Canadian author, and Rent frock Repeat member, Karma Brown has written her debut novel Come Away with Me. We here at RfR had the chance to speak with Karma about her new novel, life and everything else in-between!
1.) Your new book, Come Away With Me, is an emotional story about loss. What inspired you to write this book?
KB: I hoped to write a book that challenged me emotionally, where I had to ask, “What would I do if my worst fears came true?” My husband and daughter are at the centre of my universe, and the thought of moving through life without them is unfathomable. So I have always been in awe of those who find a way to move past life-changing tragedies – to find joy and happiness again in an imperfect life, and I wanted to explore that bravery and determination. Also, I wanted to explore what happens to a perfect marriage when the worst happens…does it push people apart, or bring them closer together?
2.) In your online biography, it mentions that as a child you always had a book in your hand, or were writing your own stories. Did you always envision yourself as a writer? Or is it something that you decided later in life?
KB: I have been a lifelong, voracious reader, truly never without a book in my hand, but a writer? When I was in journalism school I heard this a lot: “Oh, so you want to be a writer?” I do not want to be a writer, I’d say. Television’s my thing. I had dreams of anchoring the news, or maybe becoming a producer. “I’ll never be a writer. Never,” I vowed. So writing sort of snuck up on me, while I was busy doing other things, like marketing and communications consulting and parenting my daughter. Soon I was freelancing for magazines and then before I knew it, writing novels. And I’m a debut author at 42, so I guess you could say it is something I decided later in life!
3.) You have lived in Toronto before, and now you are residing in the suburbs. What was your favourite part about living in downtown? What is your favourite part of living in the suburbs?
KB: I loved living in Toronto, and still miss it some days. From the Danforth to King West to the Annex to Downtown to Bloor West Village, I lived in a variety of communities within the city and enjoyed the vibrancy and uniqueness of each one. Mostly I miss the restaurants, the ease of hopping on the subway, and the ability to walk everywhere. What I don’t miss? The traffic, the chaos, the cramped feeling of living on top of one another. The burbs are quieter and in many ways easier to live in – our house backs onto a ravine, which means we often have deer in our back yard and there are gorgeous wooded trails to walk and run through. We’re pretty happy here.
4.) Your novel, Come Away With Me, is definitely a page-turner, as well as a story many women can relate to. Do you see a sequel in the future?
KB: Never say never, but I have always seen Come Away with Me as a standalone book. Tegan and Gabe’s story is compelling, and heartbreaking, and hopeful, and there are times when I wish I could write them another chapter or two, but that last page really does mark the end of their story. But maybe if they keep talking to me – as characters do after you spend 90,000+ words with them – I’ll figure out there’s more story to tell…
5.) In a perfect world, what would be your definition of the best way to start off your day?
KB: A still dark sky. Five o’clock in the morning. A giant mug of coffee. The glow of my laptop screen. Everything else, quiet.
We cannot thank Karma Brown enough for the amazing opportunity to interview her. If you have not had a chance, you must go pick up your copy of her new book, Come Away with Me, available now!