Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Karen White | Blending Women’s Fiction with the Paranormal—Is there such a thing?
Uncategorized / November 5, 2008

I’m known for writing ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction. My books are recognized not only by their Southern setting and characters, but also by their emotional intensity. So when I proposed the idea for THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET to my agent, she was a little leery at first—especially after I told her that I planned to make this into a long-running series.In this book I’ve blended my favorite elements of ‘grit-lit’ but threw in my passion for old houses, the City of Charleston, an historical mystery, and ghosts. The main characters are multi-layered with a lot of emotional baggage (ala Karen White books), but their dialogue is lighter, and snarkier, than my readers are probably used to. And, yes, my protagonist, Melanie Middleton, sees dead people. So, how did I sell this idea as a marketable proposal to not only myself but to my agent and editor? After all, isn’t the publishing industry married to the ‘tried and true’ despite their insistence that they want something ‘fresh and new’? I made a deal with the devil (figuratively, of course). I promised my editor that I could still do a ‘grit lit’ novel every year—if I could just be allowed to…

Karen White | Southern Women’s Fiction: It’s More Than Just An Accent!
Uncategorized / May 23, 2008

When people ask me what I write, I tell them that I write ‘Southern women’s fiction’. To clarify, I usually follow that with the (hopefully) more clear ‘grit lit.’ Although that frequently elicits a grin or two, it rarely seems to explain what it is that I try and create on the pages of my novels. I stick with the adage to ‘write what I know’ and I know the South. My father’s family has lived in the South since before the American Revolution and both of my parents were born and raised in Mississippi–my father on the Gulf coast and my mother in the Delta. I have relatives still living there that most people from other parts of the country would need a translator to understand. But when I hear them speak, I simply feel as if I have found home. Yeah, sure, I’ve created more than my share of hunky Southern men who drawl and even use the word ‘darlin’. But writing Southern women’s fiction is so much more than the accent. It’s primarily a sense of place, and stocked with those inherently wacky yet familiarly beloved Southern characters (remember Aunt Pittypat?)–most of whom I’ve met or find…