MY WRITING JOURNEY
I think we all know something about what makes us tick from an early age – judging from my 5-year-old grandson’s love of Legos, he’s destined to be a builder, an engineer, or something that involves putting things together.
For me, I don’t remember not having a passion for writing and storytelling.
Writing became a way of life as soon as an elementary school teacher taught me to print Run Spot Run. I’ve processed most of my life’s major events – my best friend moving away, my boyfriend liking someone else, the end of my marriage, the birth of my son – by writing about them. I verbally told myself stories until my sister informed me that talking to yourself meant you were crazy – then I moved my storytelling to inside my head.
It seemed natural to put my love of writing into a career by getting a degree in journalism/public relations from the University of Texas at Austin. That launched a career spanning the industries of high tech, mental health, and non-profit
For nearly three decades, I worked for an international non-profit organization that partners with communities in developing countries to help them end extreme poverty. My travels let me witness life-saving work in Bolivia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Those experiences inform my writing and storytelling.
While quietly confessing strange thoughts to a friendly co-worker one day, I asked, “Do you think I’m going crazy?” I was, after all, verbally telling myself stories again. My friend answered, “No, I think you have a novel in you that wants to get out.”
So, I sat down to write my first novel.
I’m thankful it never got published but did get edited and rewritten five times. I attended conferences and workshops, continued rewriting, and talked to dozens of published authors about what it takes to produce an engaging, fast-paced story that will grab and keep a reader’s attention.
And I learned that too many edits will destroy a story.
I shelved that first novel and created a protagonist I loved, Rita Avery. Her husband died in a theater shooting in book 1 of my Rim Country Mystery Series, Deadly Deceit. Rita found love again and married Cliff in book 2, Deadly Inheritance, where they nearly get blown up in an Viking burial cave. Rita’s missing mother shows up after 25 years in book 3, Deadly Choices, and Willow has gone from being a vegetarian hippie artist to an ex-con who helps Rita figure out why a woman with an arrow in her chest stumbled into their campsite. In book 4, Deadly Payload, Rita is largely on her own when Cliff and hundreds of towns people are sickened by a bio-terrorism attack. Rita’s sleuthing reveals it was a practice run for a larger attack, and she fights to thwart it before thousands more die. Deadly Payload was a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards and the Beverly Hills Book Awards.
The same characters are featured in Deadly Reception, part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries that take place at a posh New Jersey resort where Rita’s daughter is hosting her wedding. What could possibly go wrong there?
You can learn more about these books on my website.
My contribution to the Notorious Minds Crime Mystery/Thriller Boxset is called Mystery Bones Murders. It features Frankie, a young widow who is angry and isolated and suffers from dyslexia. She lives on her Wyoming cattle ranch with two pet cows (Rosie and her calf Diesel), a rescued German Shepherd (Lexi Princess Warrior), and an American Paint Horse (Concho). When Frankie and Concho are rescuing Diesel from a thorny bush one stormy night, they find a human femur. The action shifts into high gear – and the body count rises – as Frankie discovers a serial killer is using her property to bury his victims, and he’s watching her.
The boxset is available pre-order on several online retailers for only 99 cents, and we authors would like to thank you for your purchase with a free gift of several of our novels. Go to the Notorious Minds Boxset website for details on how to order and claim your free gift.
Find out more about Karen by visiting her AUTHOR PAGE and feel free to watch her video discussing her book and introducing herself.