A Conversation With Karma Brown

Rear view of a young couple walking on the beach
Rear view of a young couple walking on the beach

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When a tragic accident derails Tegan Lawson's life, she turns to an unlikely source for her next steps forward. Karma Brown's novel, Come Away With Me, will both break your heart and give you hope.

What inspired you to tell Tegan's story?

I have always been in awe of those who find a way to move past life-changing tragedies, to find happiness again despite the loss, and I wanted to explore that bravery and grit in a novel. Also, many stories focus on the experience of falling in love and I wanted to look at the other side of it. The "what happens?" to a great marriage, and the people in it, when the unimaginable occurs ... does it pull people closer, like magnets, or force them apart? But this isn't a simple story of loss and grief and marriage, despite how it appears on the surface--however, you'll have to read to the end to understand why!

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What would be in your jar spontaneity?

The jar of spontaneity in the Come Away With Me was inspired by a similar jar my husband and I started when we were first married! Now instead of a jar we have a travel bucket list with the top ten places we want to go and things we want to see. We recently ranked the destinations to see where we might end up first, and swimming with pigs in Bahamas was high on my list, while skiing in the Alps tops my husband's list, so we probably need another family meeting pronto to sort it out. One thing I recently checked off my bucket list was indoor skydiving for my forty-second birthday.

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I'd love to know more about your 5AM Writing group? How does that work?

The #5amwritersclub is a group of authors who have banded together in the early hours on Twitter to offer support, encouragement, and to commiserate over vats of caffeinated beverages. I have written two books mostly between the hours of 5 am-7 am, and this group has made the early morning writing routine a much happier experience!

What's next for you? What are your working on?

My next book, The Choices We Make, (on shelves June 28, 2016) is a story of friendship, mothers, and the risks we take for those we love. When Ben and Hannah receive the heartbreaking news that Hannah will likely never get pregnant, her best friend, Kate, offers to not only to be her surrogate, but also to use her own eggs to do so.

Everything is going well until Kate suffers a devastating aneurysm--at 26 weeks pregnant -- and ends up in a coma, on life support. Hannah and Ben know their baby is at great risk if delivered so early -- something Kate's husband, David, is pushing for, as he believes removing the stress of the pregnancy could give Kate's brain a chance to heal. What follows is an emotionally charged story about two mothers -- one desperate to protect her unborn child, the other on the brink of death -- and the impact those struggles have on their families and friendships.

I'm also working on my next book, but we've only just started dating (at 5 am no less!) so I can't talk about that one yet.

I'm also dying to know about your name--what is the story behind being named something so powerful?

I'm a child of the 70s, which pretty much sums up how I got my name (which I do love, now that I'm older and past the terrible days of Boy George's Karma Chameleon). My mom said she desperately hoped I would be a girl so she could name me Karma--a name she felt embodied love and goodness and wisdom. I'm not sure I've entirely lived up to my name, but I'm grateful to have it--even though as a kid I dreamed of changing it to Nancy or Cathy. And not to be left out, my parents gave my sister Free as a middle name. When we're asked about our unusual monikers, we shrug our shoulders and say, "We have hippie parents."