Welcome to the Book Loft, Karen. Is there a story behind your book Nature Girl: A Guide To Caring For God's Creation?
I have written for girls for a long time and desired to write a book that inspired girls to explore and care for the earth. I grew up in a dairy farming community in Connecticut and spent summers camping in the White Mountain National Forest and other great places. I also lived in Hawaii, Michigan, Florida, and many states where I took advantage of opportunities to visit national parks and natural landmarks. That instilled a great love for nature.
What started you on your writing journey?
Many friends suggested I write, but with a math degree that was never a goal or desire. I believed God called me to write, so I went on a retreat and prayed about it. God gave me a vision and the next day I received a painting of the vision with Proverbs 3:4-5 on it. So, I promised God I’d do all I could for five years and if nothing happened I’d know I didn’t hear him correctly. Within five years I had contracts for five books, so I kept writing. I’ll stop when he tells me to stop.
A few months later God gave me a writing mentor and then I attended a writer’s conference where I was encouraged by editors to submit my writing. I did and began getting acceptances. I also asked a ton of questions and soaked up everything.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Taken my then two-year-old son horseback riding in the rain forest of Puerto Rico. They had a car seat type saddle for young ones, but I didn’t even ask how long we’d be on the trail (over two hours). He loved it!
I can imagine lots of giggles from both of you. What is your favorite season of the year?
Summer. I like hot weather and always love the freeness of less on the calendar. It’s also a time I can pack lighter for travel and that makes a journey easier.
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I grew up in Northford, Connecticut. My ancestors were founders of the state and that region so it was really home. I grew up surrounded by extended family (30 first cousins, lots of second cousins, grandparents and even great grandparents). My backyard consisted of apple trees, woods, and caves. Across the way lay a cousin’s dairy farmland with a pond for skating. Wild berries grew all around. We had chickens and cousin/grandparents had sheep, goats, and even a pig. I climbed trees, picked fruits, and spent most of my time outside. We canned and froze food and I learned all sorts of crafts and cooking.
The rolling hills and farms in Connecticut are lovely. The people are loyal and interesting although it may take time for outsiders to get to know them.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I spent Sundays in good weather at my grandfather’s cabin retreat area with many relatives. We had a mountain to climb, a lake for swimming, and a potluck every week! On the top of the mountain I could see for miles and look out at the green countryside.
Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
The world! I really like going to the Orient and was thrilled to speak in Malaysia where my hosts gave me great tours of the area.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love to write books that help families thrive. I write for children to help grow tomorrow’s families today and equip them with life skills. I write for women to encourage them in their spiritual walk and strengthen their character to help them be great mothers and leaders. I write for military families because I spent 22 years as the active duty wife of a CG officer and had a son in the AF. I understand the strugglers of military families and hope that my writing for them encourages them.
Would you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
The prayer that God would strengthen me in His power through the holy Spirit is very challenging and inspiring. I want more of His creative power and that’s what I rely on as I write books so they will be infused with creativity
What do you hope girls will gain from Nature Girl?
My daughter and I want girls to get excited about nature, energy, and natural resources. We want them to discover fun through the games, crafts, fun quizzes, experiments, and parties ( a spa party on natural beauty, party at parks, and a healthy food party), to become active in recycling, saving resources, caring for creatures, and growing plants. We also want them to think and explore the controversial issues and make informed decisions (we don’t spoon feed any answers although we bring up some of the questions).
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I am thrilled to share fun with boys as I did with my own three sons. Every day’s devotion will include an activity: hands on fun, recipe, experiment, jokes, riddles, secret code, assessment check-off list. The themes guide young men to becoming strong Christians and tap into topics boys enjoy (snakes, fire, sports, rocks, etc). The devotions are filled with humor and stories of adventure. In 2015 I have a devotional book on hope releasing for women (good for men too).
Thanks for sharing with us today, Karen!
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Karen Whiting is giving away a copy of Nature Girl. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.