Karen Pokras is a writer, daisy lover, and occasional baker. An avid reader, she found her passion for writing later in life and now runs all of her stories past the furry ears of her two feline editorial assistants before anyone else. She lives with her family outside of Philadelphia.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
It’s so hard to pick just one favorite. As a young child, my favorite book was “The Best Loved Doll” by Rebecca Caudill. As I got a little older, I fell in love with Judy Blume books. I especially loved “Are You There God It’s Me Margaret” and “Blubber.”
What’s your favorite line from a book?
There’s a wonderful line from Erin Entrada Kelly’s book “You Go First” that I keep pinned on the bulletin board in my office. “If you don’t see anything beautiful, change your viewpoint.”
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I originally started writing because of a story idea that popped into my head in my twenties. It took many, many years for me to sit down and put pen to paper (or I suppose fingers to keyboard) and at the time, it was my intention to write my story and go back to life as I knew it. But something magical happened as I wrote. It was as if an entire world of stories and characters that had been locked away in my brain suddenly came to life, demanding to have their stories told as well. At the same time, I had an ongoing struggle finding ways to motivate my 11-year-old reluctant reader. It was at that moment I decided I wanted to share my characters and stories and become an author, in hopes of encouraging my child and other children to read more.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Enjoy the moments when creativity strikes and don’t put pressure on yourself when there are lulls. I find if I’m having trouble getting words down, taking a break is key … maybe a walk or perhaps some time in the kitchen baking. It’s during these moments of calm that ideas often come rushing back. And if they don’t, it’s not at all a sign of failure. Patience is key when it comes to being an author and/or illustrator. Keep reading and developing your craft. Join peer groups and take advantage of online and local resources. The author/illustrator community is amazing. We can learn so much from each other.