Karen King has had over one hundred children’s books published. She’s written for many children’s magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Perfect Summer is her first YA. It was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition.
Growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government gives people grants for plastic surgery, 15-year-old Morgan can’t help being a bit envious of her best friend Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity client list. Her life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn’t so rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down’s syndrome – which, according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime. Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren’t interested so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late?
You can read more about Karen here:
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always written. I had my first poem published when I was 11. I started my writing career with Jackie magazine, writing articles and photo stories.
Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
It depends whether I’m writing to a commission or not. If I’m commissioned I have to plot as I have to send a synopsis and the first couple of chapters to my editor. If I’m not writing to a commission I plot at first so that I know the basic outline of my story but once I get going I write ‘by the seat of my pants.’
Are you most productive in the morning or evening?
Morning. Often I get out of bed and start writing right away. I’m full of ideas in the morning.
What’s the most frequent question people ask you?
When I visit schools kids always ask me either if I’m rich. I usually say “No, I’m really poor so please go and buy some of my books!”
Read an excerpt:
They were on their fourth game of poker. The air was tense; they played in silence, speaking only when they had to.
The burly man glanced at the five cards in his hand, his expression unreadable. “I’ll see you.” He took a drag of his cigarette and waited.
The woman sitting next to him studied her hand of cards and sighed. “I’m folding.” She placed the cards face down on the table, crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.
They both watched the bald man on the other side of the table. He looked at his cards and frowned. The burly man took another drag of his cigarette and sent a spiral of thick smoke into the air. Then a shrill ring broke through the silence, making them all jump. The burly man grabbed his nanophone and the others waited as he flicked it open. The air was electric with suspense.
“Yes,” he said brusquely. He was silent as he listened, then replied, “We will leave immediately.” He switched the phone off, threw his cards down and stood up. “It’s on,” he said, scooping up the handful of coins in the middle of the table and putting them, and the phone, in his pocket.“Let’s get going.”
The woman left her cards and followed him. They both hurried outside to a dark blue van. The man climbed into the driving seat, the woman sat beside him. She took a slip of paper out of her pocket and keyed an address into the E–‐‑Nav. “We’ll be there in a couple of hours,” she said.
“How old’s this one?” the man asked.
“Three,” the woman replied.