During her young’un years, Kathie attended college at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. At first, and at her parents’ insistence, she put writing on the “just a hobby” burner and majored in Special Education. After nearly flunking out of that, she switched her major to Social Work – and nearly fell asleep. Finally, she tested her own waters by taking one semester without any literature classes and without any writing workshops. She nearly drowned. That was the point she realized who she was and what she needed to do. Despite her parents’ strong protests, she switched her major again and excelled while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis on creative writing. Her world expanded under the care of authors such as Kelly Cherry, Jay Clayton and Lawrence O’Sullivan.
After graduating from college and starting a family, Kathie spent several years taking noncredit workshops in creative writing at a local community college under the encouraging wing of Wisconsin writer Ellen Hunnicutt. Ellen told Kathie she had the voice of a novelist, and that her lyrical language choice and sharp eye for detail would be best expressed in literary fiction. Kathie fell in love with literary fiction, but continued to write both short stories and novels. She is now widely acclaimed in both. When Kathie began to teach, Ellen offered guidance again, helping Kathie to develop her thorough, yet exuberant style with students.
Many years later, at the crossroads age of forty, Kathie decided to return to school for her Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction. She was comfortable with her writing, as she was already well-published by then, but she wanted to expand her knowledge on teaching and reaching writers. She earned her MFA from Vermont College (now the Vermont College of Fine Arts) in 2004. While attending VC, she worked with authors Laurie Alberts, Mary Grimm, Francois Camoin, Phillip Graham, and others, who influenced not only her writing, but her teaching.
Today, Kathie considers herself a lifelong learner and dedicated teacher. She reaches out to readers and students alike. And she encourages everyone to pursue what they are most drawn to do.