Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview with Karen Robbins

I'm pleased to present Karen Robbins, author of Murder Among The Orchids

Tell us all about your writing  journey.
My writing journey, as Casey in Murder Among the Orchids might say, is a lot like a baseball season. The batting average goes up and down. Sometimes you hit a single, sometimes a home run and sometimes you strike out. I've never been a good waiter and I get very impatient sometimes when God makes me wait but it's always best when it is in His timing and I've seen the rewards of waiting. My journey started out in 1987 with my first published essay in a Sunday school take-home paper. Along the way I've written for magazines, newspapers, and anthologies (including the Chicken Soup for the Soul books), coauthored several books and had a few of my own published. Right now, like my favorite baseball team, the Indians, I'm experiencing a great season but I know there will be a time to rest and a time to write (Spring training) and another season opener where I'm up to bat again. But like Casey's friend, Max, said, "God's the manager. When He says 'bunt,' you bunt.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?
A while ago I had a family crisis that had me driving from one end of town to the other and praying all the way for guidance in the situation. I was totally frustrated and remember shouting out loud, "God just tell me what you want me to do!" All of a sudden a church sign appeared along side the road that said, "Relax, God is in control." As Casey and Max investigate the murder of Casey's boss, there is a thread to the story that shows that God is in control--especially at the end. 

Do you like to read? What do you like to read?
I think I was born with a book in my hand. It always frustrated my mother because I would find any cubby hole I could to hide away with a book. I am an eclectic reader. In fiction, I read mysteries, love stories, suspense, character-driven stories that touch hearts, novels that take me to faraway places. But I also enjoy a good biography, a memoir, a good inspirational book, or just a fun humorous take on life. 

Can you tell us about your family?
My husband, Bob, and I will celebrate our 44th anniversary this year. We have five children who have all left the nest and eight grandchildren who have brought a whole new perspective to life. Lots of material throughout the years to coauthor our A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts.

Do you plan to write another book?
In addition to the next book in the Casey Stengel series, Death Among the Deckchairs, which I hope to finish this summer, I have several others in progress. One will be published in the fall. It's one of my favorites that I wrote a long time ago but has just now found a publisher. The title is In a Pickle and it is about a 65 year old widowed pickle entrepreneur who manages to get marijuana instead of marjoram into her pickle recipe and finds herself. . .well, you get the title now. In addition to that, I also have a historical that I've been working on that takes place during the Great Depression. 

Do you have a website or a blog?
My blog is called Writer's Wanderings and is travel themed since Bob and I travel so much and the places we visit often become part of my stories. http://karenrobbins.blogspot.com
My website is www.karenrobbins.com

Karen is a mom, grandmother, travel addict, and scuba diver.  She has published over 250 articles and essays in regional, national, and online publications. Recently, in addition to her mystery, Murder Among The Orchids,  Karen  coauthored A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts (Leafwood Publisher) and contributed stories to three Chicken Soup For The Soul books: The Magic of Mothers & Daughters, Here Comes The Bride, and Married Life! An award winning Toastmaster speaker, Karen and her family make their home in Ohio


  1. sounds like another great book..will have to check it out..

  2. Great interview! This book sounds very good!

    1. Molly, Thank you so much for stopping by!

    2. Molly, You are the winner of this book. E-mail me your mailing address themaryreader@yahoo.com

    3. Woohoo!!! Thank you so much! I can't wait to get it! :)

    4. Molly,
      Mary has sent me your address. We are currently out of the country but will be home in a day or two and I will get it in the mail to you.

  3. Ok, now that's funny! I love it when God answers our prayers like that. "Relax! God is in control" I fail to see coincidence in that!

    This sounds like a very fun read ~ thank you, Mary, for hosting Karen today, and thanks for the opportunity to win her book!
    amanda38401 at gmail dot com

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Great interview...one I can relate to, impatience. I always need to remind myself to let go and let God!

  5. Great interview and the book sounds so good. I will have to check it out.


  6. Thank you all for the encouraging comments! And thank you, Mary, for hosting me on your blog. I am an avid reader as well and always interested in hearing about new books.

  7. Book was wonderful...I still laugh cuz my hubby came to bed every evening saying...I know who did it...he was never right! Just when you think you have it figured out, it changes! Great read.