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Karyn Monk
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Arriving as the fourth child and the third baby in three years for John and Lorraine Monk, Karyn surprised her weary but delighted mother when she turned out not to be the boy her mother had believed she would be. Since her chosen name of Philip would not work particularly well with the squirming little girl in the doctor's arms, her mother was at a loss when the nurse in the delivery room cheerfully asked her what she planned to call her new baby. "I don't know," her mother confessed. "What's your name?" "It's Karen," the nurse replied. "All right, I'll call her Karen," her mother decided agreeably, feeling much too tired and elated to give the matter any further thought. Later, when her father was completing her birth certificate, neither parent was entirely certain how the hastily selected name was spelled. So they improvised and spelled it with a 'Y', thinking that looked more or less right. Hence began a lifetime of Karyn having to spell her name for people, giving everyone the impression that her parents were striving to be different when they named her, when in fact they were only trying to quickly finish the paperwork and get some much-needed sleep... Of a rather theatrical temperament, Karyn loved to perform for anyone willing to be her audience from an early age--and when no one was willing, her imaginary audience enthusiastically filled in. Upon seeing the movie The Sound of Music, she decided that she wanted to grow up to be just like Julie Andrews, except without that short haircut. Her passion for singing and acting took her onto the stage in a number of musical productions over the years, in which she played a variety of roles, both serious and comic. After graduating from university with a major in history she began to build a career in advertising, while still making time to perform. It was while auditioning for a part in an original musical rather mystifyingly titled "Last Tango in Fargo North Dakota," that her life suddenly changed forever... The music director of the show was enchanted enough by her audition to cast her, and soon afterward realized that he couldn't possibly live without her. Ultimately he whisked her away to Paris, where one soft summer evening he seated her in the garden before a magnificent sixteenth century chateau, proclaimed his undying love and asked her to marry him. Pure shock momentarily robbed Karyn of the ability to speak, which was so extraordinarily out of character for her, her poor beloved thought she was refusing him. His gaze downcast, he quietly told her she could take some time to think about it. With a little cry she threw herself against him and kissed him deeply, making it quite clear that there was no need to give the matter any further consideration... Karyn's romantic new husband, who by some strange twist of fate was named Philip, was extremely supportive of her pursuing her dream of becoming a writer. So she resigned from her job in the hectic world of fashion and advertising and set to work writing a novel, tapping away each day in a small room on a temperamental, antiquated computer. After laboring for nearly two years, she was immensely encouraged when an agent agreed to represent her before the manuscript was completed. Her optimism swiftly diminished, however, when the first rejection letters arrived, claiming her romantic historical was too dark and detailed. On the verge of abandoning her relatively short literary career, her darling husband went out and secretly purchased a new computer for her. He unveiled it with great ceremony, telling her that he absolutely believed she would be a published author one day, and that she had invested far too much time and hard work to give up. Published or not, he added tenderly, she was already a success in his eyes. The next day, she received a call from her agent telling her that her book had sold to Bantam. Surrender To A Stranger was released to critical acclaim, and was nominated Best First Book by Romantic Times. Karyn went on to write more books, winning awards along the way, and making good use of the computer her darling husband had given to her. She quickly became renowned for her powerful, sensual style, which also incorporated her own special warmth and humor. She was also known for her compelling characterizations of children, whom she adored... Karyn's beautiful young daughter, Genevieve, arrived in the spring of 1998. A theatrical little Miss who loved an audience, she immediately set to work enchanting her ecstatic parents. She was joined some three years later by her baby brother, Carson, whose sunny personality and bubbly laughter made him a perfect audience for Genevieve's constant desire to sing, dance and entertain the world around her. Most recently lovely little Adelaide has joined the family, and together they fill Karyn and her darling husband's lives with wonderful commotion and enormous amounts of laughter.

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Photo: Karyn Monk
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