Thursday, June 21, 2012

Across the Table

As I assembled questions for upcoming author interviews, 

I thought about how nice it would be to interview all of you. 

The diversity of talent, interests, and personalities among us is remarkable, 

and it would be fun to learn more about each other in a virtual visit.

What if I offered a handful of questions, and you could share answers in the comments?

We could imagine we were sitting across the table from each other.

Please feel free to answer any, all, or none of the questions. No pressure. :)

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

 What writing projects are you working on now?

What is one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?

Do you prefer coffee or tea? Chocolate or vanilla? 

Now you can say you were interviewed on a blog this week.

Looking forward to reading your answers. 

Have a wonderful weekend,


P.S. I'll post my answers in the comments. :)

Photo credit: Stock Exchange


  1. I love that pic Karen, wouldn't it be nice to meet there and have a picnic? I actually posted an interview with fellow blogger Dawn Paoletta on my blog, who is fairly new to the world of blogging. I hope to encourage and inspire her to keep moving forward.
    Hhmm, I like the idea of being interviewed :) When I was very young (maybe 6 or 7) I knew writing was my God given passion. I published a handwritten magazine ( 1 copy) that circulated among friends :) Can you imagine?
    Wonder about you Karen... how far back does your writing dream go?

  2. I would love to meet you in person and interview you!
    I guess I was writing from the fifth grade--actually doing sci-fi from Lost in Space days! lol

  3. Answers...
    Wrote some as a teen but never got serious until a few years ago.
    Working on CassaStorm, my third and final book.
    I'm a sanitary/clean person, borderline obsessive.

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  5. Marja,
    It would be nice to have a picnic there! :) I'll have to hop over and check out your interview.

    As for when I knew I wanted to be a writer? I've always liked to write, and was told in grade and high school that I was good at it (that boosted my confidence a lot). It wasn't until my children were in school that I considered writing seriously for publication. I took two courses from the Institute of Children's Literature then, and now, here I am. :)

    I'd love to interview you as well. Hmm, maybe we need to do that sometime, right?

    I'm like you, didn't get serious about writing till I was an adult. Will you write another book after CassaStorm?


  6. Well, I think I've loved to write ever since I was able to string words to together in elementary. Hmmm, but sometimes I still wonder if I'm a writer or not, even after having a book and many arrticles published. I'm working on a children's book now.

  7. What a cool idea, Karen! I've been writing since I can remember but professionally only 5 years. Working on a series of ebooks and magazine articles. This summer is FULL of deadlines. Most people are surprised that I allowed a son to have pet snakes. I love to watch snakes. I gave up coffee years ago for my stomach's sake and switched to tea--preferably green. But recently was introduced to cold brew coffee which removes 67% of the acid. Now, I have divided loyalties. Next question...why waste calories on anything that isn't chocolate?

  8. Great questions!
    My first story I felt proud of involved a dancing top hat (2nd grade), but I decided I wanted to be a writer in 6th grade. However, I didn't really get serious about it until 6 years ago.

    Currently I'm revising Champion in the Darkness, a Christian Fantasy previously called The Crystal Sword. I'm also writing some snippets of ideas for other stories, poetry, and doing brainstorming every day for a devotional book.

    You might be surprised to know that I was President of Fencing Club for two years at WWU and I went to a coaches camp for fencing at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs - that was 17 years ago, and how I wish I could exercise for 8 hours straight, and then do more for fun afterwards . . .however I injured myself at that camp and ended up fencing right handed at districts the next year . . .and actually placed 8th out of 16 - for a left hander fencing right handed after having intense arm surgery I felt pretty good about my last competition.

    Tea, and chocolate, although I really like Naked Coconut ice cream (no dairy).

  9. Hi Karen...

    What a thoughtful idea to interview your readers. You are amazing.

    When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
    From high school on. A nun who was my English teacher was my inspiration.

    What writing projects are you working on now?
    Write feature stories on a myriad of topics, with photos, for a weekly newspaper. That keeps me very busy.
    Also, keep a (big, fat) gratitude journal and self discovery journal.

    What is one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
    In my younger days I earned a green belt in karate. (Truth.)

