I come from a long line of Katherines stretching back five generations on one side of my family and three on the other. I don’t mind being one among many — I like the name ,and I still get a kick out of seeing it in print.
I was born in Washington, D.C. to an artist and an Army lawyer. Both of them loved books, and while I can’t remember them reading to me, I do remember some of the books. The Poky Little Puppy was my favorites because the puppy loved rice pudding and so did I. I graduated to reading the Beezus and Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, buying each one from Scholastic Books — remember them? When I was a kid, I adored those books about the two sisters — I had a little sister — and their friends and Ribsey the dog. Now that I’m older, I realize what I loved was the cheerful, warm picture Cleary painted, the nice people she wrote about, the safe and secure world she created. I realized I wanted to do that.
When I got out of college with a degree in English but not a teaching credential, I was pretty much unemployable except that I could type fast. Really, really fast. That skill landed me my first job as an editorial assistant at a city magazine, and for the next few years, I moved up until I was editor of a metropolitan magazine in California. After the magazine won an unprecedented eleven press awards, I decided to leave on a high note and try freelancing.
I wrote “advertorial.” I wrote travel pieces. I wrote lots and lots and lots of book reviews. But mainly I wrote about food. Because, who doesn’t like food? The food writing brought me tons of opportunities — I ghost-wrote two cookbooks, I wrote one of my own that’ll be out in late 2020. I became a partner in a catering company providing on-set meals for film productions. (If you ever need a recipe for chili for forty, let me know.)
For years, I dipped my toes into fiction by writing short stories, but I’d always wanted to write something longer. In the fall of 2017, I was living in a lovely small town in the Pacific Northwest where the wind often knocked out the power for hours at a time. One afternoon, the power went out, and to keep myself from going crazy, I picked up a pen and started sketching out a story longhand in one of the composition books I keep around. By the time the power came back on, I’d written almost five thousand words and had the beginning of The Christmas Experience. Two weeks later, I’d finished it, recipes included.
And that was the beginning of the Katherine Moore experience. That book, and the next few I wrote (mostly novella length), are all set in a fictional Pacific Northwest town I call Silver Birch, Washington. It’s an idealized place that’s based on the city I lived in. And because I’m the honorary mayor of Silver Birch, all the people who live there are nice people. (If they’re not, they get their comeuppance.) I grew up in Beverly Cleary’s neighborhood; now I want to live in Silver Birch.
With other books, I created new locations and populated them with people I’d like to know. I invented Mermaid Beach because my younger brother lives in a funky little Florida beach town, and I miss him and I don’t get to see him often enough. The small town of Heaven, Washington, is actually based on a small town in Virginia where I spent some time as a child. (Army brats move around a lot.)
I write stories with happy endings because there just aren’t enough happy endings in the world. I hope you like them.