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Monday, March 30, 2015

Welcome Karen Lange to "An Author Speaks"!


Karen Lange is a freelance writer, editor, and online writing instructor for adults and teens. Her work has appeared in print and online in business, parenting, educational, and writing publications. She is a fan of hockey, dark chocolate, walking, and spending time with family.

What five words describe you?

Good question! I don’t often describe myself (like you don’t call your own phone number, right?).The first thing that comes to mind is that I am a Christian. I am also loyal, a perfectionist, and reserved but friendly.

What are you working on now? What is it about?

I am working on Write for Life Volume Two, which offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guides students through the essay writing process. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the steps from start to finish with helpful tips, instruction, practice, and encouragement.

Lesson topics include: 
Essay basics and structure   
Choosing topics and sources
Taking good notes
Thesis statements and outlines
Developing content
Revision and editing
MLA style source documentation
Preparing for the test essay

My philosophy is that no matter what we do in life, good communication skills are an important ingredient for success.  Strengthening students’ writing enhances verbal and other interpersonal skills and helps prepare them for a lifetime of good communication. 

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

I think I would have enjoyed writing Anne of Green Gables. Anne is spunky and ambitious, and learns a lot about life on her journey. She is down to earth, and her story entertains and inspires – that’s the kind of book I’d be proud to author.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
 
For me, it is the self-discipline. I have many other responsibilities, so when I do have time to write, I have to work hard to set aside distractions and keep my focus. So many things constantly clamor for attention, from marketing and social media to unexpected and necessary schedule changes. I’ve learned to prioritize tasks weekly, rather than daily. This helps me better stay on track. 

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

First, I pray for inspiration. Then I do a number of other things, such as go for a walk, bake, clean, read, or spend time with my grandson. Sometimes I work on other projects in my office or around the house; this helps me gain a sense of accomplishment, even if it’s in another area. There’s been times when I’ve had deadlines and had to push through and just write. That’s when I find myself praying more and trusting that inspiration will surface as I go. It always does, too!

Where would your dream location be for writing?

I’d like to write in a cozy cabin with a view of the mountains. Having a lake nearby would be nice, too. When my husband and I visited Wyoming years ago, we went to Jenny Lake in the Tetons. It had a nice blend of woods, mountain scenery, and of course, the lake. We even spotted a moose while there. A little spot in that area would do nicely, I think!

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I read all my reviews, but don’t respond to them at the site (like Amazon). If I happen to know the reviewer or can find their blog or site, I will thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts. So far, I’ve had one bad review. It stung for a bit, but I knew it was part of putting my work out there. You can’t please everyone all the time, nor meet all their expectations. Jody Hedlund, one of my favorite authors, said that our work won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. We take the good with the bad and stay true to ourselves and our convictions. Another favorite author, Ann Gabhart, told me in an interview that “Rejection is not fatal”. She is right! I figure that applies to bad reviews too. Their advice helps me keep a good perspective.

If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?

I would like to be an interior designer. Or a photographer. Or maybe a graphic artist. LOL I have many other interests that have to take a backseat to writing.

What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?

Relax and don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Stop, smell the roses, and savor the time with loved ones. Cultivate good self-discipline habits. Remember the big picture – what will really matter in ten years?

Where can we buy your books?



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Where can we find you on Social Media? 

Facebook  Author Karen Lange
Twitter @KLELange

 
Thanks so much for inviting me over, Patti. It’s been a pleasure. I wish your readers all the best!
 
From Patti:  The pleasure is all mine Karen! 

33 comments:

  1. Loved learning more about Karen. Awesome that you're writing a second book in your series. And staying disciplined in definitely a challenge with all our other responsibilities.

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  2. Thanks for dropping by Natalie! Karen is definitely a gem!

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  3. Hi Karen & Patti -

    Great interview! I can relate to my many other interests have taken a backseat to writing. My task lists focus on both daily and weekly items. It's always interesting to read how other writers handle time management.

    God bless,
    Susan :)

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  4. Natalie,
    Thanks for coming by to see us! I appreciate your support. Yes, discipline is a big help. :)

    Patti,
    Thanks for sharing your space with me today. :) You are a talented and gracious hostess!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen! You have wonderful advice and insight!

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  5. Susan,
    I know you can relate to the time and priority crunch. So many hours in the day, right? :) Thanks for stopping over!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  6. Thanks Patti for having Karen over. Always good to read about her writing journey!

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  7. I like your philosophy Karen and I agree with it.

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  8. I think we'd share five word descriptions.
    I'd like to write from that cabin.

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  9. Marja,
    Thanks for hopping over to see us! Patti is a wonderful hostess. :)

    Holly,
    Thank you! I think we take ourselves too seriously sometimes, you know? :)

    Alex,
    So great minds think alike, right? LOL :) Maybe we could timeshare that cabin!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  10. Karen writes great non-fiction. I would love to be by a mountain and lake--such an amazing view.

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    Replies
    1. Yes she does Medeia! She's a great inspiration to many of us! Thanks for visiting today!

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  11. Great learning more about Karen Interesting answers to the questions.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly! It's always fun learning about our favorite authors!

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  12. Medeia,
    Thanks so much for your kind words! :) I'm thinking you might want in on the cabin timeshare I mentioned to Alex.

    Kelly,
    Thank you for stopping over! Patti conducts a great interview. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. Enjoyed this lovely interview, ladies! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I want the cozy cabin. It sounds wonderful. Love the interview, amigo. I cannot wait for the volume 2. Maybe then, Ivy could have written her essay for the contest. <3 you. Thanks for having Karen over here. Loved reading.

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  15. I loved all the Anne stories as well. Lucy Maud Montgomery was my favourite author one time and would love to visit P E I! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karen. Self discipline is what I need to work on!

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  16. Jen,
    Thanks so much for stopping by. I know you had a busy day. :) Appreciate your support!

    Robyn,
    You are the best, amigo, and you know you can come to the cabin anytime! :) Hugs to you, sweet friend!

    Lynn,
    Thanks for coming to see us! I'd love to go to PEI as well! Love all her books. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  17. Karen is a wonderful friend; I admire her in many ways. Thanks for spotlighting her, Patti!

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    1. It was my pleasure Jeanette! Karen is very special!!!

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  18. Jen,
    Aww, you are so sweet! The feeling is mutual; you are a special friend. :)

    Patti,
    You make me blush as well! Thanks so much for being a wonderful hostess!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  19. Great interview, Karen. Love hearing more about you. I think you're very disciplined. And I love that your blog always helps others. That's a blessing.

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  20. Joylene,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. :) I must admit, some days I am more disciplined than others. Like today, I baked chocolate chip cookies and ate too many. I wonder if writing will burn off those calories...? Appreciate you coming by!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  21. Hi Karen & Patti -

    Great interview! Loved reading about Karen.

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  22. Karen is a great inspiration and I can relate to so many of the points she made. Especially the baking part!

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  23. Thanks to both of you. Great interview. And Karen, I love that all of the "instead of writing" things you named are all creative!

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  24. Nas,
    Glad you stopped by! Thanks so much. :)

    Susan,
    You are so sweet! You, sweet friend, inspire me too. Baking, yes, did some yesterday as a matter of fact! :)

    Lisa,
    Thanks for coming by! I guess us writers are creative no matter what we do, right? lol :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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Your comments are always appreciated!