What she wanted to be when she grew up
For the longest time, I thought I wanted to be a nurse. My father was a doctor—a neurologist—and I liked the fact that he was helping people. I wasn’t really interested in becoming a doctor, but nursing appealed to me. And my interest grew when I stumbled across the Cherry Ames mystery series of books. She was a nurse and all of the stories took place in a hospital setting. It just seemed really cool to me. My father finally took me with him to the hospital one day and let me sit at the nurses’ station to see what nursing was like in real life, and that pretty much disabused me of all of my romantic notions.

How she ended up here
Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked for newspapers in North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. After 20 years in the industry, she went back to school and earned a master’s degree in mass communication and a Ph.D. in media and public affairs from Louisiana State University. When she finished at LSU, she went to work as a public policy researcher for a nonpartisan, good government advocacy group in Baton Rouge and then became the Senior Communications Manager for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office in 2016. She joined Rumpus Writing and Editing as a part-time editor in 2021.

Why she loves veterinary medicine
I have great admiration for veterinary professionals and the heart and soul they pour into helping people keep their pets healthy and happy.

Why she loves editing
I like the precision that good editing requires; I like the variety of knowledge that good editing requires; and I like the ability to take any piece of writing and help make it better.

Who her furry family members are
I don’t have any furry family members of my own at the moment, but I am an “aunt” to several dogs, including Patsy Cline (in the picture), a rescue pup who belongs to good friends of mine.

What might surprise you about her
I played the violin through high school before finally accepting the fact that I just wasn’t that good. But I still love to listen to the masters play classical violin pieces.