Author Karen Harper

My author friends are generous people. And none were more generous than Karen Harper, an Ohio author I’ve known since the beginning of my career.

Karen was the first person to tell me about the Buckeye Book Fair, the one person I could count on to send me my PW reviews back before they could be found online, and the author who offered to read and give me a quote for Iron Lace, my first single title. I always looked forward to seeing her when I knew our paths would cross.

For Iron Lace she said “Richly textured and deeply moving, Iron Lace is a break-your-heart love story in the grand tradition.” I suspect that quote says more about Karen than about my book.

In November this year Karen and I sat side by side at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, OH. and talked about our lives and careers. We discovered we had the same editor and made sure to have our photo taken together to send to our terrific Emily. She told me she had two books coming out back to back this spring, something that had never happened to her before. We talked about this one and all the research she did. She was looking forward to seeing it in print.

Unfortunately Karen Harper passed away this month, so she won’t be here to see how well her books will undoubtedly do. But her friends want you to know this first of the two has just been released and the second soon will be. We hope you’ll look for and enjoy both books and all her works.

You can find Deep in the Alaskan Woods at Amazon, at B&N, and at Apple Books as well as other bookstores.

Her next book, The Queen’s Secret, from William Morrow and at bookstores on May 19th, is one of Karen’s fabulous historicals. If you love the television series The Crown, you’ll love this story about Queen Mary, wife of King George VI during WWII. I can’t wait to read it.

author karen harper

Karen will be greatly missed.


  1. Joni Everson on April 29, 2020 at 5:30 am

    I’ll have to be sure to read these
    So sad

  2. Denise Almazar on April 29, 2020 at 5:48 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your fellow author and friend. I will look for her new book coming out. I love stories about the royals! The Alaskan one looks good too! I may have to get both!

    • Cyndi on May 1, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Prayers. I have several signed from BBF and will look for these last two.

  3. Linda Hengst on April 29, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Oh dear God, Emilie, Your post took my breath away. I am so shocked and heart broken. No one in Columbus let me know. Karen and I have been friends since I started at Ohioana in 1988. She is/was and incredible author and even more a a great person. I knew she has been sick and I assumed going through chemo but her attitude seemed so positive. Over the past few years we talked alot about her book about the Queen, her research and struggle to find the title.

    • Emilie Richards on April 30, 2020 at 11:01 am

      I think it was a shock for all of us. I’m so glad she had you and all the amazingly supportive book pros in Ohio to cheer her on. She deserved every cheer and more.

  4. Pat Kennedy on April 29, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Dear Emilie,
    I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

  5. Joan Leopold on April 29, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Thank you, Emilie. I’m sorry you have lost a long time special friend.

  6. Coelle Baskel on April 29, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I always feel so sad when learning the loss of an author I so enjoying reading….Karen is one of those. So thank you so much for letting us know and also know about her upcoming books being released.

  7. David Weaver, Ohioana Library on April 29, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Emilie, thank you for letting everyone know. Karen just appeared in February at Ohioana – our book club chose “American Duchess” as its winter read, and Karen came, even though she’d been in the hospital only a week before. She was such a wonderful friend to Ohioana, and to Linda Hengst and me, personally. Remember when she interviewed you for the Ohioana Quarterly? I know the two of you always had such a great time at the Buckeye Book Fair. A gifted author, a generous and caring woman, and a loyal friend. She’ll never be forgotten.

    • Emilie Richards on April 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      David, I’m so glad she did Ohioana with you in February. She was one special lady, always aware of what was needed and willing to step up. I’m so glad she’s left a large selection of books behind to remember her by.

  8. Julia Wiesenberg on April 29, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, Emilie. I am devastated to hear that we have lost our beloved Karen Harper. She was such a supporter of other authors and was so warm and engaging with her readers. She was a big part of the Buckeye Book Fair for over 30 years. We were so lucky to have her. Many of us in Ohio will be missing her.

    • Emilie Richards on April 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      We were lucky. And I am so glad you sat us next to each other this year at Buckeye. We had a really nice time chatting whenever we weren’t signing. Karen was such a favorite of readers there and deserved to be. She was so gracious to everyone.

  9. Pat Wallace on April 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Karen Harper was one of my top favorites. I am so sorry to see this. I will be watching for her final contributions to my reading pleasure. Thank you. Love your books as well!

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