Karen Harper taught both college level (at Ohio State University) and high school English (in Columbus, Ohio) before leaving teaching to write full-time. She is the author of 30 novels, including historical romance, contemporary suspense (for MIRA), and a historical mystery series, Queen Elizabeth I Mystery Series.
Karen and her husband, Don, divide their time between Columbus and Naples, Florida, where they have wintered for 13 years. It's so beautiful there, the author says, that it's hard to find the discipline to sit inside and write.
Their immediate family consists of three children, Sharon, a middle-school teacher; Bill, newly married and living in Kentucky; and Nancy, who recently blessed the Harpers with their first grandchild, Sean Patrick. Babysitting Sean has become Karen's favorite hobby.
The Harpers love to travel for pure enjoyment, for research, and for romance and mystery writers' conferences. The most exotic places she's been are Morocco and Turkey; the most moving, Israel, though she says England is her all- time favorite destination. She also loves the Greek Islands and Santa Fe, N.M., where she went horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
Those endeavors, along with her discovery of snorkeling, have opened new interests to add to tracing her family heritage, reading, and growing African violets. Karen adores cats but is still in mourning from losing her gray and white longhair after 13 years. Thought "catless in Columbus," she admits that traveling is much easier without worrying about leaving her best friend behind in the house.
Karen's books have been published in a variety of foreign languages including most recently Japanese and Greek. Two have appeared in Good Housekeeping Magazine, and many are in large print and audio books. Her MIRA novel, The Baby Farm, about a midwife in Appalachian Kentucky, has been nominated for a RITA Award as best romantic suspense of 1999 by the Romance Writers of America.
Though she is now a full-time writer, Karen still loves to teach by giving writing workshops and talks about getting published.
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