Karen Inglis

Karen Inglis

Children's author

http://www.kareninglisauthor.com
kpinglis@wellsaidpress.com
07958060748
Booking enquiry
Karen Inglis - author tools

Available for

Interview, Talk, Workshop

Audiences

Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11

Genres

Adventure, Fiction, Historical fiction, Humour, Picture book, Sport

Book types

Fiction for children, Fiction 4-11, Fiction 5-9, Fiction 8-13, Picture book

Awards

  • (Judged by pupils and teachers in six primary schools.)
  • Red Ribbon Winner Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2016
  • For Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat

Organisations

  • The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • The Alliance of Independent Authors

Details

I live in Barnes, southwest London and have two sons who inspired me to write when they were younger. My six children's books span from Reception up to Year 4 (scroll to the bottom of the page to see the covers and read synopses). I regularly go into primary and prep schools in London and am available to visit schools outside of the London area where time and school budgets allow.

My other writing life :)

As well as writing for children I’ve written for business and government) for over 20 years – as a plain English copywriter, writing trainer and strategic web content consultant. Important and impressive as that may sound, I far prefer making up stories and meeting my young readers and I now focus on this almost entirely!

My previous life: In my early career I was teacher and Director of Studies in an English Language School in London. I have also lived and worked in New York and Oslo and speak French and Norwegian (oh, and American!).

Interesting to know. My time travel mystery for ages 8-11 The Secret Lake hit the Amazon UK children's bestsellers' list in summer 2018 (print and Kindle store). It was also considered for adaption by CBBC in 2015, after recommendation by their Head of Independent Commissioning. It has always been my bestseller with both girls and boys at school events – and has been described as “a modern Tom’s Midnight Garden”. The book cover is featuring in a Warner TV production over in the USA at some stage in 2019, and in a Channel 4 drama next year :)

My School Visits

I offer readings and an author talk (including fun slides) and Q&A, as well as the option of curriculum related writing workshops. See below for how I pitch these from Reception up to Year 4. I then have a more general talk on writing and publishing in the digital age for Years 5 and 6. 

Reception - Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep and Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog- 30-40 mins

Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep is a fun, colourful rhyming picture book based on the true story of a fox that once fell asleep in my garden. The session includes a rhyming warm-up and lots of fox and favourite food discussion! Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog, another gentle rhyming story, introduces Hatty the hedgehog and her baby son, Ed, who meets Ferdinand when he is playing out on his own one night.

I intersperse the reading of Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep with questions relating to foxes and food (which is very much the theme of the story). The children love joining in with sound effects/actions, such as the fox snoring or Peter Maceever yawning, and I encourage them to practise counting as we hear the church clock strike from one through to five o'clock as the story progresses. With Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog the children learn lots of fun facts about foxes and hedgehogs -- including what they eat, how long they live, how many spines a hedgehog has - and how we can all help hedgehogs find food and places to hibernate. There are some great slides to go with this :)

To ensure that everyone can see, I use a Powerpoint of the book pages. The slides also include a short video of a real fox that fell asleep in a friend's garden and strongly resembles Ferdinand! I also have live footage of a hedgehog returning from a food forage one evening.

There are downloadable colouring sheets as a follow-on activity as well as tips on how to draw your own fox.

Year 1 - Henry Haynes and the Great Escape - 40 mins

This is a fun illustrated chapter book about 10-year-old Henry who falls inside his library book after complaining that it's boring. Henry soon finds himself caught up in a zoo escape plan being managed by Brian, a bossy boa constrictor, and Gordon, an extremely smelly gorilla...!

The story starts out in a library so (after introductions) I open the session by asking the children about libraries and librarians they know. We also talk about how magical it is to get lost in a story - and about whether anyone has ever wanted to become part of the story they were reading. I then introduce the book and give a 10-15 minute reading. This is followed by questions from the children about being a writer, how I get my ideas, my other books and so on.

As part of the Q&A I show the children how I work with my illustrator who lives in Bosnia - from rough drafts through to final images that go into the books. They always find this fascinating - and everyone loves Brian the boa with the cage keys stuck down his throat, which he then burps up for Henry to release the lions!  Where time allows I can also offer a simple workshop where the children can brainstorm and write their own descriptions of the key story characters, then choose and draw their favourite.

