Archive for the ‘On Writing’ Category

Dear friends and readers,

Cover: Neighbors!
by Karen Oberlaender

It has finally happened: My second book, Neighbors!, was published today, June 19, 2018 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book is a flash fiction series, focussed on Sheriff Jim Burrell and a peculiar case. It also comprises a bit of fan fiction: author C. S. Boyack lent me my favourite protagonist of his works, Lisa Burton, to support Sheriff Jim.

I hope you will take the time to check Neighbors! out at your retailer of choice or at Smashwords, where you can buy and download the book in the typical ebook formats.

Neighbors! is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews.  🙂

Best wishes,



Dear friends and readers,

After following a flash fiction prompt, I was easily convinced by a reader’s comment, that the story should continue. (How it began…)

I loved writing about sheriff Jim Burrell and his team, including Lisa Burton, C. S. Boyack’s unique protagonist of Wild Concept. Dear Craig, I still feel honoured that you allowed my piece of fan fiction. I can imagine to continue the story – with a different case of course – if you readers want it.

During the last months I took my time to format, re-edit, etc., and Smashwords accepted Neighbors! for their Premium Catalog.

Cover: Neighbors!
by Karen Oberlaender

Neighbors! is available for pre-order in all e-formats:

Publication date:  2018-06-19

Enjoy reading the episodes at the coffee machine or in the lift (perhaps I should say elevator – as Neighbors! is set in the USA 😉), or just wherever else you like to read.

Peace, coffee, and a cheesecake.  🍀☘


Dear friends and readers,
Today I would like to share this blog post: Don Massenzio interviewing me on his blog.
A great opportunity to visit his site and discover lots of interesting topics.  🙂

Author Don Massenzio

This week’s edition of A Perfect 10 features author Karen Obelaender. Karen tells us about her work and her inspiration.

Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at

KarenDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing is rather energizing for me. As soon as the adrenaline kicks in, my writing juices…

View original post 657 more words

Dear friends and readers,

cover_inasmallcompass_1It has finally happened: My first book, In a Small Compass – Vol. 1, was published on November 30, 2016 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book comprises my first 15 (optimised!) short stories. I hope you’ll take time to check it out at Smashwords, where you can download the book for free.

In a Small Compass – Vol. 1 is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews.  🙂

Best wishes,


My friend and fellow blogger Yinglan ( tagged me to take part in the Freestyle Writing Challenge, and – I obviously accept the challenge. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Yinglan!

The rules for the challenge:

  1. Open a blank Document
  2. Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you prefer.
  3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
  4. Once you start writing do not stop until the alarm sounds!
  5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write with correct spelling and grammar.)
  6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals.
  7. At the end of your post write down “# of words = ____” to give an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)
Yinglan’s topic: DOG OR CAT FOR A PET? WHY?Cat_dog

We share our flat with two cats. I can hear you sighing something along the line “Oh gosh, cat persons!” Despite our feline cohabitants, we could never be categorised as cat persons. We also have the greatest respect for other animals. We could imagine one or two dogs in our lives as well, sure. This would be highly unfair toward them due to our full-time jobs. Now you know: We have a clear conscience and respect a creature’s needs.

Let’s begin with cats: Cats are free-minded spirits who do not mind being left alone for some hours; they doze, eat, play. As soon as you open the door, they insist on being greeted, fed, snuggled or – occasionally left alone. As long as you observe their needs, everything is fine.

About dogs: Dogs are less inclined to pass their days in solitude; they need company, their humans are an important part of their lives. As we could not spend enough time with (our) canines, we just dream of having the opportunity to sharing our lives with dogs as well – at a later date.

You see, our cohabitants of choice need to be felines; I would consider it as an unnecessary lack of respect to leave my dog(s) alone for hours; canines need company to be happy. At least there is a fictional dog in my life: Bud, star of my “Oh. My. Dog!” series.

# of words:  235
Time:  10 minutes

I would like to pass on the challenge to:

Jack –

Ali –

Andy –

Karen –

Daniel –

Shehanne –

Craig –


Do you accept my challenge, my friends?  :mrgreen:

If yes, this is your topic:


[vacations do not count, just everyday life]

Before you become a writer, you’re a reader. Over the years, certain genres become your favourites. If you are a technical author (like me), you write what you have to write about. This really isn’t difficult if you learned how to write for certain reader groups.

When I started writing for the fun of it, I soon realised that my favourite reading genres are not necessarily my favourite writing genres. Nearly two years ago, I started testing. This confirmed that I preferred long stories – at least novella length. Genre-wise I surprised myself: It isn’t crime I love to write about. My tendency is more or less urban fantasy and/or contemporary with a minimum touch of fantasy or crime.

My test phase resulted in this blog. It is obvious that there are short stories and flash fiction. I disliked short stories in the past – they were all rather disappointing. This changed when I read the first short stories by Jessica West and Karen Soutar. Reading their works made me write my own short stories. I learned how immensely difficult it is to write a short story. Due to a full-time job, it is not easy to regularly write a short story. If you have read my ’10 Statements’, you know that I am inspired by nearly everything. I am often inspired by Erin Waldie or her siblings’ photos (e.g. for ‘Hawk at the Harbour’ or ‘Golden Bliss’).

Then I stumbled upon  Flash Fiction Friday. If I liked the prompt and dragon’s bidding – I participated. 150 words (+/- 10) is even trickier than a short story.

This was my contribution for “Flash! Friday-Vol 2 – 24“.

These were the requirements:

***Today’s Dragon’s Bidding (required element to incorporate somewhere in your story; does not need to be the exact word unless instructed to do so, e.g. “include the word “arrears’”):


***Today’s Prompt:


I really liked that! Inspiration led to ‘FF: Neighbors!’.

Thanks to Elaine Canham‘s comment “I liked the message stuck on the cactus. Trouble is, I want to know more.” I knew that I also wanted more.  😀

Suddenly I was writing a flash fiction series. And I loved every bit along the way. I didn’t plan ahead. Sometimes inspiration struck, I noted this for the upcoming instalment.

In addition to all my writing, I read lots of books this year. One of these books had an admirable protagonist: I ‘met’ Lisa Burton while reading ‘Wild Concept’ by C. S. Boyack. I was impressed, she just had to be declared my book character of the year. Craig, her creator often writes about the writing cabin and – Lisa ( I once commented to someone else that it’s a pity that Craig is writing his own fan fiction. Craig told me to give it a go and I decided to let Lisa support Sheriff Jim Burrell.

Regarding fan fiction, you need to know that I didn’t really like it too much – until reading Topaz Winters‘ awesome fan fiction on Sherlock Holmes.

2014 was an important year for my writing. I learned a lot by reading and keeping an open mind. Thanks to you all, dear readers and/or commenters, this year was truly inspiring.