(photo: Skylar Reeves)

New York timesBestselling Author Katherine Center wrote her first novel in the sixth grade (fan fiction about Duran Duran) and got hooked. From then on, she was doomed to want to be a writer—obsessively working on poems, essays, and stories, as well as memorizing lyrics, keeping countless journals, and reading constantly.


She won a creative writing scholarship in high school, and then went on to major in creative writing at Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize. At 22, she won a fellowship to the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and moved home to Texas with plans to become Jane Austen ASAP.


Didn’t happen quite that way. Of course. Instead, she began a decade of struggling, agonizing, and questioning the meaning of life before finally finding a fairy-godmother-like agent and getting a dream-come-true book deal for her debut novel, The Bright Side of Disaster.


A total happy ending. And also, just the beginning.


Katherine firmly believes that our struggles lead us to our strengths, and the years of not getting published, she’s decided, were good for her. They forced her to define who she is and what she cares about. They forced her to figure out why she writes at all. They forced her to clarify for herself what she loves in stories as a reader—to create her own definitition of “good writing” from the inside out.


Katherine is constantly thinking about craft, and looking for stories to admire, and working to get better at storytelling—but she’s very careful about what “better” means. For her, getting better as a writer means getting clearer and clearer about what she, herself, loves and looks for in stories—and using everything she knows about writing to do those things in the spirit of service for others.


Katherine believes the single most inspiring thing about the human race is the way life knocks us down over and over and over, but we just keep on getting back up.


She believes the best stories let you get so lost, you forget you’re reading at all—and then you find your way back out a little bit changed.


Katherine also believes joy is just as important as sorrow.


That’s why her stories are always about resilience and struggle and finding ways to savor life’s moments of grace. That’s why her characters joke around so much, even in the shadow of hardship. And that’s why Katherine will never, ever, run the main character over with a bus in the final chapter.


That’s a promise.


Katherine is always looking for reasons to be hopeful, and opportunities to laugh, and ways of getting inspired—both in real life and in fiction. She believes that the only compass you can follow as a writer is to write the story you, yourself, long to read.


(Photo: Skylar Reeves)




“So I have this whole theory that we should give ourselves permission to read what we want to read—to follow our own compasses about which stories speak to us at any given time in our lives. It sounds much easier than it is—because we all spent so many years in school, where reading got all jumbled up with being graded, and judged, and evaluated. But the truth is, stories belong to all of us. We live our lives in stories. Mr Rogers* said that play is the work of childhood—but we don’t give up play when we grow up. It still matters. Stories are play for adults: They help us learn how to wrestle with big issues in our lives in ways we don’t even realize. And when the work we’re doing is the right work, the work we need . . . it feels like joy. So read for fun. Read for pleasure. Don’t let literary snobbery or the ghost of your high school English teacher** stop you from finding the stories that resonate for—and nourish—you. You are doing important work when you play. Allowing yourself to steer your own reading journey is the most extraordinary act of self-care. Trust me on this. You won’t regret it. Read for joy.”

* Or maybe it was Jean Piaget! The internet is undecided!

**Said as an English major and a former English teacher . . . and with lots of love for English teachers the world over!!

Official Bio:

Katherine Center is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of What You Wish For, How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire. She’s also written five other bittersweet comic novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster and Happiness for Beginners.  Her fourth novel, The Lost Husband just became a feature film starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie BibbKatherine’s work has appeared in Redbook, O MagazineInStylePeopleUSA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Livingand many others


USA Today says, “Katherine Center writes amazing heartwarming novels.” The Dallas Morning News says, “Reading a book by Katherine Center is like having a long lunch conversation with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while — familiar, cozy and satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” And #1 NYT bestselling author Jodi Picoult says of Things You Save in a Fire, “Just read it, and thank me later.”


BookPage calls The Bright Side of Disaster, “beautifully penned and truly memorable.” People calls The Lost Husband, “A sweet tale about creating the family you need.” And InStyle says of Happiness for Beginners, “If you’re anything like us, you’ll read this book in one sitting.”


Katherine’s novels have been published in translation all around the world. Her books have made countless Best-Of lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019, Goodreads’ Best Books of the Year 2019, BookBub’s Best-Loved Books of 2019, the Indie Next Great Reads List, SheReads’ Best Women’s Fiction 2019, BookList’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction, and many, many more.


