About Karen

Karen A. Romanko has been a published author for three decades. Her latest book, Television's Female Spies and Crimefighters: 600 Characters and Shows, 1950s to the Present (McFarland, coming March 2016), is an encyclopedic reference covering TV's female spies, private investigators, amateur sleuths, police detectives, federal agents and crime-fighting superheroes. Over 350 female spies and crimefighters who have appeared in 250 television series since the 1950s are included, from Emma Peel with her "kinky boots" to Amanda King and her poppy seed cake, from Julie Barnes with her hippie pad to Honey West and her pet ocelot. There's something for everyone here, from casual TV fans to popular culture scholars.

A former professional librarian, Karen began her writing career in 1986 with a "My Say" column in Publishers Weekly about the image of librarians, a stereotype which did not square with her punky hair, red glasses, and loud voice. (Shh!) She went on to write articles about rock videos and science fiction movies/television for publications such as American Libraries and Library Journal.

As Karen's interest in science fiction and fantasy grew, she began to write poetry and short fiction in those genres. She has now seen over 100 of her short works published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, The Pedestal Magazine, and Lone Star Stories. She has also edited speculative fiction and poetry anthologies under the Raven Electrick Ink imprint, including Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy (2009), Retro Spec: Tales of Fantasy and Nostalgia (2010), and Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy (2011).

When not hunched at the computer, Karen enjoys the sun of Southern California, and especially Malibu, with her biologist husband, Bob Desharnais. She loves the proximity to Hollywood, but misses the fall foliage of her native Boston and always roots for the Red Sox (well, almost always).