About Me

Karen Kelly

“Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” —The Bhagavad Gita

As a writer and collaborator, I consider myself a generalist in that my versatility, curiosity, and background enables me to write about a wide variety of topics for a general audience. However, I have a special passion for lifestyle, culture and social issues, health, business, design, food, and fashion. You can find information about the proposals and books I have written and collaborated on in Projects, along with a selected list of articles I have published under my own name.

I am known for my ability to capture voices and translate them to the page, which results in books that bring authors’ unique points of view and personalities to readers. My reputation for speed and quality gives editors confidence that they will receive a manuscript on deadline, in good shape, and in need of minimal editorial intervention.

I am not a traditional ghost writer in that my work is not done in the shadows or under a veil of secrecy – often my name is on the cover or title page of a book accompanied by a “with” credit, and always in the acknowledgment section. I have worked with authors represented by major literary agencies including Abrams Artists Agency, CAA, The Carol Mann Agency, Inkwell Management, ICM, Waxman Agency, Sterling Lord Literistic, Trident, and William Morris. Likewise, I work with editors from major publishers including Amazon Publishing, Avery Books, Clarkson Potter, HarperCollins, Hay House, Kensington Books, McGraw Hill, Palgrave Macmillan, Random House, Rodale Inc., St. Martin’s Press, Simon & Schuster/Viacom, and Viking Penguin.

In addition to my collaborative work, I am a professional writer and journalist.

As a food writer and recipe developer, I have not only worked on many food-related books, but I have been a regular contributor to Yoga  Journal, Natural Health, and All You magazines. My food writing has also appeared in Prevention. General interest articles have also appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. My business writing has also appeared in several Financial Times Company business publications including Ignites, BoardIQ, and Board Alert. I also covered green energy for GreenTechIQ, a publication targeted at venture capitalists. Many how-to and home improvement articles have appeared in the New York Post under the Barbara K byline. My book, The Secret of the Secret was published by St. Martin’s Press, and was an international bestseller.

Before becoming a full time writer and journalist in 2000, I worked in book publishing as a marketer, editor, and publisher. I developed an imprint for Rodale, Inc., Daybreak Books, which published a variety of popular inspirational titles on a range of subjects, including wellness, business, food, and lifestyle.

As a senior editor at Warner Books (now called Grand Central), I acquired and edited many cutting edge titles including David Cassidy’s Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, Entertainment Weekly’s Guide to the Best Movies Ever Made, Entertainment Weekly’s Seinfeld Companion, Jerry Stahl’s cult classic memoir Permanent Midnight, Montel William’s New York Times bestseller Mountain Get Out of My Way, and groundbreaking super model Beverly Johnson’s True Beauty.

For nine years, I licensed and marketed design, decorating, gardening, art, history, literary fiction, and do-it-yourself titles at Book-of-the-Month Club.  Before that, I acquired how-to books for the Better Homes and Gardens Book Club.

Although as a teenager I was a page at the Memorial Hall Library in Andover, Massachusetts, my career in the book business started in earnest while I still writing my graduate school thesis, at the Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency – a life changing moment that set the course of my professional life. Thank you Meredith.

I would also like to thank Madeleine Morel of 2M Communications, who has represented me since 2000, for telling me I could do something that I actually enjoyed and make a living at it – collaborative writing. She wasn’t wrong. Likewise, I would like to thank Michael Griffin, the founder and former CEO of Money Media, who told me I could be a journalist because I knew how to ask questions.

I am a member of the Authors Guild, The Woman’s Media Group, The Freelancer’s Union, and P.E.O. I have a BA in art history from the University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Columbia University.

On a personal level, I am a wife and mother – two roles I enjoy very much.  I am a staunch supporter of freedom of the press and freedom in general.  As long as we do not hurt each other physically, or steal, and practice the nonaggression principle, we should be able to live and express ourselves as we like, without punishment from The State. I am an animal lover and movie nut, a benefactor and fan of The Mint Theater Company in New York City, an India-phile and Indian food addict (and self taught Indian cook), an avid but amateur gardener, and relentless country auction participant. I also break for flea markets and yard sales even though I do not sport a bumper sticker on my car warning fellow drivers of this. I am also one of those women who reads too much. And, yes, I believe in unicorns.

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
– Buddha