Interview with Children's Book Author Karen Carew Oakes

Karen Carew Oakes, has been writing for many years and her articles have been included in the Lutheran Advent, as well as an article in several magazines. She is a mother and grandmother. She lives in Helotes, Texas with her two schnauzers Ella and Mackenzie. Her stories are based on true experiences her children encountered growing up.

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What sparked the idea for writing Drewsilla, The Shelter Puppy?

 My daughter adopted a dog from a shelter and I wanted to share her story and encourage people to adopt not buy from stores.

Did you always want to be a children’s book author?

I didn’t start out wanting to write children books but situations in my life presented themselves that could pass along important messages.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The main character is Drewsilla. The shy shelter puppy that was in need of a home. The supporting characters are the Johnsons who were seeking to adopt a pet

Your book is set in a shelter in Corpus Christi, Texas..  Can you tell us why you chose this location in particular?

This is where the story took place.

How long did it take you to write your book?

 The story came pretty easily, but perfecting it took a bit longer.

If you and your main character decided to go off and have some fun, where would you two go?

We would go to a dog park with a ball launcher and play all afternoon.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I loved Robin Kane mysteries as a child. I love a good mystery.

How can we get kids to read?

We need to create stories that excite a Childs imagination. They need to be able to picture the story in their mind even when there are no illustrations. 

What has been the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I met an established writer who encouraged me to get my stories published. 


When Drewsilla and her siblings are tiny puppies, an accident steals their mother away. A kind stranger rescues them and takes them to a shelter, where the staff works around the clock to care for the pack of newborns. Soon, her brothers and sisters begin to thrive. Drewsilla has a beautiful black coat, intelligent eyes, and ears that stand straight up.

Drewsilla, though, is scared. She seems afraid of everyone and everything and hides in the back of her cage when families come to visit. As her friendly siblings each get adopted, lonely Drewsilla remains. The staff even worries that she might never find a home. Then, one day, something amazing happens.
The Johnsons come to the shelter to look at another dog and see Drewsilla, who miraculously finds the courage to stop hiding and say hello. All shelter dogs deserve the chance to find a loving family, and this is the true story of Drewsilla -- how she overcomes her fears, finds her family, and gets a second chance at a happy life.