Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, Karen Quevillon grew up running through the woods and escaping into the book worlds created by authors like L.M. Montgomery, Monica Hughes, and Richard Adams. She wrote short stories at a young age, but the joy of fiction did not seem a “serious” enough career to pursue.
Instead, she wrote lots of essays, eventually earning a PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University in Chicago. While researching her dissertation in Paris she binge-read English novels to counteract her feelings of isolation. There, she awoke to the idea that the problems she was analyzing in her academic work—problems of power, agency, and identity—might be more richly explored and encountered through narratives. Mental note: write a novel.
Returning to Canada, Karen soon started a family, and soon gave up on landing a tenure-track job in the academy. She began freelancing as a copywriter while teaching writing, literature, and humanities courses on a part-time basis. At some point she came to realize that creative writing, however impractical it may seem, was something she had to do. It was either her purpose in life, or else, a serious addiction.
Since 2008, Karen’s short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been published in a variety of North American literary journals, including Grain Magazine, FreeFall, In/Words, Obra/Artifact, The Fieldstone Review, and Maple Tree Literary Supplement. Her work has won awards with Geist Magazine, the Writer’s Union of Canada and GritLit, among other venues, and she has contributed poems to the recent volumes When All Else Fails: Motherhood in Precarious Times and the Canadian League of Poet’s collection Heartland: Poems for the Love of Trees.
She enjoys writing in different genres and breaking writing rules, such as ‘write what you know’ and ‘write every day.’ Fascinated by the power of the imagination, Karen likes thinking about the creative process, most recently in relation to the therapeutic potential of writing. She is a PEN America mentor, avid Twitter user, and keen gardener. When not at her desk, she can usually be found hiking a local woodland trail with her two children and their small fluffy dog.
Regal House Publishing is delighted to publish Karen’s work of historical fiction, The Parasol Flower, in 2020.