Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogside Chat | Debut Author Karen Barnett

It's been quite a while since I had the privilege of hosting anyone for a Blogside Chat. Today, I'm happy to welcome debut author Karen Barnett to i blog 4 books!

i blog 4 books: Welcome, Karen! Tell us a little about your novel. Where did you get the idea for Mistaken? What is the story behind the story?

Karen Barnett: The idea for Mistaken came from an old family story. My grandparents lived in Port Angeles, Washington during Prohibition. Like the character Johnny Burke, my grandfather and some buddies used to row across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to get whiskey to share with friends back home. On one of their return trips they found G-men waiting for them on the beach and were able to jump overboard and swim to freedom. In later life, he claimed my grandmother had turned him in to officials, but she refused to ever speak of it. Whether this was true or just family lore I'll never know, but I thought it was an irresistible premise for a story.

ib4b: How much of yourself do you put into your characters? Are Laurie and Daniel and Samuel based on anyone in particular?

KB: Laurie is quite a bit like me: introverted, contemplative, private. She also makes snap judgments about people that sometimes prove to be incorrect in the long run. I hate to admit it, but I'm prone to this failing as well. Daniel resembles my own real-life hero—my husband, Steve—a generous spirit who will bend over backward to help the people he cares about and a man with deeply-held beliefs that drive his choices.

ib4b: What do you hope readers will take away from reading Mistaken?

KB: Laurie's deepest desire is to find one man of honor who will never disappoint her. Many women feel let down by men in their lives and sometimes we turn to romance novels to fill that need. I hope that by reading Mistaken, we will all be reminded that everyone sins and falls short. The only man truly worthy of our unfailing trust is Christ.

ib4b: Who encouraged your love for reading and/or writing when you were growing up?

KB: My parents always encouraged me to read, and I picked it up at a young age. It was customary in our house to read for at least 30 minutes before lights-out each night (and that’s when the flashlight became my trusted friend). I also had a 5th grade teacher who assigned weekly creative writing exercises and wouldn’t accept tearful pleas of "I can't do it" as an excuse—as much as I tried.

ib4b: It seems like most authors have quite an interesting journey to publication. What did you do in your "former life"?

KB: My first paying job was in a library—not a big surprise, right? I spent several years working as a park ranger with both the national and state parks. I loved explaining nature to park visitors and encouraging them to look around with new eyes. After we had kids, I was fortunate to be able to stay at home while they were little, and entered into full-time writing when they reached their school-years.

ib4b: What are you working on now?

KB: I am currently writing a three-book series set in 1906 San Francisco, the first of which will be arriving in bookstores next spring. In Out of the Ruins, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle for her dying sister, but doesn’t expect the answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King. When Robert’s innovative treatment fails, Abby’s grief is surpassed only by the chaos of the San Francisco earthquake and fires. Will Abby finally find God—and love—in the ruins?

ib4b: Thank you so much for stopping by, Karen!

About the Author
Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken and several articles that have been published by Guideposts and other national magazines. She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and three cats. Connect with Karen through her website

About the Book
Laurie’s judgment about men has never steered her wrong. Until now.

Since alcohol and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life.

Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Federal agent Samuel Brown might be the answer to her prayers—or her worst nightmare.

If you're interested in learning more about Mistaken, check out this sneak peek of the first chapter.


  1. I loved Mistaken and am excited to hear about your new series! Looking forward to reading Out of the Ruins when it releases. :)

    Melanie ~ Christian Bookshelf Reviews

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I'm so glad you enjoyed Mistaken. :)

  2. Thanks for hosting me on your blog! Great interview questions. :D


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