My ancestry is rooted in the Mediterranean. My paternal grandparents emigrated from Macedonia and my maternal grandparents from Athens, Greece in the 1910s. Our father was fiercely proud of his Macedonian heritage so we were raised to believe we were Macedonian and not Greek, which is rather humorous in retrospect. We were not taught the Greek language but we were frequently regaled with epic recounts of all the Greek myths and the history of Alexander the Great.
We were children of the 1940s and teenagers of the 1950s. Although times were lean, we knew the joy of working a huge jigsaw puzzle, learning to play card games, and good books to read. We never saw our father without a book in his hands.
Imaginative thinking and creative endeavors were encouraged by our parents. For myself, it all began with a big box of Crayolas, a pad of manila paper, and lots of books . . . and dolls . . . and a wild imagination. Wherever I was sent out to play, that place became a fairyland or a gypsy camp and my rampant imagination was kindled by every tree and flower, the clouds in the sky and the wind – unless, of course, there was a great neighborhood baseball game to play in. Growing up on the shores of Lake Erie easily provided more than enough stormy times to foster creativity as well as a champion baseball team to follow.
My early creative pursuits were in art, which eventually became a minor area of study while journalism and literature became my major. Countless hours were spent creating pen and ink drawings and oil paintings until I was introduced to textile arts. Painting on fabric opened the door for me to another world of art – creating with fibers and beads.
In typical Gemini fashion, I am a lifelong doll maker and collector and an avid baseball and basketball fan. I am keenly interested in history, astronomy, geology, and archaeology, and am probably a research librarian in my secret heart. There is no historical detail too small to grab my attention.
Following a career in human resource management and raising a family of six children, I began to write Tierra Red, the story that was inspired by a Gibson Girl doll in my collection. The 1890s has always been an era that held great interest for me. My husband’s family, which has lived in New Mexico since the 1880s, amassed a great library of first edition New Mexico history and nonfiction books covering the era in which Tierra Red is set and forward to the 1940s. These books were an incredible resource for creating the proper setting for my Gibson Girl, Lily.
Illusions, the sequel to Tierra Red, will continue the story from 1899 to the present. It’s projected for publication in Summer, 2012.
When I am not writing, reading, or conducting research, I can be found doing bead embroidery, jewelry making, crochet, knitting, or quilting. If there were forty hours in a day, I just might be able to accomplish all the things I love to do . . . .
My husband, Jim, and I live in sunny Las Cruces, New Mexico surrounded by thousands of books. We really do live in the Land of Enchantment – the high desert country of southern New Mexico – where the turquoise sky and the ambience stir one’s creative soul every day of every year.
Kathy is the author of Tierra Red – see details on this site
at Past Times Books – on this site