Bodman, Karna Small (Karna Small)

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Bodman, Karna Small (Karna Small)


Married Dick Bodman. Education: University of Michigan, B.A.


Home—Naples, FL; Washington, DC; Jackson, WY. E-mail—[email protected]


KRON-TV, San Francisco, CA, reporter; KGO-TV, San Francisco, news anchor; WTTG-TV, Washington, DC, news anchor; WRC, Washington, DC, radio host; the White House, Washington, DC, deputy press secretary to President Ronald Reagan; National Security Council, senior director and spokesperson; senior vice president of a public affairs firm.


International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.


Checkmate (novel), Forge (New York, NY), 2007.


Karna Small Bodman began her career as a radio reporter in San Francisco, and when Ronald Reagan was elected president, she was appointed deputy press secretary under James Brady. In this position Bodman traveled and spoke on behalf of the president, in addition to writing speeches and press releases. She later became senior director of the National Security Council, representing the United States at arms control talks.

Bodman is well qualified to write about international affairs, which she does in her debut thriller Checkmate, the plot of which is built on the assumption that the codes that guide a cruise missile can be determined while it is in the air. The protagonist, Cameron "Cammy" Talbot, is leading the antimissile project team at Bandaq, a cutting-edge defense contractor with high standards. Their backing is in danger as Congress threatens to stop their funding and instead support rival Sterling Industries, an unethical firm that is determined to destroy Bandaq. The suspense builds when three stolen cruise missiles must be stopped before an international confrontation is provoked. Meanwhile, Cammy is being stalked by an unknown person intent on killing her. Armchair Interviews reviewer Laura Langer described Checkmate as "a fast-paced thriller."

When asked what influences her work, Bodman told CA: "My experiences serving in President Reagan's White House for six years. I saw firsthand how unplanned events can influence foreign as well as domestic policies. While any morning newspaper offers an author a veritable petri dish of possible plot points for a novel, I know that ‘being there’ is even more important in being able to convey a real sense of government decision making to the reader.

"When people read Checkmate or other novels that I am currently researching, I hope they will come away with a better understanding of how the White House operates, what issues are important, but have a good time reading a ‘political thriller’ in the process."



Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Checkmate, p. 1031.

Publishers Weekly, October 9, 2006, review of Checkmate, p. 37.


Armchair Interviews, (April 15, 2007), Laura Langer, review of Checkmate..

Karna Small Bodman Home Page, (April 15, 2007).

University of Michigan Web site, (April 15, 2007), biography.