B.A., The Evergreen State College, 2010
A shameless nerd and lover of snark, Karen lives in western Washington, where she recently graduated from The Evergreen State College. She ripped off her hometown of Snohomish, WA for the fictional locale of Klikamuks, where OTHER takes place. When she’s not at her computer, writing, she’s probably out in the forest with her notebook, writing, or on a photography expedition with her trusty digital camera. She likes to imagine werewolves lurking among the trees. Karen is represented by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger, Inc. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Fiction, Children's Books
Latest Publication Title
I can’t last much longer. It’s been one week, three days, and I forget how many hours. My belly cramps, and I curl on my bed, staring out at the stars. A delicious breeze glides through my window and cools my sweaty forehead. The air smells of summer—mowed grass, recent rain, lingering barbecue—and tempts me more than I want to admit. Shards of moonlight and shadow shift on the wall. I clench my teeth and toes and try to ride out the pain. My bedroom drifts counterclockwise, and I shut my eyes. It can’t be good for me, not shapeshifting. All the don’ts I’ve heard circle through my mind like vultures preying on my doubts. Don’t worry about what people think of Others, Gwen, they don’t understand. Don’t worry, Gwen, we love you just the way you are, but don’t tell anyone outside the family. If they don’t know you’re Other, it won’t hurt anyone. And don’t ever let anyone see you shapeshift, especially not the neighbors. Don’t. I shouldn’t. It’s stupid, dangerous, unnecessary—no, it’s very necessary. Just taboo. I kick off my blankets, slide out of bed, and lock my door. My heartbeat quickens. My breathing sounds too loud. I glimpse a pair of golden lights reflected in the mirror above my bookcase: my eyes, betraying their true nature. Most of the time I pass them off as pale hazel. Maybe my body’s telling me I should be human only 50% of the time, because that’s what I am. Half-human. The rest: a guilty pleasure, a shameful secret.
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
Evergreen allowed me to pursue my passions to the fullest, including my dream to become an author. Over my first summer at Evergreen, I revised Other, the novel that would become my published debut, in an independent learning contract for 16 credits. I later sold Other during the fall of my sophomore year. With a primary emphasis of study in Literature and Writing (93 credits), and a secondary emphasis in Linguistics (52 credits), I explored literature, writing, and language itself in interdisciplinary ways that inspired my own writing. I expect to see echoes of my studies for many years--and novels--to come.