Author Interview, Books & Authors

Karen Docter: Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart Finalist @KarenDocter

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Bestselling author Karen Docter is a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart finalist and won the Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Suspense unpublished division of the 2005 Daphne du Maurier Award. She writes psychological romantic suspense as K.L. Docter and lighthearted contemporary romance as Karen Docter. She holds a B.A. in Technical Journalism and has taught hundreds of new and published writers how to use the “W” plotting technique in her online plotting workshop, The “W” Plot…Or The Other White Meat for Plotters©. To foster literacy, she’s been a speaker at local Jr./High schools and tutored composition and reading classes. FMI:

Your real name and pen name?

I write contemporary romance as Karen Docter, which is my real name. I also write romantic suspense as K.L. Docter.


Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

One of my favorite memories involved trips to the public library where I grew up. My mother would take me and my sisters to the library every Saturday. We’d stock up with as many books as we could carry…and were allowed to check out. The library had a limit of twelve books and I can remember many times I reread the books through the week. I worked my way through the entire children’s library and, when I ran out of books a wonderful librarian who knew me well led me to my first romance novels. She introduced me to Dame Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer. I believe my love for the romance genre was born in that library.

What career did you plan during your education days?

Karen Docter on Career and Education

From the time I was eleven years old, I set my sights on becoming an elementary school teacher. However, interestingly enough, when I signed up for my first semester college courses, I could only get one English course (the rest had filled up). It was Journalism. That was a wonderful semester for me because we published a monthly magazine and I learned all of the ins-and-outs of journalism…and reconnected with my love for writing. By the end of that first semester, I had changed my major to Journalism. When I graduated community college with a Liberal Arts degree and transferred to Colorado State University, I fine-tuned my major to Technical Journalism.

I never used my training after graduation because reporters back then didn’t make much money and I’d put myself through college as an office manager, which paid better. I never stopped writing, though, so it’s no surprise that I picked it up as a career later in life.

What hurts you most in this world?

Injustice. I find it disturbing how many good people are hit over and over with bad things, even taken from us, while evil people seem to thrive with no repercussions for their actions. I think it’s one of the reasons why I write, because I’m able to give the good people what they deserve, while dispensing justice to those who deserve it.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? In fact, how did you overcome it?

Karen Docter on Biggest Challenge

I’ve had to deal with some serious health issues for the past five years and it took a while for the doctors to figure out what was going on with me. For two years now, we’ve been addressing one problem at a time. I can’t say I’ve overcome the issues as yet, or that I ever will overcome all of them, but I’m feeling better and stronger every day.

What is your favorite genre and why?

I read across many genres. My favorite romance genres are romantic suspense and contemporary romance, of course. Also paranormal, time travel, fantasy, futuristic, historical, and Regencies. Outside of romance, I enjoy military/action/adventure, spy novels, fantasy, SciFi…well, you get the picture. I love to read just about anything.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

Contemporary Romance as Karen Docter:


Bustiers, Birds, and the Blues…

Dan McDonald walked away from the American dream, a life full of money, glamorous women and power. Now nothing can lure him back into the corporate death trap. Except….

Dan’s scheming aunt snares him into opening a lingerie shop in Tess Emory’s shopping mall. Tess is everything Dan has vowed to avoid…sexy, smart, and obsessed with work.

Tess is determined to make her life a success and right the wrongs of her past, no matter the cost.

They’re both going to discover that true love breaks all their rules.

Karen Docter on Awards

** RomCon Reader’s Crown finalist ~ Contemporary Category

** Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist ~ Best Short Contemporary Romance


CATCH THAT SANTA (novelette, approximately 50 pages):

When the widow, Sara Marks, hears her Grams has gone on the lam from Happy Acres Residence on Christmas Eve – on Santa’s arm, no less — she teams up with a sexy stranger, Francisco de la Vega, to chase the couple down with one thing in mind. Keep her Grams from becoming Mrs. Claus. Of course, Francisco’s grandfather is not really Santa Claus, but Grams did run off to Vegas to marry him and she’s obviously not in her right mind.

Sara leaves her seven-month-old baby, Lanie, with a friend and she and Cisco head west in the worst snowstorm in decades, chasing his grandfather’s ’57 Ford Fairlane over the river and through the woods.

Will they catch Santa and his crazy Mrs. Claus before it’s too late? Or will love stop them in their tracks?


Romantic Suspense as K.L. Docter:

KILLING SECRETS (A Thorne’s Thorns Novel):

Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

Karen Docter on Killing Secrets

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.


What genres you write in and why?

I write in two different romance genres. I write romantic suspense as K.L. Docter and contemporary romance as Karen Docter.

I started out writing contemporary romance because it’s what I read. My contemporaries are cute and spicy romances. I love writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so I can throw them in each other’s path…with a tickle and a smile.

My romantic suspense novels are filled with romance, too, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. These are the book that were filling my head for years. I finally broke down and wrote Killing Secrets, just to get the story out of my head. Along the way, I realized the book was going to be the first of a series of six, and my RS persona was launched.

Actually splitting my genres has allowed me to avoid running into writer’s block. There’s always something I can be working on. When I open my laptop, I now work on whatever’s calling my name the loudest.

What are your forthcoming writings?

Karen Docter – Cop On Her Doorstep

I’m currently finishing up my next contemporary romance called Cop On Her Doorstep. It’s in revision at the moment, but I’m aiming for a Valentine’s Day release. I’m also working on my next romantic suspense, Twin Deception. It’s not the second in the Thorne’s Thorns series, but a standalone novel I’m revising. I’m aiming for a March/April release with that one. The second book in the Thorne’s Thorns series, Killing Proof, will release in late summer/early fall.

