About the Author

Katherine L. House - Children's Author

Katherine L. House

Where I Grew Up:

I was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in nearby Arlington, Virginia, less than 15 minutes from the White House.

My Family:

My father worked for the federal government, and my mother stayed home. I have two younger sisters. My sister Karen and I are less than a year apart in age. To this day, I don’t know how we managed to share a small bedroom until I went away to college. But we did build amazing forts between our two beds in the summertime. We had a dog named Wags, who was part basset hound. He was long, with short legs, and a tail that never quit.

Having Fun:

I loved to read; we constantly went to Arlington’s Central Library. I devoured books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew, historical fiction (especially set during the American Revolution), books full of science experiments, and biographies. I joined a swim team the summer I turned 10 and began competing year-round. My best stroke was butterfly.

During the summers, my family went on vacation in Maine, where I fell in love with lighthouses. The feeling of standing at the edge of the ocean (or lake or river) and watching the water meet the shore is still one of my favorite pastimes.

School Days:

Author with sister at Monticello

Author with sister at Monticello

From the time I was young, I loved school. It didn’t matter what we were studying—history, science, math or grammar. I savored the opportunity to learn something new. I think that’s one of the reasons I became a writer. I can pick any topic I want to learn more about and read up on it, interview experts and write about it. When I was in third grade, I memorized the names of all the presidents in chronological order (there were fewer of them then!) and recited them to my class. In high school, I was famous for winning prizes at science fairs for my projects about solar energy. I even appeared in a filmstrip (like a slide show) produced by National Geographic.

My Writing Career:

When I was growing up, I thought I would become a scientist or an engineer. I took a journalism class in 8th and 12th grades and loved it. While attending The College of William and Mary, I worked on the newspaper staff all four years, eventually becoming managing editor of The Flat Hat. My first job after college was as a researcher for a consulting firm specializing in economics. After that, I took a job working on a magazine covering the printing industry. I wrote articles every month, handled proofreading and copy editing and helped plan each issue. While I was working there, I decided I would like to try writing books for children. It took many years of practice before I published my first book.

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