Hello folks!

I am very excited because today, we have author Karen Harrington stopping by for an interview! She has written several novels, the most recent being Courage for Beginners, which I reviewed here. She has also generously offered to give away one signed (and personalized!) ARC of Courage for Beginners (U.S. only). You can find the giveaway (plus terms and conditions) at the end of this post.

About The Author:

karen harrington

Harrington is a freelance writer and author of the novel JANEOLOGY and SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY. Her latest MG novel, COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS, is forthcoming from Little, Brown for Young Readers. She lives in Dallas, TX with her family and is at work on her next novel. You can find her on twitter at @KA_Harrington or at her website.

Hi Karen! Thanks so much for joining us today.

Can you tell us a little about Courage for Beginners’s path to publication?

KH: SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY was my first middle-grade novel for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. I was very fortunate that my editor embraced the themes and character of Mysti Murphy for this second book.

 ME:  I’m so glad that they did! Your novel is for a middle grade audience. What made you want to write for a young audience instead of teens or adults?
KH: It’s funny where life takes you. My first novel, JANEOLOGY, is an adult thriller. Then, I got the idea to write about one of the characters from JANEOLOGY, Jane Nelson’s daughter, Sarah. That became SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY. I’d originally conceived of Sarah’s story as a young adult book, but then the story leant itself more to a mature middle-grade audience. So for me, I guess the answer is that I just write stories and they lead down interesting paths. I don’t really think ahead of time about the age group of the audience. Rather, I think about how a good story is a good story.


ME: That’s true. If you could have dinner with one person, living or not, who would it be? Why?

KH: Today, the first person that came to mind was Pope Francis (which is odd because I usually think I’d like to dine with Ernest Hemingway or Harper Lee). I think Pope Francis appeals to me because of his compassion and kindness. It would be wonderful to be in his company. Of course, a dinner with the Pope, Hemingway AND Lee would be great fun, too. Imagine the conversation!

ME: That would be interesting, for sure. Do you have any advice for teen writers?
KH: The best advice is to go get a spiral notebook and fill it up. Keep writing until that notebook is full. No one else needs to see it. Just get your hand writing and work on your writing muscle. Some days, write one page or ten pages. But keep at it until the spiral is full. You will be amazed at what happens and what you discover.  Out of all the pages in the notebook, maybe five or ten will be golden. It is so worth it to get to that golden space.

ME: Can you tell us about any current writing projects or upcoming novels?
KH: My next novel is called MAYDAY and it will be out in 2016. Interestingly enough, I fell for one of the characters in COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS and wanted to know more of the backstory behind that character’s life and world. So, I got a notebook and took it to my daughter’s ice skating practice. Pretty soon, I had a concept of the story and wrote the first draft. MAYDAY features seventh grade Wayne Kovok (from COURAGE) right after he survives a plane crash.

ME: Thanks so much for taking the time to come by. 

You can find Karen on Twitter at @KA_Harrington or at her website.


  1. You must be 13 or older, or have your parent’s permission to enter this giveaway.
  2. This giveaway is limited to residents of the U.S.
  3. The Rafflecopter system will randomly pick a winner. This will be the only winner.
  4. When the contest is over, I will send you an email telling you that you won. You have 48 hours to reply to this email or, unfortunately, I will have to pick another winner.
  5. If I find that anyone is trying to cheat the system, I will have him/ her blocked from both this and future giveaways.

If you want to enter, you can find the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Comments on Interview with author Karen Harrington + GIVEAWAY!

  1. Karen Harrington
    August 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog. I loved your questions!
    Karen Harrington recently posted…Book launch party!My Profile

    • Samantha
      August 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you!

  2. Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination
    August 25, 2014 at 2:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Samantha, thanks for the awesome interview, and Karen Harrington, thanks for stopping by! Courage for Beginners sounds like an interesting book, and I LOVE the cover! Mayday sounds even more interesting. Why can’t I read it now?

    I really like that piece of advice for teen writers. Even though a lot of what I write might not be good, there will always be a diamond buried somewhere.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Character Similarities: Teens Can Write Too! August 2014 Blog ChainMy Profile

    • Samantha
      August 25, 2014 at 9:04 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m loving that comparison, Ana. I just wish they were easier to find sometimes…


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