Bio: Karen Pokras Toz is a writer, wife and mom. Karen grew up in Connecticut and currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children. In June 2011, Karen published her first middle grade children’s novel for 7-12 year olds called Nate Rocks the World, which won First Place for Children’s Chapter Books and the Grand Prize Overall in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, as well as placing first for a Global E-Book Award for Pre-Teen Literature. In 2012, Karen published the second in the Nate Rocks series, Nate Rocks the Boat, followed by middle grade novel, Millicent Marie Is Not My Name. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).
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Summary: Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie does not like her name. After all, she was named for a woman who died more than fifty years ago and was not the most loveable member of the Harris family. Her friends call her Millie, but when she writes in her diary she refers to herself as Amanda – the name she always wished she had.
When Millie’s younger brother finds her diary on her computer, he decides to publish it as a blog for the entire world to see, including the boy Millie has a crush on. In the midst of all the mayhem, Millie/Amanda discovers she is suddenly Springside Elementary’s most sought after sixth-grade mystery gossip and advice columnist.
But not all is fun and games, as Millie quickly learns, once she realizes feelings are at stake. Nobody, least of all Millie, expects things to turn out as they do in this tale of friendship and respect.
Q. What inspires your writing?
I write in the hopes of getting more kids interested in reading, by writing about real life issues that affect kids today. I pull from my own memories and from the stories my own children tell me about school, friends, and overall daily happenings. From there, I try to add humor, while still concentrating on the underlying themes.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Readers! I love hearing from children, parents, educators, reviewers and anyone else who has enjoyed my books. I especially love hearing from a parent who tells me their reluctant reader is asking for more!
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
Definitely time management. Being an author is so much more than just writing a book. Publishing and marketing activities take a tremendous amount of time as well.
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
Well I do actually have another job. Three months out of the year, I work as a tax accountant. I love it – but people always look at me funny, when I tell them. I guess being a tax accountant/children’s author is not the common combination!
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
Hectic! In addition to being a writer (& accountant), I am a mom to three great, but very busy kids. My two teens are always on the go and my six year old is a bundle of energy. But, I wouldn’t trade my crazy life for anything!
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
It’s always so difficult to pick just one! However, I think when it comes down to it, it’s pretty hard to beat To Kill A Mockingbird.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
In my Nate Rocks books, Mrs. Rockledge, Nate’s mom is a bit of a Martha Stewart wanna-be who fails miserably, but has no clue that she can’t cook or sew or craft. That’s all I’m saying.
Q. What is your favorite season?
I love spring (minus the allergy part). I’m a spring gardener, meaning, I get all enthusiastic about gardening. I plant and plant and plant, and then go out every day with a microscope to see if anything has grown yet (not really, but I do go out several times a day to examine my plants – my neighbors think I’m nuts.) I do this through June, until I get thoroughly bored with the activity, at which point, my husband usually takes over.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
Let me start out by saying I have THE most amazing cover artist, Deana Riddle of Book Starter. I say artist because all of my covers are original artworks created by Deana. For each of them, we work together to come up with concepts, but it is really Deana who is able to reach into my mind and come up with the exact image I had envisioned. I love them all.
Q. Are you working on something new?
Yes, I am working on the third book in the Nate Rocks series – which will be released in 2013. After that, I have an idea for another book for girls.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
I started writing funny and yet educational books to prove to my own reluctant readers that reading is awesome! Encouraging the child in your life to read everyday is the best gift you can give. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today!
Tour ScheduleOct. 11 Loves 2 Reads - Character Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://lovez2read.blogspot.com
Oct. 12 Alchemy of Scrawl - Author Interview, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://alchemyscrawl.com
Oct. 13 Living, Learning, and Loving Life - Review & Swag Giveaway http://www.
Oct. 14 Double the Fun Day
Book Him Danno - Review & Swag Giveaway http://bookhimdanno.blogspot.
Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews - Review & Author Interview http://
Oct. 15 So I'm Fifty - Character Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway soimfifty.blogspot.com
Oct. 16 Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave - Author Guest Post http://tweedling.com
Oct. 17 Geo Librarian - Character Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://geolibrarian.blogspot.
Oct. 18 Rumor Has It - Character Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway rumorhasitummhmm.blogspot.com
Oct. 19 Book Lovers Paradise - Character Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://bookloversparadise.
Oct. 20 Fairday's Blog! Author Guest Post http://
Oct. 21 Vixie's Stories - Character Guest Post & Swag Giveaway http://vickiejohnstone.
Oct. 22 Ali's Bookshelf - Author Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://alisbookshelfreviews.
Oct. 23 The Bunny's Review - Character Interview, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://bunnysreview.com
Oct. 24 Larkin's Book Bloggers - Author Guest Post, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://blogs.ellingtonschools.
Oct. 25 Mrs. Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews - Author Interview & Swag Giveaway Http://mrsmommybooknerd.
Oct. 26 Someday, When I'm Famous... Author Interview, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://www.MLGarrett.blogspot.
Oct. 27 It's About Time Mamaw - Author Interview, Review & Swag Giveaway http://itsabouttimemamaw.
Oct. 28 Q&A with Karen Pokras Toz at Goodreads.com http://www.goodreads.com/
Oct. 29 Mom Does Reviews - Character Interview, Review, & Swag Giveaway http://www.momdoesreviews.com
Oct. 30 Kid Lit Reviews - Character Guest Post & Swag Giveaway (Review on 10/31) http://kid-lit-reviews.com
Oct. 31 Italian Brat's Obsessions - Character Guest Post, Review & Swag Giveaway http://itlnbrt.com
Individual swag pack: bookmarks, sticker, notepad, magnet, keychain, & signed postcardGrand Prize: swag pack plus tote bage, mug, and Amazon Gift Card
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