CHAPEL HILL – Local author Karen Booth is releasing her first novel, Bring Me Back, a fictional story firmly wedged in the music world.
The story is centered on a music journalist who lands a career-defining interview with an 80s British rock star with whom she was preoccupied in high school.
Booth’s hometown is Minneapolis, but she has lived in Chapel Hill for more than two decades, where she gathered much of the inspiration for Bring Me Back. In fact, parts of the book are set here in Chapel Hill.
“When I started writing the book I didn’t know where she was going to live, but I knew I wanted her to live in a college town, and I envisioned it as this cool place where people are smart and creative, and I wanted it to be on the East coast,” says Booth of the setting. “Then I thought, ‘what am I doing? I already live where she needs to live,’ so that was a no-brainer.”
Booth also has a lot of experience in the music industry herself, and she says she drew on her own background when creating the novel’s main character.
“I worked at Mammoth Records in Carrboro for six years, maybe,” says Booth. “I moved here from Minneapolis; I used to work at Twin/Tone Records [there]. I moved here in ’90, which was right at the start of the Chapel Hill music scene—Superchunk, Polvo, all the bands of that era.”
Although this is the first novel Booth has written, it is the fourth book she has had published. Her first three works were E-books, which have a much faster publishing process than novels in print.
“Those were all novellas, too, and it’s a lot easier to get a shorter work published now, so it took me longer to find a home for Bring Me Back,” says Booth. “And my publisher, even though they’re a small press, they follow a traditional publishing schedule, so it takes 18 months to two years after you sign the contract for the release.”
Booth confesses that the British rock star in the novel is based on her real-life teenage obsession with John Taylor of Duran Duran.
“It’s based on my own personal teenage experience; John Taylor from Duran Duran was the love of my life when I was a teenager, so I did draw on that experience,” she says.
Bring Me Back has already received excellent reviews and feedback. Wilmington, NC-based New York Times bestselling author Celia Rivenbank called it, “Fast-paced, sexy and altogether irresistible. A flat-out fabulous read.”
Booth will be at McIntyre’s Fine Books at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro on Sunday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m. for a reading, signing, and Q & A about music, writing, and the book.