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?
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.
When 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.
Eventually 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
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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!
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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.