    Do you prefer coffee or tea? Chocolate or vanilla?
    Definitely coffee. Love just about all ice cream except bubble gum flavor. But if I had to choose between the two you mentioned, guess I'd take vanilla.

    Thanks, Karen. Have a splendid day. Susan

  10. I need coffee and chocolate, LOL!

    I've been working on some short stories for anthologies. FUN!

  11. What a neat idea, Karen.

    I've just finished another work-for-hire book for Thomas Nelson. I always start my writing day with some sort of coffee drink. I've written since I was a kid, but I got serious about it during my last year of college. You might be surprised to know that I can speak a strange language called "Arp," similar to pig latin.


  12. Linda,
    I had forgotten you had a book out already. That's great! Wishing you the best with the one you are working on. Keep us posted, okay?

    I admire your perseverance. You always have a project going. Pet snakes, huh? Well, boys like that sort of thing I know. My sons used to have a tarantula and exotic frog, among other things they caught outside. Fun times!

    I suspect you are making good progress on that book since you are working on it daily. Cheering you on! I'd not have guessed about the fencing, but it doesn't surprise me since you are active like that.

    It's great to learn more about you. I hope you'll share some of those pieces you're working on sometime; it'd be fun to read them! A green belt? I'd never have guessed. I had one lesson in Karate in junior high; that's the extent of my experience. :)

    Somehow I knew you were a kindred spirit. Coffee and chocolate are staples, aren't they? Cheering you on with your stories!

    Thank you, it just came to me the other night while pondering some questions. So glad you joined in. :) Congrats on your book for TN! I'll have to watch for it. "Arp"? You'll have to give us some lessons. :)

    Happy weekend,

  13. Hi all,
    I said I would post my answers in the comments, so here they are. :)

    I've always liked to write, and had teachers tell me I was a good writer. I finally got serious about learning more about writing for publication in the 90's when I took two courses from The Institute of Children's Literature when my kids were young. They were excellent courses, btw.

    Current writing projects - several blog posts and reviews, an article, new lessons for classes, and of course, the WIP (historical fiction). The list goes on forever. :) Not a bad thing!

    Surprises - I am a descendant of the founder of Gettysburg, PA.

    I love the aroma of coffee, but don't care to drink it. I am a tea girl all the way, and like it unsweetened or with a smidge of sugar. I like chocolate and vanilla, depending on what it's in. So I guess it makes sense that I really like vanilla fudge twirl ice cream.

    :) Karen

  14. Cute idea, Karen! I was always writing but realized I wanted to be an author in my twenties.

    So you like tea? Very interesting!!

  15. Fun idea, Karen, thanks for thinking of it :-) I think I knew I wanted to be a writer in elementary school, but started out a journalism major in college. Later realized I'd rather try creative writing instead. I'm in the querying stages of my MG historical fiction, and into character sketches on a second. I've tried my hand at picture books, devotionals and inspirational articles.

    You might be surprised to know that we have some things in common. I too took the Institute of Children's Lit course when my son was a baby; I am a descendant of Miles Standish of Mayflower fame; and I prefer tea over coffee, too, tho hubby and I have a standing date each Saturday morning for coffee in our porch room :-)

  16. When I was bereaved twice within 2 months I started to write in poetry form about how I felt and the rest is history,

    I am not working on anything at the moment except getting ideas for next years A to Z Challenge.

    I prefer Chocolate to tea and coffee.


  17. Karen: 1.) At various times in my life,I felt like trying to write. In my late 20s and 30s, I wrote devotions for the women's missionary society at the church I was in. I also wrote and turned in items to the newspaper.
    I chose to pursue writing in a serious vein in the late 1990s. Once I made that decision, I stuck with it except for when life got in the way.
    2.) Present Projects: My blog, the column I write online, a fiction story, some Bible studies, and a book review I hope to have done soon.
    3.) In our drama ministry, my most memorable character has been a motor cycle mama, named Delilah.
    4.) Herb Tea, Caffeine does strange things to me. I also love vanilla ice cream but right now have to stay away from dairy products.

  18. You know, how about you come here and do this one in person, girl? :) Huh? At my coffee shop. My treat all the way! We'll talk all about this, how it happened, how I didn't know I was a writer, then a column, all those boys, lots of coffee, more columns, and then great friends like yourself.

