instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads


Karen Cecil Smith is a biographer, poet, and award-winning novelist and children’s picture book author. A love of history is reflected in all of her books. She strives to make her writing as historically accurate as possible, while developing stories that educate as well as entertain.

Pillow of Thorns, her most recent release and first novel, is based on an actual murder trial that took place in nineteenth century North Carolina. In 2013, The North Carolina Society of Historians bestowed it with the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award.

An Old Salem Easter, 1850, is Karen's latest children's picture book. It tells the story of a Moravian family and the traditions they share as they prepare for the majestic, inspiring, and exciting Easter Sunrise Service. As of August 2015, An Old Salem Easter, 1850 has not found a home with the perfect publisher. Karen will post publication updates on this site.

Karen attended Guilford College and holds a BA in English from Salem College. During her last semester at Salem, she became a freelance writer for a local magazine. After graduation, Karen worked as a newspaper reporter, photographer, and editor. Her stories and poetry have been featured in national magazines and literary journals.