Greetings, I’m Karen and I write literary mysteries and thrillers about plants. My stories are set in worlds where plants, real or imagined, affect people in strange new ways. My background is in horticulture and my passion is living green things. I love to ask “what if” questions about nature and spin a tale. My aim is to entertain and inspire readers, to get them thinking while their hearts are pounding. Plants are fun and fascinating so I strive to make my stories fun and fascinating too.
I was born into a Polish family and raised in a Polish neighborhood in Chicago. After I finished graduate school, I moved permanently to the Pacific Northwest after encountering the giant trees here. I was enchanted by their majesty and power. For several years, I worked as an editor, first at small print publications and then hi-tech places like Microsoft and Amazon. The highlight of that time was working and living in Paris while helping to launch Amazon.fr.
After awhile, I burned out and had to reexamine my life. This led me to horticulture school where I fell in love with the beauty (and silence) of plants. Meanwhile, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and our lives turned upside down. Thankfully, after about 14 months of treatment and two surgeries, he recovered. Somehow during that time I earned my certificate in ornamental horticulture. I opened a small gardening business and helped clients transform and maintain their yards. Later, I became a Master Pruner. In my spare time, I wrote articles and reviews about gardening. I went to Goddard College and earned an MFA.
Now I write novels inspired by plants. I also manage the goings on of my household, my brilliant husband, and our sweet children. When not doing any of that, I sit outside and stare at the sky.
Every month I send a digest of new posts, plant info, book, film & music finds, travel ideas, and inspiring discoveries. If you’d like to join the hundreds of others who receive Dispatches From a Green Chair, join the group here.
Fun fact: My name is pronounced “Hewg” like Huguenot and not “Hug” as in Big Hugs (though I do like hugs).
If you’d like to read articles on plants, check out the archive of my gardening website, The Cultivated Life.