Today on Writer’s Wednesday we welcome Karen Barnett, author of the upcoming Where the Fire Falls.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Where the Fire Falls! Congratulations to Patty Hamblin Rude who won a copy of Courtney Walsh’s Just Let Go! Note: This post contains affiliate links.
My Writing Desk
I’m always nervous to post pictures of my office because I seem to live in a state of perpetual clutter. I’ve read articles that claim a messy desk is a sign of a creative mind, so I suppose I’ve got that going for me.
As my kids outgrew the “playroom,” I converted it into my office, slowly adding various pictures and objects I found inspiring. I’m currently writing a series of novels set in the national parks during the 1920s and 30s, so I’ve surrounded myself with pictures, signs, and vintage postcards that represent these special places. I also dug out my old park ranger hat and hung it on the wall. That’s right, in my former life (pre-kids and pre-writing), I worked as a ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and also as a naturalist at Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park.
I’ve always felt at home in nature, so it made sense that I’d find some way to incorporate this passion into my stories. The first of the Vintage Parks novels, The Road to Paradise, takes place at my old stomping grounds, Mount Rainer.
Right now I’m gearing up for the June 5 release of Where the Fire Falls, set in one of America’s greatest treasures—Yosemite National Park. I can’t wait for readers to experience Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Camp Curry, and the famous Ahwahnee hotel through the eyes of my characters. Visiting epic landscapes like Yosemite can sometimes cause us to take a deeper look at ourselves, and Olivia and Clark are no exceptions.
It’s been fun chatting with readers about the books because everyone seems to have their own favorite stories of trips that they’ve taken and which parks have captured their heart. For some, it’s riding mules with the grandparents in the Grand Canyon, and for others, it’s pitching a tent in the backcountry at Glacier National Park. Several people have expressed to me a desire to visit all of the national parks. Trust me, that’s my dream, too.
Because of other obligations, I’m pretty much limited to seeing two or three parks a year. The great thing about writing fiction is that when I step into my office, my imagination and my characters can take me just about anywhere. If you’re curious which national park we’ll be visiting in the next novel, the mug sitting on my desk is a not-so-subtle hint.
I hope you’ll join me on the journey!
More about Where the Fire Falls
Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”
Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.
After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?
As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas—a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.
Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of six novels. Before taking up writing, she worked as a park ranger and outdoor educator at Mount Rainier National Park, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park. When not crafting fiction, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, and dragging her kids through quirky history museums. She lives in Oregon with her husband and teens.