Summer Lovin’ Tour: Author Interview with Karen Schreck
Hi everyone! Today the author of WHILE HE WAS AWAY, Karen Schreck is stopping by for an interview. I hope you enjoy!
1. How would you describe WHILE HE WAS AWAY in three words?
Love. Longing. Loyalty.
2. What did you think when you first saw the cover?
I thought: I want to go for a ride with that guy on that motorcycle through that dreamy landscape.
3. What has your journey on the way to publication been like?
I first started writing While He Was Away in 2006. It’s been through numerous revisions, moving from alternating points of view (where chapters shifted between the main character, Penna, and her grandmother, Justine) to its current incarnation, where all is seen through Penna’s eyes. The plot kept evolving, too. I was thrilled to receive my editor Leah Hultenschmidt’s direction and insight as I worked my way through the final revisions.
4. Who was your favorite character to write about in the story?
Well, I loved my main character, Penna. I got to hang out with her a lot, and the more I got to know her, the more I wished she was my real-life friend. I also loved Justine, Penna’s grandmother—she showed me that we’re never too old to ask for forgiveness and work for reconciliation. The character that took me by surprise, though, was Ravi, who becomes Penna’s friend over the course of the novel’s summer. I loved coming to understand how he’s fought his own emotional battles, stateside, and how brave he actually is.
5. What are you working on right now?
I’ve been wanting to set a novel by the Gulf Coast in Florida, where I’ve spent a lot of time, and having done so much research about Iraq, I’ve also been wanting to explore the after-effects of trauma—as in post traumatic stress disorder, aka PTSD. So I’m working on a novel related to this difficult issue, set in a beautiful place that I love. There will be a girl. There will be a boy. There will be an island, dolphins, and a dog.
Thanks for stopping by, Karen!
The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war–to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We’ll talk, we’ll email, we won’t let anything come between us.
I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn’t come home at all…?