Author Spotlight: Karen Malley
It’s a joy to welcome Karen Malley today as she shares about her writing journey. I’ve been reading her books and they are very enjoyable. Karen is also hosting over on our Little Bit of Christmas FB page, so hope on over and join us.
What inspired you to start writing? Have you always written?
I actually wrote my first book when I was 6. Granted, it was a 70-word story about my dog, but still, the seed was planted. When I was in high school, I wrote for the school paper and have journaled over the years. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but as a full-time working mom, there was never much time to write for pleasure. As my boys grew older, however, I carved out the time. I carried a notebook with me everywhere I went, and my first book emerged little by little. I connected with Pelican Book Group, and my first book was published in 2020. That book became the first of a three-book series. I’ve written a Christmas novella each of the last three years, and I’m now working on the last book of my next three-book series.
How do you find life-writing-work balance?
I work full time for a pharmaceutical company helping to make new medications. I love my day job and am fortunate to work with some fantastic people, but as you can imagine, that keeps me busy. My oldest son is away at college now, and my youngest is a senior in high school, so they don’t need me as much, although I still make a home cooked meal each night. My husband and my boys are night owls, so I do most of my writing on weekend mornings before anyone else is awake. I get up early and sit with my laptop typing away in my pajamas.
Each week I also write a short story devotional to send out to my newsletter subscribers. Both my sons are Eagle Scouts and my husband has been involved in the troop, who meet Monday nights. I typically have taken the time while they’re at Scouts to write my weekly stories.
Do you enjoy working on multiple projects at once or one book at a time? Why or why not?
Except for my weekly stories (or blog posts like this 😊) I tend to focus on one book at a time, because it takes so long to finish one! It’s especially important for me to focus when I’m writing in a series because I don’t want readers to have to wait too long for the next novel. I like to write my Christmas novellas at this time of year, since that’s when I’m most inspired. I’ve been known to pause my novel writing in December. This year, though. I’m so close to finishing the third book in my Chester County Couples series that the Christmas novella will have to wait.
I have ideas for other projects floating around in my head, however, so I will write those down and save them for future stories.
It probably doesn’t surprise you that I love reading. I read a little differently than I write. I will often read three books at the same time. I’ll listen to an audiobook in the car, have a book loaded in my Kindle app to sneak a few pages in at lunchtime, and a third physical book on my bedside table. I can switch back and forth between the stories without a problem.
What common themes do you write about? Why?
In all my books, there is a salvation journey, where a character comes to know Jesus. Because this is the most important decision a person can make in their lives, I include it in my stories. Some of the themes I’ve covered are forgiveness, self-worth, trust, family, and enduring friendship. And since I write Christian romance, love, since as the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Tell us about your latest release.
Well, technically, my latest release is Cactus for Christmas, which is this year’s Christmas novella. That one is a lot of fun. It’s about a sixty-year-old widow who loves her Christmas traditions. They all fly out the window when she has to travel to help her sister in Arizona at Christmas time. Throw in a dog with separation anxiety, a kitten who steals ornaments, and an attractive ice cream truck driver, and you’ll have no idea what will happen!
I’d like to tell you more about my second-newest release, Moonlight and Mystery, which came out in October, if that’s OK 😊. It’s a full-length novel and is the first book of a three-book series. Each of the books are standalone, but the characters you meet in the first book continue through the other two. It gives the secondary characters a chance to tell their stories.
I had a particularly fun time with this story, since the main characters are also actors in a murder mystery. I’d never written a mystery before, although there are elements of mystery in most of my books. It took a long time to decide who the murderer would be. Once I figured it out, I had to go back and insert clues into the story. It allowed me to interweave the story in the play with what was unfolding in the lives of the actors. It was fun, but challenging!
Here’s the blurb for the story:
Beth Tarrington has it a gorgeous fiancé, a lucrative career, the latest model car, and a high-priced condo. On top of that, the Tarrington name opens every door in town. So why is she so discontent? When everything falls apart in Beth’ s life, will she finally find the strength to stand on her own two feet? Is God really willing to stand by her side, even after she’s ignored Him for so long?
When Jason Brooks meets Beth, his head tells him to run in the opposite direction. Beth is a high-society snob engaged to another man, and he’ s not sure where she stands with God. So why does God keep bringing the two of them together?
Can these two find love, in spite of everything that stands in their way?
Where can readers find you online?
The best place to connect with me is my website: www.karenmalley.com. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive a weekly short story devotional, be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways, and more.
Karen Malley lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons and is, by far, the shortest person in the house. A perfect weekend would be spent hiking and camping with her three guys. She loves God, her family, playing games, and has a goal to visit as many National Parks as possible! When not in the great outdoors, she’s either at work as a scientist or at home writing stories in her pajamas.
You can find it online at:
If you’re interested in any of my other books, including Cactus for Christmas, you can find them all at