Kathy started scribbling stories in elementary school.
At eleven years of age she received her first writing award for a weed-awareness contest. Part of the prize package was an expense-paid trip to an agricultural college. She can’t remember the words, but her story opened with a dispatch to the weed-control police: “Calling all cars, calling all cars.”
A so-called rule is to avoid opening with dialogue, but Kathy has always been a nonconformist. Her primary rule is to write what readers want, not what “experts” tout.
She won more awards in her pre-teen and teenage years, including public-speaking and art contests. The family moved often, sometimes several times annually. Her earliest doodles were lost in misdirected packing boxes.
Her career has been reinvented multiple times, including stints as editor of a small-town weekly, computer-network administrator, and webmaster. She also dabbled in commercial art and cartooning, with a couple of acceptances in magazines.
Kathy’s love of language developed over the decades, but she didn’t start writing fiction for publication until she was in her fifties—winning or placing in several flash fiction contests. She has written over a dozen books and is a top-ten critiquer at Scribophile, an online writing community with thousands of members worldwide. As part of her writing/critiquing process, she developed a personal style manual that contained her research on grammar, formatting, and overused words.
In 2016, she started posting word lists from that manual on her blog at KathySteinemann.com. Several of her followers urged her to publish her lists in book format. In March of 2017, she released The Writer’s Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos. The book offers alternative word choices, generous examples, and exercises that can be used as story starters. Kathy consults her own book often as she writes.
The newest lists on her website will form the basis for a second volume in the Lexicon series.
In February of 2017, her blog was named one of “The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2017” by The Write Life.
Her multiple-genre prose and poetry have appeared in literary journals such as Boston Literary Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Mad Scientist Journal, Shoreline of Infinity, The Quarterday Review, Unbroken Journal, and WOW! Women on Writing.
In addition to reading, Kathy enjoys houseplant husbandry, gardening, and visiting with her large family. She’s an avid supporter of animal rescues, especially those sheltering parrots. Her grandkids call her Grandma Birdie.
A Few of Her Sales Outlets: