The Magical Journey of Bob Crane (Author Interview)

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was a teacher for almost thirty-five years. I grew up in Upstate New York with my mother, father and two sisters. My mother was my role model. She was also a teacher. I loved going into her classroom and help out. I knew at a very young age I wanted to be a teacher as well. I attended college at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. I have a Master’s of Education and a gifted and talented education endorsement. Currently, I am living in Richland, WA, with my husband John, my son, William, my daughter, Rachel, and their two dogs, Maddie and /Gus. During my spare time I volunteers for Love on a Leash with Maddie, a certified therapy dog. Maddie recently has been approved to be a crisis and court dog. I was a Wishing Conductor for Wishing Star Foundation for about a year. Karen’s favorite activity is watching the variety of birds that visit the bird feeders in her back yard. When I retire my husband and I plan to move to Spokane, WA. One person I have always wanted to meet is Jay Getty or Ellen which ever comes first.

What inspired you to author this book?

I was inspired to write “The Magical Journey of Bob Crane” because each year 60,000 sand hill cranes migrate through Washington. They land in Othello (about 30 minutes from where we live) for about 3-5 days before continuing their journey. One of the sand hill cranes decided to land on our street. Every morning when I looked out the window, I saw a crane walking up and down our street. It became comical seeing him so our family named him Bob. Bob was like a sentry walking around for about a week. I saw that as a sign he wanted me to write a story. In my book Bob lands in Othello and decides he wants to find a way to thank all the birds and animals that live there. While he is there he meets a fairy wren. Bob and the wren come up with an idea of how to say thank you to the animals. The general theme of this book is “paying it forward and helping your community”

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I had written the manuscript for Bob but wanted an illustrator who had the same vision I did for this book. I looked up 10 illustrators from Up work but most of their birds were comical. Then I went to an art and craft show with my daughter. We were wandering down the different aisles looking at all the different crafts the vendors made. Then I turned the corner and saw Bob. He was staring right at me. I knew he was going to be the cover for my book. I met Pam Sharp an Audubon artist and had all her birds on display at craft show. I think she thought I was crazy when I told her I was a children’s author and I wanted her to do the illustrations for my book. Imagine that. I met with Pam at her studio the following week where we went through my manuscript. She agreed to do the illustrations for my book and she let me use Bob (her painting from the art show) to be my cover. Pam also worked on my most recent book “Princess Nutterbutter Learns to Share”. In that book I wanted comical illustrations because my book is based off of my sons 4 guinea pigs.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

My biggest influence to write would have to be my mother. She read to Robin, Lisa and me every night when I grew up. Listening to her read stories to us made them magical. My favorite book I checked out from the library every week was “Make Way for Ducklings”. I am just realizing this book was about ducks….how funny. As a teacher I always wanted to write children’s books but there was never enough time in the day after teaching when I got home. I did find an outlet that was related to books. I was chosen out off 3,000 teachers in the SLC School District to work with Ririe Woodbury, a professional dance company to work with their dancers for a year and learn how to incorporate dance into any academic subject. At the end of the year my students did a dance about African animals using their bodies and creating the moments of the animals based off an African folktale.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

My biggest struggle as I became a writer was learning how to type. I suffered a major concussion when I was teaching school. It affected my memory. After the concussion I could not remember how to cook, drive, type or even remember names. At least 15 doctors and surgeons told me I would never teach again. After a year of grieving and numerous surgeries I decided I needed to reinvent myself. My children taught how to cook again. My son helped me remember what exits to take. I still have trouble remembering names. I know I know someone but can’t remember how I know him or her. Since I was no longer teaching, I decided to start writing to help me learn how to type again. My 1st book had 1 sentence on each page with an illustration. I had many “Learning Lessons” during my 7th years of writing and recovering. I learned it was important to have an editor and a great designer. Two of my books I went through a self-publishing company. It was a costly “Learning Lesson”. I was not happy with how the books turned out. It was at that point I decided I would find the best illustrator and designer I could afford and learned how to upload my books on Create Space.

Tell your readers about your book.

Each of my books is different.
My 1st book is called “Life Lessons of a Rescue Dog”. It tells children 10 important things to do when you rescue a dog told by Oddie, one off our rescue dogs. It is geared for K-2 grade.

My second book is called “The Time of My Life”. It is about a dog preparing to cross over Rainbow Bridge. All the other dogs don’t understand why their friend is going. This book deals with death and is geared for 2-4th grade.

My third book is called “The Tales of Maddie”. This is a book about a poodle born with a pink tail. No one wants to recue a poodle that looks different. In this book Maddie gets adopted and finds out what her “Life purpose” is. Girls will like this story because it is a love story.
My 4th book is “Earth Angel’s, a book about specially-abled children”. This book is dedicated to my daughter who was born with a rare genetic disorder. I found 9 families who told me about the challenges and joys they face with having a child that is differently abled. This book is geared for students going into education, social work or counseling. This is my 1st book with photography of all the families. I won the 2019 bronze medal for Living Healthy.

My 5th book is called “Oliver’s Adventures, a first trip to the Eye Doctor”. This book is about a bird who can’t see where he is going and needs to get glasses.

My 6th book was “The Magical Journey of Bob Crane”. I won the 2020 Royal Dragonfly award for animals and design of a book.

My 7th book is “Mrs. Nutterbutter Learns to Share.” This is a book about 4 guinea pigs that won’t share food with each other. They declare “Gorilla Warfare Guinea Pig Style.

I just finished my 8th book. It is called “Gus Finds His Way Home”. It is about our latest golden retriever we rescued 3 months ago and how he came into our lives.

Who is your target audience, and why?

All of my books are geared for teachers, parents or counselors.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My greatest success in my life is teaching in a new way. I believe the first 30 years of your life are your professional path. I was a teacher. The next 30 years of your life is your spiritual path. Thanks to a concussion I have the opportunity to do something I always wanted to do but never had the time. I also discovered good things come out of a tragedy (my concussion ).

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

 What sets me apart from other authors is I receive messages or signs from angels. I also get inspiration to write from music. When I was writing “The Time of My Life” every time I turned on the radio, I heard Pit Bull singing “The Time of My Life”. It didn’t matter what time or what station I turned to it was always playing. I saw that as a sign. I also get ideas from my dreams. Angels come to me and tell me I need to write a book a certain topic. If you want to know more about me my website is I don’t  normally tell people I am an angel reader. I have been able to talk to angels since I was little.