Kathleen Irene Paterka is a bestselling author of Women’s Fiction. Her novels embrace themes of home and family, of friendships and secrets, of life, faith, and love. Her books are for ~ and about ~ women. Ordinary women living ordinary lives who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Born and raised in the Midwest, most of Kathleen’s novels are set around the Great Lakes. The former resident staff writer at Castle Farms of Charlevoix, a world-renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, Kathleen is also co-author of two historical books about the castle. Kathleen’s non-fiction works have been published in trade journals.
I was born trying to do things my way. The doctor told my mother she could expect her baby (me) to be born December 1st. I arrived two weeks late. I always wanted to be a writer. As soon as I could hold a pencil (learning to spell helped considerably), I was scribbling words on paper and stringing them into stories. “Go outside and play!” my mother insisted. Little did she know that I had more fun writing my stories than anything else I could do. Plus, writing was the only way I knew how to quiet the voices chattering away inside my head. It took years before I realized that not everyone else heard voices the way I did. But the people in my head seemed so real, and they were carrying on conversations and doing things that were always much more interesting than anything in my own life. No wonder I wanted to spend all my time learning about them and writing down their stories!
Santa brought me a typewriter for Christmas when I was ten years old. I happily traded in my pencil and began pounding out stories on that teal-colored Olivetti. I went through lots of typewriter ribbons and correction tape. White-Out had yet to be invented (yes, I’m that old) and computers were not yet on the horizon. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” people would ask as I got older. “A writer!” I’d tell them, but they never liked my answer. “Go to college, study business,” they advised. “There’s no money in writing.” But I didn’t care. I just kept writing.
I was born trying to do things my way. The doctor told my mother she could expect her baby (me) to be born December 1st. I arrived two weeks late. I always wanted to be a writer. As soon as I could hold a pencil (learning to spell helped considerably), I was scribbling words on paper and stringing them into stories.
Kathleen's Olivetti Typewriter
My teachers pointed me in the direction of creative writing. Short stories! Poetry! I resisted their well-meaning efforts. Why waste my time creating Haiku and journaling when all I wanted was to write novels? Meanwhile, no one was providing me specific directions on how I might achieve that. Deep down, I had a hunch that the only way I would accomplish writing an entire book with sustainable plot and believable characters would be to lock myself in a quiet room, sit down with my characters, and let them take over. So that’s what I did. I just kept writing.