Behind the Naked Truth lie dark secrets in Gidea Park author’s debut novel

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 May 2017

Karen Botha

Karen Botha


When you go for a massage you expect to feel a) comfortable, b) relaxed and possibly c) a bit groggy if you’ve fallen asleep on the table.

Naked Truth coverNaked Truth cover

The last thing you expect to find is mystery and dark secrets but that’s exactly what Gidea Park author Karen Botha, 42, has conjured up for her debut novel, Naked Truths.

The book follows protagonist Lucy who works as a massage therapist and has a strict policy of never mixing business with pleasure – until she meets an intriguing widower called Giles Harrington.

The meeting between the two characters sets the premise for the psychological thriller which is strongly influenced by Karen’s local surroundings as she works as a massage therapist with her husband at Essential Feeling in Gallows Corner.

“I don’t actually say Romford but in my mind, where I have written it, it’s based here,” said Karen.

In fact Karen’s husband Charlie has played a key role throughout the writing process offering tips and advice.

“He’s brilliant, he is so patient, he listens to me and gives me the time and he’ll tell me genuinely if he thinks something is boring or doesn’t make sense,” said Karen. “He had to read every chapter during editing – it gives you confidence.

“The book came from discussing ideas on the sofa. I didn’t really have a plot, just a general outline. I just wrote and as I was writing the story took over.”

Naked Truth, which is available from Amazon on Sunday, will be self-published as Karen decided to spurn traditional publishers for fear of being forced to churn out work and says it is a very simple to read and accessible book.

“I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed by a publisher. I have a job, I want to write creatively and for fun and not to have to write in a certain way.

“It’s easy to read, I don’t use big words for the sake of writing big words. I want people to be able to sit down after a busy day at work and to read a good story.”

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