Today, we welcome one of our own, Karen Jurgens, to 3 Questions Wednesday. Karen joined the team about a year ago, and has made herself invaluable to us by assisting with the editing and oversight. I am eager to see how she answers our questions, so here we go–
What books have fortified you as a writer? How?
Karen: My journey to become a professional writer and author began almost two years ago, so my library is small but growing. At ground zero, I added books I found online that spoke to my learning needs at the time. Later, I added ones recommended by authors in my critique group based on improving my specific areas of weakness.
Probably the greatest initial need was to learn to effectively use deep point of view, which I did by reading books on that topic and taking notes on card stock (I keep it next to my computer for quick review as I write—that’s the teacher in me). I also added The Emotion Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Ackerman and Puglisi, which are wonderful references for helping to show and not tell.
Another useful resource has been Stein on Writing, which illustrates the writing techniques the author explains. Others are a variety of self-publishing do-it-yourself types from legal concerns to cover designs to finding motivation to never quit.
Sounds like a great “working” library. I’m a little envious. 🙂 Next question–
What secret talents do you have?
Karen: I have been interested in cooking as long as I can remember. In the late ‘50’s, my mother let me send away for Betty Crocker cake kits, and at the tender age of five, I was baking tiny spice cakes with caramel frosting, all from boxes to which I added water and stirred. By the time I was a teen, I read gourmet cookbooks like novels and took local cooking classes where I advanced to béarnaise sauce, French pastries, and homemade breads. Although I focus on healthy, lighter cuisine these days, I still enjoy making the rich, traditional menus at holidays.
I also adore acting. I grew up taking drama classes at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where I performed on stage as well as in my high school’s plays. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I researched my dad’s family roots that I discovered there was an actress in the family. I like to imagine that I inherited my love of acting from Adele Jergens, who made Hollywood movies in the 1940’s and ‘50’s.
How interesting! Sounds like a good story. If you love to cook, I’m looking forward to your next answer.
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Karen: I’m so glad you asked because I love having company at my table! I would start off with a healthy kale, red cabbage, and avocado salad topped with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The main course would include roast chicken and new potatoes with garlic, parsley, sea salt and olive oil. I would add a green and yellow vegetable such as green beans and corn, or perhaps sautéed summer squash with minced onion, along with homemade dinner rolls. For dessert, I could offer you Neapolitan ice cream with a couple of ladyfingers or a goblet of fresh fruit laced with a splash of orange liqueur. We would follow up with after-dinner coffee and chocolates. (Dinner is served promptly at seven, so please don’t be late!)
I am seriously considering a trip to Texas after reading that menu! Mouth-watering! Thanks so much for answering our three questions.
Here’s more information about Karen and her books–
Karen Jurgens, a Cincinnati native, has been a Texan transplant for thirty years and counting. As a lifelong writer, she has written short stories since her elementary school days. As an adult, she earned an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in French, which propelled her into high school teaching. Since 2014, she has begun a new career as an author, blogger, and speaker within the context of Christian ministry and is a member of ACFW. Her first contemporary romance novella, A Christmas Mosaic, was published in October, 2015, and is part of a multi-author anthology, Warm Mulled Kisses. Her second novel, Desire’s Deception, and will be published in September, 2016.
Carlie Livingston is steering into her last year of college in Oxford, Ohio, confident that she and Lance Holloway are headed to the altar after graduation. Those plans are wrecked, however, by her dad’s infidelity, causing her parents to walk through a messy divorce. Will she have the same fate if she marries her college sweetheart who comes from a secular family? Her mother insists she will.
She tests God’s Word by letting Him take the wheel of her life. But if God is in control, why are all her close relationships crumbling? Nothing makes sense.
Just when it appears hopeless, Clay McKinney two-steps into Carlie’s life, promising to provide everything she’s looking for. But if he’s God’s answer, why can’t her heart release Lance? Where will her final destination be on this journey of trust?
Buy link for Warm Mulled Kisses: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Jurgens/e/B016CXTOOG
Karen blogs about scriptural answers to life’s trials at Touched by Him Ministries at www.karenjurgens.com.
Facebook Author page: http://www.facebook.com/TheKarenJurgens
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Jurgens/e/B016CXTOOG
Writing Prompts blog: https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com/