Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Karen Lynn Williams

photo by Martha Rial

EXCERPT from "Writing from Place Across Cultures" by Karen Lynn Williams in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Travel and living abroad is one way, we, as writers, can move outside of our comfort zone and tap the muse within. When I am living outside of my own culture, everything is new and fresh and the material for my stories jumps out at me. I am hyper- aware of everything that goes on around me. The challenge is to capture the essence of the culture, and to write honestly and authentically from the experience in a way that I can bring the story home and readers can share my passion for the place, the people and the culture.


EXCERPT from "If You Write It, They Will See It: Picture Book Illustrations from the Writer's Point of View" by Karen Lynn Williams in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Every picture book writer has a visual image in her mind of what the illustrations will look like. The finished illustrated book rarely meets the writer’s exact expectations and often the images take the story far beyond anything the author could have imagined. How can a writer learn to let her work go with confidence that the written story and images will compliment each other so that the final project will be stronger than either of the two parts alone?

I was elated when my first picture book sold to a publishing company…for about ten minutes. Then it hit me. How can they find an illustrator who will do the subject justice?


Karen Lynn Williams is the author of more than twelve picture books, chapter books and young YA books and a number of stories, articles and poems for various publications. She has lived with her husband and four children in Malawi, Africa and in Haiti and has traveled extensively. Much of her published work is based on these experiences. Karen lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Seton Hill University and Chatham University. Visit her online at http://www.karenlynnwilliams.com.

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