Interviewing Karen Hansen – Stay
Friday has arrived and it is Karen Hansen’s turn to tell you about her extraordinary self. Such an accomplished young woman who is going places. Karen’s short story in Love from The Other Side – A Ghostly Writes Anthology is called Stay.
Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Karen Hansen, and I am from an amazing fast growing city in New Zealand called Rotorua. We are the birthplace of tourism in our country, and the posterchild for geothermal activity. To be honest, we live in the Rotorua Caldera, INSIDE a volcano. Crazy and Wonderful huh!
Growing up, I moved house a number of times – but the place I identified with most was a little yellow cottage in Tiketere on the outskirts of Rotorua. This cottage sat on the complex of ‘Hells Gate’, so named by George Bernard Shaw. “George, a famous Irish playwright living in England, visited the area for a week (in the early 1900’s) and on looking at the thermal park decided that this must be the gateway to Hell, which his theologian colleagues talk about.
He was well known as an Atheist, however after being here a week it is understood that he changed his ways. Our people were so taken by the playwright that from that time on, they allowed the area to be known in English as Hells Gate.” (Hells Gate Histories and Legends, 2018)
As a child of HELL(s Gate) I played with sulphur instead of sand, bamboo forests instead of tree houses, played with free roaming peacocks instead of caged birds, cooked kai (food) in natural geothermal cooking pools and swam under the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere.. all in my back yard.
As an adult I have a close affinity with nature, studying herbal medicine and spiritual tradition from many cultures. I am a social entrepreneur, with a passion for people empowerment and social change through multi-media and artistic expression. I have three beautiful children, and am currently completing my BA of Creative Technologies and creating out of the box high end events with a community arts focus.
Tell us about your writing journey?
My writing journey began when I was 5 years old. My Mother used to write poetry, and I remember being inspired by a piece she wrote entitled ‘Self Confidence Story’. She wrote this at a time when she was at her lowest point, in hospital. I have carried those words with me forever:
“I am a castle,
Built upon a rock,
In the midst of an ocean
of unfriendly faces,
and nameless perils.
I fly my banner in the face of the world!
I shall triumph,
may occasionally falter,
But NEVER fail.
Though time may rip at my walls,
And batter at my gate,
I will not give in…
I shall survive…
I AM A WINNER”
(Gillian Hansen, 1988)
When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own poetry. I wrote my first childrens book “Karen’s Burglar” when I was 12, although that is sitting unpublished (to date). Around this time, I began writing horror inspired stories along the line of my favourite authors at that age: R.L. Stine and Francine Pascal. None of these survived.
Over the years, I have written articles, speeches and media releases for companies such as Miss Burlesque New Zealand. However, Fantasy, SongWriting and Poetry are my favourite mediums.
I am currently working on two non-fiction books on life coaching and philosophy, and two fantasy novels “Pictures of the Lost” and “Ysabel’s Gate” I am aiming to have one of each released in 2019.
What is your story about?
‘Stay’ is about a love that transcends time. “A love so powerful, it stopped her heart”. It follows the main character Annie, through her lifetime – and a star crossed relationship. I won’t say much more, as it’s only a short story! You’ll just have to go read it 😉
Why did you choose this topic/genre?
I chose this genre, as I have always been fascinated with the paranormal … and you know… I’m a terrible romantic! I cried writing my own story.
Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?
The Ghostly Writes Anthologies is a fabulous platform! I’m all about empowering the people, and it offers indie authors all over the world the chance to submit their work and be included in a number of collections. I am honoured to have this, my first piece of published work, accepted and printed for the world to see! Onwards and Upwards .. Watch out world!
Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.
The Ghostly Writers Group is full of creatives, which is my kind of place to hang out. We all lift each other up, and offer constructive criticism and our own talents to help push the industry and the platform further. Thanks Plaisted Publishing, for offering such a great space and putting in many hours of complimentary work in order to bring our stories to the world.
Thank you for participating.
(Thank YOU for the opportunity, the love is reciprocal!)