Karen Wallace was born in Canada and grew up in the backwoods of Quebec in a log cabin. She spent her childhood messing about on the river and building tree houses. She came to England just before the Beatles got famous and went to school and university in London. Karen has now written over 200 books, both fiction and non-fiction and has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Her latest novel for Young Adults, EMERALD, will be published on August 4th by Simon and Schuster. On EMERALD Karen says:
I have always been fascinated by Tudor times. If I could choose to be stuck in a lift with anyone, it would be Elizabeth I. With EMERALD, I wanted to find a voice that was modern and engaging. Emotions don't change like fashions and while I tried hard to make Emerald a girl of her time, she had to be first and foremost a girl who had problems and worries that anyone now might understand. At first I tried to write the story in the third person but that didn't work because I wanted the same immediacy of voice as in RASPBERRIES ON THE YANGTZE and CLIMBING A MONKEY PUZZLE TREE, alongside an authentic and believable historical background like that of WENDY or THE UNRIVALLED SPANGLES. So I wrote EMERALD in the first person and that was the breakthrough. EMERALD took me a long time to write and many of the issues in the book are ones that I have faced in my own life. It seems to me that you write best about what you know and certainly I knew a lot about how EMERALD was feeling about herself.
I also intended to make the story funny and real and there are 'laugh out loud' moments in the story. I would like to think that EMERALD marks a new, distinctive and personal approach to writing a historical novel.
I hope my readers will enjoy it.