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Karen lives and works on the Central Coast NSW and is now conducting author visits and workshops at primary and high schools on the Central Coast, Lower Hunter and Northern Sydney areas.


If you would like Karen to conduct a talk at your school, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and ask for a flyer that you can take to your school librarian.


Working With Children Check number WWC0456902E; Expiry date 18/08/2019




15 min power point presentation


As an author I am often asked where I get my inspiration from. In this presentation I share my real life story about a girl called Jess and her horse Diamond and tell students how they became the inspiration for my first book Diamond Spirit. After being contracted to write another 4 books in the series, I set off to find stories in the outback of Australia, travelling through Mt Isa and beyond, visiting remote indigenous communities in far north Queensland and searching for my characters, setting, and plot. I drove through cattle stations, watched heli-mustering, searched for wild brumbies, met colourful locals and flew over the gulf country in a light aeroplane.


5 minute Reading: Chapter One from Trickstars – Family Secrets. I read the first chapter of this story and then work shop with the kids to think up fun ways to finish the story.




Each student will chose from a range of original Allen and Unwin book covers (supplied by me) and asked to draw inspiration from the pictures and text. They will be encouraged to think about title, blurb, catch phrase, pictures and what the story inside could be about.


Stage 2 students can write their own story using scaffolding – orientation, complication, events, resolution. They can type their story out on a word processor and insert it into the cover to make their own book.


Stage 3 students can be asked to write a creative response to the book cover they are given. This talk can be expanded to cover character development. Students can be asked to think about their favourite book characters, why they like them, what their individual traits are. Then asked to look at the cover and imagine what the characters might be like inside this story encouraging students to make connections between texts.


Edited manuscripts – Students will also have the opportunity to look at hard copy edited manuscripts and see the short hand that editors use and give them insight into how editors and authors work together to construct a story. Also briefly show how manuscripts are edited electronically using track changes.


Finally! I have made a facebook page for Diamond Spirit - I've posted hundreds of photos of me, my life, and mostly of all the inspirational places and people that have inspired my books. There are links to different brumby organisations and some of my favourite saddlery shops. Please visit and click LIKE.