Friday, March 9, 2018

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 written  written 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 site.

My “day job” for many years was an admin in Corporate America. The organization skills I learned there were helpful in organizing my writing.

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 above. 

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? 

Maryann’s Appaloosa

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.

6. Where can we find you? 

My book is available on
I am on Facebook and LinkedIn.
I am also in the process of updating my website:

1 comment:

Rosemary Morris said...

So many of writers, myself included, have written stories since they could share a pencil.

Writer's often receive the advice to write what they know. You have put your knowledge of horses to good use.

Thank you for this interesting glimpse into your life.