Guest Post: Karen Katchur “How This Book Came To Be”

Today debut author Karen Katchur is on the blog talking about her novel THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD which is out tomorrow.

Hear about the writing process straight from her! Read below about how her sixth book written is finally her debut, and how the dead body she saw as a kid changed her forever.

Chat with Karen on Twitter and let her know what you think of her post below and her novel: THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD out 8/4.


Karen Katchur - Author PhotoIt’s common for writers to get asked where they get their story ideas. It’s different for every writer of course, but for me, I tend to build my fiction around an event. The event can be of a personal nature, or it can be something I’ve read or heard about. THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD just happens to be of a personal nature.

When I was nine or ten years old, a young teenage boy had drowned at a lake where my grandmother owned a cabin. I’d watched them drag the lake for several days before they’d finally pulled his body onto the beach. The tragedy of that day has never left me. It was the first dead body I ever saw.

It was this event that sparked the idea for SECRETS. Written in five characters’ points of view, the two most prominent being Caroline and her mother, Jo, the novel explores the destructive power of secrets not only within a family unit, but also within a community.

SECRETS is the sixth novel I’ve written, but the first to be published. I had to write several novels before I could look at my stories as a whole and say: This is where I get my ideas, and this is how my process works. If I’m really excited about the event, setting, and characters, I know it’s something I should write.

Q: What about you? Where do you get your ideas from? And how do you know which ones have legs so to speak?

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

7 thoughts on “Guest Post: Karen Katchur “How This Book Came To Be”

  1. Congratulations on your book, Karen. I also get my story ideas from events I’ve witnessed or heard about. The intrigue and intensity of a true-life inspiration help me keep writing, because I want to see justice served–even if it’s only via my imagination spilled onto paper.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Karen! I’m on the verge of my debut coming out, and like you, it isn’t the first book I’ve written (it’s my third) — practice makes perfect :) As for ideas, my debut came from a conversation I had at a funeral and my second book’s plot was inspired by my own experience as well as a news story. Definitely adding THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD to my TBR list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Karma! Isn’t it funny how a conversation can spark an idea for an entire novel. Awesome. Good luck with it!


  3. Karen, I am SO excited for you. And your writing journey echoes mine. A story comes to us through life experience and no matter how long it may take–we want it to have life so others can know it, feel how that initial image or spark grew and changed and became your book. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Way to go, Karen! My novel was also inspired by a tragedy; the murder of a man with autism, who worked across the street from me in Ireland. I knew this event “had legs” when the “what ifs” in my head wouldn’t run away.


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