Welcome to the blog, Karen. I’m so excited to have you here today! Congratulations on your upcoming release, Ever Faithful. I can’t wait to read this book!
What do you love most about your hero and your heroine in this story?
One thing I love about my hero, Nate Webber, is that he finds ways to turn weaknesses into strengths both in himself and those around him. In preparation for writing his character, I did extensive research into learning disabilities. I learned that dyslexic individuals are often gifted in other unique ways, such as reading faces or observing details in their environment. So even though he’s mortally embarrassed about his inability to read, these other abilities serve him well as he works with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Yellowstone. Elsie dreams of attending teacher’s college and helping Nate gives her the extra bit of confidence she needs to achieve it.
What do you hope readers will remember the most about Ever Faithful?
Not just with Ever Faithful, but my hope for all three of the Vintage National Parks novels is that readers would get a sense of how God puts his great love on display in our creation. We just need to open our eyes and hearts to see it. I included a John Muir quote at the beginning of the novel that really sums this up for me: “A thousand Yellowstone wonders are calling, ’Look up and down and round about you.’”
I LOVE so many of John Muir’s quotes! That’s a great one. 🙂
What’s one of the strangest things you’ve had to research for a novel?
So many things! I’ve told my husband and kids not to look at my browsing history, because sometimes I end up in weird places on the internet. For the Golden Gate Chronicles series, I was reading all about brothels, opium, and the plague. When I traveled alone to Yellowstone to research Ever Faithful, I downloaded an audiobook to keep me awake on the long drive. What did I choose? Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park by Lee H. Whittlesey. That’s right—thirteen+ hours of someone reading to me about all the ways people have died in the park. I was pretty freaked out by the time I arrived.
Ha! I imagine so. 🙂 I would be too!
I read on your website that you used to be a park ranger. How cool! What is one of your favorite national parks to visit?
Okay, that’s not a fair question. I love all of the national parks I’ve visited! Obviously, the three that I’ve written about are probably my top choices. Mount Rainier holds a piece of my heart, since I grew up nearby and had the opportunity to work there as a ranger. Yellowstone has absolutely incredible wildlife viewing and mind-boggling hydrothermal features. And Yosemite is about the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Outside of those three, Olympic National Park is also a favorite. It has everything: windswept coastlines, high subalpine meadows, and lush temperate rainforests. Plus, it has fewer crowds than some of the better known parks. Hmm, that was four parks. Sorry! You really shouldn’t get me started.
Those are all on my bucket list! 😉
Like you, I love going through history museums. What is something you saw in a museum that you won’t forget?
There’s a history museum in the nearby town of Brownsville, Oregon, that has a display of Victorian hair art—intricate designs of human hair made to commemorate a beloved (living or dead). It was beautiful and creepy, all at the same time. I was writing Out of the Ruins at the time (set in 1906 San Francisco) and I thought about working that in, but decided to keep it to a tiny braid of hair hidden in a locket.
Wow, that is very unique, for sure! I’ve never seen anything like that.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Karen. It’s been a joy to chat with you. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I have several exciting projects I’m working on, but none area quite ready to be revealed yet. I’ll let you know! If anyone would like to stay updated on new releases, I’d encourage you to sign up for my newsletter. You can find the subscription information at my website, http://www.KarenBarnettBooks.com. Thank you!
Karen has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book, Ever Faithful, to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest ends June 18, 2019. (US residents only, please.) The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!