Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. Having received her BA, Katherine moved to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing, to making crepes, to working as a personal tour guide, to guiding horse tours. After a year on the island, she got a contract as a teaching assistant in a high school in Briançon, France. She spent nine months teaching, returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again, wandering. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
Her debut novel, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE (Delray, January 10, 2017) is a YA Historical Fantasy. In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
The two or three items she needs to have with her when she sits down to write: Laptop notebook pen brain. Not fancy here.
The literary character she’d most like to meet: Francis Crawford from THE LYMOND CHRONICLES, Sherlock Holmes, Percy and Marguerite Blakeney from THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, Dracula because why not, The Black from THE BLACK STALLION (because if you can have a vampire why not a horse) Elizabeth Bennet, Claire Fraser from OUTLANDER, Stephen Maturin and Jack Aubrey.
Her favorite childhood book: Good lord. THE HERO AND THE CROWN, CAPTAIN BLOOD, anything HORATIO HORNBLOWER, anything about horses, Tamora Pierce’s SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet. Among lots of others.
The craziest thing she did when she was 17: Well, when I was nineteen I moved to Russia by myself, not speaking Russian, and spent a year enrolled at the Pushkin Institute, with a bunch of other crazy people.
If she could travel anywhere in the world, she’d go: Just now? The Maldives
Where You’ll Find Her: