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Her Lifelong Love of Reading and Writing

I am so excited to share this month’s Inspirational Western Woman and her lifelong love of reading and writing.

She is my writing craft partner. We read each other’s work, encourage one another, and help promote the other’s book upon launch day.

She is one of the most kind, courteous, smart, and talented women I’ve had the honor to call friend.

With that, I’d like to introduce Karen (K.S.) Jones to you.

Karen’ Story

I grew up a farmer’s daughter, bare feet caked in mud or summer dust, with a line of dirt under my fingernails. That’s where I first learned that something special happens in the creative brain when Mother Earth—in all her forms—is embraced.

As a child, with my mind in a state of pretend, I mentally wrote so many stories while out in the fields hoeing cotton, chopping cotton, tromping cotton, working in the family garden, or picking peaches and apricots from our orchard.

It was thirty minutes here or ten minutes there spent in quiet reflection that encouraged the creation of make-believe worlds and the people that might live there. I had time to contemplate right and wrong and all the probabilities, but most of all, I had moments to consider my own beliefs and emotions, which, I think, eventually led me to a more complete sense of self.

But always, always, it was the land beneath my feet that grounded me.

However, it wasn’t just me who was influenced by life on the farm. My father, mother, great-uncle, and sister are all writers too. My own journey began very young, in elementary school, when I wrote an American Legion essay for a school contest on the subject of growing cotton and its importance to the world, winning a top award. I’ve been following in influential footsteps ever since.

Inspiration for writing often stems from a love of reading, and being a firm believer in the power of words, I encourage every household to have a diverse selection of books. While growing up, my parents instilled in me a passion for stories and storytelling, especially history, partly through books and partly through summer vacations spent exploring historical sites, National Parks and Monuments, and many other fun and interesting places across the country, like ghost towns and Indian ruins.

Those experiences continue to influence me still today.

Maybe it was my love of the land, or perhaps it was our wide variety of books and magazines, but I’ve always felt compelled to write in many different genres, including Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Contemporary Western Romance, and even one Sci-Fi/Fantasy for eight-to-twelve-year-old readers.

But no matter which direction I turn, the influence of land and nature strengthens my storytelling.

I just can’t seem to tell a tale about people without telling a story about their land too.

Embrace the spirit of nature. It has a way of freeing our creative thoughts held hostage by traffic jams, slow elevators, and stressful offices.

Stop and take a walk outside.

Sit on a bench beneath a tree. Build a bench. Go home and plant a flower. Grow an herb garden in a pot.

Allow your mind to rest and wander.

And then, when your soul whispers, listen. Write something just for yourself. You don’t need to show it to anyone, ever, if you don’t want to. But by doing this, our bountiful Earth can hear you.

Take a chance.

Touch the earth.

Hear the silence.

Feel the stillness in the air.

That’s what writing does for the world.

About Karen

Karen (K.S.) Jones comes to us from the beautiful Texas Hill Country, where she writes Historical Fiction and Contemporary Western Romance. In 2014, Southern Writers magazine awarded Karen their grand prize for “Best Short Fiction” of the year, and soon after, her first two novels, Shadow of the Hawk, Historical Fiction, and Black Lightning, a middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy, saw publication. Her work has garnered numerous literary awards, including the WILLA Literary Award, the Chaucer Award, InD’tale magazine’s RONE Award, and twice she has received the Literary Classics International Book Award. In 2021, her short story “The Pretender” placed second in the LAURA Awards from Women Writing the West.

In 2022, her Gold Rush novel, Change of Fortune, rose to #30 on Amazon’s list of top 100 in American Historical Romances, and it was just named a finalist for the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

Connect With Karen and Her Stories

WEBSITE: https://ksjones.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/author/jonesks

FACEBOOK: K.S. Jones, Author | Facebook

What questions or comments do you have for Karen? Go ahead and put one in the comments.

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  1. What an interesting story about an exceptional woman! Thanks for sharing, Karen and Carman!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! You’re at the top of the “interesting women” lists for many, many writers. Your comments are an honor to read.

    2. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary, for supporting Karen!

  2. Thank you for sharing Karen’s story. Although I didn’t grow up on a farm, I did grow up in Texas and spent lots of time outside as a child, making up stories in my mind. Karen’s story of how she came to be a writer and how the land and nature helped shape her stories resonated with me.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      thanks for taking the time to read Karen’s story, Cynthia. Her story resolated with me too. There’s nothing better than raising kids outdoors and on a farm or ranch.

    2. Hi Cynthia! Thank you for your comment today. Your work reflects an exceptionally creative mind, and it’s easy to see how the land beneath your feet impacted you too. Keep writing. The world needs your words.