It’s that busy time of year, and there’s none busier than Karen Arnpriester. Thankfully she took time out of her schedule to rocket by for a quick interview. So grab a mug of apple cider, snatch a Christmas cookie, and settle in to see how she juggles writing with life.
Seems like most writers shoot out of the womb with a writing utensil in hand. Not you. Tell us why you wrote a novel at this point in your life.
Writing was never a lifelong desire. Two years ago I participated in a devotional our women’s group did as a fund-raiser. It triggered a love of writing that I believe God planted. The book started out as my entertainment until friends insisted on reading it. The encouragement allowed me to consider taking my book seriously.
You run your own marketing and design company, are a foster mom for two girls, and you’ve got a new release coming out in December. Wow. I want to be like you when I grow up. What’s your secret? And please don’t tell me it’s eating brussel sprouts that gives you your super energy.
When I wrote Anessia's Quest, we were in the process of getting licensed to do foster care and then there was a period of waiting for placement. My time was more my own. Now that we have the girls, it is very challenging to balance everything. I write late evenings and weekends when I can. My work flow also fluctuates, so there are days that I can focus on writing. I love to write, it is my passion, but the responsibilities of being a mother and a business owner have to come first. I share the dream of most authors ... my writing could support our family.
Angels are currently a trendy topic and play a part in Anessia’s Quest. Have you ever had a “Fear Not” kind of experience?
Absolutely, there have been several occasions that I felt their presence or heard their warning. It is very comforting to know that we are looked after.
Fear not or fearless...seems like one of the two ought to apply to your experiences as a foster parent. Tell us about it.
We were just going to try it out, see if we could be “Those Kind of People”. Sharing our home with abandoned kids until we were too old or too tired. Love happened, and we have increased our family by two. They love us back and it is powerful. My husband and I laugh when friends call us crazy. They cannot fathom the joy our decision has brought.
The emotions, the devastation, the blessings and the need for God’s healing touch for foster children was well expressed in Anessia’s Quest. The need for patience, the frustration, learning to adapt to new personalities and changes in your home is something I am still learning to deal with.
As a new author, those first few reviews on Amazon can rocket you to the moon or sink you to the depths of despair. What kind of response so far have you gotten from readers?
It has been incredible. Many people, women and men, have shared how much they connected with the characters. One mother was close to tears when she explained the transformation her teen daughter was making as she read the book. Several readers were amazed at how real the characters felt. One woman found herself thinking about them after finishing the book, wondering how they were, and then would remember that they weren’t real people. Another said she found herself praying for the main character while reading the book.
Here’s your chance…the spotlight for a shameless plug of your next book. Go for it.
My next book is titled Raider’s Vendetta. The book is about an older Christian woman who becomes a hostage in a bank robbery gone very bad. The criminal, Raider, blames God for his life and all it’s tragedies. The story throws these two opposing people together in a situation that forces them to deal with each other. When Raider realizes that Charley is a Christian, she becomes the target for all of his built up rage. She must rely on her faith and God’s grace to get her through his attacks, physical and psychological. This bitter man has a story, like so many broken people, and God helps her to see him through His eyes. Raider’s anger and aggression put Charley at great risk, as well as, her own pride and will. God uses the nightmare to profoundly touch both of their lives. The twists and turns keep you guessing and pulling for both of them.
Any parting advice for novice writers?
Just do it. Don’t worry about what you’re going to do with it once done, just wallow in the experience of it. When my book was done, I asked key people to read it, people who loved me enough to be honest. It you are going to try and publish your book, you have to know that it is good.
To find out more about Karen, visit her website here.
The book trailer for Anessia's Quest can be seen to the left in the sidebar. (If you would like your trailer showcased here, please see our advertising page.)