Karen Pokras Toz is the author of the middle grade fiction book, Nate Rocks the World.
Karen is a member of the Association of Independent Authors, Independent Author Network, and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a happily married mom of three great kids aged 5-14, one extra furry older semi-cranky cat (in his own 16 year old right) and two rambunctious kittens. Yes – it’s a bit of a zoo at times. I tell my kids all the time to 'dream big.' This year, I decided to take my own advice by publishung my very first novel - a children's book geared toward 7-12 year olds, called Nate Rocks the World. I also enjoy blogging about my chaotic life with a teen, tween and little one. Besides writing, I love to spend time with my family, cook, and garden.
What made you first decide to become a writer?
I began writing quite recently actually. About a year and a half ago, I sat down with an idea I had been carrying around for a while for an adult contemporary novel and quickly discovered that I love to write! The book, although about an adult, had several flashbacks back to the main character’s childhood. It did not take long to realize that I preferred writing in a child’s voice. Soon after, I began writing Nate Rocks the World.
Can you tell us about your latest book?
Nate Rocks the World is the first book in the Nate Rocks series, about a quirky young boy who draws cartoons that come to life. Nathan Rockledge is your typical 4th grader – he has an overprotective mom, a dad who tries to be funny, and an annoying teenage sister. He loves to hang out with his two best friends, and he does not like going to school. He may seem ordinary, but once he starts drawing, watch out. He suddenly transforms into Nate Rocks – 4th grader extraordinaire – saving the day time and time again. Nate Rocks the World uses humor and adventure to show that even kids can accomplish great things. The book is geared toward 7-12 year olds.
What inspired you to write it?
At about the same time I started writing, I noticed that my two older children (aged 13 and 10 at the time) were becoming less and less enthusiastic about reading. Getting them to read anything beyond what was required for school was torturous. They complained there was nothing fun to read. I decided to prove them wrong by writing a book! The main character is inspired by the two of them, as well as my youngest who was 4 when I started writing. My oldest son is the cartoon artist of the family. My daughter is a dancer and very creative, and my youngest son loves to make up stories involving super heroes. I rolled them all together to create one fabulous Nate Rocks!