Wild Times on Skidaway Island
by Karen Dove Barr
Karen will be awarding a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To enter comment asking Karen a questions about her book. Follow the tour here at Goddess Fish.
A very interesting and informative book. This island is on my bucket list to visit. Thanks for stopping by everyone.
Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia’s Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.
Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and the bunnies. It is so nice to have Karen Dove Barr here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on Karen. Every time someone new stops by the dogs and bunnies go crazy.
1. What do you do when you are not writing?
To support my writing habit I practice law. I’m heavily into crime and divorce for at least 50 hours a week. Before work I drive my 3 grandchildren to school. Since I became a long distance runner at age 50, I run 3 or 4 nights a week. I also bicycle with a group and go kayaking.
2. Where do you get your ideas?
I’ve only written non-fiction so my ideas come from what I see and do. As a trial attorney I know everybody’s most juicy secrets, but I can’t write about them, or anything remotely recognizable. Except for the nature stories my neighbors tell me about and give me permission to publish, I write about what I do in my time outside of work.
3. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
It was challenging getting my first book, Running Through Menopause, about becoming a long distance runner at age 50, published. I was unknown to the publishing world except for my magazine articles, and didn’t know exactly how to go about it. Of course I was used to getting rejection slips for my articles. I got a little encouragement from a few people in the business, then they were not able to place my book. I think some editors thought few women over 50 could relate to my becoming a long distance runner. However I finally got it published. Now whenever I go to a 5K road race, I find tons of competition. Women everywhere are starting to run and walk in races, raising money for charity and improving their health. When I started there were few ladies over 50 participating. Now the 70 and up age groups are full.
4. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I sold my 1st book at race expos and through running magazines and running stores. Marketing my new book, Wild Times on Skidaway Island is a different experience. The book is in the golf shops and stores on Skidaway Island. I’m trying this blog tour to see how it works for me.
5. Do you write under a pen name?
I use the name Karen Dove Barr in my law practice and personal life, so it’s not a pen name, but it’s not exactly my real name either. I was born Karen Bohac, but having a Czechoslavakian father in the rural south was not an advantage. I practiced law under my married name, Karen Dove, but when I divorced and remarried my husband insisted I use his last name, Barr. I wanted my clients to know it was still me and to preserve my children’s last name, so I kept the Dove and added Barr. Then I found everyone except other lawyers associated the name with ice cream and wanted to hire me. All the lawyers thought Karen Dove had opened a bar, so they were real excited to return my calls.
6. Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Have them on right now.
7. Night owl, or early bird?
I think I was born to be a night owl, but many years ago I started riding my bicycle with my shih-tzu every morning before work. The dog jumped in bed and licked my face to wake me up. After Hurricane Katrina my grandchildren moved in with me. I’ve taken them to school every morning since. They have to be at school before 8:00 and I have to be in court most mornings before 9:00, often an hour or more away from their school.
On Saturdays, I meet my running group at 6:00 A.M. My dog let me sleep until 6:00, but now I have a cat who makes sure I’m up by 5:00 every morning.
8. Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
France, definitely. Before my husband got sick we visited many countries but the year we were to go to France there was an international incident and our trip was cancelled. French was my college language.
9. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I’ve done many crazy things, but most recently I climbed a mountain on my 60th birthday and bought myself a high speed road bike
10. Besides writing what other artistic talents, do you have?
Don Powell and Daryl Snuggerud were kind enough to contribute some of the photographs in my new book. I hoped to collaborate with a real photographer for all the photos, but was unable to talk anybody into it. The animals I saw usually refused to pose for me, but I ended up taking most of the pictures in Wild Times on Skidaway Island.
11. What types of books do you write?
I write humorous and informative essays about my hobbies and leisure time observations. My two books are collections of my essays, edited to fit my primary topic. Wild Times on Skidaway Island is about the history and wildlife on this unique Audubon-designated barrier island.
12. What does your writing schedule look like?
As you can tell from my answer to question number 1. my schedule is more than full before I can write. Most of my stories start while I’m riding my bike or running. Sometimes while I’m sitting in court waiting for my case to come up, especially if the evidence is against my client and I know the outcome will be unpleasant, I write stories in my mind or polish a rough draft. I often drive to courthouses within 100 miles of my office. While I’m driving I mull over ideas and talk to myself. After I finish work, I lift weights and go for a run. Then I put on my pajamas, throw the stories into my computer, and print out a rough draft. I’ve been honked at while improving a rough draft at a red light.
13. Do you have any advice for new writers?
My advice is to put your thoughts on paper. Even if they are half-formed or half-baked, once you put it in writing you can expand and improve. If you don’t write it down the most brilliant thought will evaporate forever.
14. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Shortly after Savannah’s newspaper first started publishing my columns, the owner of Skidaway Island’s magazine invited me to send him a short column on any subject I chose. Since it was fall he suggested a holiday memory. I wrote about many subjects, all of which he kindly paid me for and published. The most positive feedback received was from my nature columns. After several years of writing them I decided to organize, consolidate them, and put them together to form a book.
15. What kind of research did you do for this book?
My readers are mostly highly educated people who see the same wildlife I do on a daily basis. Therefore I had to offer them something more than the obvious. Since I’m a lawyer, not a wildlife biologist, each chapter was researched through the internet based on a Georgia Department of Natural Resources handout provided to residents of the island. Skidaway Island is base for two wildlife agents, Jonathan Smith and Sean Burgess. They were wonderful about answering my questions, keeping my facts straight, and providing the most current status about the animals on the island. The history of the island was carefully researched by V.E. Kelly, now deceased, whose work I rely on extensively.
16. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
All over North America humans are committed to protecting and fostering the existence of other species. Deer, the gray wolves of the northwest, the almost extinct bison, the grizzly bear, the ubiquitous coyote, and that great nuisance animal, the American eagle, are returning in droves, adapting to life in a world full of human neighbors.
The next step is for humans to adapt to the animals.
17. Where can readers find you?
www.karendovebarr.com I’m also on facebook as Karen Dove Barr.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Karen Dove Barr. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years. Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology. Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated wookpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population. Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members. She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.