Painting Pictures With Words


Karen Wamhoff Schutte was born and raised on a farm/ranch in the Big Horn Basin located in Northwest Wyoming. The oldest of four daughters, she attended the first eight grades in a two-room schoolhouse, then rode a bus to attend high school in Greybull. She studied at the University of Wyoming, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Design Marketing; she owned and operated Interiors by Karen for twenty-five years. Karen and her husband Michael have four grown sons and ten grandchildren.

Upon retirement from her chosen career in design, Karen felt compelled to record her family’s history of German immigration. As the oldest grandchild and great-grandchild on her mother’s side, she dove into the maternal historical research with the intent of documenting the family information. As the intriguing family stories began to fill her head, their lives and voices began to spill onto the pages.  The unexpected result was her first novel, THE TICKET. Because it was so well received, Karen felt inspired to proceed with the second novel in the maternal family saga, SEED OF THE VOLGA. Her historical research into the family background revealed several surprising findings, one of those being that the family carries far eastern blood markers. The other is that she descends from royal German blood.

In 2014, Karen released her third historical novel of the family saga, FLESH ON THE BONE. This novel joins in the journey of life with Jake and Raisa, children of the first two novels. With only a sixth grade education, the children of immigrants chart their path through the Roaring Twenties, the poverty and helplessness of The Great Depression. Living in a tar-paper house and struggling with 'depression' debt, they send their only son off to fight in WWII. Karen released her fourth novel, THE TANK COMMANDER, in 2016. Her 5th novel and first in a new paternal series, THE GERMAN YANKEE was released in the fall of 2018.  Schutte's great-grandfather, John Westerhoff came to America to carve out a new life, only to be swept up in the Civil War. He was a farrier by trade and joined the Union Cavalry, fighting on the Western Front in Missouri. After the war, he and his new wife choose a better life on the unsettled plains of Nebraska. A FAR PLACE is Schutte's 6th historical novel and  the sequel to her 5th paternal novel, GERMAN YANKEE. It is due to be released to the public in early 2021. This final book of the series revolves around Schutte's grandparents who left Nebraska at the turn of the 20th century to homestead in the wilds of rural Wyoming. John and Mary Wamhoff built the farm where she was born and raised in the Big Horn Basin. Using family photos, stories, actual 100-year-old letters, along with her historical research, Schutte weaves a beautiful story of sacrifice, faith, deception, and the final crushing blow which almost lost the farm.

“When I sit down to write, I visualize the characters, the story, the setting, and  then—I paint a picture for the reader with my carefully chosen words.” Schutte further elaborates, “Writing to me is an unintended, emotional release, a journey of discovery, and a cherished gift which I have discovered in the winter of my life. I hope I have enough years left to accomplish all that I have planned.  I may have another book up my sleeve, we'll see how it pans out.”