Let’s Chat! Author Karen Campbell Prough

Welcome, Readers! And welcome, Karen Prough!

I‘m delighted to introduce award-winning author Karen Campbell Prough. Karen writes southern historical fiction with threads of romance and mystery. Seven of her short stories have appeared in magazines, and she’s won awards for both short stories and novels.

*Karen’s offering a 3-ebook give-away. Join the conversation, and you’re entered. (Please let me know via the Contact form if you’re unable to comment. It could be the spam filter.)

How wonderful that Karen gifted three readers with books: Jane Theriot, Judy Jordan, and Carlene Havel! Thank you, Karen, for your generous gifts!

Welcome, Karen Campbell Prough!

Tell us about yourself, Karen. Where were you reared? How did you come to be an author? What have you learned as a writer and do you have some tips for aspiring authors?

Karen’s Childhood

I spent the first years of my life on a farm in Cheboygan, Michigan, where my love of stories was born. Great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and siblings told stories at the supper table, the highlight of the day. Sometimes, aunts, uncles, and cousins lived with us, which added to the mix. After supper, stories continued. Or older cousins read to us. I often could be found upstairs in the “junk” room, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of a huge bookcase

I quickly outgrew storybooks and devoured adult books written by authors like James Oliver Curwood, Gene Stratton Porter, and Zane Grey. Their writing reflected my love of details.


W
hen my father took a job as an illustrator at the Quarter Master Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia, we moved, leaving my grandparents’ farm, our newly-built country home, and many relatives. But the mountains of Virginia fueled my wild imagination. (Tweet That!) 

Karen Campbell Prough, Writer

College, marriage, and eventually a son and daughter curtailed my writing for a time, but I wrote at night and submitted short stories. Two were published, and one captured a first-place award.


E
ventually I wrote a very long book about a girl named Ella Dessa in the mountains of Georgia. I poured my heart into it and sent out letters of inquiry. One agency kept it a whole year, said they loved it, but returned it.

My book was too long, so I divided it into two books and presented them at writer’s conferences. But I often was told my writing was too realistic for Christian romances. People die, life isn’t always wonderful, and harsh events turn the tables on characters.

Eva Marie Everson agreed to edit my book. She was great to work with, and she kept saying she loved my writing, but the years still tiptoed by. I grew discouraged, but I didn’t stop writing. I attended conferences and eventually signed a contact with Hartline Literary Agency. Linda Glaz agreed to be my editor.

That first book expanded into three books.
 The first, The Girl Called Ella Dessa, released in 2015, but it was years in the making. Now the following two books are published realities: Within the Candle’s Glow and With This Peace.

With the learning curve, editing, and chopping words from pages of text, it’s been a wild couple years. The striving to keep up with the schedule for publication can seem daunting.

Have I been a perfect writer for the agency or publishing house? No, probably not! I have to laugh as I type this. I think I have given them a bushel-basket-full of headaches.

Advice from Karen Campbell Prough

Don’t give up. Don’t let fear hold you back! Follow advice from editors or publishing houses. Don’t settle for the first publishing house to show interest. Check out what other writers say about them. Be ready to follow new suggestions about edits, book length, and word count. Have someone read your manuscript and compare their thoughts with other remarks before presenting to the publisher.

Write short stories. Check out magazines known for short stories and send them!

Write magazine articles. Get information on magazine articles. Write what is in your heart; don’t try to write someone else’s story.

Don’t let your hands drop into your lap. Even when discouraged, write what is in your heart and thoughts. Don’t copy someone. Put your voice in lines of type.

Adapt to changes in the publishing world. Find something new and acceptable to write about.

Attend writers’ conferences and ask questions.

Write to fulfill what is in your heart because the act of putting your words down on “paper” shows the world you are serious. It says you are a writer who is not going to throw away the oldest form of communication … the telling of stories. 

Where you can find Karen Campbell Prough

Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2p9YWPI
Barnes & Noblehttp://bit.ly/2pVix33
Facebookhttp://bit.ly/2qQfitd
Twitter: @KCampbellPrough

Websitehttp://karencampbellprough.com

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Thank you for stopping by, Karen. The visit was just delightful. Please come again. We’ll be looking for your books in the meantime!

~ ~ ~

Lord, the world You created declares Your goodness. Thank You for making us so that we can see and hear and smell Your creation–even through books. We pray Your blessings on Karen as she writes. May her stories–like Your creation–declare Your goodness.
~ For Jesus’ sake.

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Karen Campbell Prough

  1. Wilma Bates

    Karen it is nice to find a new author of historical romance, that is my favorite genre. I hope you write more stories for us readers to enjoy.

     
     
    1. I hope she does, too, Wilma! Thanks so much for joining the chat! Linda

       
       
    2. I have failed so bad on this chat! Life got in the way, and I was putting out fires and jumping on FB and back off. Thank you, Wilma for joining in. While reading my books, I hope you find many scenes that will touch your heart. I have started another book connected with my series, because people keep asking me to continue to let them know what is happening to the main characters in previous books! That’s a good thing!

