Chapter 11 Books: Your Neighborhood Book Blog


Chapter 11 Bookstore is an independent bookstore chain with 4 locations in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding cities. Our online site is Customers can browse our inventory, order books, CDs, and DVDs online, and read details about author appearances. Visit our blog for reviews, opinions, and news about books, music, and movies.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Work to do!

We're changing some things around the blog.

Give us a moment, and pardon our dust.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Guest Blog From Karen White

Enter to WIN one signed copy of The Color of Light or Pieces of the Heart.

E-mail with your NAME and MAILING ADDRESS to be entered to win!!! Contest runs through October 10th. The winners will be announced a few days later.

I have just finished writing my eighth novel and have started on a new novel which will be due May 1st. My first novel was published in 2000 and I've basically had a book out every year.

Now, back in the day when I was young and stupid, um, er, innocent (and that would be pre-first book publication) I always thought that when my first book was published I would automatically be propelled into the stratosphere of Nora Roberts stardom. (It's ok to laugh--I am). In my delirious imagination, I pictured Barbara Cartland wearing her feather boa while dictating her next bestseller to her secretary. I saw Margaret Mitchell wearing fur as she stood outside the Fox Theater for the premiere of the movie they made out of her book. Well, heck, I'm still doing laundry so what does that mean?

To save myself some pride, I will admit that the publishing industry today is nothing like it was when Barb and Meg were penning their prose. There weren't as many writers vying for increasingly smaller shelf space at increasingly more and more mega stores that would prefer to stock a guaranteed bestseller while selling you coffee and muffins than take a chance on an unknown author. No, I'm not knocking the big stores--just mourning the demise of so many great independent stores with their wonderful handselling of great books as well as telling you that it's different to be an author today than it was even twenty years ago.

I've had some successes--I mean, I've sold eight books, right? I've won awards and one of my books became a national bestseller. However, nobody ever asks for my autograph at the meat counter at Kroger. And people still feel completely comfortable walking right by my signing table at a bookstore without a mere glance (or they simply ask me where the bathrooms are). Is this disconcerting? Sometimes. Do I bang my head against the wall in sheer frustration when I know that I'm writing better and better books but I'm still allowed to walk down the street without recognition? More than I'd care to admit.

So why do I do this? I've got two kids that require a great deal of my attention as well as friends and an extended family, a mortgage, a husband, and a new puppy. Wouldn't my life be easier to just stop this writing thing and devote my attention to other things? You bet! But I would feel like half a person. As much fulfillment I get from my role as mom-of-all-hats, there's a part of me that is stamped WRITER. I love creating characters and putting them in a story that I would love to read if I were just a reader. I love pushing my writing skills more than the last book. In other words, I love what I do. It's who I am. I couldn't stop being a writer any more than I could stop being a mom.

I guess I'm relegating myself to more sleep deprivation by signing my next book contract, but maybe sleep is overrated anyway. And I don't discount how very blessed I am to be able to pursue my dreams. Life is very fluid, changing constantly, and in not-so-very-long my children will be living elsewhere and I'll have more time to devote to writing. I guess for now, I'll just keep plugging away at my keyboard, and growling as my puppy attacks yet another mound of the interminable laundry. But I won't let my sight stray from my goal of being a NYT bestseller. It won't happen overnight, but I still like to think that it might. And if it does and you see me bagging my groceries or sitting in the carpool line, give me a thumbs-up. Clint Eastwood could probably say it better, but you would really make my day.

Karen White is the author of several novels, including her two most recent, The Color of Light and Pieces of the Heart. She lives in metro Atlanta, and her first ever book signing was at Chapter 11*. Her website is To learn more about Karen, read the interview below.