About the Author



“A love story that rings true on every page. Vanderyt follows Afterglow with a book about how the people, places and pets she loved with her husband brought her through grief.”

–Linton C. Hopkins, MD, retired neurologist, author of Where Bobby Learned to Play: East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta


Karen J. Vanderyt still lives at the end of Thornbriar Road in the old stone house which she lovingly wrote about in her first book, Afterglow.  For 29 Years, she and her husband, Bill, reclaimed this plot of land, respecting its unique qualities by adding color and variety to the landscape surrounding their sturdy family home.

In 2009, Bill passed away from Glioblastoma Multiforme, a currently incurable form of brain cancer.  Writing her first book, Afterglow, was an exercise in remembrance, an extension of grieving, and a labor of love.  She wrote to make sense of all that happened during those swift three months from diagnosis until his passing.

Obsidian Rose, the sequel, illustrates a reality still full of memories and mourning, but how bringing a Lab puppy into her life while navigating everyday hills and valleys over the following two years reinforced her determination to create a new life for herself. Obsidian Rose shows an awakening, a coming out of the fog to reclaim personal spirit and bravely face each new day.

kv.Kirby.Bill.OR.champagneKaren met Bill while attending Cornell University. After study and courtship for two years, they married and moved to Atlanta where Bill completed his medical degree and residency, and Karen finished her English degree, both at Emory University. Though certified to teach high school English, she worked in a doctor’s office for a few years before choosing to raise their three children, “manage” a bustling household, and catch moments to garden, paint and sculpt.

After growing up in Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota following the professional football career of her father Norm Van Brocklin, her home in Georgia has been by far her longest stay in one location. Currently, she is building a home in Oregon on land she and Bill bought decades ago, land where they planned to fulfill a dream of retirement, a dream she is realizing.

An active volunteer for most of her life, Karen has served on the Board of the DeKalb County American Heart Association, coordinated wheelchair tennis tournaments for the ALTA Foundation, mentored students at Drew Charter School, and staffed the phone at the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Helpline.

Karen began writing seriously when taking classes with Wayne South Smith, Writing Coach/Editor, who revitalized her cathartic practice of journaling and opened up a new world when he nudged her towards exploring written projects to share. She has written a children’s book for each of her eight grandchildren in celebration of their first birthdays, a series of self-illustrated, playful stories about the adventures of the pets at Thornbriar where the grands, like her children before them, will make memories of their own.  But it was Afterglow that brought her process of journaling and memoir together in her first published book to share with a circle beyond family and friends. Her sequel, Obsidian Rose, continues this tradition.

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure will receive Karen’s donation of all proceeds from the softcover and e-book versions of both titles. Karen’s heart is aligned with ABC2’s mission “to invest in research aimed at finding the fastest possible route to a cure.”

To contact Karen, request an author signing or book club appearance, please email her.