The Heroine’s Journey of Karen Tyrrell

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I create children’s stories, blending my life experiences and imagination to empower children to live strong … and NEVER give up.

What is my idea of happiness?

Achieving my life dreams, writing books that change lives … surrounded by my family and friends. I love making a positive difference, especially in the mental health and eco sectors.

What is my greatest fear?

That I won’t achieve all my dreams by the time I’m 100. Then I remind myself how lucky I am to have published 2 mental health memoirs, 8 children’s novels and 3 picture books. My 14th book comes out September, 2022.

Photo Credits Steve Tyrrell

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Sleeplessness. I wish I could go to sleep easier.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

So many! Susanne Gervay, Alison Stegert, Aleesah Darlison, Karen Foxlee, Yvonne Mes, Allison Paterson.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Giving myself time and permission to think, create and write and NOT to rush my work.

On what occasion would I lie?

Just a teeny-weeny lie or non-answer about my age. Ha-ha!

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

It takes sheer hard work and continuous effort to create an enthralling book that people would want to read and share. It’s also what I love about the writing profession. Only the BEST stories rise to the top.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Presenting author talks, writing workshops and reader’s theatre to children in schools. I love dressing-up in costume performing with hubby, Steve Tyrrell sharing the fun with children.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Clone myself so we (I) could achieve more.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Being awarded the Jude Bugeja Mental Health Week Achievement award for my memoirs and children’s resilience books.

Where would I most like to live?

Near the rainforest or the ocean or both at the same time.

What is my most treasured possession?

My husband Steve Tyrrell (lol)

What is my most marked characteristic?

My flaming red wig I wear for Song Bird school appearances.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Anywhere teeming with life and nature: a waterfall, the ocean, a raging river, a lake or a pond. On the Brisbane River, Moreton Bay, Redland Bay, Bribie Island or Mount Tamborine

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Near water where I’m inspired to relax, energize and to revitalize.

What books influenced my life and how?

Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee and The Elephant by Peter Carnavas taught me how to dream and be a better children’s writer.

Magnificent Australian storytellers inspire me:- Markus Zusak, Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Jane Harper, Colin Theile, Mem Fox, Kate Morton, Emily Rodda, Jackie French etc etc

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Nina Simone, blues music.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Liesel Meminger, the nine-year-old compassionate heroine from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

People who risk their lives to save others. The selfless ones: our hospital and rescue workers.

Which movies would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

I love these movie heroines: Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Celie Harris Johnson in The Color Purple (1985), Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), and Hermione Granger in The Harry Potter Series (2001–2011).

What role play stories in my life and work?

Every day I read, write or dream about stories.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

That means I’m the mastermind of my own life. I decide who I am, what I want to do and how I will achieve it.

MESSAGE: Don’t sit back and let ‘bad’ things happen to you and others around you. Be the voice of change. Stand up for what you believe in and be true to yourself.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Steve Tyrrell, author extraordinaire

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022/ 2023?

Queensland Writers Centre, Brisbane Writers festival, Big Sky Publishing, CYA Conference, Affirm Press, Mad Hatters Book Shop, Where the Wild Things Are, Speakers Ink, Education Queensland, SCBWI, Write Links, Book links, CBCA.

What project in 2022, am I working on?

Historical picture book ‘Follow the Sugar Trail’ by Karen Tyrrell, illustrated by Megan Forward. Beenleigh Quota, Beenleigh Rotary and Beenleigh Soroptimist Club commissioned this book.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?


Amazon books

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I’m NEVER, ever going to give up on reading and writing!

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Susanne Gervay, Alison Stegert, Aleesah Darlison, Karen Foxlee, Yvonne Mes, Allison Paterson, Kaye Baillie, Elizabeth Mary Cummings, Tina Clarke, Jenny Stubbs.

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