Hi, I’m Karen and I write fiction and nonfiction that’s inspired by the green world.
In fiction, my stories launch from “what if” questions. Some say they have a touch of magic. My aim is to entertain readers through well written, compelling mysteries and thrillers that spotlight the alluring ways of plants. I’m the author of Harvesting the Sky, The Forgetting Flower, Song of the Tree Hollow, and the forthcoming The Dark Petals of Provence. To learn more, visit my Fiction page.
In nonfiction, I write about how plants can help us heal from the stresses of daily life. Science tells us the green world relaxes our minds and bodies and I aim to explore how we can live more happily through our innate connection with nature. My forthcoming book, Leaf Your Troubles Behind: How to Destress and Grow Happiness Through Plants, melds my personal experience as a long time professional gardener with the latest science and practical activities to help readers heal through plants. For more, visit my Nonfiction page.
I was born into a Polish family and raised in a Polish neighborhood in Chicago. After I finished graduate school, I visited the Pacific Northwest and encountered the giant trees here. I was enchanted by their majesty and power. For several years, I worked as an editor at tech places like Amazon and Microsoft. The highlight of that time was working and living in Paris while helping to launch Amazon.fr.
After a while, 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, when not writing or gardening, I manage the goings on of my household, my brilliant husband, our sweet children, and dog. When not doing any of that, I sit outside and stare at the sky.
Every month I send a digest of tips on lowering stress and cultivating happiness, book and plant recommendations, my latest blog posts, some inspiration, and general updates. Plus, the latest on my new releases and giveaways. If you’d like to receive Growing a Happier Life, sign up 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.