BookView Interview with Author Kara Linaburg

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed author Kara Linaburg about her writing and her recently released, A Study in Terminal, a heavy yet heartfelt and perceptive account of coming to terms with irrevocable loss and trauma. (Read the review here.)

Queen of awkward and writer before she could properly spell, Kara Linaburg is passionate about creating stories with beauty in brokenness. When she’s not playing the role of author or editor, she’s planning her next adventure or watching the sunset. Kara lives in the mountains of West Virginia, the setting of A Study In Terminal.

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What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

It’s always been ingrained in me from an early age that the words we have hold power, good or evil, bring life or destruction. I think that concept really hit me when my mom read aloud The Chronicles Of Narnia and I saw how C.S Lewis changed lives. It wasn’t through imagery or sounds or real life, but through something as simple as words and a story.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

That you will get successful fast and that success is in numbers (sales, followers, engagement, etc). It’s a sticky world to try and “make it” as an author because success is defined in that way, and as much as we try not to get caught up in it, you still find yourself comparing your numbers to others.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do? I would have written less and got out into the world more. I was very introverted in a depressed sort of way in high school, and missed a lot of opportunities to make friends and have experiences and was so set on finishing a book and “making it.” I ended up not getting traditionally published until now (almost 24). While it can certainly happen sooner, that’s still young by industry standards, and I think I would have benefited in my writing depth by meeting people and doing things rather than trying so soon to write as many books as possible.

How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?

Hard. Really hard. There’s a career there, but it doesn’t mean money. It’s blood, sweat and tears, and a heck of a lot of fun and it’s so worth it, but making money starting out is pennies haha.

If asked, what would your friends and family say about you?

They’d say I’m ditzy and awkward, that I laugh at random moments, like to be in bed by eight thirty, I’m always trying to make new friends, procrastinate to fill up my gas tank or go to the bank, that I like to eat healthy until there’s something sweet offered to me, and hopefully that I love hard and long.

How different was your life one year ago?

I was going through a lot of anxiety and loneliness about being single while most of my friends are married and pregnant, that I had MAJOR doubts about ASIT getting published, and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted out of life. At one point, I was considering jumping on a plane and doing missionary work in Hawaii (kinda regret not going for a few months at least). And here I am in a great relationship, with ASIT on shelves, becoming more involved in a wonderful church community, and perfectly content where I am at because it was God’s plan and not mine.

Is there anything you want to unlearn?

Going to bed so early haha. I’d love to not have a job that makes me get up at four thirty in the morning, but I’ve gone to bed before nine since I started working as a teenager and it’d be so hard!

Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else? I started with imagining a journal filled with goodbye entries and a countdown to death. I didn’t know what this would become, but horrible things had happened to the author of the journal. Afterwards, I created a female character but this morphed into Sean — a young man riding into Lake Fort, WV on his motorcycle. 

Are any of your characters based on real people you know?

Always! I work with the public and you’ll always find inspiration and meet so many different types of people.

What makes this book important right now?

 Because every person I’ve talked to about the book instantly begins telling me about something they know who has died by suicide or has struggled with depression or thoughts of suicide. I didn’t realize how many people have been touched by this topic and how each one of us needs hope.


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