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Karen McCombie
Karen McCombie

Karen McCombie books:
Indie Kidd: Oops, I Lost My Best(est) Friends

How did you get started writing?  

I worked for loads of teen magazines, including ‘J17’ and ‘Sugar’, which aren't around any more but used to be HUGELY popular. Over the years (and magazines), I've been a fashion editor, pet correspondent, quiz writer, features writer and sub-editor (a job where no-one knows what you do – but trust me, if there were no sub-editors, magazines wouldn't come out and websites would be full of mistooks. Ha!).OK, so you were a sub-editor and all that other stuff.

Then what happened?  
Then my friend Marina – the deputy editor of ‘Sugar’ magazine when it first started –asked me to write some short stories for the magazine. Once I did a few of those, I wrote off to loads of book publishers with photocopies of my short stories and ideas for full-length books for teenagers. Lots of publishers wrote back saying, "Thank you, but go away". Luckily, the very cool children's book publishers Scholastic thought I didn't stink and asked me to write some stuff for a series they were doing. After that, Marina – now the editor of ‘Sugar’ magazine by this time – wanted to do a series of ‘Sugar’ books (for HarperCollins), and got me involved (I owe her a big hug for that). After I worked on a ton of them, under a pseudonym, I got asked to write a series by Scholastic, which turned out to be the best-selling 'Ally's World'. I've been busy writing ever since.