Please introduce yourself.
My name is Karen Ingalls, an author, blogger, survivor, and advocate. I am the author of three books and several articles. I volunteer, advocate, and write about women’s health issues.
I write two weekly blogs: www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and www.kareningalls.blogspot.com. The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, and spirituality while the second one is for writers and avid readers.
- When did you start writing?
I began writing at around ten or eleven years old. I wrote poetry, short stories, and started a novel besides journaling about my life. Coming from a dysfunctional family I found writing to be a way to deal with it. Reading was another escape so I was an avid reader.
- What motivates you to write?
I am motivated by something deep inside me. I like to address social and health issues. I believe that through articles, pamphlets, and books important and inspirational information can reach the general public.
- What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
My genre for non-fiction is health/wellness. For fiction it is historical or biographical. I am a retired RN and nurse therapist who has used complementary therapies right next to traditional medicine. I believe they both have a role in our whole health. This is what I did before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and continued it with full support from my oncologist.
I have always liked to read historical and biographical fiction and non-fiction. My family history lends itself to write about a too often loss of healthy father-son relationships, and the strong scorn my grandfather suffered as an illegitimate child. Things have changed since the 1880’s, but there is still a stigma attached in many cases.
I find people fascinating and love to learn about their lives…and then write about them.
- What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I like to write fiction and non-fiction that might bring some peace, sense of hope, understanding, or love to the reader. Social and health issues are my motivators for books, publications, and articles.
My dream is that through writing “Outshine” and my various articles women will begin to pay attention and act on any symptom that is typical of ovarian cancer. 22,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed, but 14,000 of us will die before 5 years. The main reasons are because of the subtlety of the symptoms, women not listening to their bodies (especially below the waist), physicians not considering ovarian cancer as the first diagnosis to rule out, and lack of good testing. Therefore too many women are diagnosed in the later stages of III and IV.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Writer’s block does not happen very often, but when it does I do well to first step away from my desk and do some activity (walking, gardening, etc.) that takes my mind off the writing process. Then I go back to my desk, meditate, and as I gaze out at the lake I let the words come to me.
- What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Trust yourself; believe in yourself. The publishing world is a difficult world to understand, maneuver through, and from which to be recognized. However, do NOT give up. Contact author and writer blogs, websites; check out book clubs (my favorite is Rave Reviews Book Club); do book presentations, and use social media aggressively.
- Please, tell us about your work.
My first book is titled, “Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.” It won first place in the category of Women’s Health for the Indie Excellence Book Awards. All proceeds go to gynecologic cancer research. Ovarian cancer is one in which there is little awareness even within the medical field. There will be 70% of the diagnosed women who will not survive this disease every year.
A novel, “Novy’s Son” is based on a true story of a son searching for his father’s love and acceptance. This is a common social problem when a father is unable to teach his son what it is to be a man and a father himself someday. This has been coined the loss of the “Iron John” by Robert Bly.
My recent novel, “Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens” is based on the true story of America’s preeminent sculptor from 1880-1920’s and his model. The love affair lasted twenty-five years.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!