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Manteca author part of Bookfest on Oct. 19

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Mary Gomes Del Pino, right, and New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger went down memory lane as they perusd the pages of their Manteca High 1969 Yearbook during last year’s Great Va...

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/Bulletin file photo/

POSTED September 19, 2013 11:17 p.m.

Karen Arnpriester writes for herself.

She writes because it gives her control. She writes because it’s therapeutic. And she writes because ever since she started four years ago she has discovered a process that has both reaffirmed her personal beliefs and allowed her to expand upon them.

Next month the Manteca resident will be one of the featured authors at the Great Valley Bookfest set for Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. She’ll speak to her peers about the benefits of self-publishing and getting your works out into the world.

But she’s just looking forward to the company. Being around other writers only compounds her belief that she’s pursuing something that she loves and that’s beneficial to her life and those that come across her work.

“It’s kind of like if you’re into four-wheeling – it’s a much different experience if you find a bunch of like-minded people that enjoy it and you go together than if you go by yourself,” she said. “It’s a lot more intense, and you can literally feel the excitement. I got to experience that excitement among the people that are there to encourage each other last year, and it’s a great feeling to be a the ground level with them.”

It was her faith that got her started.

Her church was putting together a book of devotional stories, and Arnpriester, who had never published anything at that point, decided to submit four entries. Those that saw her writing encouraged her to pursue it beyond just the arena of her congregation, and it planted the seed for what would eventually become Anessia’s Quest – a story that chronicle’s the life of a young girl as she navigates her way into adulthood.

Her newest story, Raider’s Vendetta, reflected her own personal struggles with her faith and included characters that were angry and bitter at God and had questions about his existence and the existence of suffering in the world and characters that relied solely on their faith and everyday miracles to keep them alive.

Her process is simple – she takes what she can from her day-to-day live and tries to put it down on the page. With her first book that meant coming up with the heart of the story – she had the start and the conclusion but needed something to fill throughout the middle.

Raider’s Vendetta, however, was more of an exercise in controlling the characters that she had learned to create and shape through her own experiences.

And crafting an entire persona – a person on a page that somebody will actually relate to – is something that Arnpriester finds amazingly empowering.

“The control is so powerful when you can create somebody and make anything happen when you want it to happen,” she said. “Everybody’s at your mercy and you have the ability to wield that however you want. It’s something that I’ve kind of grown into.”

For additional information about Arnpriester’s work, or to download free chapters, visit or or search for her by name on The Great Valley Bookfest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. For more information visit

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