Interview with Kairen Cullen

What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is difficult! I'm just going to write about the first five novels that come to mind and in no particular order. I know there are more but this way it's spontaneous and not too thought-out. I've never been a fan of the boys' best/biggest/greatest lists anyway.....
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte confirmed what I learnt as a child, i.e. life isn't fair and accidents of birth, e.g. gender, race, wealth and class must not be accepted as an inevitable precursor to the life that follows.

2. I discovered DH Lawrence's 'Sons and Lovers' when I was about fifteen. I knew love wasn't straight forward and that our earliest experiences influenced how we coped with the challenges and Lawrence communicated that complexity in such a beautiful, poetic way.

3. The Magus by John Fowles because magic and the mystical are important and everywhere

4. Emile Zola's The Earth features such beautiful writing; so tangible, so evocative of a place and time I could never know first hand. The epitome of how literature can take us into other worlds.

5. Blue Monday and all the other days of the week by Nicci French because I like crime and psychology and this interesting male/female writing duo build suspense, character and plot so well.
What do you read for pleasure?
I usually have an audio book, a Kindle text and hard copy on the go simultaneously so that wherever I am I can devour books. My reading for pleasure is very eclectic, i.e. classics like Dickens, DH Lawrence, Brontes, Orwell, Hardy; lighter stuff like Jojo Moyes 'Me Before You' and 'Eat, Sleep, Pray Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert plus her 'The Signature of All Things'; then there is crime and psychological thrillers and of course I read a lot of psychology-based material.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Impossible to answer as I always have audio books and Kindle avialable at all times. I'm also partial to my iPad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is a pertinent question because I have to admit that I haven't discovered them yet. Completing my interview for Smashwords is a small 'baby' step towards getting to grips with this. Marketing and the 'business' of making a book a success is not really my thing but I have decided to stop resisting and have a go. Maybe I can return to this in a few months?
Describe your desk
Large, white and empty apart from a big screen iMac and a three shelf tray for correspondence, reports in-progress and waiting to be written and papers I need to read. I also have a piece of rose quartz and purple amethyst on the stand of my computer as someone told me these would bring good 'energy'. They're nice to hold anyway. There's also a tile decorated with an ornate initial K on which I keep a tub of chewing gum and rest mugs.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
England's north, south, east and the Midlands. I attended nine different schools so know all about being 'the outsider' and/or new kid on the block. I think all these changes did make me stronger and more resilient than if I hadn't had them. The downside is I need to have lots of changes in my life and am never too happy for things to remain the same for too long. Maybe writing is my way of continuing to travel.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing when I was about ten but I was a pretty disconnected kid and did not tend to complete things. I did however imagine stories in my head from the earliest days. Every school report I ever got described me as a day dreamer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
That phrase from Raymond Carver comes to mind: "honest fiction". All my novels are lies but they all have a core of truth to them. 'Splitting the Difference' is an attempt to reconcile the pain of gendered relations, growing older and wanting to change the world. I don't claim to have done so but you can only try.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
No connections. I was in a writing group with a group of guys whom I met at a Guardian writing workshop and we would joke all the time about setting up our own pulishing company and call it 'No Connections'. I'm a Psychologist and I write long, long reports for a living. I've also written quite a few articles about parenting, child development and learning and behaviour. In 2011 I produced a small book, which published by Icon Books in 2011 about Child Psychology and this has been doing quite well as it's gone to a second print. My creative writing only started in earnest about three/four years ago. I'm tho thirds of the way through the third novel in a trilogy. The first novel, 'Splitting the Difference' was self-published last year. Although I knew I would not be able to market and promote it a great deal it seemed to have a life of its own and just needed to be 'out there'.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have yet to see. I'm hoping that this first proper engagement with it will be the start of a lot more effort on my part and plan to put aside at least half an hour a day from now on to the business of making my book and subsequent novels a success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Letting my imagination fly free. When I'm writing time doesn't exist and the characters feel like real people whom I generally love and want to be with.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll tell you when I have some.
What are you working on next?
Book three of the trilogy. The first is 'Splitting the Difference', the second, yet to be published is 'Equally the Same' and the third, which is two thirds complete is called 'Same but Different'. Each novel takes the central character, Psychologist Kisane Kelling, further away from her known world. Book three deals with terrorism, government and the politics of gender, amongst other things
Published 2018-02-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Splitting The Difference
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 107,500. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Kisane, a professional psychologist and Ralph, a senior construction manager met as children, married young, raised three daughters and like so many long-married couples are comfortable but bored. Kisane is being bullied at work and dreams of having her own practice.