Inspire Member Spotlight: Karen Foster

How long have you been a member of Inspire?

Since September, 2011.

What prompted you to join Inspire?

I was invited to a critique group in Auburn, and saw firsthand the value of being with like-minded people. The more I learned about Inspire, the more eager I was to get involved. It’s a win-win.

Was there a particular moment when you knew you were a writer?

I wrote my first story for a children’s magazine contest when I was seven years old, and ever since then I’ve written for pleasure, my profession as a journalist, and now free-lance publication.

 

Describe your writing career high point and low point.

The high point was attending Jerry Jenken’s writer’s conference where I pitched a nonfiction book proposal called Lunch with Loretta: Feeding a Soul Hungry for God. Two editors expressed an interest in the book which raised my hopes that I’d see it published.

The low point has been waiting for their response and hearing people say the odds are slim of getting published in today’s economy unless you’re famous or infamous.

Describe your most memorable interview.

A few years ago, I interviewed a retired songwriter, Stan Zabka, who lives in Grass Valley. He worked in the entertainment industry since World War II and composed the song, “Christmas Eve in my Hometown” and the original theme music to “The Tonight Show.”

Which of your stories is the closest to your heart?

I wrote a children’s book (haven’t pursued publication) based on my childhood years when I’d visit my grandmother in a poor, rural town in Mississippi during the 1960s.

What did you do when you received your first acceptance or publication?

I might as well have won the Pulitzer. I remember raising the letter up in the air, grinning from ear to ear and saying aloud, “Yes! Thank you Jesus!”

Describe receiving your first book contract. Or agent contract.

I’ll let you know when it happens.

What project of yours is gathering dust?

Dust? I’d say there are cobwebs too. I wrote a romance novella called Deferred Hope and sent it off to Barbour books. When it was rejected, I never bothered to send it to another publisher because by then I’d moved on to my next book idea.

What’s next for you?

I continue to polish my book manuscript Lunch with Loretta in hopes of going to the Mount Herman writer’s conference with the proposal. Meanwhile I continue to write devotions that get published, and created a website and Facebook blog in order to build up my platform which now includes speaking to women’s groups.

What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?

I love reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and David Copperfield aloud just to hear the words roll off my tongue.

What does it mean to you to be a writer?

Lately, being a writer is lonely, hard work that requires a great deal of self discipline. However, when I try to walk away, my thoughts gather inside of me until I feel like I’m going to implode. So being a writer means “I must write” even if it’s for an audience of ONE.

Was there a book that changed your life?

Francine River’s book, Redeeming Love showed me Christian literature could be well written and thought-provoking. It was also an answer to prayer when I needed confirmation of God’s unconditional love towards me. It’s one of the few books that I’ve bought as gifts for believers and nonbelievers alike.

Describe your writing environment.

I predominantly work in a cubby hole with a built in desk next to the laundry room at the rear of the house.  It’s a cramped space, but I’m surrounded by photos of my family, manuscripts, writing books, and my Bibles. There’s a window over my desk that looks out on my back yard, and the back door is glass so there’s plenty of natural light. However, I prefer writing outdoors when the weather is nice because I can sit next to our man-made waterfall.

You can read more from Karen at her website: KarenFosterMinistry.org

And check out her new blog,

Or connect with her on Facebook: KarenFosterMinistry