Featured Interview With Karen Ess
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Karen delights in the simple things of life – painting, writing, and splashing about in rockpools being some of the many and varied activities she enjoys. She also has a cute little doggy, cross Daschund/Chihuahua, called Chico. who adores her. She has taken a creative writing course and done much blogging and writing of articles over the years.
An Occupational Therapist and Student Pastor in turn, she now creates online courses and scribbles fantastical stories. She is already on her second novel, called the Kalk Bay Mysteries, set in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, and involving fishermen, beautiful cottages, and an overactive imagination.
What aids her writing is her extensive travel and living amongst various cultures across the world. Born in Joburg, she has worked in Cape Town, London, Guatemala, and then back again in Joburg. She loves people, and she loves finding out more about cultures across the world. This makes each setting and culture into a character in the story – with their own, distinct personalities.. They are as an integral part of the plot as individuals are.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I loved books since I started reading, but only realised I could write when doing a creative writing course about 4 – 5 years ago.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I love Agatha Christie. Unfortunately, she has a finite amount of books, and when you have read them once, you can’t read them again. The same is true of any book. I also love Georgette Heyer, with her witty conversation-pieces and fantastical plots.
My favourite genre is mystery – I have no idea why, but it may have something to do with ‘good’ winning.
Those authors, and so may others that it is impossible to even name, have influenced me.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
This refreshing debut novels takes you into the world of the poor, and into the psyche of poverty. Poignant, compassionate, hopeful, these stories focus on the lives of three teens, whose lack of parents put them on very vulnerable situations. Their situations are based on true stories. Karen deals with them sensitively, but with a light, and sometimes playful hand.
Ntombi is thrown out by her parents, who are too poor to keep her. Survival means prostitution. Is there any hope?
Gladys falls pregnant while at school, but a tragedy occurs, and she is left with guilt and shame.
Themba and Elizabeth discover a man who has been shot. They agree to assist him escape from his attackers, and they find themselves embroiled in a mystery.
Written in a poetic spirit, Karen and gives tribute to the indomitable spirit of the people living in hardship, and honours their courage and ingenuity.
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