You will want to remember the name “Karen E. Hoover”. She is among a select group of up and coming authors causing a stir in the young adult fantasy world. Her first offering The Sapphire Flute, Book 1 of the Wolfchild Saga will ignite your passion to escape the mundane routine of daily life by finding yourself in a place created through dream worlds, gasping plots, twists, and action-packed adventure.
Karen took the gift of words given her by her father and ran with it. Since then, she's written two novels and reams of poetry. Her head is popping with brilliant ideas for stories and ways to inspire and uplift those who read her work. Karen's desire to provide enjoyment to her readers has given her motivation to continue writing throughout the remainder of her life.
Inspiration is found everywhere, but Karen's heart is fueled by her husband and two sons, the Rocky Mountains, her chronic addiction to pens and paper, and the smell of her laser printer in the morning.
Today, we are going to chat with her and learn a little bit about what makes her tick!
Valor: Karen, The Sapphire Flute is your first book, and the first book in the Wolfchild Saga. Where was the idea for the books born and how many books are in the series?
Karen: The roots of The Sapphire Flute go back to the summer of 1992. I have always been a daydreamer and frequently get completely lost in worlds and situations that don’t exist, much to the exasperation of my many teachers, I’m sure. The first “vision” I had of this story was of a girl standing outside of her crude tent in the dark, playing a glowing blue flute under the full moon when a white wolf crossed the river and watched her play. After a while he joined her song with his own and that was it—the total extent of the dream, but it haunted me for years, and after I was married I began to play with it. That one character split into two different people and The Sapphire Flute was born.
Valor: Have you always wanted to be a writer and why? When did you first know you could write?
Karen: I remember writing little books in first grade and giving them to my mom, so yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but the dream really took flight when I was in 7th grade and read a book by Gordon Korman, This Can’t Be Happening at McDonald Hall, I believe, and as a twelve year old, reading a book written by a twelve year old, I finally realized my dream was a real possibility. If he could publish, why couldn’t I? That’s where the dream really first began.
Writing always came easy for me. I grew up writing poems and little stories, cards and letters, and spent many, many hours playing “Space” with my brother, so I knew I had a good imagination. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and my brother and I started writing stories together that I truly realized I could write. He was wonderful with descriptions and world building, and still is to this day, whereas dialogue came very naturally to me. I always thought we made the perfect team, but since he won’t write with me anymore, I had to learn how to be good with description too. It’s been a long journey, but one I’ve loved and would do again in an instant.
Valor: Your books are fantasy, what is it about the genre that you like so much?
Karen: As mentioned above, I’ve always had a vivid imagination and loved acting it out either in play or on the page, and fantasy allows me to do that better than any other genre. Absolutely anything is possible in fantasy. Gorillas falling from the sky? Great. I woke up in somebody else’s body? Wouldn’t that be interesting. The sky turned purple? Sure, why not?
My love of fantasy can really be traced back to my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. McKinny. She handed out a random selection of books. Different genres, styles, authors and such. Enough for every kid in the class and then she set a timer and told us to read and when the timer went up we passed the book on to the people around us. I was introduce to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Madeline L’lengle’s A Wrinkle in Time during that class and I was hooked. In that same class our reading group continued the Wrinkle in Time series and I discovered the joy of following a character I loved from book to book and my passion for the series was born. From there I fell in love with Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern and David Eddings Belgariad and Mallorean series. I love the possibilities that fantasy creates.
Valor: Your publisher calls you the next J.K. Rowling. How does that make you feel?
Karen: To be honest, it is a little overwhelming but a huge honor. The first time my publisher called me that I literally stopped breathing. J.K. Rowling is a fantastic storyteller and creates characters people love. She created characters I love and can read about again and again. For me, the books I love the most are the ones whose characters come to life, the ones I cheer for, cry with, laugh and ache with, and that is what I strive for more than anything with my own books. Valor couldn’t have given me a greater compliment.
Valor: Tell us a little about yourself.
Karen: I love wolves and dragons, books and music, color and light. My favorite seasons are spring and autumn. I love to be outside, whether camping, writing, or just driving through the mountains. I’m addicted to Pepsi and even wrote a poem about it. It’s called Ode to Pepsi. Yes, I am strange like that.
I’m married, have two boys that I adopted when they were young, love animals, ice cream, and Mexican food. I have played the flute for 28 years, used it to get a music scholarship to college, though I did not get to finish due to illness. I’m a licensed massage therapist, love to build, and really love power tools. I do not like cruelty, rudeness, or gossip, but I love kindness, literacy, and people who try to make a difference.
Valor: What advice do you have for young writers?
Karen: One of my favorite quotes came from an author I know by the name of Ginny Smith. She said, “God has plans for your writing, and they are better than any plans you have for yourself. Let him be in charge and let Him delight you with what He has in store.” Realize that there is something bigger than just yourself out there helping you to create, and when you open yourself to “The Great Creator” You will write better than you ever can on your own. It’s a wonderful lesson I learned from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way,” and has influence my writing more than any other. Believe in yourself and never give up.
Valor: What advice do you have for young readers?
Karen: Keep reading! Books allow you to be transported to other worlds and live the lives of other people—people who are fascinating and can do things you’ll never have the chance to do in your life. None of us can be everything, but through reading you can experience anything and everything. You can be an astronaut, a spy, a shapechanging wolf, or a literate dragon.
Give books a chance and let them open your world to the possible.
Pre-order Karen's The Sapphire Flute.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved by Valor Publishing Group, LLC.