IndieView with Karen Botha, author of Naked Truths

I come into contact with so many different people of differing backgrounds being a massage therapist that it’s difficult to say where the idea came from specifically but I certainly have a wealth of stimulus.

The Back Flap

Easy going massage therapist, Lucy, ignores her strict policy on mixing business and pleasure when dapper widower, Giles Harrington saunters into her therapy room. Sparks fly; but is he as perfect as he appears?
Ignoring warnings from her best friend and ex murder detective, Paula, Lucy ploughs head on into a tumultuous romance with Giles. One with far-reaching consequences that neither could predict.

Paula enters a game of cat and mouse with the ultimate prize, will she unravel the tangled web before it’s too late?

A page turning psychological thriller that twists and turns towards its shocking conclusion.

About the book

What is the book about?

Lucy meets a dark handsome stranger, but her best friend and ex murder detective has a bad feeling about him. Trained to follow her gut, she starts looking into him discovering his first wife died. The circumstances surrounding her death become increasingly suspicious as the book progresses.

It’s set against a backdrop of a massage therapy business which is what I do for a ‘day job’ and what has provided many of the book’s happenings.

When did you start writing the book?

February 2016. I wrote a few chapters and then everyone told me it was great, but I didn’t want to be the BGT equivalent who says ‘well my Mum says I can sing.’ I put it down and booked to go to Swanwick Writers Summer School and had a one to one with Simon Hall, BBC news presenter and novelist. He said what I’d done was great so filled with confidence and new knowledge, I started in earnest at the end of August 2016. First draft was completed 12th December 2016 and it launched 21st May 2017 after the necessary editing process.

How long did it take you to write it?

9 months

Where did you get the idea from?

I come into contact with so many different people of differing backgrounds being a massage therapist that it’s difficult to say where the idea came from specifically but I certainly have a wealth of stimulus.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

The first part before I attended Swanwick was more of a struggle of confidence than anything else. I loved the process of writing a book and am already on my second one, although this is non-fiction about natural fertility.

What came easily?

The story. I’m not much of an advance plotter. I had key markers where good and bad needed to happen to meet the story arc, but beyond that the characters took me where they needed to go. I didn’t know how the chapter would develop until it presented itself on the page. I think this is why I enjoyed the process so much, every day was like reading the book myself.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Absolutely I’ve borrowed people I know, BUT there are probably twenty people within one character, plus all the fictional stuff as well.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I’m not influenced by authors, I sit down and write in my own style, but I do love to read. I’m currently in the middle of two books; A Thread Unbroken by Kay Bratt and The Light of Fireflies by Paul Pen and Simon Bruni. My recent favourite was Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land and my favourite of all time was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

Do you have a target reader?

Anyone who needs a bit of escapism from everyday life, more specifically females 18 – 45. This is not a heavy read. It’s light and humorous even though it’s a psychological thriller.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I write when I get time. Being a massage therapist (like Lucy) and reflexologist my clients make appointments at any time 7 days between 7am and 9pm for a 10pm finish. I prefer to write in the mornings, but if I have clients booked in then I write when I can.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

I’m lucky to get meaningful chapter headings.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

Wait until I’ve finished. The story takes over first draft.

Did you hire a professional editor?

No, but I have had extensive editing experience myself when working as Head of Marketing before I retrained to be a therapist.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

I tried it as I heard it helps to write moods, but it was way too distracting. The idea lasted about two minutes.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I tried two, but then I was fidgety before the decisions came back so decided to publish it myself. I wasn’t too bothered even when submitting if I’m honest as I had heard through the writer’s circles that if you’re successful you get multiple book deals. My problem is, this is fun for me, I didn’t want to be pushed in to writing because that’s what sells. I want to write for enjoyment. Hopefully my enthusiasm for my characters comes through in Naked Truths.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

As above, I didn’t want to be pigeon holed. I’ve already started my second book, a non-fiction on natural fertility – a totally different style.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

Professionally done by Chris Kudi.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I have a marketing plan, as this was my career for more years than I care to remember prior to retraining in massage and reflexology, I can’t help myself.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Go for it, what have you got to lose? Forums are great sources of advice.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Yorkshire, near Leeds.

Where do you live now?

Essex, UK.

What would you like readers to know about you?

Lucy is based on me, and Giles started off being based on my husband, but please don’t believe everything you read!

What are you working on now?

Non-fiction on Natural Fertility covering nutrition, lifestyle, hormonal basics and self help tips at home such as reflexology pressure points. The idea being that by following this simple guide, (a lot are way more complicated than they need to be,) you will hopefully avoid expensive and invasive hospital appointments.

End of Interview:

For more from Karen visit her website, like her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

Get you copy of Naked Truths from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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