Someone writing on paper on a wood desk

Q&A with Author Karen Whiddon!

Karen Whiddon started weaving fanciful tales for her younger brothers at the age of eleven. Amidst the Catskill Mountains of New York, then the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, she fueled her imagination with the natural beauty that surrounded her. Karen lives in north Texas, where she shares her life with her very own hero of a husband and five rescued Boxer dogs. Her upcoming release, THE SPY SWITCH, is available from Harlequin Romantic Suspense next month!

Q: Can you describe your writing process? Our readers would love to hear about it! 
A: I have set writing times and try not to let anything interfere with that. I work Monday through Friday, from 2-5, on actual writing. Things like edits from my editor and art fact sheets (to help Harlequin do cover art,) I do either in the morning or on weekends.

Q: Your Harlequin Romantic Suspense THE SPY SWITCH is out next month! Can you tell us a bit about this book and what inspired you to write it? 

A: When I’m under contract, I have to send in a synopsis for my next book. I try to think up story ideas and this one just came to me. I used to live near Denver, so I love that city and I decided to set it there. It’s a multi-level process for me, but usually I identify the hero and the heroine, what motivates them, and what is keeping them apart. Then I work on the suspense part of the story. This one was a LOT of fun to write!

Q: There are so many fantastic hooks in this story, including mistaken identity, a twin switch and a fake relationship. We also love the theme of a “regular girl turned spy”! How did you come to put these all together in one story?

A: It’s a case of tossing ideas around and putting together what works and writing them down in a synopsis. Sometimes when I start the actual writing of the book, things change and I have to note the synopsis that I printed out to avoid confusion later. This book definitely kept me interested. And the couple generated so much heat!
Q: What have you read or watched recently that you enjoyed? 

A:   I’m always reading! Currently a Colleen Hoover book, but waiting breathlessly for the next Kristan Higgins book, which comes out in June. I truly enjoy her work. And I ordered the new Robin Carr book, as well.   

Q: What are you working on next for Harlequin? 

A: I’m finishing up a Coltons of New York. NYC is another of my favorite places ever, though it’s been years since I visited. 

Q: What advice do you have for romance writers? 

A: Keep reading and keep writing. All it takes is the right person, be it agent or editor, to read your work. Polish, but try not to get bogged down in worrying about perfection. Have fun—that’s the most important thing.  Enjoy your characters, their setting, and their love. The reader will too!

To learn more about Karen Whiddon and her books, visit

Interested in submitting to Harlequin Romantic Suspense? Check out our recent series spotlight to learn more about the line! And find all of Harlequin’s series writing guidelines here.