    You see how this would go better across the table? :) Just sayin'...

  19. Love tea and coffee, but I drink more tea than coffee. And I love chocolate way more than vanilla!

  20. Marja is right. It would be awesome to meet around that table.

    1. I knew I wanted to be a writer at age 9. I won a writing competition at school and that win shaped how I thought about myself, then and now. In the best possible way.

    2. I'm working on my Australian historical romance series and feeding the blog each week.

    3. Perhaps it would surprise you to know I am a sleep talker and walker. Well, it surprised my husband on our wedding night when I woke him to ask 'What have you done with my mother?' Um... welcome to married life, with me. ;/

    4. Coffee AND chocolate, please. One or the other.. both at the same time if possible.

    Fun post Karen. xx

  21. I've always penned poems and short stories for homework and fun. I wrote my first 'book' at 15.

    In the early 70's, in 6th grade, my friend and I loved Chad Everett and wrote a script for an episode of Medical Center. We sent it in to the Chad Everett fan club.

    I didn't drink coffee until I was in my early 40's but am a HUGE fan now.

    I like a chocolate/vanilla swirl.

    Thanks for asking.

  22. Jessica,
    Thank you! It's been great fun reading everyone's comments. Yes, I am a tea person for sure. Maybe I should try coffee one more time...?

    Yes, it seems we do have a lot in common! I'm glad. :) Cheering you on with your book! Keep us posted, will you?

    You know, many people I know started writing because of events like yours. It's such a good outlet for things, I'm thinking. Gearing up for A to Z, that's great! Will look forward to it. :)

    I never would have figured you for a motorcycle mama! :) Sounds like you have a lot of good projects going. Wishing you all the best!

    Well girl, you're on! And if it wasn't so far away from here, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Or for that matter, you could come here too. Someday, girl, someday!

    Somehow I was thinking you were more of a tea person. And a chocolate person too! :)

    I cannot wait to read your books! I know they will be wonderful. I imagine that was a surprise for your new hubby, oh my! :) xo

    Ah, so I remember Chad Everett as well. I was about your age then too, and I thought he was so dreamy. :) Well, so if we ever meet, it'll have to be an choc/van swirl ice cream date!

    Blessings all,

  23. Love that image.
    My answers:
    In my early teens
    2 novels
    I'm not as introverted as I first seem
    tea (herbal)

  24. Well first please excuse the way I'm dressed as I'm in my pajamas,lol. I started my blog at first only to post pictures, but it seems to have run away from me in that regard and now I do post some of my own stories and from other folks as well. I its always been coffee for me as tea just never did it for me. And by the way my names Richard and its darn good to meet you! Richard

  25. I decided I wanted to write when I was the only kid who loved to do book reports, circa 4th grade. Also, my teacher in Freshman English would read my entries to the class.
    I am doing more of my "letters from God" and thinking of devotionals.
    I am also a graduate of The Children's Writing Institute.
    I love coffee, but only occasionally, and vanilla anything will make me smile.

  26. What a great idea, Karen. Here goes...

    When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
    - When I was eight and my mum presented me with my first diary. I wrote in it every day. Best of all, I loved writing in it, but I found the pages too small.

    What writing projects are you working on now?
    - I'm currently working on a Vietnam thriller and the sequel to Dead Witness. I'm also collaborating with 6 other authors on a steam-punk novel.

    What is one thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
    - I write stories with a dark theme, yet I love to laugh.

    Do you prefer coffee or tea? Chocolate or vanilla?
    - I love chocolate and vanilla, and have been known to drink a cup of tea. Sometimes I'll put a teaspoon of instant coffee in my hot chocolate to help keep me alert.

    Do you love this blog???
    - Y E S

  27. Lynda,
    I find the nicest photos and images from Stock Exchange. Thanks for sharing your interview with us! :)

    Well, it's great to meet you too! lol It's nice to learn more about the face behind Amish Stories.

    We have several ICL grads here, did you see? Yes, smiling and vanilla, I know what you mean!

    Wow, you've got your plate full. I knew there was a Dead Witness sequel possibility but had no idea you were working on a steam punk novel. Keep us posted about it, okay? Thanks for the extra bonus question; you are a sweetheart! The feeling is mutual. :)


  28. Just stopping by to say hello and wish you a great weekend. sandie

  29. Hi Karen -

    Great idea!

