Gympie author Karen Foxlee with her new book, The Midnight Dress.
Gympie author Karen Foxlee with her new book, The Midnight Dress. Renee Pilcher

It's book No. 2 for Gympie author Karen Foxlee

TUCKED into the kitchen table of a brightly lit cottage high on the hill in Gympie's inner city sits a literary talent who has already done untold good for this region's cultural cred, and will do even more following the release of her second novel last week.

Author and mum Karen Foxlee stormed the literary world in 2006 with her highly acclaimed first novel, The Anatomy of Wings, capturing the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Best First Book in the South East Asia and South Pacific Region); the 2008 Dobbie Encouragement Award and the 2006 Queensland Premier's Literary Award (Best emerging author).

Though that award has since been scrapped by Campbell Newman's razor gang, Karen is still writing her way to fame and fortune; last week celebrating two huge milestones: her daughter Alice's first day at school and the first appearance of her second book in Australian stores.

The Midnight Dress has been years in the making, but Karen said yesterday everything really only coalesced within the past 12 months.

Writing her second novel under the heavy expectations of her fans and publishers was no easy task.

"The first novel is for yourself," she said yesterday from her Gympie home, where she lives with her daughter Alice, two cats, four chooks and several goldfish.

"But with the second one I felt like everyone was listening to what I was thinking."

It wasn't until Karen shook off that feeling and got back into the zone of writing for herself that she was able to finish it.

Already hailed by the critics, The Midnight Dress is not the only new Foxlee work heading for the bookshops. Her American publishers are bringing out her first children's novel in the spring of 2014.

Born and raised in Mount Isa, Karen came to Gympie in 2000, after her dad passed away, to be with her mum.

When she is not writing, she works as a registered nurse at the Gympie Hospital.

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