Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Guest Post from Karen S. Bell, author of When a Stranger Comes


When a Stranger Comes...by Karen S. Bell
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that "When a Stranger Comes..."
 by Karen S. Bell won the Bronze Medal in the Fiction - Thriller - Psychological category


Would you be willing to make a deal with the devil to have your hopes and dreams come true?

Witnessing a lightening bolt on a sunny day, author Alexa Wainwright doesn't realize she's been transported to an alternate universe. Here, she meets media mogul and publisher King Blakemore who offers her a lucrative book contract that will guarantee her comeback. 

This publisher seems odd. This book deal is too good. Suddenly, the contract's been signed. Now what can she do?

Desperate to get her life back, Alexa devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence but to no avail. Can Alexa find her way out of this nightmare?

Buy this book if you're a reader who loves a page-turning, heart-stopping, psychological thriller with some magical realism thrown in. 

"RIVETING"--Kirkus Reviews

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What inspired you to write this book?

Every writer goes through the what’s next? agitation after a book is finished. So, I too, struggled with this question. I had started a novel and had put it aside to finish at a later date, but I just wasn’t ready to tackle it after I finished my latest book. I believe I will finish it someday, but after my second novel, Sunspots, I was ready to write something a little lighter. Here’s the thing. I have delusions of grandeur as every author does that slogs away as an unknown, but I know I’m a good writer and get really good reviews. As much as I try, I just can’t get traditionally published by New York publishing houses. Can’t command a large number of sales as an indie. It’s a push and a struggle to get my book in front of readers. So I played with this thought of creating an MC who was a successful author. What would it feel like to earn large sums of money elevating what I do into a career instead of a hobby as it is now for me. I have written my last two books in the first person, so it was easy and fun to take on this persona. And so I created this character of a successful author whose debut novel hits number one on all the charts in the states and abroad. It was fun to enter that mindset, that reality. However, something else immediately took over. The fear of losing that heady place in the publishing world. Future work not measuring up. Once that thought took hold, my imagination ran rampant and I envisioned the worst case scenario, selling one’s soul to the devil to satisfy one’s greediness for continued success and riches. So then the book took on an underlying message. Alexa’s, (the MC) pact with the Devil became an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature. I believe the book can be enjoyed on many levels, as a romp into a psychological thriller with magical realism or a wake-up call on how our society is headed in the wrong direction and necessary change is needed.

I get so much satisfaction in the writing process. I take care to choose just the right word, to make sure each sentence has the right cadence. I appreciate other writers who respect the craft in this way, and I hope my readers do so with me. Writing is a need, a desire for expression, and springs from well within my subconscious mind. Thoughts rise up, scenes rise up and blend in with the over-arching story. These thoughts emerge whenever they want to and wherever I am and probably not when I am at the computer. The computer is for the craft, the technique. The thoughts come during walks, or while driving the car, or at the grocery store. I am the willing recipient of these thoughts and so they seek me out. It's a mystery this business and art of writing and it keeps me enthralled.

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