You may know Karen Botha as the author of some of the best gay romance books on Amazon. She’s written a series of six gay romance books set in and around one of her favourite pass times, motor sports. So, it may come as a surprise to read her other work, hence why she’s choosing to write this under a pen name. “It just makes it easier for my readers to easily spot the gay romance books from the cozy mysteries,” she says.
So, to celebrate the launch of Chloe Grace’s first book (albeit a short prequel) today, I thought it would be nice to get to know the parts of Karen Botha that make up Chloe Grace. If you have any questions that I’ve not answered here, then please, post them on Facebook and let’s see if we can’t get some chatter going on there 🙂
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what else I have going on. I can write a book in 8 days without any problems, but I find then that I don’t have any time, or energy for things like writing this post then. And, let’s be fair, is there really a need to write that quickly.
Plus, writing is expensive. Until more people buy my books, I can’t afford to push out one book a week because of all the associated expenses such as designers and editing etc. It costs around $1000 to put every book out, so one book a week is too much at the moment. I do have a patreon page if you’d like to help out with that, but honestly, buying the books is enough!
I tend to try and focus on one book a month. It is frustrating though because I have so many stories floating around my head that they drive me nuts!
How do books get published?
This process is different for every author, but for me here’s how it goes. I have a chat with hubby about what I’m thinking. At this stage, it’s a really broad outline. Something along the lines of , “I have this dog who I want to talk and solve mysteries. What do you think?”
He’ll then go, “That sounds cool. How about this…” And then we formulate enough to fill an A4 sheet of paper.
From there, I sit down and I write. Albie comes to life along with his latest mystery. It just flows for usually around 2/3 of the book. Then, I have a huge panic attack about what I’ve written, and this is where hubby steps in again. He sits and reads what I’ve put down and tells me it’s great, or rubbish, or somewhere inbetween.
This is where I brief my cover designer and she has a week or two to pull something together. I’m really lucky, this tends to be a really easy process for me, and one of my favourite parts, it’s like bringing my characters and my story to life when they get a physical face.
Now hubby and I usually end up in the pub having another chat about where the story will go from here. This is the point where we’re setting up the characters so that everyone has a motive for murder. This part is great fun.
From here, off I go, write it all down and hubby is more closely involved now, reading what I write at the end of every writing stint and pulling me up on any factual inconsistencies, or just stuff that doesn’t work, or fresh ideas to make the stories more twisty.
At this point, it’s time to write the end and as you’ve probably already gathered, I don’t know who has done the murder myself at this point. This is my point of procrastination. It’s usually where I start another book and put some space between myself and the characters in the last one. I let them settle. Then, I’ll usually make a few false starts at finishing the book until eventually I sit down at my laptop and I write. And I write well.
Usually I’ll start to edit the book myself before it’s even finished. During the points where I sit down with no idea how it will end, I go back to the beginning and check what I’ve already written. This works for me because it means that I don’t miss any loose ends, and it gives me a fresh inspiration and viewpoint on the characters and the stories before I put the final dot on the page.
This means that when the book is finished and I send it to my editor, its already undergone one round of fairly substantial edits while I’ve been formulating the ending in my mind. My manuscript is usually with him for a week and then I implement his suggestions, do one more round of checks and it’s off to my proofreader who takes the same amount of time. At the same time I send my MS for proofing which is where the book is polished, I also send it out to my advance reader team. They check it for the same mistakes as my proofreader, grammer, spelling, typo’s etc and then because they got my book for free and ahead of it’s publication date, they agree to not only read and make corrections, but to put a review live on Amazon on the release day.
If you’d like to apply to be on my ARC team, then you can apply here. Don’t panic if you don’t get a response straight away, sometimes it takes me a little time because I only have so many spaces. It’s the same form for Chloe Grace and Karen Botha, and if you get on the team, you can choose to either accept the release that is coming out based on whether you can read it on time and if it’s the style of book that you prefer to read, or not.