Kathleen George is the author of the police thrillers Taken, Fallen, Afterimage, The Odds (nominated for an Edgar (R) award for best novel by the Mystery Writers of America), Hideout, Simple, and A Measure of Blood. All seven of these titles are set in Pittsburgh. The publishers of this genre were Bantam, Dell, St.Martin’s, and the Mysterious Press. In 2014 the University of Pittsburgh Press released The Johnstown Girls, Kathy’s historical novel about the Johnstown Flood, and in 2018 they published her second historical novel, The Blues Walked In, which is about Lena Horne and jazz.
Kathy is the editor of Pittsburgh Noir, a collection of short fiction (Akashic, 2011), and the author of (early on, before the novels) her own short story collection (1999) from BKMK press, The Man in the Buick.
She is a professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, where she has directed plays, written books about dramatic construction, and now teaches mainly dramatic literature and playwriting.
Pitt has been a major force in her life as have both theatre and writing. She started as a student, earned an undergraduate degree in English Writing, but upon graduation talked herself out of crossing the country to attend a graduate writing program. Instead she got an MA and a Ph.D. in Theatre from Pitt. Before she completed the Ph.D. however, she was hired to teach theatre down the street at Carlow College, where she happily directed one play after another, avoiding writing her dissertation. One summer she talked herself into writing the dissertation and the end result was an offer of a job (at Pitt), her alma mater. Again, she directed play after play, always sad when a show ended. One summer, restless, without a play to direct, she began to write fiction again. She had always loved school, so she decided to fit in some classes offered in the University’s writing program. While teaching theatre, she got an MFA in Creative Writing. A dean sent out a memo that nobody on the faculty was permitted to earn another degree while teaching, but it was too late; Kathy had just finished as the memo was sent out—and probably was the reason the memo was sent out.
She started as most writers do with short fiction. One short story with a lovable comic protagonist made it to the glossies. Kathy tried to make a novel of that character for years until one summer, in a funk, she decided to use all her own theatre lessons and push herself to write a high-profile scenario, that is to push herself toward plot, a story idea with badness and crime in it. She was experimenting, not planning to show the scribbles to anyone, but she was having a good time, not least because the police and the FBI and the attorneys she contacted were so helpful. She ended up with a draft of Taken, her first police thriller.
Most of her work is set in Pittsburgh. Some of it is even set at Pitt. Like Emily Dickinson, she sticks to home.
Visit her at kathleengeorge.com where she talks about her working process, the themes that obsess her, misguided novel attempts, and even about the Pittsburgh restaurants which feature prominently in her novels.
Regal House Publishing is proud to bring you Kathleen George’s next work, Mirth, as part of our 2022 fall frontlist season.