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Q & A with Author Karen Foxlee

Her upcoming book due to release Jan 28, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, has created such a buzz with early readers singing it's praise with such favorable reviews. Highly anticipating, this being the must read to put on your young reader's list, she was kind enough to stop by and chat about being an author and her work.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I wrote my first story when I was in second grade and was hooked. I think I fell in love with the idea of creating something out of nothing. I never stopped writing from that moment on. 

What books/authors have influenced your writing? 

I grew up on a steady diet of Enid Blyton books as a child. I loved her adventure book series "The Secret Seven" and "The Famous Five". The idea that these kids were running around solving mysteries without any parental supervision was so exciting to me! Of course I can also remember my mum reading us fairy tales and later reading them again and again myself. My favourite was The Snow Queen, which of course, features so prominently in OPHELIA. 

What drew you to the genre that you write?

I don't know if I've ever been drawn to a particular genre, rather drawn to the ideas I have for a story. It usually starts with a little idea about a character that gets under my skin and I just have to understand what that character's story is. In OPHELIA it started with a small boy locked away in a museum room for many years. I just had to understand why. 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Yes, I definitely prefer to see where my ideas take me. I ask lots of questions of my little seed of an idea and start to write. I write and write until I seem to find a path into the story.

Your upcoming book, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, was such a fantastic book with such favorable reviews. What inspired you to write that story?

I had this simple idea: what if you looked through a keyhole in a long forgotten room in a crumbling museum and saw an eye staring back at you? What if it was someone being kept prisoner there? The story really grew from there. I fell in love with the Marvelous Boy from that very moment and most of my first drafts were about his story, his amazing journey to deliver the sword to our world so that the snow queen could be defeated. 

Give us an insight into your main character. What do you want readers to take away from her story?

It is weird to say but Ophelia turned up quite late after many drafts. I needed someone to discover the boy. But as soon as I wrote the line, "Ophelia did not consider herself brave," I just had a feeling that everything was going to work out for this story. Ophelia doesn't consider herself brave but she is SO brave. She is reeling from the death of her mum, trying to work out how to exist in the world without her. She doesn't want to believe in anything that can't be proven by science yet she suddenly faces all manner of challenges and strange creatures in her quest to save the Marvelous Boy and the world. I love that she never gives up, she keeps picking herself up and trying, when faced with all manner of monsters and impossible creatures. What would I like readers to take away from her story? Always help your friends. Never ever give up. Love is always on your side. 

Would you ever consider writing a series?

The project I'm working on at the moment feels like a series but I can't even get the first part to behave so I'm trying not to get to far ahead of myself. I'm just focussing on that story at the moment. 

Do you have any current projects that you can share with us?

The story I'm writing is about a girl in Victorian London who can see the future in puddles. It features witches and ghosts and some fearsomely wild girls who hunt faeries. I'm completely in love with it and completely mixed-up by it. We'll see what happens. 

Are you currently reading anything? 

At present I am reading The Hunger Games and enjoying it. I went into it to see what all the fuss was about but I'm hooked. 

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Lately I've been reading A.A Milne's WINNIE THE POOH stories to my little girl. We have laughed ourselves silly about the adventures of that bear and his friends. I think I would love to write something like that, which is so beautiful and clever and funny and... classic. Its appeal never fades. 

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Only write a lot. Fall in love with your stories. Never give up on them if you think they are worthy and that they have a heart.

If you want to get more information on Karen, you can reach her at:
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