Karen Pashley is an author, an encourager, and a storyteller. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, in 2014 she won the unpublished novel competition at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers’ Conference.
In addition to being passionate about women’s fiction, Karen is an accomplished foodie and the founder of Girls Dine In. The monthly “girls only” gathering at her home is part supper club, part cooking class, and part inspiration.
Karen and her husband, Jay, live in Nashville, Tennessee with the youngest of their four daughters.
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
For sure. Divine Detours are what makes the Christian journey so fascinating! One detour in my life happened a few years back. We wanted to move from Florida to Upstate New York to be near our families. We bought property, started the building plans, hired the architect. But something was keeping us from feeling at peace as we moved towards construction. We continued to try and appease the uneasy feelings, but eventually agreed that we didn’t feel led to move, and we pulled the plug on the project. We decided to stay put in Florida. A few months later, my husband and I visited Nashville for an impromptu weekend getaway. We fell in love with the area. We left wondering if maybe we were being led to move the family to Nashville. Several months later, we stepped out in faith and asked God to show us some specific signs. He did. We uprooted our kids, left behind our house and our business, and moved. The detour took us down a path of faith and leaning on God that never would have happened otherwise. And it has deepened our family’s trust in God’s plan for our lives.
What started you on your writing journey?
The story for Precious in His Sight came to me like a movie in my mind while traveling through the Massachusetts countryside with my family one summer. The characters, the settings, and the plot were so compelling to me that I couldn’t shake the questions they brought to my mind. When we pulled over at a little country store to fill up on gas and snacks, I grabbed a dust-covered spiral notebook from a rack, returned to the passenger seat, and over the next hour or so, I wrote the outline for my first novel. After that trip, the notebook was tucked in a drawer and forgotten for a couple years. Then one day, I pulled it out, looked through my notes and thought, I should write a novel. I should tell this story. And my writing journey was born!
Let’s talk about Precious in His Sight (April 2016). Please tell us about it.
It’s a story of a prominent southern wife, struggling to come to terms with the emotional, spiritual and social challenges she faces in the aftermath of her husband’s affair. It’s a story of messy people desperately yearning for peace and hope in the midst of their messy lives. It’s a story of hardship, hope, and the power of forgiveness.
Who is your favorite character in the story, and if you had to describe him/her with one word, what would it be?
My favorite character is Sugar Brennan, the fiercely-determined, somewhat obsessively self-conscious, adorable wife. One word? That’s tough. But I’d say she is tenacious. And that’s a characteristic I love.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
No question about it. Pizza. I love pizza. Probably because I’ve been on a low-sodium diet for a medical condition for years, so pizza is taboo. But, occasionally I do indulge. And I savor every cheesy bite!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’m definitely the little girl trying to walk in heels. I still have a lot I want to achieve, and I look to women who’ve already walked the walk for inspiration. I try to learn form their experience, and I drum up a lot of motivation by reading about the amazing accomplishments from women I admire. Sometimes the only way to get out and do something bigger than yourself is to put on your big girl shoes and take some wobbly steps.[ctt title=” I look to women who’ve already walked the walk for inspiration. ~ Karen Pashley” tweet=” I look to women who’ve already walked the walk for inspiration. ~ @k_pashley http://ctt.ec/d31vF+” coverup=”d31vF”]
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We have a sweet, though not too bright, little Cavapoo named Mocha. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cuteness. She bats her adorable eyes at us, and pretty much gets whatever she wants. Come to think of it, maybe she’s smarter than we think!
Thanks, Karen! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Karen and her upcoming inspirational Christian fiction debut, Precious in His Sight, visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Karen is also available for speaking engagements. And be sure to check out the cooking page on her site!