10 Things That You Might Not Know About Me…Karen Kay


In starting this blog, I’m afraid I might not be able to think of “10” fun facts that you might not know about me.  So please bear with me if you find these less than intriguing…

Oh, I’ll be giving away a free e-book of my recent book, BLACK EAGLE, to one of you who blog here today.  All rules for giveaways on our site apply.

Okay — here goes:

  1.  I love cats and dogs and have done so all of my life.  When I was in first grade I walked another girl in my class home because she was afraid of a dog.  She got home safely — the dog was merely curious, I think — and I got a spanking.  Ouch! midnight
  2. When I was very small, we had a dog who was mean.  He was always kept in a large cage outside.  But I wasn’t afraid of him, and I became the only person whom he would let pet him.dogs space 1
  3. When I was about 3 years old, I overheard my mom and dad talking about the new kitten litter and heard them agree that my dad should take them to the river and drown them.  The next day, before anyone was up, I took the kittens and hid them in a drawer in my bedroom.  The entire household was frantic trying to find the kittens until someone (I think my dad) noticed that I wasn’t concerned at all.  And so he followed me as I went to my room to see to the kittens, and my deed of hiding them in a drawer was discovered.  Needless to say those kittens were not drowned.page2f[1]
  4. My mom was a music teacher and I grew up loving music.  I play the piano and clarinet — a little bit of flute, also.  My mom used to get us kids up (there were 3 of us) to practice every day on each instrument — for 1/2 hour each before school.  She kept a clock on top of the piano to make sure we practiced an entire 1/2 hour.  I used to set that clock up about 5 minutes almost everyday.  : )  Not sure this was ever discovered, but it must’ve been cause the clock was always close to the right time.thumbnailCAE87P95
  5. Because of all this practice and my mom entering all three of us into contests, I got used to playing in competition.  My sister and I won 1st Superior on our clarinet solos and amazingly, in a time and place where almost no one from our town could win a 1st Superior on piano in Grade School, I managed to do it.  Went on to win a 1st on the piano at our State Contest in High School my senior year.
  6. The first story I ever wrote was a Science Fiction story for our English Class.  I won 2nd place, which surprised me.  It was the first time I’d ever considered that someone else might be interested in something that I’d written.
  7. Met my husband, Paul, on a blind date.  I hadn’t wanted to go on the date.  I’d only been recently divorced, had jumped into a bad relationship immediately, and had only just put that behind me, and I wasn’t wanting anything to do with relationships — especially a blind date.  But I went anyway.  Turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made!14-smooch[1]
  8. My grandfather’s house didn’t have a bathroom.  It was the old style washbasin and pitcher in the bedroom arrangement.  In order to get to the outhouse, we had to go through the chicken coop.  : )  In writing BLACK EAGLE, I mention the heroine using a washbasin and pitcher in her room — and in writing that scene, I remembered when I had been required to do the same whenever we visited my grandfather.
  9. Probably one of the proudest moments of my life was when I was adopted into the Blackfeet Indian Tribe as an acknowledgement for work I’d done with them on literacy.  Not sure that anyone knew that my knees were shaking.page6.1311[1]

Okay, well that’s it for me.  How about you?  What are some fun things that you can tell me about yourself?

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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23 thoughts on “10 Things That You Might Not Know About Me…Karen Kay”

  1. My grandfather got us a fox terrier when I was only a year old so I don’t remember being alive without pets. A border collie came a few years later. We now have a cairn terrier, two cats and a lovebird. Funny but the dogs “in between” were always herders, like collies and sheepdogs.

    Both my father and grandfather were musicians so there was always music around growing up. I play guitar and joined my first band at 15, and then playing in various other groups for about 20 years. My husband and son are musicians too.

    I met my husband through music–what else?–and we played together in the same band for years.

    I used to work with elders of the Lakota Sioux tribe from the Pine Ridge Reservation to help at risk teens. We brought them east for summers to dance to earn money for their families at home, as well as other events, and they included us in sweat lodges and the like.

    Those I think are some things I have somewhat in common with you.

  2. From my very first memories, I have had a cat or two in my life. I have three right now and they take the place of children as I have never had any.

    • Hi Janine!

      I love cats, too, and for many years I had about 7. But now, because they got old and time does go on, I only have the youngest left, and he is loved so very much. : )

  3. We have a couple of things in common. I,too, took piano lessons and when practicing (1 hour) pushed the clock ahead. My mother
    always noticed and calmly set the clock to the right time and added another half hour to that day’s practice. That is why I quit after two years and would never go again for lessons.

    My grandfather also had an outhouse. That is where I learned to hold it until we got home because there were spiders of which I had a
    very strong fear.

    • Hi Whitney!

      Oh, my gosh, you set the clock up, too. : ) Luckily, my mom didn’t make much of it — probably just set the clock back on time. : )

      Outhouses are still those things I do not enjoy in the least. So glad for plumbing. : )

    • Hi Estella!

      Yes, that is another thing I forgot — there was no plumbing in my grandfather’s house. Everything was hand pumped from a spring. : )

  4. I have always been the pet human to one or two animals. They could have been dog, cat, bird, fish, usually at least 3. Right now I am “owned” by 6 chihuahuas, 5 goldfish, and 2 cats. & also 3 grandchildren. <3 😉

    • Oh, Teresa, you made me smile. It is that way isn’t it? At present I’m “owned” by one cat, one dog, a grandfather and 2 grandchildren. : )

  5. I love that you hid those kittens to save them. My sister and I used to sneak kittens into the house to play with them even though pets weren’t allowed inside. 🙂

    • Hi Nancy!

