Five questions for Karen J Carlisle

Today, Karen J Carlisle answers five questions about her latest book.

Karen J Carlisle

  1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

I’m currently writing Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire. It is the first book in ‘The Aunt Enid Mysteries’ series. I’m told it’s a cosy parnormal mystery.

The ‘Aunt Enid’ was there from the beginning (based on my own great aunt Enid). The Subtitle was problematic; how to hint at what the story was about, without giving it all away?

Usually a title will pop in my head, giving me something to hang the story on. I have fun making up titles.

  1. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?
  • Aunt Enid: Miriam Margoyles
  • Agnes Farrow: Helen Mirren
  • Alfred Knowles: Richard E Grant (aged up a bit.)  Those eyes…
  • Sally: someone in late 20s/early 30s. Perfect for a ‘newcomer’ This is flexible. Sally is the newcomer discovering everything – a substitute for the reader, so she can take on any likeness. She has a role and personality. She’s sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette but always Sally.
  1. What five words best describe your story?

Cosy, supernatural mystery in Adelaide.

  1. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

The Doctor (as in Who) and Donna. (Even they do the Agatha Christie thing!)

  1. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

I had to think a lot about this. (Usually I can rattle the song off immediately: Doctor Jack – Behind Blue Eyes by The Who, my work-in-progress fantasy – Stay by Shakespears Sister.)

I didn’t really have one song for this book. It was mostly driven by childhood memories. I suppose I’d say: Curious World by Alice’s Night Circus, and the line: “Don’t be afraid of the dark.”

About Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire

Daemons, fairies, magic: it’s all real! The Otherworld is bleeding through cracks into our world. And Adelaide is ground zero.

Something is coming. Something dark – trading souls for passage. And only one person stands between The Dark and the fate of the world.

Aunt Enid is just your average seventy-something year old. She loves to cook, is a regular at bingo and spends hours in her garden, talking to her army of garden gnomes and fussing over the colour of her hydrangeas…

When people start disappearing, her great niece, Sally, is drawn into a secret world and soon discovers her great aunt is a Protector Extaordinaire.

Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire is the first book in ‘The Aunt Enid Mysteries’, the first series in ‘The Otherworlds Chronicles.’

About Karen J Carlisle

Karen J Carlisle is an imagineer and writer of steampunk, Victorian mysteries and fantasy.

She was short-listed in Australian Literature Review’s 2013 Murder/Mystery Short Story Competition and published her first novella, Doctor Jack & Other Tales, in 2015. Her short story, Hunted, featured in the Adelaide Fringe exhibition, ‘A Trail of Tales’.

Karen lives in Adelaide with her family and the ghost of her ancient Devon Rex cat. She’s always loved dark chocolate and rarely refuses a cup of tea.

Follow Karen:

Buy Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire

Smashwords offers a special 66% off Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire from 21st May to 7th June. Visit Karen J Carlisle’s Aunt Enid for Smashwords and Amazon links.

Location: Hardware Lane

This post first appeared on my Patreon for my Fly By Nighters supporters on 6 April 2018

My first confession is that this image is not actually in Hardware Lane, which runs parallel to Elizabeth Street (between Queen and Elizabeth Streets) starting at Bourke Street and going through to Lonsdale. Between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale, it becomes Hardware Street, even though it’s shorter than the Lane.

The paved Lane between Little Bourke  and Lonsdale Streets is closed to traffic, because it’s full of outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants. At one end, a  nightclub called Khokolat has operated out of a basement premises at #43 since at least 2005.

At the other end, The Golden Monkey – another downstairs bar, decorated 1920s Shanghai style and named for the a statuette in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – is at the other. It opened in around 2007.

These days, Khokolat and a costume shop are opposite the most excellent Kirk’s Wine Bar, but in 2009 it was just one of several more generic cafes on the street.

It’s great for me that both those places were operating in 2009, when Number One Fan is set.

But that doesn’t explain the photo above.

That, my friends, is a promo photo (taken on Niagara Lane I think) for Hardware Lane Costumes, located on the first floor of 43 Hardware Lane. That puts it above Khokolat and, for my purposes, right next to an invented office where Frank and Milo have, in 2009, just set up a little space to manage business and answer fan mail.

How will I be using these locations in the story? I’m not entirely sure yet, but if I don’t get one of those boys into a princess costume at one point, I don’t even know myself.

In the meantime, with both Hardware Lane and Hardware Street postively lush with excellent cafes like Kirks, Hash, The Hardware Societe and La Petite Creperie, I’ll have somewhere pleasant to sit and plot to my heart’s content.


My Patreon supporters are helping to fund the writing and production of the Duo Ex Machina series. Number One Fan will be the third book in the series, and a brand new addition to it!

Words are like oxygen

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