Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome to Karen McCullough

Continuine the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror Blog tour today's guest is Karen McCullough.  To find out more about the 25 Years Porject, have a peek at Monday's entry or visit:

Reading – It’s All Good

When my son was young, he wasn’t much of a reader. It was pure work for him and he found no pleasure in it. That caused much dismay on the part of his parents, both avid readers and writers. We'd spent countless hours reading to our children when they were young, trying to instill the love of stories, and our two daughters dove right into reading themselves as soon as they were able.  But not Joe. For years we did everything we could to encourage him to read on his own, but nothing worked – until he picked up his first comic book.

It was love at first word—or maybe it was the pictures, but it doesn’t matter because he read every word of that comic book, and the many, many more that followed it. Then he got into role-playing games, which caused him to pore over rules books and companion modules. Eventually he also became an avid reader of science fiction and military history. He got a degree in history from UNC, and is now a senior editor for a British publishing company that specializes in military history books.

A few people raised their eyebrows that we allowed—even encouraged—him to read comic books and role-playing game modules. But we believe in reading, and anything that sparks the imagination and helps forge the connection between words on paper and images in the mind works for us. Comic books are a gateway drug to the addiction to reading.

In fact, my husband and I both read comic books while we were growing up.  I also devoured Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and then worked my way through my father's library of mystery, adventure, science fiction and fantasy works.

I won't say there were no lines I would have drawn when it comes to my kids' reading, because obviously there are things I wouldn't let children have. But I encouraged them to tackle pretty much anything they wanted to read that wasn't completely inappropriate for their ages.

It’s all about discovering that words are more than just squiggles on paper, more than just a way to communicate information from one person to others. They’re the sparks that fire your imagination and carry you away to another world. A world that’s entirely within your own head, but is often more real to you than anything else around.

Without even realizing it, reading and stories begin to shape your world and how you view. It enriches your life and extends your experience to times and places and events you could never participate in otherwise.

Karen McCullough is the author of eleven published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, three grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.


  1. Thanks, Karen. It's always nice to be reminded of the importance of reading

  2. Comic books is a great idea to encourage kids to read. My husband only reads magazines, and he enjoys audio books if he has a longer drive. I think people have to find the content that appeals to them. I remember devouring Star Wars comic books when I was growing up, in addition to the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books.

  3. Hi Vicki -- Sorry I'm late to this. My Internet connection has been spotty for the last couple of days. Thanks for having me here!