Author name: Karen Hugg
Genre: Literary Mystery
Book: Song of the Tree Hollow is about a young woman named Vero who moves back home to care for her sick cat Sophie while her mom is in rehab. But after Sophie dies from a heart attack and is revived by the vet, she leads Vero to a tree hollow that hums whenever she touches it. Unsure whether it’s haunted, Vero has to figure out its mystery, which ends up revealing a dark family history. In the end, she has to save her mom before she dies at the hands of a person who knows what’s buried beneath the tree.
When did you begin your writing career? Technically I began my career not long after college when I worked as an editor at small publications and doing some freelance writing, but I started seriously writing fiction around 2006.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I’m definitely a planner. I worked as a garden designer for over 10 years so I’m always “designing” my novels and stories. If I don’t, I get anxious and worried.
What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer? I write whenever my kids are at school or the house is quiet!
Do you work at a computer or write long-hand? I compose on a computer because I’m so messy from crossing words out and rewriting little bits as I go.
What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea? Tea though I love a perfectly constructed latte.
Favorite book: It’s so difficult to pick! I love literature of the 19th century, the romanticism and focus on the struggle of the poor or marginalized in Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens’s novels. I also love those books because they combine great sentences and an interesting plot. So, any author who does that will be a favorite.
Favorite movie: I gravitate toward sweet indie films. Films that tell a small, slice-of-life story.
Favorite musician: Music is a huge part of my and my family’s life. I was a musician in college, my husband’s a pianist, and my kids all play instruments. I love all kinds of music. In 2018, I dove into the world of Tchaikovsky, who wrote some of the most emotionally tense and beautiful pieces. He was also a troubled soul, which makes him fascinating to me. His Piano Concerto No. 1 is at the heart of my book, Song of the Tree Hollow.
Semi-finalist, the Del Sol First Novel Prize contest
Second place, Mothers Always Write, micro-essay contest
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