       
       
  2. Thank you for the encouraging advice to keep on plugging away.

     
     
    1. We writers can’t be reminded not to give up too often, can we, Carlene? I appreciate Karen’s reminders!

       
       
    2. Charlene, love your name. My mother once had a best friend with that name. She would talk about her. Plugging along is what I do! Life kept me turning in circles this past week, and did not leave much time to write or think about it. But Sunday afternoon, I spent time with my Mother and two brothers. My youngest brother is trying to write a book, and I had to let him know that sometimes it isn’t fun. Life has a way of pushing us away from things we enjoy, and sometimes our stories just seem to have a mind of their own and won’t behave! 🙂 It’s like raising a child, we have to keep correcting them!!! Ha.

       
       
  3. Jennifer Smith

    Her books definitely look like something I would love to read.

     
     
    1. Me too, Jennifer. Thanks for joining the chat!

       
       
    2. Jennifer, thanks for joining Linda’s chat about my books and what I do! I am ashamed to admit I got way too busy to even think straight this past week, etc. We had graduations, birthdays, church events, and then Mother’s Day! So, I didn’t do my duty with this chat. I hope you will read my books and really enjoy them. I put hard times and good times in my books, because that is the way life goes. But with God’s grace, we can walk paths of uncertainty and stay calm.

       
       
  4. Karen, I’m so glad you are joining our readers’ chat circle this week. Has anyone ever told you you have kind eyes?

     
     
    1. Linda, yes … a few people have mentioned things like that. I seem to be someone people will open up and talk to when they got a problem. But I sure don’t always have the answers! Animals like me! 🙂 Raising a baby squirrel right now, and he’s so sweet. It will be hard to tell him “so long”! Little kids like me. I use to have a lot of them running around the house! Grandkids, that is. 🙂 The second oldest graduated this weekend. And it’s like stair steps from this point on–for a few years! We will be attending many graduations! Youngest is now ten, but there is five ahead of him. Oops! I’m writing a book! Thanks for presenting my books to the readers.

       
       
  5. Andrea Stephens

    These are wonderful books! Someone will be very lucky to win them. I already own a set in Kindle format and paperback.
    Karen is an amazing storyteller. She can create such love amid the most disastrous settings. I can’t wait for what ever she writes next.

     
     

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Let’s Chat! Author Michelle Shocklee

Let’s Chat With Author Michelle Shocklee

Welcome, everyone! And welcome, Michelle Shocklee!

Michelle ShockleeMichelle Shocklee joins our chat this week. I met Michelle in our local American Christian Fiction Writers group and knew right away I wanted you to meet this delightful author. She’s offering The Planter’s Daughter in ebook form to someone who joins the conversation. So grab a cup, gather ’round, and don’t forget to comment below.

**NOTE: The winner of the drawing this week is Jean Billingsley! Congratulations, Jean!

Welcome, Michelle Shocklee

Thank you for joining us this week, Michelle. I’ve enjoyed very much getting to know you in our writers’ group and sharing common writing interests. I know others will also.

Michelle’s Before

I was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so I like to say I’m a Rocky Michelle ShockleeMountain girl at heart. (Tweet That!) I truly loved growing up in Santa Fe. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, with four true seasons, but we lived outside the city limits. We played in miles of wilderness. I have three older brothers and an older sister, so our house was always noisy.

Michelle Shocklee

Daddy, an engineer with the highway department, decided shortly after he and Mom married in 1950 to build our adobe house himself. All throughout my growing up years, there was some type of construction going on. Several years after all of us kids were adults and had moved out, he finally finished our beautiful sprawling New Mexico style adobe home.



Both of my parents loved to read, so books have always been a huge part of my life. Not a birthday or Christmas went by without us kids receiving a book as a gift.

When it came time to head off to college, it never occurred to me to go into something that involved writing. Instead, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and studied Elementary Education. I met my wonderful husband in college, and we’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary this month! Our two amazing sons are grown and making their way in the world.

A few years ago we moved to the Texas Hill Country to become estate caretakers. We live and work on a gorgeous 400-acre ranch where we have sheep, llamas, and chickens. We feel incredibly blessed.

Michelle’s Debut

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCXI7UK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1The Planter’s Daughter is my debut novel. It’s been an exciting journey, from the first inspirations for the story to my agent telling me I had not one but two contract offers! From the beginning, I was blessed with an editor who truly understood the story I wanted to tell. Her input and knowledge on all-things southern was invaluable. 

One of the things I was not quite prepared for was the vulnerability I felt when the book released. Even though I write a blog with readers from all over the world and have had numerous short stories and articles published, releasing The Planter’s Daughter was different.  I poured my heart into the book, writing about a time in our nation’s history that is not pleasant and can often be controversial. I’m very pleased that so many readers have enjoyed The Planter’s Daughter and some even say they learned a few things about Texas history and slavery. 


