Sutcliffe, Katherine 1952-

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SUTCLIFFE, Katherine 1952-

PERSONAL: Born September 20, 1952, in Texas; married; husband's name, Neil (a geologist); children: Bryan, Rachel, Lauren, Jennifer. Hobbies and other interests: Raising and showing Arabian horses, travel.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Evan Fogelman, Fogelman Literary Agency, 7515 Greenville Ave., Suite 712, Dallas, TX 75231; fax: 214-361-9553. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Computer personnel headhunter; As the World Turns and Another World, consultant head writer; freelance writer, 1982—.

MEMBER: Romance Writers of America.

AWARDS, HONORS: Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, twice; Affaire de Coeur Favorite Author of the Year; Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers Award for Best Historical of the Year, 2000; Dorothy Parker Award for Best Romantic Suspense and Long Contemporary, Francis Reader's Award for Best Romantic Suspense, Romance Writers of America Kiss of Death's Daphne du Maurier Award for Best Single Title Romantic Suspense, all 2001, all for Darkling I Listen; Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Storyteller of the Year, 2002.

WRITINGS:

Desire and Surrender, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1985.

Windstorm, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1987.

A Heart Possessed, Topaz/Penguin (New York, NY), 1988.

Renegade Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1988.

A Fire in the Heart, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Shadow Play, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Dream Fever, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1991.

My Only Love, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Once a Hero, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Miracle, Berkley (New York, NY), 1996.

Devotion, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Jezebel, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Hope and Glory, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Whitehorse, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Notorious, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Darkling I Listen, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Fever, Sonnet Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Bad Moon Rising, Sonnet Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to Moonglow, Berkley (New York, NY), 1998.

ADAPTATIONS: Darkling I Listen was optioned for film.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Hot August Moon, due in July 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Katherine Sutcliffe is an award-winning writer of romance and suspense. Her writing has been called rich and sensual with vivid imagery by a Publishers Weekly critic in a review of Once a Hero.

An only child, Sutcliffe was raised mainly by her grandmother, and never knew her father. She spent much of her childhood alone, as she wrote at her Web site, "holed up with my best friends: books, notebooks, pencils. When I wasn't reading, I was writing. Wrote my first book at age 13."

After graduating from high school, Sutcliffe was living alone, working at a motorcycle dealer until the shop went out of business. She had no money for food, so she walked five miles to a pizza restaurant and sat at a back booth, writing stories on paper napkins and waiting for the patrons to leave. She would take the uneaten pizza off their plates and eat it during her long walk home. Eventually she decided to go to business school, and then moved to Dallas, Texas, where she met her husband Neil. In 1982 Sutcliffe quit her job as a headhunter for a computer personnel company, deciding that she would try to write. Three years later she sold her first book, Desire and Surrender, to Avon Books.

Most of Sutcliffe's historical novels are set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sutcliffe told an interviewer for the German Web site Die romantische Bücherecke, "I've always imagined that I was born in the wrong century. The 19th century, especially the Victorian era, has a very strong pull on me. Perhaps I lived a former life during that period."

Sutcliffe, whose favorite author is horror novelist Stephen King, often incorporates dark or supernatural elements into her novels. For example, in Love's Illusion she uses the story of the nineteenth-century murderer known as "Jack the Ripper," but made the murderer a vampire instead of a mortal human being. In addition, her female characters are often tormented souls with many weaknesses, in contrast to the more pure and sunny characters other romance novelists employ. Sutcliffe told the interviewer: "My characters must do a lot of soul searching to understand their motives for behaving as they do, and once they come to grips with what is troubling them . . . they get over their angst and put it behind them. . . . I guess the whole process of writing is a sort of catharsis for me."

Sutcliffe's novels have received mixed reviews, with some critics finding the darkness and heaviness of some of her historical novels a bit tedious, while others have found her work to be compelling and suspenseful. Publishers Weekly reviewer Penny Kaganoff noted that A Heart Possessed has "a suspenseful, intricate plot," while Mary K. Chelton, a LibraryJournal reviewer, said the book tells "a dramatic story . . . longer on atmosphere and mystery than romance." Love's Illusion was called "captivating" and an "outstanding romance" by Kaganoff. Booklist reviewer Diana Tixier praised the "tightly twisted plot" of Notorious, calling the book a "compelling historical romance." Devotion was praised as "flawlessly plotted and written" by a Publishers Weekly critic.

Sutcliffe intends to move away from historical romance and write more contemporary romantic suspense, moving more into mainstream fiction with the hopes of appealing to a wider audience. She is also considering writing horror. In her interview for Die romantische Bücherecke Sutcliffe said, "Writing is absolutely the best career, in my opinion, for raising a family. I've always been home with [my children] and therefore allowed to take any time I needed to participate in their wonderful lives."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 15, 1995, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Miracle, p. 896; September 15, 1998, Melanie Duncan, review of Moonglow, p. 213; February 1, 1999, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Hope and Glory, p. 966; September 15, 2000, Diana Tixier, review of Notorious, p. 228.

Library Journal, May 15, 1996, Mary K. Chelton, review of A Heart Possessed, p. 50.

Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1988, Penny Kaganoff, review of A Heart Possessed, p. 81; March 3, 1989, Penny Kaganoff, review of Love's Illusion, p. 99; February 2, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of A Fire in the Heart, p. 79; February 8, 1991, review of Shadow Play, p. 54; October 11, 1991, review of Dream Fever, p. 59; May 2, 1994, review of Once a Hero, p. 303; January 8, 1996, review of Devotion, p. 65; September 8, 1997, review of Jezebel, p. 73; January 4, 1999, review of Hope and Glory, p. 87; May 28, 2001, review of Fever, p. 57; August 27, 2001, review of Darkling I Listen, p. 62.

OTHER

Die romantische Bücherecke,http://www.diebuecherecke.de/ (March, 2000), Angela W., "Interview with Katherine Sutcliffe."

Katherine Sutcliffe,http://www.katherinesutcliffe.net/ (August 11, 2002).