Karen Slimick Arnpriester (October 1953) was born in Alton, Illinois and moved to California when she was eight. Karen has owned her own graphic art business for thirty years. Anessia’s Quest is her first book. Her second book is titled Raider’s Vendetta. Slimy and Miraculous Relationship are non-fiction books that share Karen's years as a bullied child and real-life miracles. The first two books of the Dream Realm trilogy, her newest endeavor, are now available. Awakening: Dream Realm One and Deception: Dream Realm Two are available as paperback and e-books through Amazon.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

My daughter, Samy, and I were preparing her for bed, and after prayers, she inspired the story concept. I had asked God to give her sweet dreams. Samy gave me a final hug and suddenly popped up with the comment that she wished we could share our dreams. That it would be so much fun. We talked for a few minutes about what we would do if we could do anything. After leaving her, the conversation kept playing over in my mind, her imagination was contagious. The idea to write Awakening began to brew and it was such a fun project to develop.  

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It wasn’t hard, it was exciting. There are absolutely no boundaries in the dream realm, and I could let my imagination pour out. I didn’t plan it out or develop a storyline. I began writing, not knowing where it would go. I love writing that way. It was an unexpected journey for me also, not just the reader. When I sensed it was time to bring in a character or to take a turn in the direction, I did. I love to see where the characters end up. There are many ways to write, and each writer needs to find what is comfortable for them.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published. I have several other books already self-published through CreateSpace which is provided through Amazon. My day job is as a graphic designer. I create my own covers and book layouts for the printed paperbacks. Self-publishing works well for me.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Awakening isn’t my first book. The first was Anessia’s Quest. When I held that printed proof, I cried. The emotions were very similar to having my first child. I didn’t expect to have such an emotional connection to the completion of the book. There was a powerful sense of accomplishment, and that makes it one of the major highlights in my life.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I am working on the third book in the Dream Realm trilogy, Vanquish. I just published the second book, Deception. I hope to have Vanquish completed by end of 2018 or early 2019. I am also working on a fiction novel, inspired by a true story, titled Leadbottom. This book is based on my history as an extremely bullied child and the long-term effect it had on my life and my choices. I am also working on another fiction novel that features a character from Anessia’s Quest. It will be titled The Prodigal Son. I hope to have it published in 2019.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

A lot of people complain about rules, laws, and accountability. I think they would be shocked at the behaviors and choices that many people would make if there were no limits. While writing the first two dream realm novels, I had to consider how badly things could go if there were no standards or stopgaps in our society.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

The story is fantasy, so entertainment is a major motivation for writing this series. The underlying message I would like the reader to receive is that evil can be overcome. That individuals can make a difference and impact the lives of others, especially those struggling. I do bring my belief in God into my writing, and I hope that my books will stimulate the reader to evaluate their own beliefs. To really focus on where they are in their spiritual journey. 
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I never grew up wanting to be a writer. I was comfortable making up stories for my children and grandchildren, but I never took it seriously. I would encourage anyone that thinks they may have a story in them, write it. Don’t worry if its good, just get it out of your head. You can rewrite and edit all you want once it’s written. You may never publish it, but you just might surprise yourself at what you are capable of creating.

About the Book:

Author: Karen Arnpriester
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 344
Genre: Christian Fantasy

The horror of her sister's abduction and Lucinda’s guilt manifest into years of acute insomnia. She appears to be miraculously healed when she participates in a test program that provides restful sleep but awakens a new dream realm … an alternative existence where Lucinda can create and manipulate any fantasy inspired by her imagination. Lucinda’s new realm is shattered by a dark evil that lurks there. Evil that is not confined to nightmares, but a sinister foe that also hunts for victims in the real world. Lucinda's discarded spiritual beliefs resurface and prompt her to begin a perilous journey against this very real threat; a heartless creature that destroys innocent lives. The dream realm, spiritual domain and Lucinda’s physical reality integrate and twist together as Lucinda rediscovers her faith and confronts the monster that threatens her very life and those she loves.


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