The Author: Karen Finneyfrock

Age: 39
Neighborhood: West Seattle
Last Book Read: The Living, Annie Dillard

Favorite Movie: Harold and Maude 

Active in Seattle’s slam poetry community for years, Karen Finneyfrock has published two books of poetry, served as a writer-in-residence at Seattle’s Hugo House and is currently a teaching artist for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program. But Finneyfrock’s greatest chapter may be her next. 

Known for her poetry and spoken word performances, Finneyfrock recently forayed into fiction. After the tragic death of her sister, she found herself unable to write poetry. One day, while walking through the airport, a story sprung into her head fully formed. She opened her laptop in the concourse and wrote the first chapter of Celia the Dark and Weird, a young adult novel that focuses on gender identity, teenage social hierarchies and friendship.

Finneyfrock stumbled into one of publishing’s last safe havens. In the shaky world of books, the young adult genre is a booming outlier, and not just with teens. “Young adult books tend to be very character-driven,” Finneyfrock says. “People find that exciting and refreshing.”

Look for Celia the Dark and Weird in late 2012. She’s also working on a second young adult novel, tentatively titled Starbird Murphy and the World Outside.

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Photography by Kyle Johnson.