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  • Author Karen White Discusses the Charm of the South Carolina Lowcountry
Author Karen White Discusses the Charm of the South Carolina Lowcountry
Contributor
Written by
nicole meier
September 2013
Contributor
Written by
nicole meier
September 2013

I’m so pleased to host bestselling novelist Karen White (and she’s earned that title considering her latest book is number 16!). Her stories are full of grit-lit about southern women and all the charm and drama that can go along with the territory.the time between

Her newest book, The Time Between, is on Oprah’s list for summer reading. WE ARE GIVING AWAY TWO COPIES TO OUR READERS!(See below for details).

Here’s my Q & A with Karen:

Congratulations on your newest novel, The Time Between. The story is one of secrets and betrayal among family. It also unites some unlikely characters on the path to forgiveness. What came first for you, the story or the characters?

Always, always the characters! Regardless of how many plots might be playing out in the books, my stories are always character-driven. My book ideas start with the protagonist, her internal conflict, and the setting. The story evolves from there.

The story takes place on South Carolina’s largest barrier island, Edisto. What drew you to this setting? What can you tell us about the island?

I’ve loved the South Carolina Lowcountry ever since I first visited the region about fifteen years ago. I’ve since set four novels on the South Carolina coast because I can’t stay away! I’m always on the lookout for a new setting, and had passed the signs for Edisto dozens of times during my visits. I finally decided to rent a house for a week to find out more about it—and fell in love. It’s very rural—no chain restaurants or easy access to the interstate—which gives it real local charm. It’s full of old houses (many still owned by the original families and about 200 -300 years old), with lots of history, beautiful marshes, and great beaches. It has a little bit of everything and remains my favorite Lowcountry island.

The story also paints a picture of life in Hungary before World War II. What was your research like for this aspect of the book?

I’m a bit of a history nerd so doing historical research is never a hardship for me. When first starting my research, I bought a lot of books about WWII and Hungary, as well as trolled the Internet for personal accounts of people who lived in Hungary during that time period. I was also able to visit Budapest for several days while writing the book, to help solidify a lot of the setting details. I always try to visit a location I’m writing about. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

You write what you refer to as ‘grit lit’ – southern women’s fiction – what is it about the south that creates such compelling storytelling?

Southern families, culture, and the way of life down below the Mason-Dixon Line is so unique. There’s just nothing like it. Many people from colder climes vacation in the South and seem to want to revisit in their reading choices. Or maybe they’re just intrigued by a society that can soften any insult with a gently placed, “Bless your heart.”

I'd agree, Karen! For more, visit www.karen-white.com WE WILL GIVE AWAY TWO COPIES OF HER BOOK ON FRI, SEPT. 6TH. JUST LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER. WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN AT RANDOM.

 

 

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