SPOTLIGHT ON… Karen A. Chase
1. Describe yourself in one word:
2. The best thing about being a wordsmith:
It’s teaching me how to not be at a loss for words, and life is full of situations that require us to be eloquent.
3. You wish you wrote:
The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michaelangelo’s life by Irving Stone.
4. If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
I’ve just begun an impressionist painting class that I really love, so my head very quickly goes to “painting.”
5. Favourite fictional character:
Hercule Poirot. Odd and savvy, but incredibly likable.
6. If you were a character in a novel, you’d be:
Emma from Jane Austen’s book of the same name. I’m bookish, a hopeful romantic, and I have found my Mr. Knightly.
7. What book has changed your opinion/stance on something important to you, and why?
The Sun Also Rises changed my opinion of Hemmingway. It was the first book I read by him, and I had this preconceived notion that because he was so revered, he was inaccessible, and also more of a man’s writer. As much as I abhor bull fighting, I enjoyed how he crafted his story and took me into that world. It showed me I needed to be more open minded with authors and books.
8. The one author you would you spend your last $20 on?
Wilbur Smith, for any old copy of his South African books, especially about the Courtney family.
9. Biggest accomplishment to date:
In writing, winning four independent publishing awards for self-publishing Bonjour 40. Travel-wise, having lived a month in Paris, knowing there is much more to come. In life, being at a point where I feel happy, balanced and in love.
10. What’s next for you?
In writing, I’m in the final throes of an historical novel about the Declaration of Independence. In travel, we are visiting Saskatchewan to see family and the prairies, and then touring Italy and Provence in the fall. Personally, I’m getting my hands wonderfully dirty in oil painting and in my garden.
Favourite place in Paris:
Oh la la that’s tough. I love the large produce and fish market at the Bastille in Spring and Summer (Thursdays and Sundays), but one of my favorite, little-known places is the Musée Carnavalet. It’s showcases brilliantly the history of Paris. As buildings were torn down, Paris salvaged walls and floors from different eras and reconstructed them inside the museum. So you see artwork, furnishings, and objects within the period rooms themselves, and learn of Paris’ famous people, events and places. The gardens within the courtyard are stunning, too.