    I've been writing since elementary school, but it didn't dawn on me that I was a writer until I was an adult.

    I'm working on a 3-book series, as well as collaborating on a book with a certain Karen Lange. :)



  30. Coffee coffee coffee! :)

    I'm just about to start my next novel, The Pollyanna Plan. Can't wait!

  31. Sandie,
    Always good to see you! Enjoyed my stop at your blog yesterday. You always make me smile. :)

    Me too in regard to being a writer, but you knew that already. :) Collaborating, oh right, now that's what I was going to work on today!

    Somehow I knew you'd vote for coffee. Call it a hunch. lol :) I love the title of your next book. I think it's genius!

    Happy weekend,

  32. Love this idea, Karen! Very creative.

    As for being a writer, I've written short stories and poetry since I could write. So I suppose I just always felt that calling. I was told I wrote well by teachers growing up, and later by employers. That encouragement keeps me going.

    Writing projects presently: an article, a guest post, blog posts, and a review.

    Surprise! My childhood dream was to become a justice on the United States Supreme Court. I used to write essays about it in grade school. Yes, I really was *that* cool a child! ;-)

    I prefer tea although I enjoy coffee on occasion. As for chocolate or vanilla, depends on the food. Cake? Chocolate. Ice cream? Vanilla. So both, really.


  33. Janette,
    Wow, a Supreme Court justice, I would never have guessed! I'm with you on the chocolate and vanilla, it does depend on what it is. Ice cream - I like both too, especially in one of those twists. Suddenly I'm hungry...:)

  34. Hi Karen,

    This is a wonderful chat... Thank you for doing this.

    I am noticing that most everyone else has known since they were quite young that they wanted to be a writer. If I did have any desires to be a writer when I was young, I would have had squelch that idea right where it surfaced. And I wouldn't have had the confidence that I COULD be a writer.

    I honestly didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I accidentally became one, in my mid thirties. It was when I wanted to tell my story and I knew it would be best for me to tell it from my own POV - you have to have been Amish to understand the nuances of such a story. It took 17 years from the time I began writing down my memories to the time my book made it into print.

    I am writing a second memoir, which is a sequel to my first book.

    The one thing I people might be surprised about me is that I am incredibly squeamish, as are most members of my family, at least as far back as my maternal grandfather. The last two professions on earth for me is nurse or doctor.

    Karen, I am right with you about coffee... it smells so good, but it tastes like burnt water. I am a tea person, of many different flavors and kinds.

    I like both vanilla and chocolate, especially together. (What makes a chocolate chip cookie so good is the the vanilla in the dough compliments the chocolate so well).

    Thanks for your wonderful idea. Many Blessings to you!


  35. Saloma,
    Thank you for sharing a little of your story! I am glad you discovered that writing gift within, and now use it to tell others about your life. Looking forward to the second book. Keep me posted!

  36. Amigo, you're a genius! I mean that. I've known since I read my first novel that I wanted to write for children. (Black Beauty) But you knew that, didn't ya?

    Right now I'm revising. *sigh*

    Besides horses, sharks are my favorite animal. I wanted to be an oceanographer when I was young. But math was a problem, so my dream never happened.

    Coffee and chocolate. The more the better.

    I was interviewed on a blog this week! Yippee!!!!!!! (((hugs))) xoxo

  37. Robyn,
    I did, and if I didn't already know that was your fave, I'd have guessed! :D Revising is a good thing, amigo; it means you'll soon have something to submit! Yes, you were indeed interviewed, and it was a LOT of fun!

  38. Hi Karen,

    I hope you're having a good summer! Thanks for stopping by my blog with your sweet comment.

    I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was six and wrote a six-page synopsis of my favorite movie, "Mary Poppins."

    I'm working on an eBook about retired homeschool moms and the empty nest.

    You might be surprised to learn that I'm addicted to Hugh Laurie's new CD and can't stop playing it :)

    Herbal tea and definitely chocolate anything!

    Great questions :)


  39. Barbara,
    I hope your summer is going well too. Always good to see you. Wishing you the best with the new project; I can relate to that one!
    Happy weekend,


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!