Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, September 22, 2014

And yes, I admit to being pretty much afraid of everything

I've got a new book coming out soon, hopefully in October if I can get through the final edits and let it go. It's a novel, Afraid of Everything, and you can see here the cover and summary, followed by a little story on how the idea came to me.

Helena Carr is afraid of everything. After a crisis at work, she quits her job and feels lost. It’s time for a serious change, to beat the extreme anxiety that has plagued her since childhood. Something different, unplanned and radical. Sell her house, move to a foreign location, turn her life upside down in an effort to end the emotionally paralyzing fear. 

Before Helena can act on her options, however, she has a terrible accident on a Southern California freeway. Instead of going on an exotic vacation, she is in a hospital, in a coma, traveling to strange worlds of another dimension, meeting people who seem to know more about her than she knows about herself.

As Helena explores this intriguing new world, she realizes the truth about her past and the purpose of her future. And she is no longer afraid. Helena is at last ready to live. But first, she must wake up from the coma.

This idea came to me shortly after I finally admitted to myself I was afraid of practically everything.  Anything I accomplished in life came after first facing the horrible anxiety that preceded it. I have little tricks for getting past my fears. But I won't go into that or I'd have a series of posts instead of a single one.

One particularly anxiety-plagued day I was laying in bed, curled under the covers, imagining what it would feel like to be in a coma.

I thought of a woman, afraid of everything, who ends up in a coma and finds it a place of comfort rather than pain. In fact, it is an escape from the pain of living. I imagined her experiencing a transitional place, a spirit world, where she learns things and grows as a result. This was the kernel of the idea that grew into my novel.

It's been a lot of fun to write, refreshing and healing actually, and difficult to let go of at the end. I think I'll do an official blog tour for this one, probably through Women on Writing. However, if anyone would like an electronic ARC for review purposes, let me know in the comments and I'll get you one.

Afraid of Everything is available for pre-order on the WiDo Publishing website and Amazon. And on Goodreads here.

34 comments:

  1. This sounds intriguing and I will get it when it comes out, Karen. Congratulations.

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  2. Congratulations, Karen. Glad writing it helped you in the process.

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  3. Good for you! Congrats on the novel and it is an intriguing idea. I am glad you came from underneath the covers and wrote this novel

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  4. This is me! I am afraid of everything. It's never stopped me from moving ahead because it's the fear that becomes my catalyst.

    I'm so glad you turned your experience into a story. Well done!

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    1. Maria, I think fear is the catalyst for me as well. And I've been fortunate to have the kind of support in my life to help me handle it. My main character Helena has it way worse in my opinion.

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  5. Something so personal has to be intriguing.

    I don't think I could read this and do a review by October 1. Although I'm currently unemployed, my days seem to be taken up with so many domestic things my family has been waiting for me to take up. BTW: I'm the blogger formerly known as Donna Hole. We've me before :)

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    1. Oh hi Donna! I don't need reviews before October 1. Seriously, anyone who wants to review an ARC, I'll get you one.

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  6. As I began reading your post, I first thought, this is something that Karen has suffered from - don't know why I thought that and your book was or is perhaps the very therapeutic cure. Much success with your new novel. Have a wonderful day.

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  7. This sounds positively wonderful. I will get it!

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  8. I really like the sound of your book. I can relate to you and to your MC. I also share working this between state, while writing fiction. My second novel has a lot of the story pushed into action during a comatose state and when another character is injured. It is very creative territory. I can't wait to read your book. Great premise. Let it go--we're all waiting to read it!

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    1. Stephanie, Thanks for the encouragement! Yes, I will, I must let it go...Launch date is Oct. 21.

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  9. just pre-bought it (doesn't one always?). I know I'm a writer but words are just too weird.

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    1. Jan, regardless of how you say it pre bought, I say THANK YOU.

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  10. Dear Karen, I wish you every success with this novel and thanks so much for sharing its inception with us. That always amazes me. Life and creativity are both mysterious. Peace.

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  11. What a unique premise, Karen. A coma as a place for the protagonist to hide and be safe and come to understand where she needs to go from here. If you'd like, I'll review the electronic ARC copy for you. Thank you for this opportunity. Just let me know. ~Victoria Marie Lees

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  12. Congratulations! And it sounds an intriguing story! All the best!

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  13. Hi Karen! I'm back to serve you up a side of Versatile Blogger. Congrats. I enjoy your posts. Have fun passing on the love. http://swaggerwriters.blogspot.com/2014/09/by-kim-van-sickler-it-all-started-here.html

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  15. Hi, Karen,

    I'm so glad I stopped by and caught this post. What a very intriguing premise to your new book. CONGRATS... it's been quite a while since your last published book.

    So happy for you! I am INSANE this month, but I would love to read this and do a review. But I really won't have time until next month. Let me know if that is okay for you.

    Also, I just wanted to let you know I've been designing covers for the past year. I did Kim Van Sickler's debut book, Snatched, Old Broads Waxing Poetic, I am working on my third one for Julie Flanders. Her newest one debut's at my blog on Monday. I hope you can drop by and see it. I am also writing blurbs for authors. I wrote all of Julie's books and Two for Yolanda Renee... third coming soon. I would LOVE to know what you think of them(covers/blurbs) since you are involved with Wido.

    I hope all is well with you!

    I miss our chats...

    Michael

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  16. Congratulations! The cover's lovely! I'm glad writing the book was a healing experience for you - I hope it'll affect others the same way.

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  17. Exciting news Karen! As a nurse who cared for many patients in comas, most never recovering I often wondered how they felt, what they thought. One of my hospice mentors taught me to always treat comatose pts as if they could hear and so I did. Your book sounds so interesting!

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  18. What a beautiful cover, Karen! I am on deadline for my new book, Evening of the Dragonfly, so I have no time right now for reviews. However, if you still want one after the first of next year, please let me know then.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. My novel, Jungle Jeopardy, has Guatemala for part of the setting. The characters are some of the same ones from Secrets by the Sea, set in Antigua.

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  19. Fascinating and unusual plot idea. Your imagination has done you well! Also, the cover is eye-catching.

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  20. Sounds absolutely intriguing! What a great concept for a book. And what a great way to make lemonade out of a fearful lemon. :)

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  21. Sounds like a great book, Karen. I'm looking forward to it. I love the cover!

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  22. Karen, you are truly multi-talented. Is there anything you can't do?
    It is pretty darn clear that you don't let that fear stop you from doing things.

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  23. Congratulations, the blurb sounds intriguing. Sounds like a great inspirational read. Love the cover too.

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  24. Whoa, this sounds super interesting! And great cover!

    Sarah Allen
    (Writing Blog)

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  25. Congratulations on a new book! I really, really like the premise of this one! I can relate to the anxiety you described, and I look forward to connecting with your character.

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