Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Would you rather...with Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Please welcome Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author of Broken Ground.

Karen Halvorsen Schreck:


Karen Halvorsen Schreck is the author of the historical novel Sing For Me (Simon & Schuster), which was praised in a Publishers Weekly starred review. She received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Schreck teaches writing and literature and lives with her husband, photographer Greg Halvorsen Schreck, and their two children in Wheaton, Illinois.

Connect with Karen:
Website    Facebook     Twitter   Goodreads

Would You Rather... 
with Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Chips. Tortilla, to be exact, with my dear friend Janet’s homemade guacamole.

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Carrie Bradshaw. I’ll take a pass on the Jimmy Choos, but the clothes the clothes the clothes (in a more forgiving size), count me in. Dress up is fun.

Wine, beer or vodka?

Wine. Lately, Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc. Hold the oak.

Camping or spa vacation?

SPA VACATION. I tried to love camping. I really did. But as of late, I’ll take nature with a healthy serving of bed. A soup├žon of massage is always welcome, too.

Water or mountains?

Water. Big, beautiful, crashing, surging, rushing, flowing, rippling, lapping, calming, still as glass. Water in all its natural  manifestations.

Zombies or vampires?

My kids get a kick out of zombies. So zombies.

Dogs or cats?

With every passing day, I grow more enamored of dogs. I respect cats. But I love dogs.

Coke or Pepsi?

Can I say seltzer water? I’m known for navigating the world with a can of Klarbrunn or La Croix in my hand. But Coke, I guess, especially if I need a mid-afternoon kick.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the morning before noon. Herbal tea after that. A gal’s gotta sleep.

Dine out or take away?

These days, as long as I don’t have to cook and clean up, it’s your call.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

Sneakers. Sigh. A botched foot surgery has put me off the other two for good.

Physical Book or ebook?

Let’s get physical, physical! (Unless I’m traveling, in which case digital better serves.)

Paperback or Hardcover?

I want to say hardcover because hard cover books are such gorgeous objects. But because I do so much reading in bed, I’ve come to prefer beefy paperbacks.

Pen or pencil?

Wow, this is the hardest question yet. I use both for different reasons. It’s like asking a general contractor if she prefers a hammer or a screwdriver. I must decline; I need both in my tool belt.

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Once upon a time it was Mad Men—what a gorgeous creation it is. But then I got brave and watched Breaking Bad, and . . . well, let’s put it this way. I learned as much from that show about crafting story as I’ve ever learned from any book on writing.

Drama or comedy?

Comedy is sosososo hard, and it’s frequently sosososo bad. So, though what the world needs now is a lot more healthy laughter, I put my trust in drama.

Twilight or Hunger Games?

OMG, Hunger Games. Don’t even get me started on Twilight.

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Lipstick is my armor.

Facebook or Twiter?

I’m on Twitter and I try really hard but with rare exceptions, it leaves me a bit empty. So Facebook, with all the pretty pictures and relative space. (Can I put in a plug for Instagram? Ok: Instagram.)

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?
I start out flying by the seat of my pants, trying to figure out what the book’s about, writing this way and that, hither and yon. But there’s comes a point when I have to map it. Then more writing, and remapping. And so it goes.
Broken Ground

Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.

At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the forced deportation of Mexican migrant workers due to the Repatriation Act put into place during President Herbert Hoover’s administration.

After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another.
Available at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kindle Nook Kobo 

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