Interview with author and editor Chris Roerden

Hello again,

I’m back to share another of our workshop presenters interviews with you. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to author and editor, Chris Roerden.

Chris Roerden is editor for authors published by Berkley Prime Crime, St. Martin’s Press, Midnight Ink, Five Star, Harlequin, and Forge, and currently edits the 2nd mystery series of multi-award-winner Hank Phillippi Ryan. Of Chris’s 11 books (6 ghostwritten), two are writers’ manuals: DON’T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY (Agatha Award; Anthony and Macavity finalist; Writer’s Digest Book Club) and its all-genre edition DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR SUBMISSION (Benjamin Franklin Award; Florida Writers BOTY; ForeWord Review’s Writing BOTY finalist).

A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maine, Chris holds a Master’s in English. She served as national scholarship chair for Mystery Writers of America, is past president of MAPA, a Midwest trade association of 250 commercial and university presses, taught at 3 universities and in 3 countries, and continues presenting workshops on the craft of writing. She is a former writing instructor at U of Maine-Portland and U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and taught English in South Korea one summer for UNESCO. She also presents workshops on craft and the writer’s voice (350+ so far in the US and Canada).

She will be presenting a workshop titled: Not Your Gramma’s Grammar  (Discover tricks of tense, secrets of sequence, and more. . .) She has such a wealth of knowledge to share it with each of those who attend her workshop. You won’t want to miss it.

Chris Roerden


Chris Roerden


Two of her books:

Chris Roerdan - Don't Sabotage your Mystery Chris Roerdan - Don't Sabotage Your Submission(For a complete list of her books go to her website.)

Without further delay, here’s our interview with Chris Roerden:

Question: What do you feel is the biggest grammatical crime?

Not realizing how much one’s readers depend on becoming totally lost in a story without being jerked back to reality by encountering any grammatical convolution, thereby having to stop to either figure out its intended meaning or wonder at the tone-deafness of the writer. My pet peeves include: Mina would have liked to have had a child.

Question: How has literature changed during your career?

Today’s plots move faster than they did when I first got into the business at age 16. There’s less description for its own sake; today, description that advances the story is valued. Character development reflects modern pitfalls: drugs, sex, insider trading, credit card hacking….

Question: What advice wouldyou give a new writer?

Read widely and read constantly, especially if you plan to write fiction. Reading other authors is the only way I and other writers know to absorb the idioms of the language…the style and sounds of how the language is used. Without that base, publication — if that is your goal — is severely limited.

Question: What or who began your love of books?

I grew up the youngest by 12 years in a family of 5 adults, including 3 much older siblings who, somehow, taught me to read before I entered kindergarten — yet also led to my need to escape from the whole family environment. The first library I frequented was housed in a narrow storefront near our NYC apartment.

Question: Can you name your favorite book, genre or writer? Tell us why?

That’s easy. It was Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. I identified with the 6-year-old’s loneliness, imagined myself in her idyllic Swiss Alps setting, and craved the love she received.

Question: What do you feel is the most rewarding thing about what you do?

By editing manuscripts, I know I’m helping writers improve their skills and move toward their goals. And whenever a writer succeeds in realizing her or his goal, I vicariously enjoy having played a small role in that.


There’s only six (6) days before the Friday night Kick-Off Event and seven (7) days before the 4th Annual Pamlico Writers Conference. If you haven’t already registered, why not click on our website link now to register and sign-up for your desired workshops before you miss it?


Be sure and check out our other social media sites:

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We’ll see you at the conference.

Kay Wilson


3 thoughts on “Interview with author and editor Chris Roerden

  1. Chris Roerden is an asset to any writer’s career–she did wonders editing my novel, REALIZING YOU! We’ve also frequently appeared together at conferences, and her presentations are excellent! Hope everyone will try to catch her at Pamlico–she’s well worth it! One small point: When presenting an interview with an EDITOR on your blog, it would be wonderful if you could spell her name right… 🙂

      1. Wasn’t trying to be snarky, Kay! (And don’t say, “You’re snarky without even trying!”) I’m thrilled that you’re bringing Chris to Pamlico and sure she’ll be a hit with your audience! Hope to see you and Marni real soon!!

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