Friday, 15 October 2021

Karen Wolfe – a writer with a lifelong affinity for dogs


Karen Wolfe is an award-winning author, having won the Square Dog Northern writers contest in 2006 and 2009 with stories subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Another of her stories won the 2009 Aesthetica Literary Fiction prize, and a fourth won the 2010 Village Writers award.

She remembers writing stories from the age of five or six. As she grew up, she graduated from fairies and pirates to adventure tales driven by her favourite books or TV shows. Programmes about cowboys led her to write about the exploits of daring children and their ponies; dogs often had prominent roles in her prose, initially prompted by Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, then progressing, via The Jungle Book, to wild animals, primarily wolves, tamed and trained by Karen herself.

Karen always had an affinity for animals, especially dogs. She grew up in a wild area of the Yorkshire coast where her mother and grandmother kept a large pack of cairn terriers, who were her playmates and confidantes. She spent many childhood hours helping out at a local kennels, and riding around on a local farmer’s wild Galloway pony, when she could catch him.

At sixteen, Karen won a Yorkshire-wide essay competition, and at eighteen, went to train as a primary school teacher, studying English literature, education and evolution and pre-history.

Karen continued to write. As a mother, she created picture-books, rag-books and stories for her children. A long-time fan of Terry Pratchett, her first novels were comic fantasy following the fortunes of the beleaguered members of Barlesham Seers' Guild. She has written six Seers novels, two of which are available on Amazon.

Seers


 

Another of Karen’s long-time favourite authors was Gerald Durrell. She loved his humour and affection when he wrote about animals. Wanting to emulate that, she drew on her lifetime’s experience and observation of dogs, and started to make them central to her writing.

In 2014, having been involved in obedience training classes for some years, Karen began writing a monthly dog column for the local community newspaper https://hornseacommunitynews.uk.

Following the canine theme, Karen started a series of comic crime novels in which the protagonist is a tireless advocate for canine welfare, keeping a large and diverse pack of dogs with her at all times.

 

 

 

The third novel in this series is underway. In addition, Karen plans to put together the 90+ canine articles she has written and republish them as a book.




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