Comments from the author about writing:
I am the author of two novels, The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb and Ten Small Beds, available on Amazon in paperback and as a download to Kindle. The novels are also available at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, the Iowa City Public Library, and the University of Iowa Main Library and will soon be added to the University of Iowa's Iowa Authors Special Collection. The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb is also available at the Grinnell College Burling Library.
The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb is a coming-of-age and suspense story about a young Bible-believing convert who sheds his fundamentalism when faced with the consequences of a theocratic government. It is based on historical events in Guatemala during the 18-month genocidal regime of Pentecostal dictator, General Efraín Ríos Montt.
Readers’ and reviewers’ praise for The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb:
“… well-crafted prose … vibrant images … An engrossing, provocative novel.” –Kirkus Indie
“… a suspenseful coming-of-age story … believable, engaging characters and a gripping plot.” –Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of the award-winning novel The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia
“… the climax is riveting … Thank you for this wonderful book.” –Margaret Hawkins, author of A Year of Cats and Dogs, How to Survive a Natural Disaster, and the award-winning After Schizophrenia
“… [a] beautiful book, inside and out.” –Jeff Charis-Carlson, The Iowa City Press Citizen
Ten Small Beds is a novel of psychological suspense about a California psychotherapist, Davida Grayson, who returns to her rural Kansas hometown to supervise the care of her mother, who has Alzheimer's disease. During her sojourn in Kansas, unsettling events threaten her safety, sobriety, and sanity. Despite increasing self-doubt, she continues to work, via long distance phone calls, with three of her Oakland therapy clients: a Korean college student whose burden of responsibility toward his immigrant parents has led him to attempt suicide; a stoic, workaholic man anguished by being his family’s scapegoat; and a woman coping with the family havoc wreaked by her husband’s bipolar illness. Interwoven with the main plot of the novel, their stories echo Davida’s struggle against mental deterioration and her quest to solve the central mystery of her life.
Six of my short stories, “Home Fires,” “True Feelings,” “Mr. Stroud’s Story,” “Butterfly Garden,” “The Teaching Test,” and “Ever and Anon,” have been published in Glimmer Train, American Literary Review, Madison Review, Northwest Review, and fiction anthologies respectively. These stories can be downloaded from my website: www.katekasten.com
I also wrote, with co-author Sandra de Helen, a musical satire of the Nancy Drew mystery genre, The Clue in the Old Birdbath, which has been produced by theatre companies in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland. Reviews of the play are also available on my website.
I have completed the manuscripts of two short story collections: The Teaching Test and Other Stories and Blunderbuss: Fairy Tales and Fables Re-imagined and have two more novel manuscripts in progress: Intensive English and Better Days.
I received my B.A. degree in psychology from Grinnell College and my M.A. in English from Iowa State University. Currently I live and write in Iowa City, Iowa, where I teach English as a Second Language at the University of Iowa.
Literary awards received and date received:
- 1998 American Literary Review Short Fiction Prize for my story, “True Feelings.”
- 1999 first place and publication in Somersault Press’s Sideshow anthology for my story “The Teaching Test.”
- 1997 finalist in the Helicon Nine Editions Willa Cather Fiction Contest for The Teaching Test and Other Stories.
- 1999 Publisher's finalist for the Heeken Group Foundation Tara Fellowship for Short Fiction for my short story “Home Fires.”
Three other stories, “Grammar Lessons,” “The Jack Story,” and “Fugue,” were Glimmer Train contest finalists in December 2008, March 2008, and January 2009, respectively.
Book Types: Fiction
Audience Types: Young Adult, Adult
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Politics, Suspense, Historical Fiction
Are you willing to do programs for schools, libraries, or other groups? Yes
If you are willing to do programs, will you charge a fee? Yes for transportation and lodging. Where there is a program with grant money for bringing an author to read, I would negotiate a small fee. In some situations it might be appropriate just to speak via Skype, in which case there would be no fee.
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's Web site: http://www.katekasten.com
Books By This Author
Ten Small Beds. Islet Press, Iowa City, IA, 2011.
The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb. Islet Press, Iowa City, IA, 2011.