Michelle’s Next

After waiting so long for my first book to release, I’m excited that I won’t have to wait too long for the next one to be published. The second book in The Women of Rose Hill series releases in early 2018. It’s set five years after The Planter’s Daughter, right at the end of the Civil War. I’m also tickled to have a novella releasing in February 2018 in The Mail-Order Bride Collection with Barbour Publishing.

This journey taught me God has a plan and a timetable. Too many times I rushed ahead of him, only to have him remind me I need to wait on him. That is true in writing and in life. God’s plan is always best.

Readers, you can find Michelle and her books at the following links:

 Amazon       Goodreads       Facebook       Website       Twitter

~ ~ ~

Lord, Your plans are perfect; yet we often try to improve them. How foolish. Thank You for Michelle and her commitment to Your plan. I pray You will bless The Planter’s Daughter and her other stories in unexpected and powerful ways. Keep us as writers and readers in the center of Your will. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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16 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Michelle Shocklee

  1. Linda Moffitt

    I lived in a small town growing up but we never came home from playing until the streetlights were on. (Those were the rules) LOL Kids now-a-days will never get it. The amount of fun we had doing that.
    Your book sounds great also. 🙂

     
     
    1. I was reared on a farm, so the thought of life in a neighborhood was a bit foreign to me. But “supper time” was time to go inside. (If Mother had known what all we did, the chances we took, etc. she would have snatched us up and set our bottoms down in our rooms!) 🙂 Thanks for joining our conversation, Linda. You’re entered into the drawing. Please come back.

       
       
    2. Hi Linda, I agree … kids today won’t ever understand the freedom we enjoyed as kids. The world was a different place. Thank you for your encouraging comment about the book! Have a blessed day!

       
       
  2. Hi, Michelle! 🙂

    You don’t look old enough to be celebrating your 30th anniversary! 🙂

    What a “coincidence” that Linda’s blogging about you this week! On Tuesday, I posted a blog about your novel and other new ACFW historical romances. You can check it out here: http://www.christybrunke.com/blog/mothers-day-new-historical-romances/

    I didn’t realize you were in Linda’s ACFW group! That’s great! 🙂 She’s a sweetheart.

     
     
    1. Hi Christy! Glad your post finally made it here! 😀 THANK YOU so much for including The Planter’s Daughter on your blog! That is awesome! Mucho appreciation! And yes, Linda is a sweetheart! We have a great group of writers in San Antonio!

      Blessings to you!

       
       
    2. PS. Girl, you get extra points for not thinking I look old enough to be married 30 years! I am indeed, but thank you anyway!! 😀

       
       
  3. Your upbringing sounds so different than mine! I grew up on Cape Cod–no room for mountains and prairies. I, too, started writing later in life. It’s exciting to know there’s still work to be done after the children are grown. Looking forward to reading your debut novel. Congratulations, Michelle!

     
     
    1. Thank you, Clarice! Visiting Cape Cod is on my bucket list! Blessings on your writing too! I do hope you enjoy The Planter’s Daughter! It’ll give you a little taste of Texas! 😀

       
       
    2. Hi, Clarice 🙂 Yes, it’s exciting knowing there’s still work to be done after rearing children. (Not that what I do at home compares with the work Michelle accomplishes on the ranch, but writing has been good for my aging brain.) 🙂 Always so happy to share these chats with my New Hampshire friend.

       
       
  4. Marilyn R

    It’s nice meeting you Michelle Shocklee here on Linda Davis’ blog. Congratulations on the release of your novel and wedding anniversary.Growing up in a certain area does impact our lives. Caring for a 400 area ranch would be a great experience along with lots of work and responsiblity.

    I definitely want to read your book, The Planter’s Daughter. The Civil War era is one of my favorite in historical fiction books. Thank you for the giveaway.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Marilyn! We do love living on the ranch, but you’re right … it is A LOT of work! Good luck in the drawing for the free book, but if you miss it this time, I hope you’ll still grab a Kindle copy. I think you’ll enjoy it! 😀

       
       
    2. Hi, Marilyn. So good to see you joined our conversation. Life on the farm definitely influences my writing. I’m grateful for my upbringing. And I’m a bit in awe of Michelle and her husband’s daily responsibilities on the ranch. Great to “talk.” Come back!

       
       
  5. Jean Billingsley

    How blessed to have been raised in the beautiful area around Santa Fe and now to experience the Hill Country of Texas.
    Where we are raised has a lasting affect on us all our live.
    Congratulations of your book, look forward to reading it.
    Jean Billingsley

     
     
    1. Thank you, Jean! Yes, Santa Fe is a special place! And we do love living in the Hill Country–even if there aren’t any mountains! 😉 Thank you for your congratulations!

       
       
    2. Hi, Jean. So glad you joined our chat. So true that where and how we’re reared impacts us all our lives! What a blessing we can decide what to emulate and what to leave aside. The older I get, the more l realize how much good there was in my rearing. And the more I focus on it alone. Please come back!

       
       
  6. Jean Billingsley

    How blessed to live in two such special places. I know where we are brought up has a lasting affect on us all our live. Looking forward to reading you books.

    Jean Billingsley

     
     

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