We are excited to announce the return of the Muggles Market, just in time for Valentine’s Day! This year’s theme is Muggles Market: Love and Plunder, combining our adoration of pirates and love. As usual, you have a wonderful opportunity to get to know our artists, writers, artisans, and entertainment through our Muggles Market Spotlights.
Karen Nilsen is a fantasy author who is a new author for our Muggles Markets. We asked Karen a few questions about their life, work, and what treasures they’ll be bringing to Muggles Market: Love and Plunder.
Please tell us all about the plunder you’ll be bringing to Muggles Market.
A magpie in her writing, Karen enjoys weaving elements from genres such as historical fantasy, paranormal romance, and family saga into an eclectic nest. She completed the Landers Saga in 2012, her first series about the House of Landers.
Imagine being a seer in a skewed Renaissance world that burns witches at the stake. The Landers Saga tells the story of Safire, a psychic artist whose unusual abilities condemn her as a witch in her superstitious society. A sensitive and wild soul, Safire struggles to survive and be herself in a labyrinth of unforgiving rules and court intrigue. She plunges headlong into a passionate love affair with a highborn man, little imagining the far-reaching consequences of this entanglement for her, her family, and her world.
Karen’s completed works include:
Fledgling Witch: A Novella (A Prequel to the Landers Saga)
The Witch Awakening (Book One of the Landers Saga)
Tapestry Lion (Book Two of the Landers Saga)
Phoenix Ashes (Book Three of the Landers Saga)
The Curious Fear of High and Lonely Places (Book Four of the Landers Saga)
The Bird Children (Book One of the Phoenix Realm)
Across the Summer Sea (Book Two of the Phoenix Realm)
The In-Between Place (Book Three of the Phoenix Realm)
How Winter Came to Eden (Book Four of the Phoenix Realm)
Persephone’s Tears: A Romance in the Seventh Dimension
The Dream Garden
How did you get started making your glorious plunder?
As a child, Karen suffered frequent bouts of insomnia. The only way she could settle into sleep many nights was to imagine stories that played out like movies on the dark ceiling over her bed. Since her mean parents refused to replace the TV after the cat blew it up by peeing on the cord, all Karen had left to entertain herself in the lone wilds of the Minnesota wilderness were books and her own stories.
As Karen grew, the stories grew with her. One day when she was fourteen, she told her mother one of these stories for probably the hundredth time. Her mother, who knew Karen very well, turned to her and said, “You know, Karen, you keep talking about these stories, but you never write them down. You keep saying you’re going to write a novel, but I don’t believe that you will.” This comment infuriated Karen so much that she started writing her stories down and hasn’t stopped since.
What’s an item you are bringing that you are really excited about?
A Nest of Thorns will be available as a paperback for the first time at the Muggles Market. It’s a novel-length retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” currently available in episode form on Kindle Vella:
Lycora drifts off to sleep one night in her tower chamber and awakens a century later to snow falling through the crumbling roof over her bed. Stunned and grieving her lost world, she discovers her cousin also shares the curse. They set out together to learn how a hundred years passed while they slept and find themselves caught in a web of family secrets, betrayals, and dark magic. In order to free herself, Lycora must face the truth within and reclaim the destiny stolen from her.
What else would you like everyone to know about your wares?
I love fantasy and romance, and I explore these themes in all of my stories.
What’s your favorite love or pirate story and why?
This is a tough one to answer, at least when it comes to a love story! As I enjoy all things gothic, Jane Eyre is one of my favorite stories. Jane’s independence and strength under tremendous adversity has always inspired me. I think the best film version is the 2007 BBC production, starring Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens.
You can find Karen Nilsen on the interwebs!
Their website: https://www.karennilsen.com/
And, of course, you will meet them in person at Muggles Market: Love and Plunder on Sunday February 5, 2023 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at Queen’s Sports Complex, 2229 Tyvola Rd. Charlotte, NC 28210! It’s always a good time for pirates! So dress in your finest, sea-worthy garb, and come check out these awesome treasures!