Award Winning Author

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Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of "The Chosen Chronicles" which include "Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles," "Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles," and "Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles." She is currently at work on "Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles" and a Historical Romance set in Edo Japan.
Karen loves receiving emails from fans. If you'd like to email her:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hallowe'en's 4000 Likes GIVEAWAY!

In appreciation of all my fans, I am offering this wonderful Giveaway! Hope you'll celebrate the Hallowe'en season by entering. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Teaching Creative Writing!!!

I'm so excited!!! I'll be teaching CREATIVE WRITING for the City of Toronto.
If you're interested in signing up, I'm teaching it at two locations. Here's the info, course number and where to sign up! It's open to everyone.

Stephen Leacock Community Centre (Studio Rm C)
(2520 Birchmount Road, Scarborough)
Mondays starting October 7th 10am to 12pm  -  8 Weeks
Course number: 2343224

Annette Rec Centre (Dance Studio C)
(333 Annette St, North of High Park)
Sundays starting September 29th 10am to 12pm  -  9 Weeks
Course Number: 2343033
416 392-0736

You can register ONLINE at


You can call the Locations at the phone numbers provided above and sign up that way.

Friday, March 22, 2013

3000 Words

I have been a writer since I could hold pencil to paper. Most authors can claim the same.

Through my school years I was lucky enough to have teachers that encouraged my creative writing. I even 'self-published' a short story when I was in Grade 5 as part of an English project. I still remember the story--Tuesday Jane Disappeared. I remember the editing process with my teacher. I recall the pictures I drew to illustrate the story. I can still visualize how this book looked when it was bound with a cover I created. It was the spark that ignited the desire to write professionally.

In high school, I took all of the creative writing courses offered. I couldn't get enough, but that wasn't all. I was blessed with teachers who allowed their students to be creative in their assignments. Instead of an essay, I created a fake newspaper. Instead of spouting off facts by rote for tests, I was allowed to write fiction so long as the facts were still there. In my four years there, my love for writing grew.

In university I joined the faculty of humanities so that I could enter their creative writing department. Nervous, I presented my portfolio and was accepted for 1st year creative writing. I loved it. I loved learning how to craft fiction, how to edit it, how to make words flow in a way that would delight readers. I applied for second year. A smaller number were chosen. I got in. Third year came, the hardest to get into. I applied and I was chosen. I was thrilled. I learned more, but now I was placed in the position of being a prose writer in a group of poets. I don't do poetry. I don't like it. I don't write it. That's me. My professor loved my work. The others enjoyed it, but, being poets, couldn't offer much in the way of criticism. That was left to the professor and I learned more about editing than ever before.

Now, years later, I am a published author of three books, with at least two more on the way. I am also a freelance editor, having edited children's books to erotica. I love reading. I love writing. I love editing, but one thing I have discovered is that there is truth to the belief that one only requires 3000 words to communicate. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate well when it comes to creative writing.

If you've ever seen John Branyan's stand up sketch "The Three Little Pigs" you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Through the centuries, we have lost the use of many wonderful words in our everyday use of the language. Worse, there appears to be a similar occurance in modern literature and genre fiction.

Can one write a novel with the knowledge of 3000 words?


Will it read well?

Probably not. Word repetition on paper (or digitially) pops out. Words that repeat too often stick out like sore thumbs.

I remember reading a wonderful fantasy novel within a 10 book series. All the other books were exemplarily written and edited, except for this one book. I can't tell you how many times I saw "Nonetheless" or "Nevertheless" in the novel. I read this novel several years ago. Sadly, this is what stuck out. Thankfully, the next novel in the series didn't have this editorial faux paux.

There is a reason why the thesaurus was invented: to help writers write better; to learn new words; to ensure that creative writing includes more than the use of 3000 words.

If you are a writer, observe your process and determine better descriptives. Increase your vocabulary so that when you write your narrative you will have the tools to create lasting and profound images in the imaginations of your audience. Lastly, so that your editor can see that you can write beyond a grade 6 reading/writing level and not have to pull you up by your bootstraps to learn more than 3000 words.

