The theme is always involving the London underworld. My fans tell me it’s the English equivalent to the Sopranos. Not only does it delve into the crime side of their lives, but their own families and the love and passion they have for them. A loving father who would never so much as smack his children and cherishes family life can also be a big time drug buyer, arms dealer, pimp and murderer.
What’s a typical writing day like for you?
My typical writing day is usually a writing night! Being that I work and host foreign students my days start around 6 am and finish around 9 pm. That’s when I write and often during the night hours too! I’m blessed at being a person who doesn’t need too much sleep. If I get 4 hours I’m fine. My preferred time to write is actually mornings which I only have free at weekends. However, that’s about to change as I’m taking a career break for a few weeks to concentrate on my books.
How did you become a writer in the first place?
I’m not sure when or if I ever became a writer because from early childhood it’s been my true passion. My friends and family tell me I was born holding a pen and paper. When my children were young I hand wrote several stories which they and their friends loved.
Who are your favourite authors?
Sadly with my hectic life style I don’t get a lot of time to read so favourite authors is a tough one to answer. I like Stephen King, my favourites being ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and the ‘Green Mile.’ Helen Forrester appeals to me too; I loved ‘Tuppence to cross the Mersey.’
I can see you’ve also written a book called, The Angels are Dying, what’s that one about?
My book ‘The Angels are dying’ is about a young boy who was dying. He slips into a coma and isn’t expected to regain consciousness. However, when he does he talks about a wonderful place he went to and how he met angels there. At first, everyone including his mother believes it’s the calm before the storm, the moment of clarity many people experience just before death. They are wrong and when he makes a full recovery against all the odds to the disbelief of the doctors, they begin to take him seriously. He tells them the Angels want him to help restore faith to the world because they are slowly dying. They have given him the gift of healing and the ability to speak Hebrew. A series of events take place which bring the right people to help in his quest. Sadly not everyone sees him as a saviour and his life is in jeopardy when the forces of evil try to stop him. It’s the next book I’m going to have properly edited and proof read as at the time of writing it, I would be the first to admit how naïve I was. Yet despite this 99% of my feedback was great.
What comes first for you, the characters or the plot?
I usually get a name of a character pop into my head. Then when I think about who that character is within minutes I have the whole book complete with title, other characters and storylines in my head. If I’m working on another book at the time, I make a quick note of the names and book title then continue with my current book. Once I’ve finished I read that note and Hey Presto it’s all back in my head.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever written?
I haven’t really got any strange places where I write, my mind is my note book. I can be sitting in a restaurant having dinner with friends, walking my dog or grooming my guinea pigs and I’m writing a whole book in my head.
Do you write anything else besides novels? For example, short stories or non-fiction?
Aside from writing books, I love writing poetry. Next year I’m hoping to publish a book of poems. I write about life and real things like poverty and irritable bowel syndrome! 2 of my poems were selected for publication after I entered 2 competitions. 1 was about my home town and the other was about Aids. I would love to blog and I registered on WordPress, but in truth can’t get to grips with it. That’s my next challenge.
If Jimmy’s Game was made into a movie or TV series, which actors would you like to see playing the main parts?
Having been asked by my fans so many times if my Ruthless series will become a TV series, I’ve often thought about characters and which actors/actresses would play the lead roles. There is some great new talent out there so no doubt there would be some great people to choose from. If I could choose I’d have to say, Paul Bettan as Jimmy, Eva Green as Maria and Sam Claflin as Mickey.
Would you like to write for T.V.?
I would absolutely love to write for TV. In fact my friend Ian and I have already written ‘Jimmy’s Game’ and another of my books ‘Brassick’ a comedy into script.
Do you have a new novel in the pipeline?
I never have a time when I’m not writing a book. I usually run 2 books side by side. Fortunately, I never suffer writers block but there are occasions when I feel I need a small change. (Tea break) When that happens I flick over to my 2nd book write a few pages then back to the original book. I’m currently writing the final pages of book 10 from my Ruthless 2nd series. My 2nd book is a little different. I’m writing the autobiography of a friend and bona fide real life London bad boy. I have to admit I’m really enjoying it!
Where can people buy your books?
Unfortunately, my eBooks and some printed books are only available from Amazon. I’m hoping this may change one day if I’m lucky enough to secure an agent as I’m constantly being asked which shops my books are available from.
Thanks for chatting to me, Karen! Good luck with your writing career and who knows, one day maybe we’ll see your name on TV! 🙂
Karen’s books are available here: