KAREN’S TOP WRITING TIP: Join a pro-active writers group who critique. Learn how to critique and Beta read to the highest possible standard. Swap your manuscript with other critiquers and Beta readers in exchange to receive valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements.
Karen Tyrrell is a Brisbane award-winning author of six empowering books, an experienced teacher, a speaker and pantomime performer. Karen’s books are entertaining page turners showing how to live strong, be resilient, and ways to cope with life stress. Her book titles are: ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness, ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery, Bailey Beats the Blah, STOP the Bully, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember and Jo-Kin Battles the It (Super Space Kids #1).
Karen has won a major mental health achievement award, a mentorship with the Society of Editors (Queensland) and three literary grants. Her lived experience as a bullied teacher and overcoming mental illness gives her a burning desire to help others. She successfully shares bully prevention, coping skills, and wellness and recovery tips with the community.
Karen has been a speaker at the CYA Conference, Queensland Writers Centre, Gold Coast Writers Festival, Toowoomba Writers Festival, schools, libraries and mental health organisations. Karen has appeared on Seven News and ABC radio.
In 2016, Karen will publish two children’s books with super hero and space themes to empower kids to connect with their inner super hero. Download FREE teacher resources and kids’ activities. www.karentyrrell.com
Why do you write? When I was a teacher, I was bullied and stalked by parents at my school to breaking point. I became mentally ill. I wrote two empowering memoirs on my recovery, ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness and Me & HIM: A Guide to Recovery. My mission was to raise awareness on the effects of bullying and to give hope via my recovery.
Next I focused on writing to empower children to live strong. I wrote books with compelling characters to connect with the reader on an emotional level. STOP the Bully (bully prevention), Bailey Beats the Blah (coping skills for anxiety) and Harry Helps Grandpa Remember (memory skills), an endearing story about Harry who never gave up on helping his grandpa remember.
I wrote Jo-Kin Battles the It as a humorous space adventure with strong messages of resilience, brainpower and teamwork.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I would be crafting a creative business which I have total control over. In a previous life, I was a primary school teacher specialising in Gifted & Talented kids. I loved teaching creative writing, drama and reading.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Self-belief that my books and stories were good enough to be published. And then learning how to take pro-active steps to make sure that happens.
What’s the BEST aspect of your writing life? Going out into schools and teaching kids creative writing and how to tap into their imaginations. I also love talking to school kids about bully prevention and how to live strong.
—the worst? I try not to focus on the negatives but instead on moving forward. I’ve learned from my mistakes, and now I’m determined to find ways to succeed. I ask myself: how can I do that better?
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I’m a resilience author. For me, it’s all about bouncing back and being mentally strong in a very tough business. I love to re-invent myself to find new pathways to connect with my reader.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Writing is hard work. Full stop. Only those writers who are determined, focused and put 200 per cent into their writing, their speaking presentations and workshops will succeed in the long term.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Write what you’re passionate about. Believe in yourself and your writing and let that energy and light shine through in your writing.
Jo-Kin (aka Josh Atkins) and the Super Space Kids battle the It to save captain Astra and the galaxy.
Joker Josh Atkins aka Jo-Kin wins the Super Space Kid contest alongside nerdy Sam Jones aka Sam-Wich. Their first Super Space Kid mission is to save the galaxy from a deadly alien called IT. When the IT kidnaps Captain Astra, it’s a race against time. Can Josh save Captain Astra and the galaxy … before it’s too late? Blast off with Jo-Kin in this hilarious space adventure.
‘Action-packed, creative, brilliant’ — Buzz Words
Jo-Kin Battles the It is available here.