The Official Writer Bio

Karen Leslie grew up in the rural, rolling hills of Pennsylvania along the Juniata River. During summer months, she spent her time swinging from grapevines, climbing ridges, and swimming in the creek with the neighborhood gang—and, in winter, sled riding, ice skating narrow creeks, and acting in school plays. When she wasn’t outside, she was reading.

She graduated Penn State University with a B.H. in Journalism and worked as a public relations director before raising her two children, Rachael and Joshua. After exploring lyric writing for a decade and opening The WordShop, where she takes a storytelling approach to marketing, Karen returned to her original dream of becoming an author. In 2014, she graduated from Spalding University’s low-res, international program with an MFA in Writing (Fiction).

“The Thin Places,” is a collection of linked short stories set in Bainesboro, a fictional town in upstate New York, where the veil between characters disappears and life-changing moments take on a soft luster. “Home Run,” the first story in the collection, is published by Menda City Review: 2017 Winter Issue. A handful of other stories from the collection are out and about looking for the right home.

A few years ago, Karen moved to her “wee writing cottage,” in Franklin, Tennessee, where she works, writes, travels, and loves. Her motto? “Live first! Write in between the moments.” Karen is working on her novel, “River Town,” a framed narrative murder mystery set in two places in time, submitting short stories, and pitching travel articles.

Update: Karen Leslie Chronister married songwriter Clayton Bernard Mills in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on April 14, 2018. They ran off to one of their favorite places, and it was fun. She nows goes by her pen name (also her first and middle name at birth): Karen Leslie. She will answer to Karen, K, Karen Mills, and Clay’s better half.

Fiction and Travel Writing Publications: Menda City Review, Bucket List Publications, BNT Touring Magazine, The Contributor, INSP (International Network of Street Papers), various trade magazines, and blogs.