Kathryn Hinds is a prolific author whose short stories and poetry have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. Her most recent works are The Healer’s Choice, a feminist fantasy novel published by Dark Oak Press, and The Forty, a collaboration with photographer Fox Gradin and author James Palmer that re-envisions the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Kathryn’s first poetry collection, Candle, Thread, and Flute, came out from Luna Station Press in 2013. That year also saw the release of her six-book series Creatures of Fantasy (Cavendish Square), which brought her total number of nonfiction books for children and young adults to fifty. Her current works in progress include a sequel to The Healer’s Choice along with a novel in verse and a collection of steampunk short stories. Kathryn did graduate work in comparative literature and medieval studies at the City University of New York and is now a lecturer in the English Department of the University of North Georgia. She has lived in Dahlonega, Georgia, since 1995.
Growing up outside Rochester, New York, as a proverbially “sickly child,” I learned early on to revel in the experiences and adventures offered to me by the combined forces of books and my imagination. As soon as I learned to write, I started writing stories of my own, and I’ve never stopped. I didn’t initially plan to become A Writer, though–for a great many years my ambition was to be an archaeologist. Then I switched to music, and for some time I aspired to be a concert cellist or a composer and conductor. For a short while I also entertained notions of being an actor-singer-dancer. I explored most of these ideas during college at Barnard, in New York City, where I also became more serious about writing fiction and poetry. I ended up with an interdisciplinary arts major with a double concentration in music and writing. My other major subjects were Latin, literature, and religion.
After a couple years bouncing around the work force as an administrative assistant, an early-childhood educator, and an executive secretary, I went on to graduate school at City University of New York, pursuing a PhD in comparative literature with a concentration in Medieval Studies. I did work in Old Norse and Old Irish as well as quite a bit on courtly lyric and romance (in Old Occitan, Old French, and Middle English). I then took my love of literature in another direction and went to work in the publishing industry. After some years of working both in-house and freelance, I was offered the opportunity to start writing middle-grade nonfiction for the school and library market.
My first book was India’s Gupta Dynasty, for a series called Cultures of the Past. I wrote a number of other titles for this series, including books on the ancient Celts, the Romans, the Vikings, the Incas, medieval England, and the Venetian empire. I also did three books for a lower-elementary series on pets. Then it was back to writing for middle- and high-schoolers with several four-book series: Life in the Middle Ages, Life in the Renaissance, Life in the Roman Empire, Life in Ancient Egypt, Life in Elizabethan England, and Life in the Medieval Muslim World. In the midst of all this, I also wrote a book on everyday life in colonial North America (for young people) and co-wrote a book on Celtic mythology (for adults). I finished off this phase of my writing career with two six-book series: Barbarians! (Ancient Celts, Early Germans, Scythians and Sarmatians, Huns, Goths, and Vikings) and Creatures of Fantasy (Unicorns, Dragons, Mermaids, Sphinxes and Centaurs, Griffins and Phoenixes, and Water Monsters).
Meanwhile, I had moved from New York City to Atlanta, and then settled down in the North Georgia mountains with my husband, our son, and an assortment of cats and dogs. For a couple years I worked at our local library as a circulation specialist and then as an information specialist, and since 2011 I have been teaching in the English Department of the University of North Georgia. And I’m still writing!
photos by Fox Gradin, Celestial Studios Photography