Friday's Guest - Karen Phelps - What Was She Before #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Young adult #Horses
1.What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this
influence your writing?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve writtenwritten since I could hold a pencil and still
have the short story I wrote in the second grade. I published my first article
at age 16 in a national magazine about beloved author Albert Payson Terhune’s
home, Sunnybank. The article led to making his New Jersey home an historic
My “day job” for many years was an admin in Corporate
America. The organization skills I learned there were helpful in organizing my
For three decades I also bred and showed purebred collies
on the weekend under the kennel name Karenthia. This led to writing many
dog-related articles. One national collie magazine traded free advertising for my
kennel in exchange for me writing articles. The kennel taught me to market
myself and my dogs. I’ve won three Dog Writers Association of America awards.
The latest was for I Loved Them First, a memoir in poems and photography
about the horses and dogs I’ve shared my life with.
2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres
like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the
My first novel, Maryann’s Appaloosa, is young adult
but I’d classify it as a young adult western romance. Many of the themes in the
book (coping with grief, redemption, discovering who you are as a person,
falling in love) are classic and transcend any genre.
The sequel I’m writing now is an adult western romance
which is one of my favorite genres.
3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice
of a genre or genres?
Absolutely. A horse-mad child, I grew up in
the 50’s when westerns abounded on TV. I read every horse book I could get my hands
on. One of my favorites was Mary O’Hara’s trilogy: My Friend Flicka,
Thunderhead, and The Green Grass of Wyoming. Another favorite author, Craig
Johnson, has a TV series based on his character Longmire, who a sheriff in
Wyoming. Both of these authors influenced the setting of my first book.
4. What's your latest release?
5. What are you working on now?
I’m writing the sequel to Maryann’s
Appaloosa. This book is an adult western romance set on the same ranch with
the same characters — and a few new ones.