My writing journey happened by accident. I’d dabbled in writing throughout my school years but never took it seriously. Then I had some surgery and was facing 7 days flat on my back. I needed something to do! I decided to start a newsletter for my quilting site, and then thought it might be fun to have a little ongoing story in it. So, I started writing what is now Morningshine. But a little story turned into a book. Those who read it loved it so much they wanted a sequel, and so Morning Glory was written and now it’s a 3-book series. It’s been fun and stressful and a blessing to me as I write them, kind of a tangled up ball of God’s blessing and provision to me.
HC: What appealed to you when you were approached with the Summer in Sweetland project?
I’m not going to lie. It was the chance to be published again! That was just one little reason. The other reason had to do with the ladies I’m working with. I have learned so much from them. I am very much the newbie on the team, but what better place could a newbie be than with a group of experienced writers? I’m looking forward to the next book already!
HC: How does fiction follow real life in your Volume 6? How does your theme differ from the other volumes?
In my volume, some of what I’ve written happened in real life. I just took those events and built a story around them. All of God’s provision in my chapter comes from real life.
HC: Which character will we like?
I think, depending on your circumstances in life, you’ll identify with one of two women–Amanda or Tina. These two women go to Pastor Paul’s church, but one is active and one seems to disappear into the crowd as soon as church service is over. Pastor Paul puts out a challenge to several members of his church, to find a “disappearing member” and make friends. He asked them to pray and to begin next Sunday. Amanda received the challenge with joy, and Tina was the woman she “caught” before she could get away.
HC: Karen, you have some other interests in addition to writing. Could you share that with us?
Oh my, I have way too many interests! My first love in hobbies and things to do is sewing. I learned to sew when I was nine years old. And I’ve been sewing ever since. I started with garment sewing, and then changed to quilting for about fifteen years. I loved the quilting and especially designing my own patterns. I have an entrepreneurial gene, so I produced quilt patterns and sold them through a website and some local quilt shops. Then I wrote a quilt book with ten different quilt designs in it and a fictional story that went along with it–one chapter for every quilt. This was my first submission to a traditional publisher, and they accepted it! I was floored. I returned to garment sewing, and spent a few years studying and learning couture sewing. I sew for a few clients. I also knit, crochet, and make jewelry. I am currently a student at Southern New Hampshire University working towards my BA in English and Creative Writing, with a minor in Graphic Design. I’m the Editor for The Quilt Pattern Magazine, a digital magazine that is very popular among quilters.
HC: Wow, you are a busy lady! What is next on the writing list for Karen Gass?
I’m wrapping up my series Spring Street Quilters with a new book. I’m hoping to participate in the next Sweetland book! I’m committed to school and projected graduation is 2017. I’ve loved every minute of it. I was recently invited to join The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. This invitation is very special to me. Every year they invite high-achieving first and second year students to join, and they picked me! There are great benefits to joining; scholarships, networking, internships and interaction with other members and alumni. I’ve been on Cloud 9 for a few weeks now. Then, I need to start thinking about my next book. It’s all just too much fun!