10 Things About Me!

1. My three favourite things are writing, reading, and drinking tea. Usually in that order!

2. When I was growing up I wanted to be a fiction writer. I ended up being a journalist but I wasn't very good at finding stories - I just liked the actual writing of them.

3. I'm scared of snakes. Really, really scared. Sneaky, silent, slithery snakes. One of my biggest achievements was staying in the Shearers' quarters at a cattle station in central Australia. Every night I had to check there were no King Brown snakes in my bed before I climbed in.

4. I grew up reading anything and everything, even at night-time when I was supposed to be asleep. I spent a lot of my pocket money on new batteries for my torch, so I could read under the duvet!

5. My favourite children's books are The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, Varjak Paw by SF Said, and Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

6. All the characters I write about are real to me. The best ones become my friends.

7. The first thing I had published was a letter in the Daily Mail when I was 11. I've still got a copy of it, even though it was a long time ago!

8. I get lots of my ideas when I'm soaking in the bath. It's also a good way to get clean!

9. It's my dream to visit every country in the world. At the last count I'd been to 24 so there's still a long way to go. 

10. I am a woman of many names! Mostly, I write children's stories under the name of Karen Owen. Sometimes, I've been Kate Owen and written short stories for children's magazines such as the BBC's Girl Talk. In between times, I write short stories for grown ups, which have been printed by magazines and publishers like Accent Press, The Yellow Room, Woman and Take A Break.