Karen, welcome to the blog!
Hey Robert, it’s super cool to be here and be interviewed by you. I have quietly watched your children’s author journey and you are such an inspiration to me. And continue to be.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your love and support over the years, Karen. I really appreciate the friendship we've formed along the way. You are not alone on your journey. :-) x
Feathers is your recently release picture book; a beautiful and gentle story about love and loss, and the power of memory. What can you tell us about this title?
A feather in many cultures is a spiritual connection. It’s often said that when you find a feather it’s a sign from a loved one no longer with you. A feather is a symbol of love and protection to many. And when teaching about the wind I would always use feathers and the joy of the chase always remained. There were so many ideas intertwined about feathers but these were the main ones. Love, loss, connection. The whole story is centred around these themes with a boy and a feather.
What do the themes in the story mean to you?
I think, love can have no end and that through memory we can connect to someone even if they are no longer here. This story came from my own heart and experiences. As a parent, I wanted to remain connected to my children no matter what happened. When we’re loved we feel protected and treasured and that connection is something we don’t ever want to lose no matter what. Feathers is a reassurance of love when it’s needed most.
What was the most rewarding part of creating this book?
For me, the book was a healing process and the most rewarding part, is the fact that Feathers can comfort and empower a child when they need it most. Feathers is a conduit for informal dialogue for children on this important topic.
Favourite part of your new book?
I adore the night sky double spread of the boy and his mum surrounded by star constellations. The visuals are a perfect match to the text, they dance and play together beautifully and take my breath away. A picture book is very much a dual creation by the writer and illustrator and this spread exemplifies this.
Tell us about the path to publication for ‘Feathers’.
Feathers has been in the making for well over four and a half years. Yet, I am pleased it has happened now and not earlier. Because, I realise as an author I still have so much more to learn. I have a greater appreciation and understanding of the significance of being published. If Feathers had been rushed it would not have been as stunning a book. I have learnt patience, acceptance and about the magic of picture books. For me, the goal was always about the book being the best it could be. This overrode anything else. Being published by a small publisher has built my knowledge base as an author because you are involved in every step. I have so much more understanding about picture books and the multiple layers of meaning within them.
What were some of your favourite children’s books growing up?
My primary school had no library and my high school had a very poor library. But often, I was given books for my birthday. I also discovered the newsagency and saved my pocket money to buy books and magazines. So here are a few, Little Women, Heidi, The Famous Five and Secret Seven. The Diary of Anne Frank, Go Ask Alice and Came Back to Show You I could Fly showed me the power of voice. I also adored Flowers in the Attic, Bridge to Terabithia and Charlotte’s Web. I’ll stop here before I add anymore.
What’s next for you?
I keep chugging along doing the best I can, trying to improve and grow. Picture books are my passion and they keep calling me to play. I am hoping to explore different areas in picture books. Also, I keep being told I should write middle grade novels. But at the moment that is still sitting quietly within me.
Do you have an online presence?
I do have an online presence on Facebook and Instagram that is building and growing daily. I am lucky, because with Facebook I was able to host an online launch for Feathers. This pushed me out of my comfort zone in a good way. Because there was no possibly of any physical book launch with Covid. A new frontier for me. With Instagram, I write daily quotes for writers and enjoy the work of illustrators. I occasionally jump onto Twitter too. I have been able to connect to all sorts of people who adore children’s books from all over the world and this is wondrous.
Karen was a primary school teacher and has always loved using picture books to brighten children’s lives.
A love of story and teaching children has led Karen to becoming a children’s author. Picture books allow a child to be purely in the moment. Karen believes a school without picture books is not a school at all.
Karen lives on the south coast of New South Wales with her family and little dog Elmo. Being by the sea, with sandy toes and close to nature is what makes Karen happy. She rides her pushbike with Elmo in the basket along the beaches.
Karen can be found writing in local coffee shops or even on scraps of paper or typing some random idea into her phone. She believes kindness is catching just like hugs from picture books.
With the lightness of a feather in the breeze Karen hopes her stories reach and find you.
Welcome to my blog page!
Here you will find the latest news and updates on my writing and published books.