Author Karen Magill
We are so excited to be interviewing a wonderful friend and fellow author, Karen Magill! Karen is a very talented lady. She is an accomplished photographer and showcases many of her photo’s on her blog “Vancouver Vagabond.” She also is a motivational speaker and has a fairly new blog “On The Right Side.” She is an accomplished author and has several novels out. Her latest one, “On The Right Side: My Story of Survival and Success” is her very own story. Not only is it about surviving some incredible odds, but Karen about thriving and succeeding despite those odds. Karen is always saying “As long as we aren’t six feet under, we are on the right side and anything is possible. It’s this very philosophy she lives by and hopes that all who know her will come to realize that they too can overcome hardships and live good lives. Let’s jump right in!!
Where are you from?
I was born in Victoria Canada and have lived all over British Columbia. Now I call the City of Vancouver home.
Please share a little about yourself.
I believe that anything is possible. When I write fiction, I like to treat the paranormal as an everyday occurrence because I believe that these attributes are within us all.
Forced to leave the workforce in 2000 by the onslaught of MS, I saw this as an opportunity to explore my lifelong desire to write.
To date, I am the author of three published paranormal novels, including the award-winning The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story.
I live in an eclectic area of Vancouver Canada and draws inspiration from the history and stories around me.
Tell us your latest news?
I am so excited. I am publishing my first nonfiction book. It is a motivational look at my journey – so far – with multiple sclerosis and it is entitled On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as a means to escape reality. I grew up in small towns in northern BC and was an unpopular child. Writing was my way of making my life better for me.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sold a poem to Modern Romances magazine in the early nineties, I felt like I actually had talent.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I ever wrote was a sappy romance. I was infatuated with my first boyfriend and thought I could get this book published and he would read it and want to get back together with me. The delusions of youth!
How did you come up with the title?
For my latest book, I believe that as long as you aren’t six feet under, you are on the right side and anything is possible. Ergo, the title is On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to know being diagnosed with a chronic illness doesn’t have to be the end of everything. Yes, your life will probably change but as long as you’re alive, you can adjust. You can conquer anything and make your life what you want.
How much of the book is realistic?
This is my life story so it is all reality.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That would have to be my paternal grandmother, Katherine Magill. She contracted rheumatic fever as a child and went to live with an aunt in Boston. She survived and went on to write a few books and numerous articles. She died many years ago but I like to think she is guiding me in a way.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I just requested a couple of books on Buddhism from the public library.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Martin Crosbie is one of my favorites, so is K.D. Emerson and T.L. Burns and K.L. Hughes.
Awe, how sweet of you to include us!!! (We’ll pay you later, lol) What are your current projects?
The sequel to my last paranormal novel, Missing Flowers, is with the publisher, Saga Books, now. Hopefully, A Little Poison will be published this summer or fall.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have found that my writing career has blossomed since I found the Master Koda group on Facebook.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I can’t think of anything I would change on it. Not even the timing. I had to be ready to write it. And when I was able to walk without the cane, I even jump at low hanging tree leaves, I knew the time to tell my story was here.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)
Mondays can be unpleasant days but none as awful as June 5, 2000 was to me. My alarm sounded and when I reached over to try to turn it off, my left arm wouldn’t move. I sleep on my right side so I had to manoeuvre myself so that I could turn off the noise. I managed to do that then struggled to sit up. I sleepily stood, but then my left leg collapsed under me.
First thing in the morning, I am not fully awake but I do know I have to go to the washroom – that room calls me as soon as my eyes open. Sometimes even before. That Monday I crawled the short distance between my bedroom and the bathroom where I hauled myself onto the toilet, took care of business, and then dragged myself up to the bathroom sink. I leaned against the vanity and brushed my teeth, watching myself in the mirror as I did so. It was strange. Nothing on the left side of my face moved. It was as if someone had drawn a line down the center of my body and everything on the right side was fine but the left side didn’t move. What was going on?
I lurched my way around my apartment, getting ready for work. Making breakfast was an experience. I would turn in my small kitchen and not know where my left arm was. My arm was constantly hitting things on the counter so I spent a lot of time picking things up that I had knocked over. I wore minimal make-up that day because trying to put cosmetics on correctly with one hand and one numb feeling side of the face was awkward. Finally, I gave up and went to work.
Wow! How frightening that must have been. We can’t believe that you still went to work that day! What courage. Well, is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Besides promoting, I find sitting down and doing it challenging sometimes. Though when I wrote On The Right Side, it poured out of me quickly.
What is your particular writing quirk?
I don’t like it quiet. I need noise around me – the television playing behind me or listening to music.
Who designed the cover(s)?
I found an artist on fiverr.com named designeroo.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I had to revisit many emotions, which I have buried in the last few years. Some of it was difficult to face again.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I referred to a diary I kept at the time and reading it over, I learned how many mistakes I made in dealing with others and this experience strengthened my knowledge that people are stronger than we think. I watched the life I was carefully constructing crumble around me and when I take a moment to think about my life now, I realize that this is the life I was meant to live. Not the one I was creating before.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and learn from others. Also be sure to pay it forward – also be ready to help others succeed in any way you can.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy my latest book and will join me on journey into the motivational field.
Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.
On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success, eBook – http://goo.gl/AhSOa3
Blog, Vancouver Vagabond: http://karen-magill.blogspot.com
On The Right Side Blog: http://magillrightside.blogspot.com
Amazon page: http://goo.gl/0LrRK
Face book: http://goo.gl/1VL3f
FB Fan page: http://goo.gl/ulvSy
Author/Speaker fan page: http://goo.gl/SjnsrW
On The Right Side group: http://goo.gl/LWZKme
NOTE: Karen is having a book release party today, Wednesday, March 5th!! Woot!! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/606246869453372/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Great prizes and tons of fun!!
Karen, thank you so very much for being with us today!! What an incredible journey you are on and what an inspiration you have always been to us!! Fans, be sure and pick up her latest book for yourself! It will help you face your challenges with grace.
Blessings to you all,
K.R. and T.L.