Friday, March 24, 2023

Q&A with Karen Katchur



Karen Katchur is the author of the new novel The Greedy Three. Her other books include River Bodies. She lives in Pennsylvania.


Q: What inspired you to write The Greedy Three, and how did you create your characters Noah, Eve, and Hester?


A: When I wrote Greedy, I wasn’t under contract, and we were in lockdown due to the pandemic. I wasn’t in a good place creatively, but I had a lot of time on my hands that I didn’t normally have. The combination of not being under contract and having so much free time allowed me to try something new.


I’ve always been a huge fan of dark comedic crime dramas like Fargo and Ozark, and I think writing in the genre was a natural extension of my interests. But it wasn’t until I started writing the Hester character that I realized I had something that could be darkly funny. Then when the Noah and Eve characters emerged, I knew I was onto something.


I knew I wanted each character to have their own personal motivations for wanting the money. Once I understood their backstory and internal goals, I let them dictate what actions they would take. For example, when writing a scene, I would ask myself what a normal person would do in each situation, and then I would write the opposite of that. J


It was so much fun creating characters who behave badly and who would do anything to get what they want. But even after all their craziness, they still have a lot of heart to them. I think they’re some of the most unhinged and yet relatable characters I’ve ever written.


Q: Reviewers have also called the novel “darkly funny”--what do you see as the role of humor in your work?

A: If reviewers are calling the novel “darkly funny,” it means that they totally get the characters and story, and I accomplished what I set out to do. The role of humor in Greedy adds levity to some serious topics that are otherwise just too depressing.


I think this is what dark comedy does so brilliantly. It allows you to explore violence and tragedy in a way that makes it a little more palatable and yet doesn’t take away from the seriousness of something like human trafficking.


Q: Without giving anything away, did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I did know the ending. I don’t do a whole lot of plotting, but I always know how it ends. It gives me something to write toward. However, I will say that writing the ending for Greedy was painful, but it couldn’t have gone any other way.


Q: How was the novel's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: I knew what I wanted the title to be from the beginning. It doesn’t always happen that way, and sometimes, the title gets changed at the last minute.


Although there are several POV characters in Greedy, the three main characters—Hester, Noah, and Eve—had the most to gain and lose. It really is their story. They each deal with something in their past that has left a big hole inside them. Greed became the catalyst to fill that hole.


Plus, Hollywood loves titles with numbers in them. I think I read that somewhere. J    


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m working on another crime thriller, but it’s too early in the process to talk about it. But I will say that the characters are once again unique!


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: For anyone who is picking up the book, I hope you have fun with it. Enjoy the ride. It’s meant to be darkly funny although tragic, and wholly entertaining.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

1 comment:

  1. Good interviews...though the dark blue "unclicked" links don't read very easily against the dark gray background. Blogspot fun!