Karen McQuestion is the bestselling author of books for all ages. Some of her titles include Hello Love, Life on Hold, The Long Way Home, and the Edgewood series. Her publishing story has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and the national NPR show The Story with Dick Gordon. She has also appeared on ABC's World News Now and America This Morning. McQuestion lives with her husband and kids in Hartland, Wisconsin.
For more information, please visit www.karenmcquestion.com
SIX MINUTES WITH KAREN MCQUESTION:
Today Karen McQuestion joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Karen is the author of several novels, YA books, and books for children ages 7 to 11. Her books include Secrets of the Magic Ring, Celia and the Fairies, The Edgewood Series, Favorite, Life on Hold, A Scattered Life, Easily Amused, The Long Way Home and Hello Love. Karen’s latest book, From a Distant Star comes out May 19th.
How did you get started writing?
Third grade! That’s when it all started. My teacher had us write a fictional story and I was worried because mine was much longer than everyone else’s. A few days later, when it came time to hand the graded stories back to us, the teacher read mine as a good example, and the other kids were impressed. This is significant, because prior to that moment there was nothing impressive about me. From that point on, nothing could stop me. I loved writing and I seemed to have a knack for it. I kept practicing and getting better, and now I get to write books for a living. Being terrible in gym turned out not to be all that important in the long run.
Who influenced you?
I had some really great teachers over the years, especially a high school English teacher named Mrs. Svien. I was also influenced by the authors of every great book I’ve ever read.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
As a reader—maybe the Narnia series? Out of my own books, I tend to like the Edgewood series and my new book, From a Distant Star. I love books that start out in an ordinary world with everyday kinds of people, and then something incredible happens that changes everything.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Try to trust the process and just write. So many times we sabotage ourselves with our doubts and concerns that we’re doing it right. Set all that aside and just tell the story. You can always make changes later, if need be. The important thing is to get the words down in the first place. Also, like any other art form—playing the piano, painting, etc.—writers get better with practice, so keep at it.
Where is your favorite place to write?
In my home office, in my recliner, tapping away on my laptop. Ideally the house should be quiet and there should be no distractions.
What else would you like to tell us?
Words on a page have power. Books can take us places we’ve never been before (making our own lives look fairly boring), and make us laugh and cry. When you find a book you love, tell your friends. They’ll appreciate it and so will the author.
Karen, thank you for spending six minutes with LitPick! Congratulations on the release of From a Distant Star!