Karen F. Riley, Author
Karen has been writing since she was eight years old. Nationally published at the age of eleven; her subsequent work has appeared in NJ Monthly, the Asbury Park Press, Tri-Town News, The New Egypt Press and other media. Her first book, Whispers in the Pines: The Secrets of Colliers Mills, deals with the history and environment of the northernmost part of the Pine Barrens. It was a culmination of five years of reseach into this unique area. In book talks and signings, readers wanted to know more about the people behind that history.
Voices in the Pines: True Stories from the New Jersey Pine Barrens, brings that history alive through the eyes of the folks that live and work throughout the Pinelands. Karen found it challenging to put into words the incredible lives of the people she interviewed for Voices in the Pines. She felt humbled by folks who spent days without sleep battling scorching fires blazing through the pines and families whose lives were dependent upon a single season harvest. Karen, her husband, Bill and their three children – Lisa, Laura and Chris – moved to New Egypt, NJ in 1992.
Andrew Gioulis, Illustrator
Andrew grew up in a family of skilled artisans. He started out as an illustrator and still incorporates sketches into his work as a graphic designer. Andrew holds a B.S. in Graphic Design/New Media Design from Roberts Wesleyan College, which he earned while on an art scholarship. He has garnered thirty awards for his innovative style and is currently working on his MFA. Recently, Andrew was accepted into the International Academy of Visual Arts – an invitation only, membership-based organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.
Voices in the Pines gave him an opportunity to return to the sketchbook to capture the people and places of this unique region. Traveling down sugar sand roads, Andrew was able to visually preserve in ilustrations and photographs a culture that is fiercely proud of its heritage and rightly so. Andrew resides by the Jersey Shore where he can indulge his love of surfing and photography.
Behind the Scenes
The Pine Barrens of New Jersey encompass nearly a quarter of the state’s land mass, yet so many have never ventured into these woods. Even lesser known are the stories of the men and women who have toiled among these pines, carved out occupations and raised families here. Karen and Andrew set out to change that. From standing on top of a cranberry sorter during the harvest to driving along former cranberry bogs now turned into a Christian camp, they were able to glimpse what life was like in these woods.
They are deeply indebted to the people who kindly gave of their time to share pieces of their lives so they could preserve them on paper. Sadly, more of this history is slipping away every day, as some of the folks they spoke with are no longer with us. Voices in the Pines has captured those memories in words and illustrations and preserved them for future generations. Own your copy today.
Karen and Andrew own KFR Communications, LLC, a custom graphic and website design company located on the fringes of the Pine Barrens. More information on their company can be found at www.kfrcommunications.com. They welcome your feedback on Voices in the Pines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography on this page taken by Rich Schaub - click here to view more of his work.