After college, Katherine worked in New York, in the brand new, fast-growing field of data processing, developing computer systems, mainly in the fields of transportation and energy. Among her employers and clients were IBM, the Long Island Railroad, the Algerian Ministry of Industry and Energy, the US Department of Energy, and the Bank of America.
Over the next thirty years, her careers, first as an international consultant, and later as an author, would take her to live and/or work in seven countries on three continents and half the states of the USA.
Whenever there was an economic downturn, companies found that they could fill jobs with unemployed male engineers for the same low wages that the women had been earning, and lay off the women employees. Neville was temporarily unemployed so often, that she finally decided to keep her resume ‘permanently dusted off’ and placed with search firms around the country ‘just in case…’
When Neville would find herself laid off or ‘decommissioned’ from a computer consulting job in some remote locale, she was always willing to relocate anywhere to find work. Meanwhile she would support herself until the next steady job opportunity appeared: she was a waiter, busboy, model, artist, commercial photographer.
Neville says, “The best part of having to work at all these jobs, was the material I garnered from each: different locales, interesting events, and stories that I could later weave into creating more fascinating fiction. Otherwise, I might have been a woman sitting alone in a room, writing about her own ‘deeply profound’ thoughts!
As I always tell aspiring young writers: To become an interesting writer, there are only two things you need: Get a job, and get a Eurail Pass!”