brainpicking children’s author karen rankin

Karen Rankin is a Toronto teacher and writer of children’s stories. She writes for CM ( and is currently working on a young adult novel, Stepping Into Traffic. Delve into Karen’s writer-brain here.

Best time and place to write Anytime in front of a computer, but I’m happy with a napkin in a coffee shop, too.

Author you wish you had for a high school English teacher
At the time, Margaret Lawrence. Now: Rohinton Mistry.

Favourite background noise for writing Silence.

Thoughts on flossing Deeply religious.

Grammar pet peeve
None, really. I’ve read too many wonderful stories written by people for whom English is a second, third or fourth language. I can’t get peeved.

Biggest obstacle to getting the writing done Life.

Favourite writing tool. Computer, but I’m ashamed. It comes more easily when I use a pen, but I’m too lazy to transcribe.

Literary character you’d like to have for dinner Dawsey Adams. I was sorry when the (epistolary) novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (M. A. Shaffer and A. Barrows) ended. I wanted to stay in touch with the characters, especially Dawsey.

Alternate universe you’d like to visit
Occasionally I wish to be “beamed up”, not that I really want to go anywhere else, I just get fed up with being here.

Thoughts on aliens Depends on where they’re from. If they’re the same kind of aliens as me, then I believe in them.

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