      Sounds like something right up my ally. A friend of mine used to read under her covers with a flashlight. : ) I’ve always liked that story, too.

  6. We used to have cats. And cows and ducks. Now there’s only my brother’s dog and over the years I’ve looked after every one he’s ever had while he’s been on holiday or at work somewhere far away from home. He just got a new one after his old dog passed away in ripe old age of 14, which in human years would be about 100 years old.

  7. We are owned by 3 dogs, an inside cat and on our 11th generation of cats outside. Outside cats are cats that roam around the neighborhood and we won’t let an animal go hungry or get thirsty. We’ve seen the Mommas and their babies grow up in our backyard where our shed is. I’m so glad you saved those kittens too. Each year I take pictures of the Dads, Mommas and their babies. Love watching them grow and play!!!

  8. I so love that you are “owned” by your dogs and cats. We have moved alot lately — we, too, used to always feed all the animals in our area — including some that aren’t so tame. But we’ve moved a lot lately and we are only in the last few months putting our feet down again and so probably we’ll figure out soon how to feed all the cats in the neighborhood again. : ) I love that you do this.

  9. Karen, thanks for the interesting information. I too have used the pitcher and wash basin, but when camping and when I was overseas. Not hard once you get used to it. Music lessons and practice can be a chore. It is one of those things I think you appreciate as an adult and are glad you have the skill.

    • Hi Patricia!

      Yes, I think you’re right on the skill. It was a chore and contests were stressful, but eventually I sort of got used to it. : )

  10. Kay,that was fun reading your blog. We had a tiger cat when I was 2 who gave birth to kittens,and I got to pick out a boy kitty for my 3rd birthday. I picked black and white Little Bill, who a year later had kittens of her own! Apparently she didn’t get pregnant sooner because her mother fought off the toms. Little Bill got “fixed” even though she wasn’t broken, and I have many lovely photos of her–sleeping with me as a small child, and on through until I was 17. She raised me! and traveled a lot with us moving every few years in the Army.
    In my 20’s I had a short time of no kitty, and vowed to never do that again. I must have kitties in my life!!
    I also raised a kitten who was born in the shed, and stayed pretty wild, except with me, but still a bit wild with me. Willie (Will he love me)

    I started with dogs in high school, when I had horses, and the neighbor dog went with me for rides. I found that my father was really a dog person. I had a series of dogs, but don’t have one now.
    I’ve had goats, rabbits, snakes and geckos, did my Senior Project on breeding Kangaroo Rats, and love all animals, even spiders and insects! I guess that’s why I became a Biologist.
    I love birds, had a budgerigar and a cockatiel, both lutinos (yellow with red eyes) for years each, and have more recently had a love affair with chickens. I still have three, and am planning to have momma hatch another bunch. Fun AND they produce food!

    I never feel like I own animals or that they own me. We are friends and co-workers.

    One of my first stories was The Black and White Cat Mystery. The other (not sure which one was first) was The Chessmen. My brother published it for me, typing the story and making a cardboard cover. I found it a bit ago, and it was pretty good! For a seven year old.

    I seem to do well with non-fiction in my writing so far, but I am still working on writing some fiction.

    I took something like 9 years of piano lessons. No clock moving, though. I chose to practice.
    My grandmothers were both piano players, my grandfather played trombone and sax. I played the trombone in high school and college because he did! I also sang in choirs.
    My dad played French Horn, as did my son Lars, who also plays piano.

    I love pitchers and basins, but never HAD to use them! Did have to use an outhouse somewhere, though.

    I am a reading addict, and used to read with a flashlight or any amount of light. At one point I read while eating, getting dressed, walking, during class, and all the time. I realized I was doing it too much when I tried to read while taking a shower, and decided to live real life for a while. I went cold turkey for 6 months. Sixth grade.
    I still read a lot. A lot of Science Fiction, but I love it all. I even read cereal boxes and signs. I love the written word. 🙂

    • Oh, Marilyn, I love your reply. Absolutely love it. I didn’t know all these things about you and I now feel a little closer to you, too.

      Music should be in all people’s lives, just like the written work should be in all people’s lives. A life without music or without the written word isn’t quite living for me. Even if I’m not playing it, music is still a big part of my life.

      Interestingly, I wasn’t a reading addict. Had too much to do. All that play outside, too many trees to climb and too many dolls to change diapers on. But when I did read, I love it. And of course now I’m pretty much a reading addict. : )

      Thanks Marilyn!

  11. I’ve always loved animals. I finally convinced my parents to let me have one and it was a wild barn cat. I had him for 10 years but my grandmother who came to live with us didn’t like animals and they took him away one day without my knowledge – they just said he hadn’t come home (my dad use to let him out which I hated). I will never understand how they all could do that to me. I called and searched for months. I didn’t find out until over 40 yrs. later that my other grandparents put him in a trunk of their car and they were going to bring him back to the farm. My grandfather had tied the trunk open thinking he was giving him air and he got out some time during their trip. Before I even knew this, about 25 years ago I helped out a stray/feral cat and her kittens and I’ve been caring for and helping strays/ferals ever since. In hindsight I believe it was karma and I hope someone did the same for my cat those many years ago.

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