Friday, November 25, 2011

Author Karen Jones Gowen On Writing And A Giveaway

9 fin cropped(1)The multi-talented Karen Jones Gowen wears many hats, but today it’s my pleasure to welcome her to Thoughts in Progress under the cap of author as she tours blogdom with her current release, HOUSE OF DIAMONDS.

Here’s a brief summary of her book: In this sequel to Gowen’s debut novel, UNCUT DIAMONDS, she follows sisters Cindy and Marcie as they reach a crossroads in their lives. HOUSE OF DIAMONDS tells the story of two women, one facing opportunity the other tragedy. Can their bond endure? 

Marcie pursues her dream of becoming a published writer while Cindy must deal with a terrible tragedy. In this gripping story of faith, loss and the transcending nature of sacrifice, Gowen gives voice to a beloved baby who has none. She shows the incredible power that comes to families when they pull together to overcome challenges. It is at these times that a house of pain can become a house of diamonds. 

Thanks to Karen and WiDo Publishing, I have 2 print copies of HOUSE OF DIAMONDS to giveaway to 2 lucky visitors who comment on this post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 11. Be sure to leave your e-mail address if it’s not included in your profile.

Karen joins us to explain what inspired your books.

My first book, FARM GIRL was my mother’s story. My second, UNCUT DIAMONDS, based on my husband and me (thinly disguised as Shawn and Marcie McGill), and our experiences as a young couple going through rough times. HOUSE OF DIAMONDS is largely the story of my sister’s baby, who had a brain tumor. It is also about my own ambitions (thinly disguised as Marcie McGill) to write while trying to raise a large number of young children.  

House of Diamonds-cover(1)My current work in progress, LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE SNOW, is about addiction and divorce, not based on myself or anyone I know. I guess I had to get all the autobiographical stuff churning inside of me out onto paper before I could move on. But I’m pretty sure my husband will be very embarrassed when CANDLES is published, as people are used to me writing from and about my own life (thinly disguised as the McGill family.)

I enjoy writing from personal life experiences while embellishing things, adding events and characters that never existed except in my imagination. And then my family reads it and says, “I remember  when that happened,” and I say, “Really? Because that scene was entirely made up!”  Haha! 

After reading HOUSE OF DIAMONDS, my husband said, “You never told me about what happened with you and that Professor Yardley character in the Kmart.”  And I said, “It didn’t happen. I write fiction not memoir.” He looked confused and said, “But it sounded so real.”

Good! That means I did my job!

Karen, thanks so much for guest blogging. I love the fact that you can make your husband believe your stories are true. That’s priceless and says volumes for your work. Way to go.

Now for a little background on Karen. Born and raised in central Illinois, the daughter of a Methodist minister from Indiana and a school teacher from Nebraska, Karen has down-to-earth Midwestern roots. She attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, then transferred to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After converting to Mormonism at the age of 20, she transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, where she met her future husband. She obtained her degree at BYU in English and American Literature.

Karen and Bruce have lived in Utah, Illinois, California and Washington, currently residing near Salt Lake City. They are the parents of 10 children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Karen's writing.

For more on Karen and her writing, visit her website at and her blog, Coming Down the Mountain: A Writer's Blog

Preorder print book HOUSE OF DIAMONDS from the publisher's website and get UNCUT DIAMONDS for free! HOUSE OF DIAMONDS is also available for the Kindle and for the Nook. In addition, HOUSE OF DIAMONDS is now available on the new online bookstore,, in all formats. 

Thanks for stopping by. Do you enjoy stories that have a touch of ‘real life family issues’ included? Remember you have until Dec. 11th to comment for a chance at 1 of 2 print copies of HOUSE OF DIAMONDS.


  1. Hi Mason and Karen .. what a great read .. many insights .. and I'm so looking forward to reading your Diamond books .. real, yet made up .... sounds just so clever -

    Raising 10 kids sounds enough for me .. am so pleased to read about Candles - how you do it .. and bake your scrumptilicous cookies I'll never know ..

    Thanks Mason and Karen - have a great rest of the Thanksgiving weekend .. Hilary

  2. Karen, thanks again for guest blogging. I enjoy learning the background of your books. Wishing you much success with all your endeavors. And those cookies you bake sound yummy.

  3. Hilary, thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful week and weekend too. All my best.

  4. Mason, Thank you for hosting me! I am honored to be a guest on your wonderful book review blog and appreciate the chance to talk about writing from real life.

    Hilary, Nice to see you here!

  5. Of course, I do. Those are the stories that I enjoy the most. My favorite writers include a touch of realistic family life in their stories!

  6. Oooh so fab to read a little of the wonderful KarenG's next book!! Hooorah! Thanks Mason for the interview and Go KarenG, Go!!! Onwards and upwards! Take care

  7. Make sure your husband understands the next book isn't based on your life at all or he just might panic!!

  8. Best wishes on your book which sounds compelling. family issues make novels fascinating reading. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. What an interesting post. Your writing career incorporates many aspects of life which is important. What else do we like to read about? At least, I do. The House of Diamonds cover is striking and unique. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. 10 kids continues to amaze me. Seriously.

    Waving to Mason.

  11. I'll have to remember to use that with husband :-) Always fun to read you, Karen

  12. What a good sport your hubby must be. =D


  13. I've recently added both these books to my TBR pile. They sound a really good read. One of those books to curl up with on a cold day. Wonderful.

  14. Lovely to see Karen over here! I've read 'House of Diamonds' and it did indeed sound very real -- so kudos to Karen for doing her job, and doing it well!

    Hi Mason! :)

  15. Karen, you always amaze me with your boundless energy. How you can raise 10 kids, write books, be a wife and put big Thanksgiving meals on the table ...... You've just "got it."

  16. Hi Mason and Karen - yay I won your book Karen .. unless Mason was teasing me in the email .. but it's too early for an April Fool!!

    Fantastic - I'm looking forward to receiving the book and having a good read .. thank you so much .. a New Year present .. wonderful.

    Happy Christmas and New Year one and all .. Hilary

  17. Hi KarenG,
    It's really amazing!!!
    Nice to know more about you
    and your works.
    Keep up the good work
    Keep inform


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