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27.6.12

Meet Coffeehouse Instructor, Karen Lange






Hi, Karen. Thanks so much for having this "coffee chat" with us. Please share a little about yourself and your background with us.

I always liked to write, but became serious about writing for publication about fifteen years ago. My first published pieces were in regional and state parenting newsletters. Shortly after that, a friend and writing mentor offered me a position as a columnist for a quarterly devotional newsletter. Since then, I’ve written for magazines, websites, and other publications, including curriculum guides. In addition, I teach online writing classes for teens and adults, offer copywriting and editing services, and maintain my personal blog.
When I am not writing, I like to walk, garden, cook, and spend time with my family, which includes a super cute 4-year-old grandson. My current projects include a collaborative work on an historical fiction novel. I also keep the books for my husband’s carpentry business.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about a writing career?

In the early days, a writer I admire advised me to, “Call yourself a writer.” Her advice was hard to follow at first because I was timid about proclaiming it to the masses. Once I started saying it, though, it built and gave me courage and confidence to move forward.

Another favorite piece of advice came during a recent interview with author Ann Gabhart. She said, “Rejection is not fatal.” You know what? She’s right. It stings, but ultimately it takes us where we are destined to go.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or bloggers?

One favorite writer, perhaps you’ve heard of her, is Jennifer Brown Banks. I love her blog; she shares wonderful advice for writers of every level and genre. Other blogging favorites include Susan J. Reinhardt, Chuck Sambuchino, Terry Whalin, and Jeff Goins.

As for authors, I enjoy James Scott Bell. He not only writes great fiction, but also pens terrific books on the craft, such as The Art of War for Writers and Plot and Structure. Fiction authors Liz Curtis Higgs, Cathy Gohlke, Julie Klassen, Laura Frantz, and Jody Hedlund inspire me as well. These talented women have a gift for creating wonderful stories.

What’s your take on social media?

I just read a post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog that discussed platforms and unpublished authors. Regarding social media she said, ”… your writing is top priority. If that’s not working, all the rest will be irrelevant anyway.”

It was a good reminder for me - while social media has great benefits, it can also be a colossal waste of time. Balance is important, I think, and that balance is different for everyone.

Tell us a little about your Coffeehouse class and your teaching philosophy.

The Coffeehouse for Writers is a site where writers will find resources, forums, and online classes. I teach Basic Boot Camp for Writers, which is a four-week refresher that reviews writing fundamentals such as active/passive voice, homophones, subject/verb agreement, and a whole lot more. This user-friendly course is designed with the busy adult lifestyle in mind.

I believe that no matter where we are in our writing journey, we can benefit from stretching our skills. Lessons discuss ways to keep our writing fresh and on track through interesting prompts and assignments. Students interact with each other on a private forum, and receive my personalized feedback on every assignment. I love working and interacting with other writers. We all have something to offer each other.



Thank you Jennifer, for inviting me to stop by!

BIO
Karen Lange is a fan of chocolate, hockey, and Pen and Prosper. She is also a writer, blogger, and online writing instructor at the Coffeehouse for Writers. Visit her blog at karenelange.blogspot.com/

40 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jennifer, for inviting me over. It's been a pleasure!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Jennifer, for hosting this wonderful interview with Karen Lange. Karen is an amazing woman and a treasured friend. I have been privileged to follow her growth as a writer over the years, and I praise God for the way He is using her to build His Kingdom.

    Blessings,

    MaryAnn
    ________________________________
    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    www.maryanndiorio.com
    www.thewritepower.blogspot.com
    www.njscw.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet and kind words, MaryAnn. You are, and always will be, a treasured friend. I am glad that I took someone's wise advice and called myself a writer. :)

      Blessings to you,
      Karen

      Delete
  3. Busy adult lifestyle - does it come any other way?
    Good interview with Karen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is true Alex! lol I suppose it's a given. Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 28, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    Thanks, Karen, for your time, and for allowing us to get to know you better. It was indeed a pleasure. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a pleasure for me as well. :) Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Great interview. Thanks Jennifer and Karen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carol! Appreciate you stopping by!

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  6. Rejections are non-fatal...boy is that good to remember!
    Great interview Karen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I love that one! Thanks a bunch!

      Delete
  7. There's some information here that I need to heed. Good interview with helpful advice.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming by!

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  8. I so enjoy and appreciate your insight! I got my first rejection this year, but hey- figure it is my fist year really sharing so more to come! You are very inspiring, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? :) Best wishes with future submissions!

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  9. Karen, I think calling ourselves writers is important too. It's nothing to be ashamed of, even if it takes decades to "make it". Lots of people say they want to do it. Fewer actually do. Even fewer stick it out for the long haul.

    And rejections aren't the end of the world. Usually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Those who stick to it reap the benefits. There are worse things than rejections, and thankfully, we can get over them. :)

      Delete
  10. Nice job Jennifer and Karen! Enjoyed the post. Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Jennifer knows how to do a great interview. :)

      Delete
  11. Great interview, Karen and Jennifer. Karen, I like the advice about calling yourself a writer. It does add confidence, and I think helps writers strive to learn their profession inside and out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think you are right; we are truly writers as we learn and grow. :)

      Delete
  12. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Thanks, all! I really appreciate your time and feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jen:

    Thank you for this interview. I enjoyed getting to know Karen better.

    Karen:

    I appreciate you passing along the sage writing advice you were given. I'm glad you found encouragement early on in the writing community, especially since you've been such a source of encouragement to me.

    Good luck with your historical fiction novel!

    Be well, ladies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate your support. :) I too, am glad we've met. Thanks so much!

      Delete
  14. Loved this interview. Great advice and wisdom shared here. I also love "The Art of War for Writers" Brilliant book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! James Scott Bell knows what he's talking about, doesn't he?

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your two bits of advice, Karen. They help keep my perspective straight if I keep them in mind.

    Jennifer, thank you for hosting Karen. She's a delight.

    P.S. - The editor in me couldn't let the typo stand. Hence, the deletion. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rhonda! You're a peach, you know that, right?

      Delete
  17. Thoroughly enjoyed this interview, Jennifer. Sounds like you're an incredibly busy lady, Karen! But it also seems like you love what you do. And that's important. Have a blessed weekend and enjoy the upcoming 4th of July!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by - your support is always appreciated! Happy 4th and weekend to you too! :)

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  18. Thanks Karen and Jennifer! I love to hear about my blogger friends "real lives". I find what people "do" so interesting.

    The historical colaboration sounds intriguing!

    Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice to see what other writers are up to, isn't it? I always enjoy that too. Blessings to you too. Thanks a bunch!

      Delete
  19. Thanks ladies for a great interview! Always love to read about fellow bloggers and their writing adventures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marja! I agree, it's nice to see what we all are up to. :)

      Delete
  20. Great interview! I'm honored to be mentioned in the same breath with those other bloggers. :)

    Blessings,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you are one of my favorites...But you must promise not to get the big head, okay? lol :)

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  21. It's always nice to find out about our blogging friends. I enjoy Karen's blog. She does a lot of research on the writing craft and passes it along to others. Thank you,Jennifer for interviewing her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cecelia, thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate your kind words. I'm blessed to have met you, and always enjoy stopping by your blog. :)

      Delete
  22. I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!
    ! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

    Here is my web blog ... where to purchase african mango

    ReplyDelete


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