What keeps you motivated towards writing?

This is an easy question to answer. There are simply too many stories I need to write. Whenever inspiration strikes (which is often), I write down the idea and tuck it in a file labeled Books To Be Written. I tend to write thematically through book titles and, right now, I have more than 50 romantic suspense book titles and 30 contemporary titles waiting in the queue. My biggest challenge is learning to write faster, a daily dilemma.

If Writing a Book is taken as a project, What are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?

Karen Docter on Project Management

Despite the fact I still consider myself a pantser (writer who writes by the seat of her pants) in many ways, I’ve taught myself how to plot. I learned the “W” plotting technique about 15 years ago and loved it so much as a pantser (it allows me to be creative and plot) I taught writers online how to use it. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t have written the complicated twists in my romantic suspense novel without it. I now spend time working through my thoughts about a book I want to write, do the “Ws”, then set it nearby for reference and start writing. If the pantser in me wants to write a scene that takes place later in the book – this often happens to me – I write the scene. So, I don’t generally write in a linear straight line, but the system works for me.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?

I love both as my numerous bookshelves can attest. However, I’ve been building my ebook library over paperbacks in recent couple of years. Once I discovered how much easier it is to read on my Kindle because I can change the type size, it became a no-brainer for me. Sadly, some of my older books on my Keeper Shelf are in such small typestyle that I can no longer read them. With the exception of the autographed copies, I’ve been slowly replacing my paperbacks with digital versions.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

Karen Doctr on Real Life and Fiction

I pull ideas from real life, although I do tweak them for the story and to make sure no one would recognize the originating idea. I’m an observer of life, and little things that catch my attention might go into a character or a situation. My contemporary romance, Satin Pleasures, was created and brainstormed while I was stuck in the middle of a traffic jam for two hours on a bridge in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The scene I opened the book with actually happened to me, and my “what if?” muse was off and running. I don’t know any serial killers like what appeared in my suspense, Killing Secrets, but the ideas can be traced back to articles I’d read or saw on television or in research.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

It’s a must for an author who wants to be in the business for the long haul. I might be able to write a story or two but, without a strong imagination, I would be wondering where my next story is coming from. I’ve already proven I have a strong imagination thanks to my list of TBW (to be written) stories. It’s helped me to feel secure in my decision to write full time. I won’t be a one-book wonder. I’ll be lucky to finish all of the books I want to write in my lifetime, especially since I get new ideas all the time.

Your dream destination on Earth?

Karen Docter and her Dream Destination

I love Maui. My husband and I have vacationed there several times. I’ve been to Oahu (Honolulu) but it’s too “big city” for me and Waikiki too frenetic. What I love about Maui is the laid back flavor of the island. I never understood how a vacation could be relaxing until we visited there.

Hmmm, I think I’m due for another trip soon…oh, honeeeeey!

Your favorite time of the day?

I love mornings…well, after I’ve had a cup of coffee. Each day, I start out with a plan for the day. It’s full of promise and excitement. A good start to my day generally means my entire day is good, even if I don’t accomplish everything I planned. I work at my desk 10-12 hours every day so mornings are when I’m freshest.

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

I’m a Pisces.

Your favorite color and why?

Love purple, whether it’s that deep, rich color of royal purple or the lighter lavender hue. It feels elegant. I love the colors in my jewelry and my clothes. Although I don’t tend to have much in my clothes, amethyst is my favorite gem.

Your favorite book and why?

I wish I could point to one book on my bookshelf as my “favorite” but that just doesn’t happen. I have a 8-ft x 24-ft wall in my bedroom alone that are favorites, books I couldn’t get rid of for one reason or another. They run the gamut across the genres, lengths, and authors. I often pick them up and reread them.

Your favorite movie and why?

Karen Docter on Favorite Movie

I had to think about this one. I didn’t think I had a favorite movie but I actually have two that I react viscerally to each time I watch them – The Notebook and Armageddon. In fact, I enjoy a lot of movies, but few affect me as strongly as these movies. Just thinking about their storylines, I’m tearing up. I think they affect me so much because I can relate to them. Family and my loved ones are important to me and both movies pull at my heartstrings like no other.

Your favorite food?

Seafood. If I could eat at Red Lobster every day, I would. I love their annual ShrimpFest. I’ve taught myself how to cook most seafood at home, even calamari, and I make a delicious seafood bisque.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion

Sun, laughter, morning, coffee, live near the mountains but also love the sea, long drive, silence, fire, earth, Mars, tulip, red, right, stare, money, boy, day, plant, love

First thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Grab my first cup of coffee of the day and head downstairs to my office.

Last thing to do before sleep?

Read or watch television with my husband. I find it difficult to sleep if I work too late and don’t decompress.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to opposite, what will be your first reaction?

Shock, then irritation. I’m happy with me as I am.

Karen Docter – Signature Line

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote

Karen Docter Signature Line: Romance…With a Kick of Humor!

K.L. Docter Signature Line: Women hunted by killers…men who’d die to protect them.

Favorite Quote: ~ The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. ~


Links & other relevant details:

ISBN-13: Killing Secrets, 978-0-9882586-2-4

Satin Pleasures, 978-0-9882586-1-7

ASIN: Killing Secrets, B00JPQ5ZVO

Satin Pleasures, B0078VSY6G

Publisher: Indie Author, all books published by Karen Docter

Twitter handle: @KarenDocter

Facebook page:

Facebook/Karen Docter:

Facebook/K.L. Docter:

Goodreads author page:…

Amazon link:

K.L. Docter on Amazon:…

Karen Docter on Amazon:…

Any other links:


Book Bench for Romance Lovers FB Group:…



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