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Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Karen Halvorsen Schreck is the author of two previous novels, Dream Journal and While He Was Away. She received her doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her short stories and articles have appeared in Literal Latté, Other Voices, Image, as well as other literary journals and magazines, and have received various awards, including a Pushcart Prize, an Illinois State Arts Council Grant, and in 2009, first prize awards for memoir and devotional magazine writing from the Evangelical Press Association. A freelance writer and frequent visiting professor of English at Wheaton College, Karen lives with her husband and two children in Wheaton, Illinois.
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My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Open eyes. Open hands. Open heart. Open mind.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. People have historically commented on my hair, but as I age, I think it’s not so much noticed. Which is fine by me. People also say I carry a kind of sadness, which inevitably makes me sad, whether I am or not. Maybe my attitude of listening? I’ve been told that, too. I’ll take that.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. My two children. That’s what my first response is. And then a host of brave folks floods my thoughts, including Malala Yousafzai, and the others like her, unknown to the larger world, who are committed to peace and the education of women. But then I think of people living with illness and pain, people living on the streets, and people who appear to be keeping it perfectly together every day, and I wonder at how each and every one of us is someone to be deeply admired. Plato’s familiar adage, right? “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

Q. What do you regret most?

A. I most regret my tendency toward self-consciousness. I wish I had earlier learned that it is all right, and in fact necessary, to take risks and make mistakes

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. The way screens dominate our lives so that we can’t even look away when other people talk to us.

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