I have been accused of using words that my readers don't know. If it means that they have to go to a dictionary to look it up to learn the meaning of a new word, then I know, as an author, I am doing more than providing entertainment...I am providing education.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reviews and Writers

I've been thinking and debating and debating and thinking about whether to write about this topic for quite some time. Lately I've come to realize I need to state something very important to me--reading reviews from people who have read my novels really lifts my spirits and gives me the encouragement to keep on writing. Because of how I feel about reviews, I--rightly or wrongly--extrapolate from that to include that most other authors take pleasure and encouragement from reading reviews of their books, thus I ALWAYS leave reviews of novels I have read, whether the authors are friends (in the real or virtual worlds) or not.

I'm sure many of you who are reading this has seen the postings on Facebook, Twitter, etc., how best to support the authors you enjoy--by leaving reviews. In a sense, having readers do so has replaced fan mail, thus telling the world for everyone to see what the reader really thinks about the book. This garners the all important word-of-mouth, which, as authors, we hope will engender others to read our works.

So why am I writing about something that many people already know about? Well, there's a difference between knowing and acting. I know that my books sell--a lot, but I, as a reader/reviewer, find it strange that there aren't more reviews posted. I know it takes  time out of one's very busy life to write and post a review, but a review doesn't need to be a book report. Sometimes the briefest of reviews can make the greatest of impacts on the writer.

I know that as an author I must write for myself--which I do, but I also know, as an author, that a pat on the back from a reader can help the words flow faster.

I also go by the adage, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all." This means be truthful in your reviews, but don't post negative reviews out of spite or in an attempt to sabotage another's dream.

If you read and/or write, please take the time to post a sentence or two of a review up on the site you bought your book from. Believe it or not, fans inspire writers as much, if not more so, than writers inspiring fans.   

If you've read any of my books in THE CHOSEN CHRONICLES, and you haven't yet posted a review, please take the time to do so. You're words will inspire me to create more works for you to enjoy, and then it'll become a wonderful cycle where everyone wins.

 Thank you!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Children and Facebook

Warning: These are MY points of view. If you disagree with them, that's fine, but please keep them to yourself.

This weekend my son, The Bug, turns 9, his last year before double digits, and as he's grown older I've become a little more sensitive to him and his use (and future use) of the internet.

Over the last year I was stunned to find several of my friends, who have children younger than 13, allow their sons/daughters to establish Facebook presenses. How did I find out about this? They sent me friendship requests. Needless to say I was stunned! Not only at these children, but at their parents who have allowed this. And yes, the parents knew about it and gave their blessings.

Yesterday a friend came over and told us about how his girlfriend's child of 9 goes onto these chat boards on the internet. I was horrified!

I understand that Facebook and the internet at large is the best way to keep in contact with loved ones, but so few have any knowledge of privacy settings or consider the implications of posting certain things up. There are trolls and dangerous individuals out there who prey on the innocence and lack of comprehension children have regarding such actions. Regardless of how things are set up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pintrest, etc., there is still the ability to completely fabricate who you are and what you intend towards others. Children do not get this. Maybe some do, but, really, I'm not going to trust some stranger over the internet to converse with my child, whom I do trust. 

My son is NOT on Facebook and DOES NOT have email, etc. His computer is in the livingroom so I can keep an eye on what he does, which, thank the Universe, is play video games on it.

These situations also stirred up long held in feelings about people using their children, or other people's children, as their Facebook Avatars, etc. I understand the exhilleration of having a new child and wanting to let everyone in the world know, posting photos the the newborn and details up on Facebook, etc. It's euphoric to be a new parent, and maybe that, coupled with sleep deprivation, caused the new parent to not consider the implications of posting that information up on the internet for everyone to see. I'm glad that Facebook was born the same year and month as my son, not getting real huge momentum until later, thus the temptation to post about my child, etc., wasn't there.

As many of you know, I very rarely, if ever, post any photos of my son, and I never reveal his name. I don't use his image as my avatar on Facebook. If I do post photos of my son they are sent to only those I've chosen to send them to through my privacy settings. If I post about my son, I don't mention his name - EVER.

My son is entitled to have privacy. My experience on Facebook and the rest of the internet is mine, not his. When he is interested, and my husband and I deem he's responsible enough and old enough, then he will be allowed an email address and to go on Facebook. But one thing's for sure, I will honour and respect Facebook's guideline that no one under 13 is allowed on. That, I believe, is one smart thing that Facebook has done.

End Rant