Welcome, Karen. What has drawn you to writing for children?
I always loved children starting with thirty younger cousins who lived near me growing up. I have five children of my own. They are so imaginative, enthusiastic, and fun! I had so much fun with my own children that people kept encouraging me to share the activities I developed for my kids and their friends, so I did.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Take my two year old on a two-hour horseback ride in the rain forest in
Puerto Rico. As we drove by we
saw a sign and stopped. It turned out they would let him ride. I forgot to ask
how long it would be but he loved it. They had a little saddle like a car seat.
When I see something fun, I usually want to try it (have enjoyed scuba diving,
canopy walks, camel rides, white water rafting, water skiing, hiked along the
Appalachian trail and have been in the Rockies and more)
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m still discovering I can write and still learning how to write better. I am more a creative person who writes about creative solutions or fun activities and crafts than a natural writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like nonfiction of all types. In fiction, I prefer comedy and regency romance. I love unique children’s books. I also like books that get me to think about scriptures in a new light.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written sixteen other books. Some are for women (The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Women and Secrets of Success for Women: Time). One that won national awards is especially great for those who love history or the military (Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front: From the French and Indian War to the Wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan)
that gives the flip side of what happened at home during American wars.
I’ve written many books for girls and children. The One Year My Princess Devotions is for young girls and released several months ago.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Faith and trust that the Lord sees the forest when I only see a tree or leaf. I tend to be energetic and organized so that helps. With a math degree I am very analytical and that also helps me make decisions.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I am very pleased about the home front book I mentioned. As a military wife and mom sharing the stories of women, children, and volunteers took a lot of research but I felt greatly honored to be able to do that (along with my co-author Jocelyn Green). I included a story about my dad from WWII and my mother-in-law (helped break the Japanese code). We should celebrate these people of faith and how they helped forge our nation.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a koala bear because I always enjoyed climbing trees. They look so cuddly and live in a nice climate among friendly people who care about protecting them. I did pet one when I visited
What is your favorite food?
Chocolate although I like nuts too (macadamia especially), so the combining them is wonderful. I add nuts to lots of my cooking, including main dishes.
Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
Yes, if you are writing books. Not so much if you will write for periodicals. It is nearly impossible in picture books but much easier in early readers and hi-lo books.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Start with the periodicals and rethink a picture book to be an early reader or even chapter book. Work your way up to be trusted in the industry and be thrilled to write for the Sunday School take-home papers and magazines as you will reach so many people. I still write for the periodicals. Also write ideas on what to do with children for parenting and family magazines. Attend writer’s conferences where editors who publish for children are on the faculty.
Several years ago, I wrote children’s Sunday School curriculum, take-home papers, and part of a Bible memory curriculum. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Nature Girl is absolutely packed with fun activities, adventure, and facts plus tips on how to care for the earth. I had great time writing it with my daughter as we consulted experts and talked with real girls who are actively caring for the world God created.
We included three parties to celebrate beauty and make natural skin care products, to celebrate the great outdoors at parks, and healthy food. There are recipes for food, dog treats, and beauty products. Experiments include ones to learn how to test soil, clean up oil, purify water, and try solar cooking. Crafts included help repurpose items and recycle. Quizzes will test knowledge but also make girls laugh.
There’s even fun to learn more about photography and capturing nature to make cards and albums.
The book will keep girls interested for quite a while and provide lots of fun (think fun summer break).
This book reflects some of my passions. I grew up in a dairy farm community, love nature, and enjoy all the activities in the book myself.
This was the perfect time to feature this book on my blog, since schools are letting out for the summer. How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.karenwhiting.com and from there you can link into FB and twitterFor groups, I’m happy to visit via Skype or be a speaker at an event
Thank you, Karen, for sharing this interesting book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Nature Girl - Christianbook.com
Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation - Amazon
Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation - Kindle
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