Three Times A Charm with Karen Pokras Toz

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is children’s author, Karen Pokras Toz. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Karen! Can you tell us a little about you, please?

I write middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. My middle grade novels include the Nate Rocks series, Millicent Marie Is Not My Name, and Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas. I began writing for kids on a dare when my own children told me they had nothing interesting to read. I won that dare and have since won several awards for my works. I’m a native of Connecticut, and now live outside of Philadelphia with my husband and three children.

A dare! That’s great, Karen.

Tell us about your most recent novel.

I recently published my fifth middle grade novel called “Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas.” Pie is about a twelve year old girl named Georgie Harris. Georgie loves to dance and spent many years taking ballet lessons with her best friend, Amber. However, when her parents decided it was time to move to be closer to her grandmother, Georgie did not take the news well: dance lessons in this new town were just too expensive.

Instead, Georgie spends her time baking pies and visiting her grandmother in her nursing home. There she meets a woman named Eve, who turns out to have danced with a world famous ballerina in Russia back when she was a child. Georgie and Eve’s stories intertwine as their friendship progresses throughout the tale, where Georgie learns many lessons about dreams and friendship.

I recommend my book to readers who like:

Are You There God It’s Me Margaret – Judy Blume
Starring Sally J. Freeman As Herself – Judy Blume
Ballerina - Nada Ćurčija Prodanović

That sounds like a story with a wonderful journey. Okay, Karen, now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.

            1. My Laptop/Ipad/Phone – I’m not a pen/paper girl. I like to type – whether it be on my computer or even on the notepad of my phone when I’m waiting for the schoolbus. The only exception is #2...

2. AquaNotes – Have you seen this? It’s a waterproof pad of paper that hangs in the shower. I love it.  (AWESOME!!!! I HAVE TO CHECK INTO THAT!)

3. Coffee. It’s not really a tool, I know. But for serious writing or editing – those times when things are coming together and are no longer just scraps of AquaNotes floating around, coffee is a must.

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

Variety Show Performer (think Marie Osmond – except I can’t sing or dance)
Fashion Buyer for a Department Store (thinking I could get free designer clothes)
Stock Broker (after watching Wall Street – didn’t we all want to be stock brokers after watching that?)

  • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

“We have the power to shrink our dreams to fit reality, or the power to stretch our reality to fit our dreams.” – Anonymous
“Dream big and rock on!”
“You are never too old to set another goal or live another dream.” – C.S. Lewis

Where can our tech savvy readers find you online, Karen?

Connect with me online:

Thanks so much!!

Thank you for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm! Best of luck to you and your writing, Karen.

GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I had a great time!

  2. Karen's books are awesome! I enjoyed reading this- Coffee is a must for me too- and I love the sound of the AquaNotes- cool! ~ Jess


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