Q and A ... Karen Owen

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

A: When I was growing up I wanted to be a fiction writer. I ended up being a journalist but I wasn't very good at finding stories - I just liked the actual writing of them.


Q: What are you afraid of?

A: Snakes! One of my biggest achievements was staying at a cattle station in central Australia. Every night I had to check there were no King Brown snakes in my bed.


Q: What’s your favourite colour?

A: Yellow, because it’s the colour of sunshine and I LOVE the sun.


Q: What is your favourite possession?

A: It’s a book given to me by my husband.  It was printed in 1873 and it’s called Aunt Judy’s Christmas Volume.  


Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: For as long as I can remember.  The first thing I had published was a letter in the Daily Mail when I was 11. I've still got a copy of it.


Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?

A: When I’m first playing with ideas or a snippet of conversation comes to mind, I jot it down by hand but mostly I write on the computer because I like being able to cut and paste the text – or delete it!


Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?

A: I’m writing a novel for 9 to 12-year-olds based in London and Antigua.  I identify with Hannah because she creates lives for people she didn’t have a chance to get to know,  


Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

A: I daydream a lot.  I used to teach in a primary school so some of my ideas come from the things children say and do.  


Q: What sort of books do you write?

A: So far I’ve published short stories for adults, short stories for children aged 7 up for the BBC, and picture books for pre-school readers.  My latest projects include a novel for 9+.


Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?

A:Michael Murpurgo because he’s an honest and brave writer and doesn’t shy away from serious issues.  Michael Rosen because he stands up for stories and reading for pleasure.  Raymond Briggs because The Snowman is one of my favourites.


Q: I loved writing this bit....

A: Um... that’s hard.  Sometimes I love writing The End because I know it’s time to share the story but sometimes I hate writing The End because it’s time for me to say goodbye to the characters and I’m very attached to them!  


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