Author Spotlight no.145 – Karen Robbins

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and forty-fifth is of multi-genre author Karen Robbins.

KAREN_2Known as the Wandering Writer, Karen Robbins and her husband of forty-four years have stepped foot on all seven continents and have almost circumnavigated the globe. The love of travel was realized fully after their five children were grown and out of the nest and having children of their own. Karen’s travel adventures enrich her writing and her characters often travel in her stories.

Most of her life, Karen has lived in Northeastern Ohio in the U.S. She graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in art education and taught school until her twins arrived. Along life’s path in addition to being a writer and speaker, Karen has been a florist, a candle sales representative, and a paralegal student as well as wife, mother and grandmother.

Karen’s writing career started out with adult take-home papers for Sunday school. In a short time she was writing a column for a local newspaper and eventually for regional magazines. With five other writing moms she met online, she coauthored two books, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts and A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts. The Chicken Soup For The Soul books have included several of her stories. Her first love though is writing fiction. She has written women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. Her most recent releases are Murder Among The Orchids and In A Pickle.

And now from the author herself:

traveling couple-robbinsHello, my name is Karen Robbins and I have a travel addiction. I’m admitting it. The weeks that go by between trips are excruciating. My husband and I look to the sky and see a jet trail and wonder where the plane is going and could we get there too. If we are not traveling, we are planning the next adventure. It makes it difficult to keep to a writing schedule but I enjoy my writing so much that I find ways to squeeze it in. With a wonderful laptop, I can write in airport lounges, on cruise ships, and in a MacDonald’s restaurant anywhere in the world where there is  free WiFi as well.

Best of all, our travel adventures have enriched the characters I’ve created and given me great life vignettes to draw from. In my newest release, In A Pickle, Annie Pickels takes a cruise on the Queen Mary 2. We have cruised on the QM2 several times and did a holiday cruise several years ago. Much of what I put into the story, the description of the ship, the activities, etc. came from my experience on that lovely ship.

The idea for In A Pickle stemmed not from traveling but rather started with my mother who always had us in stitches with her funny way with words. Often they were mispronounced but the mistake that we remember so fondly was when she would want to season something with marjoram and asked for marijuana instead. Of course as a novelist I am forever wondering, what if? What if someone actually did get marijuana mixed up with marjoram and put it in their pickle recipe? Thank goodness Annie Pickels meets Arnie on her cruise!

Annie and her best friend, Elma plan a trip to London for the second book in the series—something to do with piccalilli, a new pickle recipe, and Piccadilly Circus.

map - robbins

While my character, Casey, in Murder Among The Orchids, doesn’t travel far from her Florida home, she will be cruising as well in the second book of the Casey Stengel Mystery Series, Death Among The Deckchairs. This ship is fictional. I can’t be killing off characters on a real ship. I’m afraid they may not let me cruise again.

So many travel adventures. So little time. I try to keep my blog up to date with all of them and offer tips for others who are interested in travel. It also helps my kids to keep track of where their mother and father are spending their inheritance. Stop by and have a look. It’s the one place you are guaranteed to find me.

You can find more about Karen and her writing via…

 

 

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The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with erotic writer and author marketing adviser Lucy Felthouse – the five hundred and eighty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words (and post stories of up to 3,000 words). Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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