Cheré Dastugue Coen
Southern Writers Spotlight: Karon Warren of N. Georgia Mountains
Name: Karon Warren
Book: “100 Things to Do in the North Georgia Mountains Before You Die”
Hometown: Ellijay, Georgia
Gives us a description of your book.
“100 Things to Do in the North Georgia Mountains Before You Die” is your go-to travel inspiration guide when visiting the North Georgia Mountains. It offers suggestions on where to grab a bite to eat, what attractions are must-sees and ways to get outside and enjoy the region’s natural beauty—and much more.
What brought you to write these stories?
As a travel journalist and resident of Ellijay (a small town in the North Georgia Mountains) for more than 20 years, I have traveled this region for pleasure and for work. There are so many interesting people here with great stories to tell. You’ll find those folks at the many local businesses and attractions in the region, everything from picking apples in a family-owned orchard to learning the history at a local museum to shopping for treasures at locally owned boutiques. I took advantage of this opportunity to spotlight some of those people, places and “things” to do.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Getting out and exploring the region, and talking to folks everywhere I go.
Where do the stories take place?
The North Georgia Mountains – essentially everywhere north of a line that runs from Cartersville to Cumming to Commerce.
How does setting play in the telling of the story?
The North Georgia Mountains are rich with history and amazing people who carved out their lives here.
What do you think makes a good story/book?
For the purpose of this book, I hope it provides insight into all the great places to visit and things to do while in the region.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been interested in writing. When I was in elementary school, I actually joined an “Authors Club” that my teacher started. I still have my membership card displayed in my office. When I was a teenager, I became interested in magazines: the stories, the photos, the page layouts—every aspect of what makes that magazine a magazine.
When did you write your first book? And how was that experience?
This is my first book. It was fun, but also challenging, because how do you choose just 100 things to do when there are so many wonderful options available?
Is writing your primary job or do you have another career?
Yes, I’m a full-time freelance journalist.
What does your family think of your writing?
They have always been supportive of my career, but they were especially excited when they heard I was taking on this book project. It’s been an interesting journey.
What was the most surprising thing you learned writing your stories?
That everyone has an interesting story to tell. We just have to be willing to ask to hear it.
Did writing your book lead you to other things?
I continue to write travel stories as a full-time journalist. But I’m now learning how to promote a book, which has been a real learning curve for me.
What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s the only way to learn.
And never let anyone tell you it’s a waste of time because you’ll never make any money at it. While most of us won’t hit the bestsellers list, you can build a very successful career as a writer.
How can readers find and purchase your books?
From me and from Reedy Press (email: email@example.com).
Local retailers: Artful Ellijay, Ellijay, GA
Book Bound Bookstore, Blairsville, GA
Dahlonega General Store, Dahlonega, GA
Discover Dahlonega Visitors Center, Dahlonega, GA
Wander North Georgia, Clayton, GA
Booth Western Art Museum gift shop, Cartersville, GA