Eating Grubs, Missionary Stories, and The Girl Who Could See

61oGrqssxmL._UX250_Say hello to Kara Swanson!  I met her at Realm Makers in Reno last year, and we quickly bonded.  She’s a kindred spirit, an ENFJ, and an old soul even though she’s a decade younger than I am.  She’s got great connections and great thoughts, and they translate to beautiful words on the written page.  I was able to be a beta reader for her amazing book, Skyridge, during the month of December.  And now she’s currently writing a Peter Pan retelling that I’m super excited about.  This girl is going places for the Lord!

I interviewed her months ago and am now FINALLY getting a chance to put it up here on514NkgTQtSL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ my blog.  Check out her novella “The Girl Who Could See” if you like romantic sci-fi.  🙂


Kara, do you have a (non-family) best friend?  Who? And why?

Kara: Hmmm interesting question! I have a few close friends, and always feel a bit odd signaling one person out as a ‘best friend’ as they each are so special to me ^_^  

Me: Mhmmmm… This is a politically correct answer. 😉 😛

Kara: When I was younger, I lived in a remote tribe and our coworkers had four boys. One of them, Jacob, was my age and definitely my best friend in the tribe growing up. I was a bit of a tomboy and Jacob was often my partner in crime… 🙂

Me: What’s your favorite book(s)? Movie(s)?

Kara: Hmm I love the Narnia books. And have a soft spot for Marvel movies. Lately I’m rather obsessed with Tom Holland and Spiderman: Homecoming 😉
Me: Ahhhhhhhh!  I loved that movie!  I was a diehard Tobey Maguire fan, so I refused to watch any other Spiderman movies, but my parents told me I’d love it, and I did!  Can I adopt Tom Holland???
Where are all of the places you’ve lived and why?  Which was your favorite?
Kara: Whoa, okay. Ummm to keep it simple, I’ve lived overseas in Papua New Guinea (several different locations there), and then many states. California, Missouri, Oregon, Idaho…and spent a few days visiting churches in plenty of others that I couldn’t count 😉 Hard to say which was my favorite, they were all unique. Wewak was a coastal town in Papua New Guinea and it was beautiful. Palm trees, secluded beaches with water almost as warm as a bath. Tropical breezes and unique animals. That was a wonderful place to live. I spent 16 years in Papua New Guinea because my family were missionaries. Most of that time was spent in a tribe called Siawi, remote in the jungle. It was only accessible by airplane and we had no roads, electricity, wifi etc.
Me: That is amazing!  *jaw drops*
What’s your funniest missionary kid story?
Kara: Okay so this was definitely not funny to the rest of my family, but it’s the first thing that pops into my head, soooo…
We had a river that ran in front of our house, and we would always go swimming with my dad around 4:00 in the afternoon. We’d often times play games where one person would be “it” with their eyes closed, and have to swim around the river trying to tag anyone else. Once they’d caught someone, that person would also be “it” with them. Well, I had a habit of being able to hold my breath for a very long time. So one of the rounds of this game I was the last person left, while there were several people–including my father–swimming around trying to tag me. So I dove down, grabbed a big rock, and walked across the bottom of the river to a nice corner and hunkered down. I held my breath for as long as I could, watching everyone else swimming around. After a while, they all formed a line and began walking across the water, splaying their hands back and forth. I thought it was odd, so I finally decided to pop up.
Turns out, I’d been holding my breath so long they thought I’d drowned or passed out, and were dragging the water for me. O.O Needless to say, while I thought it was a little amusing, my father did not… 😉 
Me: Oh my!!  Hahaha
What’s your scariest?
Kara: How to pick one? We had a murder that happened in our tribe, that almost started a tribal war with another tribe. I was pretty young, and everyone but my father (and our co worker’s father) had to fly out of the tribe. I remember wondering if my dad was about to get caught in the middle of a war–and if he’d make it out. 
Me: Wow.  I can’t even imagine.  That’s real life terror we don’t have to think about here in America.
What kinds of odd pets did you have?
Kara: Oooh all kinds! I had eight wallabies (mini kangaroos), a hornbill (like a Toucan without the colorful beak), we had a Cockatoo (that was our coworkers, but we took care of him after they left), several different kinds of cuscus (kind of like a fuzzy possum), all kind of parrots, a wild Dingo dog, a monitor lizard…
Me: Mini kangaroos and a Dingo!
What do you miss about the mission field?  What don’t you miss?
Kara: I miss the people. I miss the tropical weather, beaches and lush jungles. I don’t miss being so remote or watching so many friends leave.

Me: That totally makes sense.

Now for funny questions:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten?

Kara: Grub worms. Raw. You had to bite their little squirming pincher heads off before tossing them in your mouth. Delicious, right?
Me: Ehhhhh… Um… I’ll pass?  😉
What’s your favorite kind of cheese?
Kara: Swiss.
Me: I can’t stand swiss.  I didn’t know there was anyone who liked it.  :-O
Team Tennant or Team Smith? (There is totally a right answer here!)
Kara: Team Tennant. Is there any other option???? 😉


Me: Good answer!  No, there is no other option. 😛

Lastly, the writer questions:

What inspired The Girl Who Could See?

Kara: A combination of a lot of things. The original concept sprouted from two sentences that popped into my head one day: They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left. I also drew from my experiences battling Lyme Disease, constantly moving and having a perspective on the world few others had as a missionary kid.
Me: Awww.  Yeah!  You’ve been through a lot!
What new projects do you have up your sleeves that you can tell us about?
Kara: I’m working on revisions on a sci fi/dystopian about a girl who realizes that everything she knows–her world, her family and even her very identity is a lie. And also rewriting a YA paranormal about a girl who’s father is a fallen angel, with a destiny to destroy the world–but she has other plans. 🙂
Me: That last one is Skyridge!  ^_^
What book do you really wish could be made into a movie?
Kara: I think that Storm Siren by Mary Weber would be a great movie 🙂 I’ve also always wanted The Witch of Blackbird Pond to be made into a movie!
Me: I adore “The Witch of Blackbird Pond.”  I agree with you!  I haven’t read any of Mary Weber’s books yet.  I need to get on that!
Thank you so much for having me, RJ! This was a lot of fun ^_^ ❤
Me: Thank YOU, Kara!  Love you dearly!

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