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Karen Ankers is a poet, playwright and novelist who lives in Anglesey, North Wales, with her partner, dog, and nine cats. She has had many jobs, including being a teacher, playgroup worker, cattery assistant and sales assistant. She is now a full-time writer and Creative Writing tutor, who regularly performs at spoken word events. The Crossing Place is her first novel.
What is the message you hope readers take away from this book?
I’m not sure that it’s my business to try to provide a message. That might be overstating my remit as an author! I think a writer’s job is to create something that people will enjoy reading. But if there’s any sort of message running through this novel, it’s that reality is dependent upon perspective. If someone chooses to see things differently, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Oh, and kindness is a good thing. Hard to get away from that one.
What was the inspiration for this book?
The original inspiration was Dr. Brian Weiss’ brilliant book, Only Love Is Real. When I’d read that, I started thinking about the idea of love transcending lifetimes. Then I met a young barefoot homeless man while I was shopping one day, and I wondered what his story might be. That was when the book started to take shape.
Who is your favorite, and least favorite, character in the book?
I think Sadie was my favourite. I’d been struggling with the novel until she came in and brought it to life. She is remarkably strong and full of love, even though life treats her very badly. My least favourite character was Simon, Laura’s husband. He tries to hide his controlling nature by appearing to be caring.
Did you ever have a rough patch in writing, where nothing in the story seemed to fit or make sense? How did you handle it?
I had a lot of rough patches! A lot of sleepless nights! Eventually, I learned to trust the characters and let them tell their story. I had to let go of the idea that I was in control. It was like walking through a dark forest, with a torch that only shone a little way in front of me. I had to trust that they would let me see far enough ahead that I would know where to go.
What advice would you give another author on writing, editing, publishing, or marketing?
On writing – write every day, believe in yourself. Listen to your characters, not to the people who say you should be doing something more productive. Keep going.
On editing – drink lots of coffee and prepare to be ruthless. Question the value of every word, particularly the adjectives.
On publishing – there are so many routes into publishing these days. Make sure the one you choose is right for you. Do your research and ask lots of questions.
On marketing – don’t give up. Even when it seems like you’ve sent out thousands of emails, with no response.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about yourself from writing this book?
I learned that I have the capacity to keep going, which surprised me, and that I can be more disciplined than I ever thought I could be when an end goal is in sight. I also learned just how much there is to learn about writing! It’s a complex and fascinating craft. But most of all, I think I learned to have faith in myself and in my characters, even during those long sleepless nights when I had no idea what was going to happen next.
Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of our readers?
The novel I am working on at the moment probably won’t be out until next year. It’s a deeply complex story and I want to give it the time and attention it deserves. It’s called The Stone Dancers, is set in North Wales, and was inspired by a legend from the Mabinogion. Sally believes that her daughter is dead. The people who tell her she is alive are not the sort of people she would usually trust. In a nation of storytellers, whose story should she believe?
The Crossing Place
Published by: Stepping Stones Publishing
Publication date: January 17, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Suspense
The Crossing Place is a dark-edged love story. Laura is frustrated with her mundane life, her boring job, and marriage to a man she no longer loves. But she does not expect things to change so dramatically and so suddenly. An accidental encounter with a homeless stranger leaves her shaken and confused before a series of unsettling dreams disturbs her further and leaves her questioning her own sanity.
When Laura meets Paul Jayston, a handsome, charismatic past-life counselor, she is very skeptical about his beliefs. When he suggests that her dreams might be memories of a past life, she insists there must be a rational explanation. One particularly difficult dream has her turning to Paul for help and advice, but when she is confronted by revelations about his past, Laura has to make a choice. Should she allow herself to be guided by the alternative world-view of a man with strange ideas and a questionable past, or should she try and deal alone with the unsettling things she keeps seeing?
When danger comes from an unexpected source, both Laura and Paul find themselves having to confront not only very real threats in the present but also doubts and fears from the past.
This book is amazing. I read the sample that was available on Kindle and immediately bought the book so I could finish it. I loved this book so much that I featured the author on my blog. This book defies labels of genres and instead takes you on a journey of the soul that you will never forget. I think no matter what genre you like you will enjoy this book. There is a deeper truth to this story that touches everyone. All I can say is just read it!!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?