Like most published authors of fiction, I’ve been writing since I was really young. I was writing about anything and everything that one could take in through the senses: vignettes about locales, character descriptions, food, travels, sights, sounds, aromas, tastes, textures–even writing down my dreams, if they were interesting. Having been an artist first, I used my writing notebook like an artist’s sketchbook–something to scribble in, and dive into later, if I needed fresh material.
But like most students of fiction, I was taught in school that great writing was “Literary,” while everything else (mystery, thriller, horror, crime, sci-fi, fantasy, historic romance…anything ‘popular’) was merely “Fiction.” These two categories of books were even located on separate shelving in bookstores and libraries!
Fiction was ephemeral. Literature was eternal.
There was just one problem:
The works being taught as Literature were all about life in a small town, in a suburb, in a ghetto, in rural England or New England or the South–writers like Thornton Wilder, John Updike, Virginia Woolf. Stories filled with angst or boredom or depression.
But the books I loved to read were swashbuckling adventure novels, like Rafael Sabatini’s pirate stories–Sea Hawk and Captain Blood; Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo; Lord Byron’s Don Juan; Homer’s Odyssey. The authors I loved were Voltaire, Rider Haggard, Wilkie Collins, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Thomas Malory’s Arthurian tales. (Of course, today many of these are called ‘Literature,’ since the authors are all dead. But when they’d first appeared, the stories were wildly popular Fiction.)
I wanted to write the kind of stories that I loved to read. Complex stories with interwoven tales, with intrigue, adventure, twists and turns, love and lust. Stories like Scheherazade’s–a woman who, over One Thousand and One Nights, never lost her head!
For the past thirty years I’ve been traveling the world, gathering material so I can keep telling enchanting stories.
Book Tour Photos & Videos
Launching The Eight
Clare Ferraro & Susan Peterson, VP & President of Ballantine Books, Random House, Publishers of The Eight
Signing The Fire in Spain
At a book signing
Nicola’s Books: Ann Arbor, Michigan
With Vicki Kondelik, creator of the “Unofficial Katherine Neville” website
With author escort Kathy Goldmark (Director of Rock Bottom Remainders): San Jose, CA
Book Launch for “Thriller”: Book Expo America, Washington, DC
With Authors (L to R) Eric Van Lustbader, Robert Liparulo, Katherine Neville, James Rollins, David Morrell, James Grippando, Heather Graham, Steve Berry, Chris Mooney, Gayle Lynds, M. Diane Vogt, Denise Hamilton
More about ITW at BEA: Thriller
National Book Festival: Washington, DC
Some of the authors you may recognize: Nicholas Sparks, Michael Connolly, Lisa Scottoline, Lee Child,John Grisham, James Swanson, Jodi Picoult, John Irving, Jeanette Walls, Mark Kulansky, Julia Alvarez, & Judy Blume
More about National Book Festival
With Phil Pfeffer (Director, Random House) and Kathryn Falk, Lady Barrow (Publisher, Romantic Times): NY
With bestselling author, Javier Sierra (“Master of the Prado”): Madrid, Spain
More about the Fire Book Tour in Spain
Javier later came to visit me: DC Mysteriosa
Martin Cruz Smith signing a first edition of his book “Rose” for Katherine at Book Passage: Corte Madera, California
At Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference: Editor Joe Blades, conference director Luisa Smith, Elaine Petrocelli (owner), Authors Lawrence Block and Martin Cruz Smith (with wife Em), and Author Michael Connelly
With authors Don Secreast, Nancy Ruth Patterson, Ann Goethe, Sharyn McCrumb, and Nikki Giovanni: Authors Day
With Ann Goethe, David Baldacci, Lucinda Roy, and Brad Meltzer: “Books, Dreams and Literary Themes”, Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, Virginia
With bestselling authors Robert Bauval (“The Orion Mystery”), Javier Sierra (“Master of the Prado”), and Paco, Chef of “El Rincón de la Catedral”: Malaga, Spain
With authors Jeffery Deaver and Steve Berry: “Author Imprint” interview, PBS, New York City
Sign for Book Tour: France
“Magic Circle” Book Tour: Canberra, Australia
Before the Eliott Bay Book Company signing: Seattle, Washington