Author Spotlight: Karina Evans
April 8, 2022
We are excited to feature author Karina Evans and her debut middle grade novel, GROW UP, TAHLIA WILKINS! (Little Brown Books for Young Readers), out on April 9. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below!
|cover art by Marta Kissi @kissikissi_illustration
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
Hello! I'm Karina, a children's author from Santa Barbara, California. ☺ I've always wanted to be a storyteller in some capacity, but I only found my way to middle grade novel writing a few years ago. Before then, I wanted to be a screenwriter. Now, middle grade books are my favorite medium, but I'll never say never to trying something new in the future!
Congrats on your MG debut, Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.
Thank you! Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins! is a coming-of-age story that gives modern-day readers their own version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret with a fun romp about friendship, first periods, and growing up. If you like buddy comedies, awkward 12-year-olds with questionable plans, and all things puberty, then Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins! is for you!
I was inspired to write a story about a first period because when I was a kid, I wanted to read more books that discussed the topic in entertaining and accessible ways.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
Everything in publishing feels long, but I think my publication journey would be considered relatively short! After my agent signed me, I revised my book for several months before we went on submission in 2020. A couple months later, I was overjoyed when my debut found a home with a fantastic editor.
What are some of your favorite classic MGs? recent ones?
I grew up reading Holes, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Goosebumps, and anything by Judy Blume. More recently, I've enjoyed The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim, Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe, The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman, and Fireborn by Aisling Fowler.
What projects are you working on now?
I am putting the finishing touches on my second middle grade novel, Audrey Covington Breaks the Rules, which will be out in 2023 from Little, Brown!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write whatever makes you happy! If your story brings you joy, then you're doing it right.
Also, after you've finished a draft, listen to it by using a free text-to-speech program. I catch so many things just by hearing my sentences aloud.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I can hum and whistle at the same time :)
Where can people find you online?
Karina Evans studied English at the University of Delaware before starting a career in the entertainment industry. Some of Karina's favorite things are: See's Candies, The Amazing Race, singing show tunes in the car, and volleyball. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two mischievous cats, Sir Pounce and Taika.