Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Interview with East Riding author Karen Wolfe

Local writer Karen Wolfe’s novels, ‘Seers’ (YouWriteOn, 2008) and ‘Seers’ Moon’ (New Generation Publishing, 2009) begin the series of six comic-fantasy novels featuring the indomitable Granny Beamish. Both are available from Amazon, WHS, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.

‘Seers’ follows Granny’s battle to save the Guilds from a renegade who’s burning out minds and threatening all that the Guilds hold dear: will Granny’s mindpower be enough to defeat the odious Undermaster Coy (only in it for the sex-toys and the Ceremonial Underpants) and his terrifying, chocoholic control-freak Boss, or will the seers’ heritage be lost forever?
‘Seers’ Moon’ features Kenneth, a man inconvenienced by the moon. As Warg, the were-wimp, he’s running scared from the newly-designated Wolf-Patrol, as well as the pitiless Killer Calhoun, bounty-hunter, who likes pulling the wings off fairies, and will stop at nothing for the ultimate trophy of a werewolf pelt.
Aided by one ageing mongrel, nine stroppy sheep and a couple of hungry griffons, Granny’s really up against it as Warg flees the hunters and that old irresistible moon.

You can find Karen at: http://http://www.hornseadogowners.co.uk/karenwolfe

I caught up with Karen to find out what she’s currently up to, and what’s in the writing pipeline.

Q: There’s a rich vein of humour running through all the Granny Beamish books. How important is this comic element?
KW: Very. My primary purpose is to give my readers a laugh, but I also believe that humour can have a serious underlying message.

Q: In what way?
KW: Mostly by pricking pomposity and illuminating just how fallible we human beings are. Warg/Kenneth’s predicament shows how harshly we judge those who are different, while Warg himself is a metaphor for all hunted animals, and Killer Calhoun represents those who hunt for so-called fun.

Q: So is Granny’s an alternative world?
KW: Yes and no. It’s all about suspending disbelief: might there be telepaths in our communities and unicorns and other mythological beasts existing amongst us? I’d like to think so. After all, apart from their telepathic abilities, seers are just people, with all that being human entails.

Q: Where did Granny Beamish spring from?
KW: She started as a short-story character and evolved from there. I’ve always liked an iconoclast, and I thought she had great comedy mayhem potential!

Q: Quite a lot of the ‘Seers’ and ‘Seers’ Moon’ characters are of pensionable age. Is this deliberate?
KW: Yes. I’ve always loved the concept of elderly hooligans! I also wanted to show that older people can be wiser, funnier and more rounded (personally as well as physically!) than the inexperienced young. If readers find themselves batting for Granny, Mariander, et al, then I’ve succeeded!

Q: You've been writing for many years. Any advice for aspiring writers?
KW: Never give up, and never throw anything away. I had my first Radio 4 broadcast with a short story that had languished in a drawer for 16 years! Oh, and do join a good writers’ group for support and encouragement.

Q: So what are you currently working on?
KW: Well, apart from the 4 Grannies waiting in the wings, I’m right in the middle of a second (yes, humorous again) crime-novel (with dogs!) and I’ve also completed a how-to book for the hapless dog-owner. And I have to say that, succeed or fail, I’ve loved every bit of the creative process down the years, and I’d do it all again tomorrow.


  1. A very warm and inspiring interview. I'm partway into "Seer's Moon" at the moment and can vouch for its humour. Well done.


  2. I've read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them.Looking forward to more from the unique pen wielded by Karen Wolfe. I love a book with a good story that has me laughing out loud.