Karen has always been an avid reader and for many years reading satisfied her love of story. That changed when she was hired to manage the local library and the desire to write took root. Since then her stories and articles have been published in local newspapers, magazines and anthologies, plus a few national publications. But if you ask, she will tell you that she is primarily a novelist.Six of Karen's YA novels, and one middle grade, have been published to date. Four of her novels explore various aspects of her long-standing fascination with World War Two. Spice that up with a contemporary fiction, and a spooky supernatural, and round it out with a time travel story. Bottom line: Karen just loves stories.A fourth-generation Albertan, Karen grew up on a farm in the Peace Country, attended the University of Alberta, and received a psychology degree from the University of Victoria. After twenty-seven years in northwest Alberta, she and her husband recently pulled up stakes and headed east, excited to explore another part of Canada.
In a general presentation, Karen speaks about her writing journey and the writing process, including story ideas, editing, submitting, and what comes after.
For Remembrance Day, Karen talks about her novel, Uncertain Soldier, and the Canadian WWII history behind the story.
Sample of workshop topics: characters, plot, dialogue, writing action. Other topics upon request.
Examples of presentations by grade:
3 to 6: Writing Workshop – Dynamic Descriptions. A sixty-minute interactive romp that encourages students to improve their storytelling using metaphors and strong verbs & adjectives.
Two Times a Traitor: (4 to 8) pre-Confederation, history, Canadian history, 7 Years War, life in 1700s, identity, French & English conflict. Powerpoint pictures with costume/props.
The Hill: Covers identity, Indigenous stories, Indigenous folklore, Cree legend, Cree culture. Indigenous in modern society, cultural conflict, economic disparity. Powerpoint pictures.
5 to 12: The WWII history in Karen’s stories, with age-appropriate anecdotes. With Powerpoint pictures & props.
Uncertain Soldier: Covers identity, immigration, coming to Canada, bullying, racism, WWII, prisoners of war, living in the 1940s.
Graffiti Knight: Covers freedom of expression, protest movements, graffiti as protest, WWII, Soviet Zone, post-WWII Germany, living in war-torn countries.
Run Like Jager: Covers friendship, bullying, student exchange programs, immigration, WWII, Germany, Eastern Front in WWII.
Blood Donor: “How I Learned to Love Outlining” Covers story ideas, writing methods, writing craft, teen homelessness, thrillers, YA, reluctant readers.