Years 2,3,4 - Eeek! The Runaway Alien (7-10 yrs - used by Get London Reading), Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat (7-9 yrs), The Secret Lake (8-11 yrs) - 50 minutes  [Scroll down to see the book covers and read the detail for each book.]

I am happy to see Year groups individually or combined, depending on the class sizes and number of intakes. Ideally I'd aim to keep groups to around 60 at most but I have presented to double that!

After introductions I ask the children about their reading habits and what they think makes a good story. I go on to briefly talk about the inspiration for all three books, then focus on one or two for readings. The book/s I choose for the readings depends either on a show of hands from the audience or on whether the teacher would like a particular book or books covered to tie in with other school work/ themes.

The Q&A session for these year groups tends to go on longer and during this time I show the children slides and a video demonstrating how I work with my illustrator and editor. In particular, for Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat I have a fun series of slides showing how the story went from first idea to finished product, highlighting some of the key changes that took place along the way to improve the characters and storyline. My slides are set up so that I can tailor what I cover to meet the audience's age, questions and interests.

I can also offer curriculum based writing workshops using extracts and illustrations from Eeek! and The Secret Lake as my starting points . The emphasis is certainly on fun for the younger pupils using Eeek! - moving towards more structured creative writing using The Secret Lake for years 3 and 4. In all cases the aim it to show the children how we can use words to paint a picture in the reader's mind. Workshops are for single classes and I take feedback on overall ability in advance. Or I can offer the author talks described above then leave the teacher full teaching plans for these sessions.

Years 5/6 - Optional extra session if I'm at the school all day

For Years 5 and 6 I can also offer a more general talk on the creative writing process and how exciting it is to be a writer in our new digital age.This includes looking at the different writing styles in my books (first vs third person - how and why I've used them) and demonstrating the power of 'show don't tell' in writing. I also cover working with my editor - and all the hard work that goes into rewriting! Finally, I round off with a set of funs slides that show ‘how books get made’ digitally, including formatting for print and eBook and uploading to Amazon and other platforms where author publishers are able to track sales online.

 

Email: kpinglis@wellsaidpress.com Phone: 02085632224 / 07958060748

Books by Karen Inglis

My books for ages 6-11 have been praised for getting the most reluctant of readers turning the page and The Secret Lake hit the Amazon UK bestseller lists in June 2018.

9780956932303
The Secret Lake

The Secret Lake

A lost dog, a hidden time tunnel and a secret lake take Stella and Tom to their home and the children living there 100 years in the past. A modern-day Tom's Midnight Garden or Enid Blyton. (8-11 yrs) 
9780956932334
Eeek! The Runaway Alien

Eeek! The Runaway Alien

Charlie Spruit can't believe his luck when he opens his door to an alien – a football fan alien who has run away to Earth for the World Cup! Laugh out loud funny! Used by Get London Reading (7-10 yrs) 
9780956932365
Henry Haynes and the Great Escape

Henry Haynes and the Great Escape

When Henry complains that his library book is boring he gets sucked down inside and forced to help Brian, a bossy boa constrictor, and Gordon – a very smelly gorilla – with their zoo escape! (6-8 yrs) 
9780956932389
Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat

Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat

When Walter inherits a top hat from his great grandpa on his 10th birthday he discovers that it has special powers and that his cat Sixpence is no ordinary cat. Magical mayhem soon follows! (7-9+ yrs) 
9780956932358
Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep

Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep

"Ferdinand Fox curled up in the sun as the church of St Mary struck quarter past one." A delightful rhyming picture book about a fox that once fell asleep in the author’s garden. (3-6 yrs) 
978-0995454316
Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog

Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog

When Ferdinand Fox meets Edmond the baby hedgehog playing out alone one night, little Ed shrieks and curls into a tight prickly ball. He thinks the fox will eat him! But Ed soon realises that he is safe, and has just met a very special fox. Includes 8 fun pages of hedgehog and fox photos and facts. 

Media

Karen Inglis - first image
Karen Inglis - second image
Karen Inglis - second image

Keywords

ACTION AND ADVENTURE ALIENS BOOKS FOR BOYS BOOKS WITH ILLUSTRATIONS CHAPTER BOOKS CHILDREN’S HISTORICAL FICTION FOOTBALL STORIES GET LONDON READING CAMPAIGN HUMOROUS STORIES MODERN CLASSIC RELUCTANT READERS RHYMING STORIES SKYPE TIME TRAVEL TIME-SLIP