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Meet Karen Langley

Karen Langley I was seven or eight when I wrote my first story. It was about a brother and sister who got trapped in a moving van. I titled it "Trapped in a Moving Van." Fifteen years later, I’m afraid I still haven’t developed much of a talent for writing creative titles. I don’t let that stop me from writing, though. I’ve always been an avid journal-keeper, and somehow I assumed the unofficial role of producing my family’s annual Christmas newsletter.

I started to get more serious about writing my senior year of high school when I worked for the school paper, and I went on to major in Journalism at Bethel College. Throughout college and since graduating, I’ve been freelancing for teen magazines, which is a lot of fun. Fun interviewing, fun writing—and my stories almost always get matched with fun artwork. How long I will continue working in the teen market, I don’t know. Probably when I run out of fun ideas.

What I do know is that ever since I spent a semester in China (Fall 2001), I’ve had this darn travel bug scratching around in my shoes, nibbling on my toes. A backpacking trip around Western Europe last summer made it worse—he went from nibbling to gnawing! So, to satisfy his appetite, I plan to do more traveling. My dream is to combine travel with writing. How, I’m not sure—but I’m working on that!

For now, I live an hour north of Chicago in Zion, Illinois with my parents and five younger siblings. I substitute teach at the local high school, wait tables and write. Why freelance? Well, the pay isn’t steady (not yet, anyway!), but the work hours are unbeatable, I get along great with my boss, and I’m doing what I love. What more could a girl ask for?