Katherine is also a speaker on writing, and reading, and how the stories we tell impact our lives—and she recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy.  She lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her awesome husband, two sweet children, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.

SHORT BIO (great for introductions!):

BookPage calls Katherine Center “the reigning queen of comfort reads.” She’s the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including How to Walk AwayThings You Save in a Fire, and her newest, The Bodyguard. Katherine writes laugh-and-cry books about how life knocks us down—and how we get back up. She’s been compared to both Jane Austen and Nora Ephron, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Her books have made countless Best-Of lists, including RealSimple’s Best Books of 2020, Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019, Goodreads’ Best Books of the Year. The movie adaptation of Katherine’s novel The Lost Husband (starring Josh Duhamel) hit #1 on Netflix, and her novel Happiness for Beginners is in production now as a Netflix original starring Ellie Kemper. Katherine’s summer 2022 book, The Bodyguard, was an instant New York Times bestseller, a People Best New Books pick, and just got nominated for Book of the Year by Book of the Month Club. Bestselling author Emily Henry calls The Bodyguard “a shot of pure joy,” and bestselling author Helen Hoang calls it “a perfect feel-good rom-com.” Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her husband, two kids, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.

(Photo: Skylar Reeves)





Houston NPR

Interview with Katherine and Vicky Wight,

director/screenwriter of The Lost Husband Movie



Katherine’s interview on The National Podcast of Texas


Houston NPR

Katherine’s THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE interview on Houston Matters


Houston NPR

Katherine’s HOW TO WALK AWAY interview on Houston Matters


Houston NPR

Katherine’s HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS interview on Houston Matters


Edit Your Life Podcast

Katherine Center on Prioritizing Joy + Optimism


Creative Superheroes Podcast

Making Creative Dreams Real with novelist Katherine Center


EFFING Shakespeare Podcast

Katherine talks about writing




The Houston Chronicle

Katherine Center Gets—and Gives—Inspiration From Famous Words


The Houston Chronicle

Katherine Center Tackles Her Toughest Subject Matter Yet



Write for Joy Says Bestselling Author Center


MidTown Reader

Interview for Things You Save in a Fire


Blue Willow Bookshop

Katherine Center on Humor, Houston, and How to Walk Away



Interview with Katherine Center



Q&A about Happiness for Beginners


AuthorLink Writers & Readers Magazine

Q&A about Happiness for Beginners



Love on a Goat Farm


Traveling with T

Q&A about The Lost Husband


Success Diaries

Interview on Writing, Publishing, and Success


1/2 DOZEN with Julianna Baggott



The Girlfriends’ Book Club

Interview about Happiness For Beginners




Houston Chronicle

How to Fall Back in Love with Reading


Women Writers/Women’s Books

The Joys of Editing


Female First

Why Reading Stories Makes Us Better at Life


The Debutante Ball

No One Here but Us Rivaling Siblings




KHOU TV Houston

Deborah Duncan interviews Katherine, Director Vicky Wight,

and SNL legend Nora Dunn about The Lost husband Movie!


KHOU TV Houston

Feature: Houston Author Pens Bittersweet Comedies


TEDx Bend

Katherine’s TEDx Talk


Great Day Houston

Interview about Things You Save in a Fire


Good Morning Texas

Interview about Things You Save in a Fire


Half Price Books

Behind the Book – Things You Save in a Fire



Facebook Live interview about How to Walk Away


Great Day Houston

Interview about How to Walk Away


Here’s Katherine doing a Q&A with Lauren Williams at the Daniel Boone Regional Library in February 2021.


Here’s Katherine reading an essay at the book launch for The Lost Husband at Brazos Bookstore in Houston:

Here’s a 3 minute video about Katherine’s writing process.  Videography by Karen Walrond.

Here’s Katherine in a Public Service Announcement in support of creative writing classes for children:

Katherine Center – I WIsh I’d Written That from Writers in the Schools on Vimeo.


Here’s a video that Katherine did based on a letter she wrote to her daughter that’s had a whole bunch of views on YouTube.  (That’s Katherine talking, by the way!)

Watch Katherine’s TEDxBend talk on how stories teach us empathy!

Here’s a full talk Katherine did at Lucky Star Art Camp about living a creative life.

Here’s a talk Katherine gave at Trinity University on how failure can make you better.

Connect with Katherine on Instagram!!

Join Katherine’s mailing list!


Three Good Things

Yes, Please