Karen Gray is, without a doubt, my favourite author of 2015. Her books For King and Country and Chains of Blood and Steel have a very unique plot and are told with such skill and imagination you can’t help but become hooked. It is with great pleasure I present an interview with her.
About the author
Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Author Bio)
Karen Gray grew up in a town called Livingston, in central Scotland.
She was horse mad from an early age and moved to Aberdeen at 17 to do a degree in Equine Science. After moving back home to Livingston 4 years later she worked as a care assistant for the elderly and infirm until she got a job in the equestrian industry. Since then she followed her line of work across Scotland to Greenock where she met her husband.
After leaving her job as a riding instructor to have her eldest child, Karen was never able to return to work. Her husband’s health deteriorated to the point he needed her available at any time of the day. She now cares for him and their 2 children full time. She began writing again shortly after the birth of her second child and has not stopped since. Writing is her first passion before all others and though she is working on other artistic projects, her writing comes first.
She is now about to embark on the fourth novel in the Warrior Queen Series, the first series from The Saga of Thistles and Roses.
What are your hobbies?
Writing (obviously) photography and graphic design. Crochet and anything to do with horses.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment, and why?
I want to say my kids because what mother wouldn’t? But I know that’s probably not what you mean. I could say writing my books, but I’m not finished yet so they in theory cannot be an achievement until the Saga is complete.
So I will say that my greatest achievement is no single thing but a series of much smaller gestures and achievements mostly to do with my career in the horse world. I Took on a 3 year old Clydesdale on deaths door who’d had cancer and was now lighter than a welsh pony and missing an eye. I turned him into a bombproof horse for a disabled rider. I knew taking him on that he could just drop dead (the cancer was on his retinal nerve and very close to his brain) We gave him 7 fantastic years before the cancer came back, and we lost him 4 weeks before he turned 10.
I’ve connected to severely disabled children and adults by taking a unique approach to teaching them, in some cases actually gaining the only spoken words ever uttered to someone other than family. I’m really proud of that.
I’ve helped countless people confront, combat and overcome their fears with regard to horses specifically. I kind of put it down to knowing exactly how badly fear can cripple you and understanding it at a fundamental and basic level and because I know that it helps me to teach people how to deal with it.
There are a thousand more little things like this that all combine to make me proud of being the best instructor I could be while I was still teaching and training.
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