Biography

A Life Crowded with Incident

Katharine Kerr was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944 to a family which considered itself British-in-exile far more than American. Since she was taught to read on British books alone, these sentiments resulted in her inability to spell properly in either system, British or American, though fortunately there were no other lasting effects.

Just to compound the culture shock, the family moved to Santa Barbara, California, when Katharine was a schoolgirl. Already an avid baseball fan, her first reaction to the move was horror at discovering that the state had no major league teams, as the Giants and the Dodgers had yet to arrive. Her second reaction was an even greater horror upon realizing that in Southern California beaches are far more important than books. She vowed to leave as soon as possible, carrying out the threat in 1962, when she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, she has left it only to visit relatives in the British Isles and currently lives in San Francisco itself.

After dropping out of Stanford University in the mid-Sixties to join several of the revolutions then in progress, Katharine worked at a number of low-paying jobs, including a stint in the Post Office, while she read extensively in the fields of classical archaeology and literature, Medieval and Dark Ages history, and modern fiction. (She can muddle along in Latin and several modern languages, including the speech of rock-and-roll musicians.) She lived with a number of cats and of course, attended baseball games. Eventually she had the good fortune to meet up with an old friend from secondary school, Howard Kerr, who loves cats, books, and baseball as much as she does. They were married in 1973.

In 1979 a friend gave Katharine what became known as "the fatal gift," her first fantasy role-playing game. She became so intrigued with both gaming and the fantasy field as a whole that she began writing articles for gaming magazines, and for some time was a contributing editor to DRAGON magazine as well as contributing to gaming modules for both TSR, Inc, and Chaosium, Inc. Now, however, she is devoting herself exclusively to fiction, for the simple reasons that there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and she does require the normal amount of sleep.

It's very odd, but you can link anything on to the Web, even your life.

Cleveland is a very underrated town. Start with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and see for yourself.

A lot of writers and intellectuals scorn pro sports, but not me. I live and die with the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco Forty Niners.

Whenever I'm abroad, and people ask if I'm an American, I tend to say, "No, a Californian." Certainly the rest of the States view us with a jaundiced eye, and California is, after all, the same size as France. In many ways, it resembles a separate country.

Copyright © 1996-2009 Katharine Kerr. All rights reserved. No portion of this site may be copied, in whole or in part, without permission of Katharine Kerr.