Karen Foxlee is the author of the New York Times featured novel, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy.
Ophelia is Foxlee’s first foray towards a slightly younger audience (8-12); her lyrical and determined voice make her absolutely perfect for this readership!
A huge, warmest welcome to Karen Foxlee from My Book Corner, as she steps in to answer our questions …
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
Happy creative lucky forty-something woman who still feels like a 16 year old in her head, raising a beautiful child and doing what I love.
What makes you happy?
Writing, seeing my daughter happy, my cats and chooks, reading a great book, my beautiful family and my old dear friends who make me laugh!
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
I’ve always wanted to go to Outer Hebrides in Scotland. They look so wild and a little bit magical. Plus they have such wonderful names; Uist and Benbecula, and Lewis.
Where is your favourite place to write?
My sofa is my office and my favourite place. I am surrounded by a laptop, notebooks, to-do list, diary, iPad, mobile phone, coffee, cake and usually a cat or two. I can see out through the kitchen to the verandah and the trees and the sky.
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
The best thing is always creating stories, whether they are published or not. But being published means someone else likes them which makes you feel good. Also getting to work with wonderfully talented editors is pretty amazing.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked (& what was your answer)?
Not sure if you mean with writing or life? I’ve worked as a nurse for twenty five years so you can imagine the weird questions I’ve been asked there. The most common is “Do you think I’ll need stitches?” uttered frantically, by pale sweaty males, while they unbandage fingers, only to a reveal very tiny cuts. You just have to put your happy face on. You say, “I don’t think you’ll need stitches today.” They say, “Do I need to see a doctor?” You say, “I think we’re just going to go with a Band-Aid.”
Who or what inspires you?
I think I am inspired by almost everything. I love the stories of people and objects and places. In my writing it is usually always my characters that inspire me. I fall in love with them and want to understand them. They get under my skin and refuse to go away until they are quite real on the page.
Describe Ophelia and The Marvellous Boy in five words.
A marvellously moving adventure story
Was there a light bulb moment of inspiration with Ophelia? Would love to hear about it …
I started with the story of boy locked away in a museum room. I loved his story and was excited about it but then I needed someone to find him. That someone was Ophelia. I wrote the words Ophelia did not consider herself brave. She wasn’t like Lucy Coutts who once rescued a baby in a runaway stroller ….it was my first inkling of her, but for some reason I just knew that everything was going to be okay! She basically took over the story from then.
What is your worst habit?
I am a procrastinator. Yes, I think that would be it. I always think I have enough time then it all goes horribly wrong. Also have difficulty making simple choices i.e. should I wear heels or no heels, should I choose the red balloons or the green balloons, should I have the carrot cake or the cheese cake????
Your favourite word(s)?
Chandelier, because it just sounds lovely and sparkly. Whisper, because it sounds the way a whisper sounds.
What is on your TBR pile?
I am currently re-reading The Nargun and the Stars (Patricia Wrightson) and I’m in heaven. Beside me is Mr. Wigg (Inga Simpson) and Boy Lost (Kristina Olsson). I also have a burning desire to read Wonder by RJ Palacio.
Did we forget anything?
No, that sums me up pretty well I think.
Just for fun
Tea or coffee? Coffee!! Although tea is sometimes nice late in the afternoon with friends.
Paper books or e-books? Paper
Vegemite or Marmite? Vegemite (although will do marmite quite readily)
Write or type? Type (except for when solving problems, then I write)
Poetry or prose? Prose that is poetic
Beach or bush? Oh, don’t make me choose! Grew up bush…love beach….soul is in the bush…heart is with the beach.
Hot or cold? Definitely summer. But love adventures in wintery cities.