Biography

Katrina Kittle

Katrina Kittle has lived in the Dayton, Ohio, area for most of her life. She grew up in a home where books were prized possessions, and original stories and poems were given as gifts. Her father is a voracious "chain reader," who encouraged her to read widely, and still greets her at the door with, "Did you bring me any books?" Her childhood was full of horses and books and hiking in the woods and camping with Girl Scouts and bossing the neighborhood kids into huge theatrical productions.

Originally interested in dance and theater, Kittle studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Ohio University, first as a theater major, then accepting an invitation to join the Honors Tutorial Program in English. She had a double major in English and education, worked in the theater costume shop, rode on the university’s equestrian team, kept a Theater minor, and graduated in 1990 with a BA in English and a BS in Education, earning the honor of Outstanding Graduating Senior for both departments.

After graduating, Kittle taught high school Advanced Placement British Literature for five years, then spent several years freelancing as a children’s theater director and creative writing instructor. She has worked as a writer-in-residence and taught creative writing workshops for several elementary, middle, and high schools, universities, and organizations. She has taught students as young as third grade and has had an 80-year-old student in her Fiction Intensive at The Antioch Writers’ Workshop.

During "the freelance years," Kittle also worked in case management support at the AIDS Foundation Miami Valley (now the AIDS Resource Center), cleaned houses (which she found "very Zen-like and perfect for the writing life: you get left alone with your hands busy doing mindless work while your brain can simmer story ideas"), and worked as a veterinary assistant.

Kittle then taught 6th- and 7th-grade English at the Miami Valley School in Dayton, where she directed a middle school play each year. If she were to remain teaching, she would wish to be nowhere else, but she is so grateful to be fulfilling a lifelong dream to write full-time.

She is the author of Traveling Light and Two Truths and a Lie. Her third novel, The Kindness of Strangers, was released in February 2006. Early chapters from this third novel earned Katrina grants from the Ohio Arts Council and from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District. The Kindness of Strangers was selected as a Book Sense pick for February, and was the Fiction Book winner for the 2006 Great Lakes Book Awards.

Kittle runs and studies Latin dance. She's also on a cooking spree (when she's "cooking" figuratively on a new book, she's usually cooking a lot literally, too). In addition to her favorite pesto, she's especially fond of a recent espresso-chocolate cake she discovered in Nigella Lawson's fabulous cookbook Feast. She is also dabbling in Indian cooking, and so far her friends are willing guinea pigs.

With her purchase of a house in June 2009, Kittle has become obsessed with gardening. She tilled garden beds and planted seedlings before she unpacked a single box inside the house. With the gardening came new cooking challenges --- how to preserve the harvest? She is determined to learn to can before next fall's garden bounty.

Kittle loves theater and tries to get her theater "fix" at least once a year, usually auditioning for something at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

She also loves to travel. Recent travel highlights include spending the night with a goat under her bed in Ghana; riding horseback through the hills of Sintra, Portugal; and floating on her back in the Mediterranean looking up at the cliff-cut city of Positano, Italy.

Katrina Kittle keeps Dayton, Ohio, as her home base, where she is the proud aunt of Amy and Nathan, and where she lives with her assistant, Joey the cat.

Katrina Kittle

Books by Katrina Kittle