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Richardson, Kat

Richardson, Kat

PERSONAL:

Born in CA; father an English teacher; married. Education: California State University, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Seattle, WA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and editor. Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, CA, curriculum writer and editor; technical editor; has worked in the magazine business; has written video games.

WRITINGS:

Greywalker (science fiction), Roc (New York, NY), 2006.

Poltergeist: A Greywalker Novel (science fiction), Roc (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Kat Richardson has been involved in the publishing industry for most of her adult life. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in magazine editing. After graduation she worked in Los Angeles in the magazine publishing industry and later switched to curriculum writing and editing with the Gemological Institute of America. Richardson left California to take up technical writing while living on a sailboat in the Seattle area with her husband and an assortment of pets. The daughter of an English teacher, Richardson began writing fiction stories in elementary school and never stopped. It wasn't until 2006, however, that she published her first book, Greywalker.

Greywalker introduces private investigator Harper Blaine, who finds herself living "in the grey" after a beating leaves her medically dead for two minutes. Blaine, now able to see ghosts, vampires, and other undesirables, attempts to manage her increased business as both worlds collide in a dangerous manner. A contributor to Publishers Weekly called the book "fast-paced fun." Jackie Cassada, writing in Library Journal, found Richardson's characters "genuinely likeable." A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Greywalker as "well-produced, pleasingly peopled, with a strong narrative and plenty of provocative plot lines."

Richardson told CA: "I never found writing to be a chore, and I've always been an avid reader with a vivid imagination, so writing stories was a natural progression and an easy one. I've always read widely and been a fan of mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy since I was small, so the writers and books that have influenced my own writing range pretty broadly: Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Jane Austin, Kenneth Grahame, Patricia A. McKillip, Alexandre Dumas (pere et fils), Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, Homer, the Brothers Grimm, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha Christie are the ones that come to mind first, though I do read a lot of contemporary authors as well. I'm also influenced by nonfiction subjects like history and physics, and I draw a lot of inspiration from watching people and exploring places.

"My writing process is mostly ‘put butt in seat, put fingers on keyboard.’ I read a lot and ask silly questions and poke around the Internet and library for ideas and info before I start, but once I'm in writing mode, I need to be at my computer. I tend to be outline-dependent: I write on a general idea until I get stuck, then fall back and work out an outline that will not only get me past the block, but carry me through to a satisfying ending. I do research to fill out the details of the outline, and then I start writing again to that outline and just push through until I'm done. Then come edits and evaluation and more edits and rewrites until I either love it, or I've hit a deadline and have to mail it in.

"[The most surprising thing I've learned as a writer is] that writing is only half the job; the rest is marketing. I thought I'd only have to write a good story to be a success, and while that was a start, there's a lot more to a successful career as a novelist than good craft or art.

"I always love the book I'm thinking of doing next most, since it has no downsides, only potential. But even though it's flawed, I still have a huge soft spot for Greywalker, since it's my first.

"What I hope for is the ‘wow’ effect—that the reader should feel surprised, engaged, and excited by the book, and possibly that they'll get a little frisson or a sense of wonder from something I wrote."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, October 6, 2006, Will Boisvert and Bob Cannon, review of Greywalker, p. 73.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2006, review of Greywalker, p. 760.

Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of Greywalker, p. 77.

Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Greywalker, p. 58.

ONLINE

Kat Richardson Home Page,http://www.katrichardson.com (March 6, 2007), author biography.

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